Ultimate list of Biceps Exercises with Dumbbells

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Biceps training with dumbbells

Training for biceps requires proper planning and exercise selection. In this guide I am going to share a complete list of biceps exercises with dumbbells. Before we go into the exercise, it is important to understand the biceps anatomy and the functions of the biceps muscle. This will help you train your biceps in a better way.

Anatomy of biceps muscle

The biceps muscle or the biceps brachii contains two parts. The biceps long head and the biceps short head. The long head originates  from the shoulder (supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula). The long head is also known as the outer head of the biceps

The short head of the biceps originates from the coracoid process of the scapula. The short head is also known as the inner biceps.

These two heads join to form the biceps belly in the middle. 

The brachialis muscle is not technically part of biceps but it is actively involved in biceps training.

What does biceps muscle do

Before we start training for biceps it is important to understand why the biceps muscle exists in the first place.

Elbow Flexion of Flexing the Arm : The biceps muscle is used for elbow flexion. When you curl the arm you are using the biceps muscle

Supination : Biceps are used for supination or turning the palm up position of the arm.

Shoulder Stabilization : The biceps brachii muscle stabilizes the shoulder. This helps prevent shoulder injury.

Pronation: The Brachialis muscle is also used for Elbow flexion, However, it is a strong pronator, it is used for moving the arm in palm down position.

Best biceps exercises with dumbbells

  1. Dumbbell Curl – This exercise is a classic mass builder. Dumbbell curls target both heads of the biceps and also target the brachialis muscle. The advantage with dumbbell curls is that it can work both as an isolation exercise when you do super slow and controlled movement. If you want to lift heavy, the exercise allows you to cheat and lift super heavy weights.

  1. Concentration Curl – This exercise is one of the best for biceps peak. It works primarily on the short head of the biceps. 
  2. Cross Body Hammer Curl – This is an excellent exercise for the brachialis muscle. It gives better contraction then regular hammer curl.
  3. Incline Dumbbell Curl – This is an isolation exercise and reduces all forms of cheating. This exercise focuses on the long head of the biceps.
  4. Dumbbell 21’s – This exercise works on both the short head and the long head of biceps. It also engages the brachialis muscle. The advantage with this exercise is that it covers the full range of motion from top to bottom. 

Biceps exercises with dumbbells for long head

Below are the 6 best exercises with dumbbells for the long head of biceps

  1. Dumbbell Drag Curl
  2. Dumbbell Spider Curl
  3. Incline Dumbbell Curl
  4. Standing dumbbell curl
  5. Concentration Hammer Curl
  6. Dumbbell Alternating Preacher Bicep Curl

Biceps exercise with dumbbells for short head

If you want to emphasize on the short head of the biceps here are 4 exercises

  1. Concentration curl
  2. Dumbbell Wide Curls
  3. Waiter Curl
  4. Dumbbell Single Arm Bicep Curl

Biceps exercise with dumbbells for brachialis

  1. Alternate Hammer Curls
  2. Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curl
  3. Chest-supported hammer curl
  4. Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Preacher Curl
  5. Zottman Curl

Biceps exercises with dumbbell for size

  1. Dumbbell Alternate Biceps Curl
  2. Drag Curl
  3. Hammer Curl
  4. Concentration Curl
  5. Incline Dumbbell Curl

Biceps exercise with dumbbell for vascularity & pump

  1. Dumbbell 21
  2. Reverse Dumbbell Curl
  3. Zottman Curl
  4. Concentration Hammer Curl
  5. Spider Hammer Curl

Biceps exercises with dumbbells at home

If you plan to hit the biceps muscle at home with dumbbells, we need to select a few exercises. I am selecting these exercises with the assumption that you don’t have equipment like a preacher machine, or bench etc. Feel free to choose more exercises if you have equipment as well.

  1. Alternate Hammer Curls
  2. Concentration curl
  3. Dumbbell Alternate Biceps Curl
  4. Dumbbell Drag Curl
  5. Concentration Hammer curl

Training tips : Biceps exercises with dumbbells

  1. Always focus on form and technique over heavy weights.
  2. Occasional heavy lifting or cheating is okay.
  3. 2-3 workouts per week is good for small muscles like biceps. Doing biceps everyday is not going to give you big biceps
  4. Use a specific range of motion and angle to train specific muscle heads. For example a narrow grip will work more on the long head of the biceps
  5. A wider grip works more on the inner or short head of biceps
  6. On exercises like preacher machine, lower 30% of range works more on the brachialis muscle
  7. When training with a dumbbell make sure you emphasize the negative.

Summary : Biceps exercises with dumbbell

Dumbbell is powerful equipment and allows you to train your biceps from all possible angles and ranges. Select your preference and choose the right set of exercises. Let those arms grow!







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