Master the dumbbell bicep curl with these fixes to ensure you get the most out of every arm workout.
In this article:
Bicep Curl Mistakes and Tips to Effectively Target Your Biceps
What Are Bicep Curls?
Bicep curls are upper body exercises for strengthening the biceps and forearm muscles. The movement involved in this exercise engages these muscles and continuously strains them to promote muscle growth. However, as with any exercise, form plays an important role here. This is how you do a proper bicep curl:
- Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Fully extend the arm with a little bend on the elbows.
- Hold the dumbbells on both hands.
- Do a curl on your right arm by lifting the dumbbell toward the right shoulder.
- Lower it down and lift with your left arm.
2 Things to Avoid When Doing a Bicep Curl
When you’re doing bicep curls, you are contracting the biceps and that should be where the main engagement is. Making mistakes during this exercise will take away the focus from your biceps and engage other muscles, like the traps. This makes the exercise less effective.
1. Creating Unnecessary Momentum
When you’re working out with dumbbells that are too heavy, after a few reps, your muscles will start to fatigue. When that happens, your form starts to go, and you start creating momentum. This is when you rock your arms back and forth before doing the curl. However, this momentum isn’t something you want to do, and it won’t help you complete a clean set of reps without being forced to commit another mistake.
2. Shrugging the Weight Up
The big mistake here is when you’re shrugging the weight up. When you’re lifting heavier weight than you should, you might not get enough clean reps in there, which makes you desperate in lifting that weight up. So, you use every muscle group to get that weight as high up as possible without realizing that you’re no longer targeting your biceps but engaging your traps instead. It’s not just about lifting that weight; it’s doing it properly that counts.
Tips to Fix Your Bicep Curl
1. Drop the Weight
Instead of creating momentum, which is counterproductive, to bring the bicep curl upwards, drop the heavy weight you’re lifting. Use dumbbell weights you can actually control. This way, you can focus on proper form and not shrug the weight up.
2. Press Your Shoulders Down
What you should do is press your shoulders down as far as you can and keep them down throughout the whole rep. Imagine that you’re standing up straight while trying to pick up something on the floor that’s out of your reach. When your shoulders are positioned correctly, you can now do the bicep curls.
This will keep you from creating momentum because it forces your whole body to stay in place. At the same time, when you’re pulling your shoulders down, you’re also refraining from shrugging the weight upward. Pulling your shoulders down will isolate your biceps, which is the only muscle you want to engage in this exercise.
Watch this video from our YouTube channel V Shred to find out more about how to fix your bicep curl:
When you’re aiming to do a particular number of reps for your bicep workouts, focus on a number that you can execute correctly. If you’re aiming for 10 reps, aim for 10 clean reps. Don’t do 3 clean reps, then shrug the weight up in the next 7 and call it a good set, it isn’t. Whether you’re working with dumbbells, barbells, or cables, drop the weight, focus on your form, and complete a set with clean reps. Remember that to stimulate the biceps properly, you must practice the proper form, no excuses.
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Are you doing your bicep curls correctly or are you committing the common mistakes mentioned here? Tell us about it in the comments section below!