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Incline Dumbbell Curls

Incline Dumbbell CurlsIf you’ve been following my work for a few years now, you’ll know I’m a fan of Incline Dumbbell Curls.

Here’s the advantage…

I find that when the body is in a decline position like this you get a great stretch at the bottom of the rep, and a great contraction at the top.

The downside is that you need to use pretty light weights in order to facilitate good form through a full range of motion in this movement,

The answer is therefore to include incline dumbbell curls in your bicep workout, BUT only as a finisher i.e. your last 1 or 2 sets.

Check out the video and I’ll talk you through the form below…

Incline Dumbbell Curls

 Sit back on bench inclined to about 45-60 degrees.

 Position two dumbbells with palms facing OUT, arms hanging straight down. Keep the palms out the full way through the range of motion (fully supinated). Some trainers will have you start with your palms in to the sides and supinate as you curl. However, this is not optimally effective as it takes much of the resistance off the biceps during the lower half of the rep.

 Now raise one dumbbell taking about 1 second to hit the top of the rep. Then lower to the starting position more slowly under full muscular control – taking about 2 seconds.

 Now repeat with the opposite arm, alternating between sides until muscular failure.

Note: You may sometimes see this movement called Decline Dumbbell Curls as the body is declined as opposed to the bench, which is inclined. Just to make you aware that it’s the same exercise.

Remember, use this as a FINISHER when blasting your biceps!

Train With Intensity!


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Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Brad November 13, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Hey Mark! Your recent posts on form have been awesome. I think you mentioned once that these are sort of setting up the release of your new THT book; is that going to be coming out soon? Early 2013 maybe? Sorry if you’ve answered that question before, just anxiously awaiting!

  • Felipe November 13, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Do you have to do it unilaterally?

  • Brad November 13, 2012, 4:55 pm

    ^ After reading another post, I saw you said “mid to late november.” Is this still a go? Pumped!

  • Richard November 13, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Cool. It’s Tuesday, therefore ARMS today. Am going in 30mins. So will try this out. But with SO many exercises to choose from, it can get abit confusing sometimes. Would you recommend doing incline hammer curls as well as the one you’ve just posted?

    I’m currently doing doing: 2x Standing DB, 2x Preacher cable curl, 2x Barbell Curl, 2x Incline Hammer curls.

  • Mark McManus November 13, 2012, 5:25 pm

    @Brad. Yeah late November it’s looking like, buddy :)
    @Felipe. You’l hammer out more reps unilaterally, plus the body is more stabilized this way.
    @Richard. I’m putting it all together for THT5 so you’ll have the full workout. I’m not a fan of hammer curls at all. They’re just not very effective.

  • Justin November 13, 2012, 5:41 pm

    I use this as a finisher already and it really hits the spot. And using lightweights are a must, I get some serious burn from these.

  • John A Davis November 13, 2012, 6:53 pm

    ah, Mark’s got a new look.
    Ok, no supination from now on.
    Put exercise on end of workout.

  • Richard November 13, 2012, 8:21 pm

    Mark, exactly what I was hoping you would say regarding THT5 :)

    I thought hammers were good to develop fullness and width in bicep as well as hit the brachialis. Maybe it’s useful but not critical for growth……?

    Obviously I have deviated off the path. I look forward to the new publication.

  • siddharta1979 November 13, 2012, 9:05 pm

    To me it feels natural to turn in the hands at the very bottom of the movement, so that I can have my arms completely hanging, otherwise I’m unable to have them hanging. Is this a mistake? Getting at the very bottom of the movement with the wrists supinated feels weird to me. I hope you can get me an answer.
    Thanks for your form-series!

  • Graham November 13, 2012, 9:31 pm

    Thanks Mark,

    Thanks for reminding us of this great exercise and the correct execution!!

    It’ll be on the end of my Bicep workout this week. :-0


  • mikey November 13, 2012, 9:41 pm

    isnt it like mid november now?

  • Mark McManus November 13, 2012, 10:06 pm

    @Richard. I never liked them. I don’t think they work much of anything. All heads get hit very well from all THT bi and tri exercises.
    @siddharta1979. I’m not sure why you can’t fully supinate at the bottom and have the arms hanging. Give it another try. If it causes any sort of pain or discomfort on the joints then go ahead and turn your hands in.

  • Richard November 13, 2012, 11:33 pm

    Like Siddharta1979, I have similar problem with supinating at the bottom. In my case I think it is a lack of flexibility in my tendons/ligaments. For example, I find it slightly strained when I put my arms out in front of me, palms up. It feels like the twist/rotation of the hand/wrist is winding up my arm all the way to the shoulder, where it meets resistance. Put a weight on the end of this, supinated, and my motion feels constrained. Must be getting old… :)

  • JaSoN November 14, 2012, 10:47 am

    Looking good Mark!! Nice and bulked!!

  • daniel91 November 14, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Hi mark, seated incline dumbbell curls are pretty much the same as seated concentration curls wright?

  • Brad November 14, 2012, 7:49 pm

    @Richard and @siddharta1979

    I’ve sometimes had that problem as well, but I’ve found that deep muscle massage/stimulation with a foam roller, tennis ball, etc. has been VERY helpful in this. I was skeptical about rolling for a long time, but I’ve noticed big increased in flexibility and big decreases in general muscular discomfort since beginning the practice. For biceps, I typically take a tennis ball or a hard-rubber stress ball and roll it from the top of the bicep all the way to my wrists. Give it a try and see if it helps.

    Alternatively, you may have bad wrists, something else I struggle with myself. At times, I can’t handle lifting a dinner plate if it hits a certain angle. Wrist wraps or gloves with wrist support usually help with that. Good luck friends!

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