Dumbbell workouts are a great way to isolate and work on the imbalances in each arm. You can focus more intensely on each arm when working out which can lead to greater strength and muscular gains from your workouts. Research has shown there is an increase in force that comes about when working unilateral exercises. Pick two dumbbells up today and get going towards increased intensity in your workouts.
Muscles Targeted: Two arm dumbbell curls target your biceps and your forearms. Depending on your grip and how you raise them, you can target different parts of the bicep and forearm. If you raise them with your palms facing down then you are bringing your forearms more into play. If you raise them with the palms up then your biceps are shouldering most of the load. It is common for lifters to supinate (rotate) their wrists when lifting the dumbbells up to change the stress on their biceps.
Exercise Instructions: You can perform this exercise by either standing or sitting on a bench, whichever you prefer. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang at your sides. Slowly curl both dumbbells up while keeping your elbows stable against your sides. While you are performing the movement, rotate (supinate) your palms upward and squeeze your biceps for a one-count at the top of the movement. Slowly lower the dumbbells down to the starting position and repeat.
Why This Exercise is Important: Working your biceps unilaterally is very important. Not only can you create imbalances between your right and left arms through improper form on different exercises, you could even have an imbalance just from right or left hand dominance. Fixing these imbalances is easier than you think with careful and thoughtful application of two arm dumbbell curls. Unilateral exercises also cause your muscles to contract harder and can lead to extra gains in size and strength not seen in bilateral exercises. While the EZ bar is designed to alleviate strain on your forearms and wrists, two arm dumbbell curls alleviate almost all forearm and wrist strain (non-supinating technique). This exercise can be performed anywhere you have dumbbells. Have a gym membership but don’t always make it? Keep a pair of dumbbells at your house and get a great arm workout in when you’re running low on time.
Things To Avoid: If you think that dumbbell exercises are inherently safer than barbell exercises you would be correct. Here are a few things that you still need to be on the lookout for. Stay away from putting the dumbbells on the ground in between sets. If you can, it is preferable to put them back on the dumbbell rack to keep them safe and secure. It is easier to use poor form with dumbbells and you can get caught into swinging weights around to perform the lift. Avoid this and always use proper technique. Pick a dumbbell that is appropriate for your strength level and avoid weights that are too heavy.
Reps and Sets: Most isolation exercises are best performed for higher repetitions. Two arm dumbbell curls are no exception to this rule. To build size stick to sets around 3-4 and repetitions in the 8-12 range.
Other Exercises To Use: There are a number of great exercises to use to target your biceps. If you believe heavy weight works best for you and there is no strain on your forearms, then go ahead and do some barbell curls in place of dumbbells. Mix in some targeted isolation work like EZ bar preacher curls. For even more freedom of arm movement use cable curls in place of dumbbells. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps.
Two arm dumbbell curls are great to really ramp up the intensity in each arm. Since your two arms are not linked together, you will find yourself following a very natural path as you lift the dumbbells up and down. These can be done anywhere, anytime and are as good for the weekend warrior with a pair of dumbbells at the house as they are for the experienced lifter whose looking to add some serious size to their arms.