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What Are Twist Curls? Benefits, Tips And Instructions

Twist curls

If you are looking for a rite of passage exercise for your arms, then twist curls are your best bet. For most beginners who are just starting out their weightlifting journey and only know a handful of exercises such as curl bar workouts and other upper body workouts, twist curls exercise is one of the first ones that makes the list. Mainly because this exercise is simple and easy to do whether you’re at the gym or at home. For a basic pump, all you need is a pair of dumbbells!

Want those big, ballooned up guns in your arms? Try these 10 bicep exercises!

What Are Twist Curls?

Twist curls are a variation of your standard bicep curls. The only difference is the starting position. You hold the dumbbells like you are about to do hammer curls. As you bring your arms up, you twist them and curl them just like a regular bicep curl. According to studies, this exercise is poignant to any resistance training program, when done with varying loads (or weights) for growing your muscles – especially if your goal is hypertrophy!

Want to give your biceps an explosive shock? Try the incline dumbbell curls

Twist Curls Method | Tips | Muscles Worked | Twist Curls Vs. Normal Curls | Benefits | Key Takeaways | FAQs

How To Do Twist Curls?

Twist curls

Here is easiest and the best way to do curls:

  • Stand in a neutral position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms on your side
  • Grab the dumbbell in each hand and keep your shoulders locked on your side
  • Keep your back straight and your core engaged
  • Avoid looking down when performing twist curls
  • Slowly bring one of your arms up to your shoulder
  • Halfway through the curling motion twist your wrist toward your face
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position
  • Repeat the same with your other arm
  • Do 10 to 12 reps on each side

Get your biceps growing by learning about how to do reverse curls correctly!


  • Don’t immediately start using heavy weights. You might be tempted to use bigger weights to grow your arms bigger but if you are not in control, you might put a strain on your arms, shoulders, and back leading to injury.
  •  Don’t swing your arms while doing any type of biceps workout. Once you pick up the dumbbells lock your elbows on the side, engage your core and then curl your arms toward your shoulders.
  • When bringing your arms down to the starting position avoid dropping your weights. If the weights are heavy dropping them or yanking them down might injure your shoulders.
  • Make sure you’ve got the right gym wear so your movements are distraction-free, allowing you to hit a full range of motion.

Always work on your forearms along with your biceps for the best results with these 5 forearm exercises!

Twist Dumbbell Curls Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles

Twist curls primarily target your bicep brachii. This muscle consists of two heads, a long and a short one. Both work together during the pulling and lifting motions.

Work your biceps brachii with preacher curls!

Secondary Muscles

This workout targets your secondary muscle group called brachialis. This particular muscle is situated beneath your biceps. It is a prominent muscle in your arm and activates your brachioradialis.

The twist curls also activate your back and abs by stabilizing your body during the motion of curling your arms. In addition, it also targets the smaller forearm muscles, making it one of the most dynamic arms exercises out there.

Grow your arms with these 6 best arm exercises for bigger and powerful arms!

Twist Curls vs. Normal Curls

Studies reveal that compared to standard curls, twist curls rotate the forearm, turning the palm upwards. This means this exercise ignites the supination function, which activates more of your muscle fibers effectively. This not only fosters a stronger contraction, but also contributes to more prominent muscle growth, making twist curls an incredible exercise for those looking for bigger gains.

If you’re in the gym working on your biceps, then follow your twist curls with plate curls!

3 Benefits Of Training Your Biceps With Twist Curls

Twist curls

There are many benefits of doing bicep twist curls that make this exercise a necessary addition to your workout routine.

1. Shoulder Stability

Your biceps consist of two-head muscle attached to the shoulder joint and scapula, which help with shoulder stability with the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is responsible for securing the humerus, and the biceps attaches the humerus to shoulder joint muscles. The compression by doing curls leads to the stability of your shoulder.

Improve your shoulder stability with at-home biceps workout!

2. Shoulder Rehab

Any type of bicep curl exercise is good for shoulder rehab. Biceps play a crucial role in flexion and when your shoulders go into flexion during this workout your anterior deltoids are engaged. Also, when you perform the twists your upper back muscles such as traps, which improves your posture. This movement also works your rhomboid, preventing any kind of hunching that could lead to rhomboid pain.

This is why in the later stages of physiotherapy or rehab programs twist curls or other bicep curl exercises are incorporated as a way to strengthen the upper back and rotator cuff.

Build a powerful upper body with this back and biceps workout!

3. Prevents Tendon Tears

Strong biceps enable you to keep your elbow stable during workouts like deadlifts. These exercises help you develop a strong grip when weightlifting, preventing your biceps tendons from tearing up.

Tendon rupture is one of the most common injuries sustained by weightlifters and athletes. According to studies, controlling your eccentrics as you lift weights reduces the risk of tendon ruptures while stimulating muscle growth. Therefore, strong bicep muscles are a must for people who work out.

Pair your bicep exercises with your triceps workouts to develop bigger and stronger arms!

Key Takeaways

Twist curl workouts are great for your upper body because they make your biceps work extra hard. With this exercise more muscle fibers are activated compared to other types of curls such as hammer curls. However, in order to grow your arms, try to incorporate different types of arm exercises to add some spice to your workout routine as well as challenge your biceps muscles.


What muscles do twist curls work?

Twist curls mainly work the bicep brachii i.e. the long and short head of the biceps, which makes it an important exercise when doing biceps workouts. This exercise also targets the brachialis, located under your biceps, and engages the brachioradialis, which is part of your forearm. This makes twist curls an incredible exercise to work your biceps!

Are twisted bicep curls good?

Yes! Bicep twist curls are an amazing exercise for building your arm strength and helping you grow your muscles. This exercise activates several muscle fibers, leading to muscle hypertrophy. In addition, it also creates mobility in your joints, helping you strengthen your shoulder stabilizers.

What muscles do hammer twist curls work out?

Much like twist curls, hammer curls target your biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. But, it activates different muscle groups within your biceps because of the hammer grip. This differentiates hammer curls from twist curls, allowing you to do isolated curls in different ways, giving you the perfect guns to flex in the gym.

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