Muscles Targeted: The incline bench dumbbell curls target the biceps as the primary muscle along with the forearms as a secondary muscle group. The great aspect of this exercise is the stretch you achieve in your biceps due to the seating position being on an incline bench. Your arms will hang down and you will really feel this stretch as you perform the exercise. The peak contraction in the biceps muscles at the top of the movement is also a great advantage of using the incline bench on this exercise.
Exercise Advice: Using an adjustable bench, adjust the angle so that its at a slight incline of around 45 degrees. Safely sit on the bench and position yourself so that your back is flat on the bench and place your feet flat on the floor. Your feet will help stabilize your body during the exercise, so make sure they are firmly planted on the floor. Let both dumbbells hang down at your sides. There are actually two slightly different versions of this exercise. The first is when you supinate or curl your wrists as you bring the dumbbells up to the top position. The second is when you leave your palms facing out during the exercise and you don’t curl your wrists at all. The first version is shown in the video. At the start of the exercise, your palms will be facing in towards your body and as you bring the dumbbells up, slowly curl your wrists to the top position. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat. In the second version of the exercise, you will you keep your wrists in a fixed position throughout the entire exercise and your palms will be facing out. Try each version and see which ones feels the best.
Things To Avoid: Since you’re sitting on an incline bench, you will want to make sure you perform this exercise very slowly with a smooth tempo. You want to avoid any swinging or jerking movements with the dumbbells. Go slow and really focus on proper technique. You also want to avoid using your shoulder muscles in this exercise. In the incline seating position, you may have the tendency to swing your shoulders up in order to get the weight up to the top, which is something you want to avoid. Make sure that both your shoulders and your elbows are in a stable and fixed position throughout the range of motion. If your elbows start swinging up and around, you’re probably using way too much of your shoulders and swinging the weight versus curling the weight. Sit in front of a mirror to visually see your technique to make sure you’re performing the exercise correctly.
Reps and Sets: For overall muscle building, focus on a repetition range of 8-12 reps per set. For this exercise, you should do 2-3 sets and your overall biceps workout should be in the range of 4-6 total sets to get the best results. You really don’t need to blast your biceps with too many overall sets since the biceps are a smaller muscle group and can become easily overtrained. Combine a few different exercises on your biceps workout day and shoot for 2-3 sets with each one. Hit the muscle hard with short and intense workouts and then let them rest, recover and grow. You should also train your biceps only once per week. Any more than this and you will most likely run into overtraining issues which will stop your progress very quickly.
Other Exercises To Use: A few other great biceps exercises to combine with the incline bench dumbbell curls are the Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls and the Barbell Curls. By combining a few different exercises in your biceps workout, you will be able to really hit the muscle from all different angles which will help you shock the muscle.