Muscles Targeted: Standing angled dumbbell curls are great if you are looking for a free weight exercise that hits the biceps and surrounding muscles of the arm extremely well. This is an effective arm exercise whose only required equipment is a pair of dumbbells and a little bit of space. These angled curls target the biceps which are used for all pulling exercises along with normal day-to-day activities like picking things up and carrying different items. The main muscle groups stressed include the biceps brachii (2 heads of the biceps) with the shorter head being emphasized more with the angled position of the forearm, along with the brachialis and the brachioradialis (forearms).
Exercise Instructions: With a dumbbell in each hand, start with your arms hanging straight down at your sides with an underhand grip on the dumbbells and your palms facing in toward your body. Place your feet at a shoulder width stance with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your back straight with your shoulders back and your chest out. Simultaneously curl the dumbbells up and out, slowly turning (supinating) your wrists outward. Your forearms should be outside your biceps at the top of the movement with an angled position. Slowly return the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat.
Why This Exercise is Important: Standing angled dumbbell curls are great for working the inner part of the biceps (short head) as you angle your forearms at the top of the exercise. They also isolate the arms very well since you are working them individually versus using a barbell when they work in unison. The advantages of this is to build overall symmetry and even strength in both arms. Using dumbbells allows you to place 100% of the tension on each individual arm which helps your weaker arm catch up with your stronger one (if you have one). Finally, the twisting action of the angled curl targets the forearm and brachioradialis specifically (along with the shorter head of the biceps brachii), giving it an edge over other exercises.
Things To Avoid: Do not use dumbbells that are too heavy and avoid letting your ego get the best of you. You need to adhere to proper technique at all times and that means using a weight that is right for your strength and fitness levels. By using the proper weighted dumbbells, you will be able to fully extend and contract the biceps taking advantage of the benefits of this movement. Do not apply any momentum to your arms by torquing your upper body, bending your back or hunching your shoulders over. This denies you the opportunity to get the most out of this exercise and could cause injury. Always perform the exercise with a very slow and controlled tempo while using the full range of motion.
Reps and Sets: Always include a warm-up set to properly get your muscles ready and to get a good flow of blood going to them. By doing this, you will help to prevent muscle cramps and injuring your ligaments and tendons by putting too much stress on them too quickly. Moreover, it prepares your entire body for heavier weights during your workout routine. Light weights are recommended for the warm-up set, which should include about 15-20 repetitions. After the warm-up, beginners should perform 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps while more advanced trainees will do 2-3 sets for this exercise with 8-10 reps per set. Rest for 2-3 minutes in between sets and only train your biceps once per week.
Other Exercises To Use:
- Barbell Preacher Curls. These are one of the best bicep exercises you can do for mass and strength and they are great for implementing together with standing angled dumbbell curls. Do 2 sets of preacher curls and then move onto angled curls which is also an excellent muscle building movement for the arms. Include supine curls at the end of the workout and shoot for another 2 sets which will bring your overall total of sets to 6 for your entire biceps workout. That’s all you need to really stimulate the muscles of your upper arms and force them to grow!
- Lying Supine Dumbbell Curls. These isolate your biceps like you would not believe and are perfect as a finishing exercise in your arm workout. Focus on using light dumbbells on these since your body is in a supine position and all you want to do is burn out your biceps and focus all of the attention on the upper arms.
The good thing about these exercises is that they hit all of the key areas of the biceps and surrounding muscles so you can blast your guns to the next level with just 6-8 total sets. With proper technique and hard work, you will be able to add some serious size to your biceps and achieve the arms you truly desire. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps and other muscle groups.