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Incline Dumbbell Curl – The Battle of the Best Bicep Exercise


Our bicep is a part of the body that we love working out and rightfully so because there are a number of exercises that one can perform, such as the incline dumbbell curl, preacher curl, or the basic bicep curl, which means you will never get bored. When a single muscle has that many exercises, it is often difficult to decipher which one will help your muscles grow the best.

Now when you talk about the bicep, the basic dumbbell or barbell curl is the first thing that comes to mind, but there are so many other exercises that help you build better biceps, work on the peak and stop you from cheating. The incline dumbbell curl is where we are hinting at, so let’s tuck in and learn how to do the incline dumbbell curl, its effects, and benefits.

What is an incline dumbbell curl?

If you are looking to get bigger and stronger arms then the incline dumbbell curl is what you need to add into your workout routine. This workout isolates the long head of your bicep, stretches it and pushes you to apply more force while contracting. This means that it can be a great exercise if you are looking to maximize the bicep peak.

How to do an incline dumbbell curl?

You can always change the angle of the incline to hit different parts of your muscle but here are the instructions on how to do it the conventional way.

  1. Sit on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand, holding them at arm’s length. Try keeping your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This is your starting position.
  2. Keep your upper arm stationary and curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Make sure that only the forearms are moving. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  3. Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as you breathe in.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.


Benefits of an incline dumbbell curl

Studies have shown that the incline dumbbell curl activates the muscles in your bicep more than any other exercise and this is why. While performing an incline dumbbell curl, your arms tend to move behind your body, which stretches the long head of the biceps. This muscle runs over the shoulder joint so the stretch goes all the way to your shoulder. When you stretch a muscle before contracting, your muscle is able to contract with more force taking on the majority of the load during an exercise. Since the long head of the biceps makes up the mass of the biceps peak, the incline curl is an effective exercise for building the biceps peak.


Why is the incline dumbbell curl better?

We will compare the incline dumbbell curl with other famous curl exercises and see why an incline dumbbell curl is better than the other curl exercises.

Standing/Seated Dumbbell Curl

This is the most performed exercise for the bicep and rightfully so as it hits every part of the bicep, but there are some things that make the incline dumbbell curl superior to the basic curl. The main factor is that the bicep curl allows you to torque your body and lets you cheat after a certain number of reps. The tension can be shifted to your shoulder and even your back by moving your body to lift the weight.

The incline curl isolates you in a single space so the entire tension of the workout is focused on your bicep only.


Preacher Curl

When you are performing the preacher curl, your arms are moving in front of your body. This can cause slack on the long head of your biceps, making it the weaker biceps head during this exercise. This means that the short head of the biceps takes most of the load during the preacher curl. This makes the preacher curl a poor exercise for building the biceps peak, but a good exercise for building the inner biceps.


Key Takeaway

There is no one exercise that you can do that will trump the others and you will need multiple exercises to hit every head of your bicep muscles. It is important to incorporate different exercises that target both the long and short head of your biceps to get the maximum results.

If you still think that there are better bicep exercises out there, check out their benefits in the SQUATWOLF blog.

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