Here are 9 Must do Dumbbell Workout for Biceps. Find correct form, benefits and common mistakes of each exercise in the Ultimate Dumbbell Workout for Biceps Plan.

Who doesn’t want great biceps? Bigger biceps fill your shirt good. They make you look bigger and stronger. Maybe this is why the majority of beginners make the mistake of training them everyday!

If you are new to our website, chances are that your biceps training schedule is limited to standard Biceps and Hammer curls. No doubt, they are generally the best exercises to train biceps. However, there exists a plethora of dumbbell workout for biceps which can increase your gains even more.

In this guide, you will get to know about 9 best dumbbell workouts for your biceps.

Do you want bigger arms? Then also see Triceps Workout at Gym.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps, Photo by Anastase Maragos

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Benefits

The Anatomy of Biceps

Biceps not just make you look good, but they assist in some vital movements of the body. As the name suggests, biceps are made of two parts. These heads are named as, the short head and the long head.

This muscle group helps in motion of elbow and shoulder joints. They primarily help in lifting objects. Other minor functions include moving the arm at different positions like side, up and forward.

Using dumbbells for training your biceps has many benefits. Let’s look at them.

Benefits of Dumbbell Workouts

Dumbbells allow wider range of motion : Using dumbbells will allow your muscles to move to a greater distance as compared to barbells. This will increase your bicep gains.

Dumbbell exercises improve stabilization : Dumbbells will lead to better stabilization ability of your muscles. When you hold a barbell, your both hands work to hold it and therefore it’s relatively easier to stabilize it. But in case of dumbbells, the responsibility to hold dumbbells in a stable fashion completely lies on an individual hand.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps

You can perform the dumbbell workout for biceps at home : This is the reason why dumbbells are my personal favourite. Even if you are unable to train at your gym, you can easily workout at your home too. You can effectively continue to get those gains if you have a good set of dumbbells at your home.

Variety of exercises can be done using dumbbell alone : Your gym may have dozens of machines to train your biceps. But you can efficiently work on your muscles using just a pair of dumbbells.

Better isolation and symmetry : Sometimes you may feel that the biceps in your one hand have developed more than the other hand In this case, you need to train your weaker part more than its counterpart. This is where you will especially need the dumbbells to perform your desired biceps workout.

Also see: Dumbbell Workout for Chest


Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Exercises

Exercise #1 Bicep Curl

Bicep Curls are definitely the most famous exercise when it comes to training your biceps. Whether you are new to gym or an advanced lifter, dumbbell curls are loved by everyone.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Bicep Curl

How to Perform:

    • Stand straight with appropriate weight in each hand.
    • Keep your elbows slightly tucked in. Curl the weights up without moving your upper arms.
    • Exhale whenever you curl the weight.

Pro-Tip: Remember not to move your upper arms. This will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise as stress will be taken away from your biceps. Also, you can curl the arms alternatively.

Pros: The exercise is very effective and pretty easy to perform even for a beginner. 


Exercise #2 Hammer Curl

This is another popular exercise which is in every gymer’s tool box. The exercise is both easy to perform and targets the biceps good.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Hammer Curl

How to Perform:

    • Stand straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
    • Hold the dumbbells such that palms are facing each other. Keep dumbbells on your side.
    • Curl the dumbbells to lift them such that your thumb reaches your shoulders.

Pro tip: Remember not to move your upper arms. Avoid swinging the weights.

Pros: It is a really great exercise to get those massive bicep gains.

Cons: Some beginners may encounter a slight pain in their forearm. Avoid going for very high weights if you are just a beginner at lifting.


Exercise #3 Concentration Curl

Concentration curls are great when it comes to isolating the bicep muscles. If you want to increase the peak of biceps when you flex, this workout is definitely for you.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Concentration Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Concentration Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Concentration Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Concentration Curl

How to perform:

    • Sit on a flat bench. Bend slightly forward.
    • Hold an appropriate dumbbell in your hand in such a way that your palm is facing up(Supinated grip).
    • Place your elbow on the base of your kee. Keep your free hand on the other thigh.
    • Curl the weight up towards your shoulder. Slowly return to the initial position.

Pro tip:  At the bottom position, do not fully extend your elbow. This will retain the stress on your biceps.

Pros: Concentration curls are really great when it comes to isolating the bicep muscles.

Cons: Avoid ego lifting as there is a slight risk of encountering elbow injury.


Exercise #4 Seated Incline Bicep Curl

Are you bored with bicep curls? Then you can perform its variation.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Seated Incline Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Seated Incline Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Seated Incline Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Seated Incline Bicep Curl

How to perform:

    • Sit on an inclined bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
    • Let your hands hang at your hands.
    • Keep your upper arms fixed and slowly curl your hands while breathing out.
    • Return to the initial position. Repeat this motion to complete your set.

Pro tip: Do not rush while bringing weights down. Keep the motion slow so that the strain on bicep muscles is maintained

Pros: The exercise is great for bicep peaks. It is both easy to perform and efficient.

Cons: Moving upper arms or doing the motion really fast will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.


Exercise #5 Preacher Curl

If you are experienced at lifting, I bet Preacher curls are not unknown to you. They are very well known among lifters because they are really effective.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Preacher Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Preacher Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Preacher Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Preacher Curl

How to Perform:

    • Set up a preacher bench to perform the exercise. Hold a dumbbell of appropriate weight in one hand.
    • Keep that hand on the preacher bench such that your arm is fully extended.
    • Slowly curl your arm so that the palm is facing your head.
    • Repeat the motion with your other hand.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that your underarm is touching the bench. There must be no distance between the two.

Pros: The preacher curls are really great to make your biceps massive. Even beginners can perform it because of an easy form.

Cons: The only downside is that this exercise requires a preacher bench. If you plan to perform the dumbbell workout for biceps at home, you may not do it. If you have an incline bench, you may use it as a preacher bench


Exercise #6 Supine Curl

If you want to do something challenging other than the standard curls, go for supine curls.

Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Supine Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Supine Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Supine Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Supine Curl

How to perform:

    • Lie down on a straight bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
    • Hold the dumbbell with palms facing in. Let them hang at your sides.
    • Lift the weights while simultaneously rotating the wirst such that your palms are facing upwards.
    • Slowly return to the initial position. Repeat the motion to complete the set

Pro tip: Exhale when you are lifting the weights up. Similarly breathe in when you are returning to the initial position.

Pros: It is good for training your biceps brachii. It is a bit challenging too. You won’t be able to lift as much as you can do with biceps curls.

Cons: There is a slightly more risk for your bicep tendons. Remember to perform a nice warmup before doing Supine Curls.


Exercise #7 Cross Body Hammer Curl

If you want a substitute of standard hammer curls, you can go for cross body hammer curls. It has some additional benefits over the hammer curls.

Cross Body Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Cross Body Hammer Curl
Cross Body Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Cross Body Hammer Curl

How to Perform:

    • Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand.
    • Hold the dumbbells using a neutral grip( palms facing the body) and keep the weights at your side.
    • Keeping the upper arm fixed, curl right arm such that it touches your left shoulder.
    • Repeat the same movement for the left arm.  Perform appropriate number of curls to complete the rep.

Pro-Tip: Keep a control on the movement. Do not let gravity bring the weights down abruptly. Slowly moving the weights down will provide you some additional gains

Pros: It trains both the biceps and the forearms. If you feel your forearms require specific exercises, you should definitely include cross body hammer curls in your list of exercises

Cons: If you wish to solely target the biceps, you should go for other bicep isolation exercises mentioned before.


Exercise #8 Prone Incline Curl

This exercise requires you to be in a prone(face down) position hence, it is called as Prone Incline Curl. You can add this in your dumbbell workout for biceps if you are looking for some variation.

Prone Incline Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Prone Incline Curl
Prone Incline Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Prone Incline Curl

How to Perform:

    • Lie face down on a bench inclined at 45°. Hold dumbbells in each down.
    • Keep the dumbbells at a shoulder width apart. Your palms should be facing up.
    • While keeping upper arms fixed, curl the dumbbells. Remember to exhale when you curl the weights up.
    • Slowly return to the initial position. Repeat this motion to complete the set.

Pro-Tip: Keep control on the movement while bringing weight down. 

Pros: This exercise specifically works for the longer heads of your biceps. You can perform this if you want to train that part more.

Cons: Avoid ego lifting at all costs. You may encounter elbow injury if you go way beyond your limit.


Exercise #9 Zottman curl

Never heard of it? Well, this exercise is not particularly famous due to slightly complex movements. Nevertheless, it provides great activation for your biceps.

Zottman Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Zottman Curl
Zottman Curl
Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: Zottman Curl

How to Perform:

    • Stand straight with dumbbells in each hand. Hold dumbbells using a supinated grip(palms are forward).
    • Curl the weights till your biceps are fully squeezed.
    • Once your dumbbells are nearly at shoulder level, rotate your wrist such that your palms are facing downward.
    • Slowly bring the dumbbell to the initial position. Repeat this motion until the set is complete.

Pro-Tip: Do not completely extend your elbow joint when in a bottom position. Maintain a slight bend in the elbow joint to retain the stress in your biceps.

Pros: Zottman Curl tries to combine different movements in a single exercise. This leads to an effective activation in different heads of your biceps.

Cons: Beginners may find this form a bit complex. If so, you can skip this exercise and perform the ones in this list.


Dumbbell Workout for Biceps: The Ultimate Plan

Bicep Curl

Sets: 3-4, Repetitions:12-15

Bicep workout cannot be complete without including Biceps Curls. No doubt, this exercise finds first place in our workout plan.

Hammer Curl

Sets: 3-4, Repetitions:12-15

You can replace it with cross body hammer curls. If you wish to do both, perform them on alternate weeks.

Concentration Curl

Sets: 3-4, Repetitions:10-15

Preacher curl

Sets: 2-3, Repetitions:10-12

You can perform Dumbbell Workout for Biceps once or twice a week according to your schedule.

Do you want a biceps workout plan for building mass? See Biceps Workout for Mass.