Muscles Targeted: The standing alternating dumbbell curls targets the biceps muscles primarily and also hits the forearms as a secondary muscle group. This is a perfect biceps exercise to include in your workout routine if you want to add size to your arms. The great thing about the alternating curls is that you are emphasizing one arm at a time which allows you to focus all of your attention on one bicep and really place maximum tension on it. It’s actually a little easier to do alternating curls versus two arm curls, since the weight of the dumbbell counterbalances you as you perform each repetition so you can usually do more weight when compared to doing two arm dumbbell curls.
Exercise Advice: Grab two dumbbells and stand with a shoulder width stance. Hold the dumbbells down to your sides and begin the exercise by curling one arm to the top position. There are two different variations you can use for this exercise when you curl your arm up. You can either start with the dumbbell hanging down to your sides with your palms facing out and simply curl up and down. You can also choose the supination method where you start with the dumbbell at your side and your palms facing in towards you. When you curl the dumbbell up, you will twist or supinate your wrist at about the halfway point of the movement. On the way down (eccentric portion of the exercise), you will twist your wrist back to the starting position and finish with the dumbbell at your side. Repeat the movement with the other arm to complete one full repetition. Make sure to always do a warm-up set of 15-20 reps with a light dumbbell before you get into your working sets. This will allow to get your biceps warm before you increase the weight with heavier dumbbells.
Things To Avoid: You really want to avoid any jerky and fast movements with this exercise. You also want to avoid swinging the dumbbells up which is basically cheating and will not get you closer to your overall goals of developing your arms. Use a slow and smooth tempo during the entire range of motion and try to have a mind and muscle connection while you curl the weight so you can really feel the muscle working.
Reps and Sets: The repetition range on this exercise should be between 8-12 reps per set. Focus on 2-3 sets of this exercise along with combining it with 1-2 other exercises to hit the biceps with different angles and movements. Try to focus your overall total sets for the biceps between 4-6 sets for optimal growth. Since the biceps are a smaller muscle group, you really only need to hit them with a few intense sets to get great results. Remember, hit it hard and then let your muscles rest and grow.
Other Exercises To Use: A few great exercises to combine the standing alternating dumbbell curls with include the Barbell Curls and the Seated Dumbbell Hammer Bicep Curls. By combining all of these exercises, you will be able to stress your biceps with different angles and movements to stimulate muscle growth.