When people know you workout, they often want to ‘sample’ your results. Guess what body part they want to see?
You got it, your bulging biceps.
So you’d better learn to work them correctly if you want to MAXIMIZE bicep growth.
This video tutorial will show you how to perform your bicep curls with biomechanically optimized form.
Standing alternate dumbbell bicep curls are one of the best exercises to really stimulate bicep growth. You’ll soon have to buy some new t-shirts as your biceps are going to be EXPLODING through your old ones!
I’m currently starting each bicep day with 2 sets of these bad boys before moving on to EZ bar bicep curls.
- Dumbbell Set
- Gloves (Optional) I’m not wearing them for this demo but I do in my real workouts
Watch the video then read the instructions below…
(1) Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart providing a sturdy base
(2) Take a firm, COMMANDING grip of the dumbbells
(3) Hold the dumbbells at your side, with your palms facing outward, away from your body. You can supinate if you wish but I feel this takes too much stress of the bicep head at the bottom of the movement.
(4) Allow your torso to be tilted forward
Concentric Part of the Repetition
(5) Take a deep breath in
(6) On exhaling, curl one dumbbell at a time, initiating the rep with the biceps
(7) Now shift your back to an upright position while curling upwards. Don’t hurry this. Notice the smooth motion with which I am executing the rep in the video; I am NOT throwing the weight up with my back. INITIATE the rep with the intended muscle, then allow the body to move fluidly afterwards – that’s Optimized Form.
(8) Fully contract the bicep but do not raise the dumbbell past the point where tension leaves the bicep. It should take 1-2 seconds to get to the top of the movement
Eccentric Part of the Repetition
(9) Start to lower the weight with a slow, controlled motion.
(10) Allow your upper body to fall forward, as is natural for this movement
(11) It should take 2 seconds to lower the weight back to the starting position
(12) Allow this arm to ‘hang’ while you focus on the other arm. Don’t keep tension on this bicep while you work the other one. This prematurely fatigues the biceps, meaning you’ll perform less reps and experience less muscle growth.
(13) Now curl the other arm as in step 6. Alternate back and forth until you reach failure between 8 and 12 reps.
If you can do more than 12 reps, make a note to increase the weight on this set for your next bicep workout.
Massive Biceps Aren’t Far Away When You Do It Right!
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Thanks for the video, Mark. Your video on trap development made a HUGE difference; before, my traps hadn’t grown much at all, but since I started applying biomechanically optimized form to my trap work, they’ve gotten noticeably larger. Enough so that even my wife and friends have commented that my “neck looks bigger”!
I hope to find that modifying my bicep routine a bit may make similar gains for this lagging body part. Thanks again!
A pleasure as always, Matt!
You seem to be going through what I went through when I started to do things right; my girlfriend also started saying, “Look at your neck!”.
All the best buddy,
Mark – thanks man! allowing my body to fall forward is much more natural. awesome tip! My lower back always felt tight curling heavy weights. This makes sense! thanks again. Great videos.
Thanks Dean, you’re welcome.
It’s hard to argue with the unconventional form when looking at your biceps curling those.
Thanks for the video, I’ll be using these.
Mark – Great article, and the video helps too much as well!
You could tell us about calves. You said once that you have not being training calves. However, this is an ungrateful muscle when you don’t have enough. Some say that, once calves recover too fast, it’s better stimulate it more, training two or three times a week. But it could also induce to overtraining.
A post about calves and its myths would be welcome.
You have a great blog, always with the best tips!
Those vids are really helpful Mark, Keep em coming. I used to do the alt db curls with a more rigid form last summer, but optimized form makes much more sense and is easier on the joints too!
It’s like Jeff Willet said in my interview; it’s much easier on the joints AND more effective!
Yes…just like your bio mechanically form article states…..I am a certified personal trainer, NASM, and I don’t agree with your method/form on these DB curls. It’s incorrect. Don’t sway bro.
@Formonster. Ask Jeff Willet and/or Skip La Cour what they think. Maybe you should make a vid and post it on YouTube so we can see how it’s ‘really’ done 😉
Single joint exercises, if done ‘correctly,’ which is impossible in itself as you cannot truly ‘isolate’ a muscle, would have to be done with ridiculously low weights and thus would be way too ineffective to stimulate muscle growth using the 8-12 rep progressive overload method…
What we see here is not random cheating and swaying, but controlled full body motion and CONSISTENT form. Because if the form changes, we don’t know if we have progressive overload or just an easier exercise.
Bicep curls to be done properly need to be fully pronated and supinated. Copy & paste this link and learn somethin’new playas. Respect experience. And watch this whole vid. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/road_to_arnold_toney_freeman.htm
@Formonster. I thought your beef was with the ‘swaying’ as you called it. You’ll notice that Toney Freeman is allowing a little sway in his barbell and db curls, granted not as much as mine, but I’d rather get my advice from a great Natural like Willet – that’s respecting experience.
As for your new point regarding supinating (full or half), as I state in the article, “You can supinate if you wish”. Experiment with it is my advice – that’s what I did, but the results were poor. But I’ve certainly nothing against supinating.
Different strokes for different folks right?!
thanks Mr.Mark for ur suggestion and mail…i’ll definitely add this exercise in my workout..and also look forward for such videos and suggestion..so, that..i can come up with some good results..thanx a lot once again..!
Mark, thanks for the interview with Jeff Willet. I’m buying that DVD he did of the 42 year-old who drastically transformed himself from a sedentary over-weight guy into a chiseled masterpiece. It’s motivating just to watch the preview!!
hey Mark thanks for the vid. i have never tried this form before, but i would consider. one thing is sure this form allow you to lift heavier weights
I think I might have my form incorrect as when I do the forward motion I start to loose my balance, Could you explain the standing position a bit more for me pls.
hey Mark, I remember reading one of your articles saying you do from six to 7 sets for a body part per week (I think it was the one explaining how to prep yourself in between reps and each rep is a chance to get bigger). I was wondering if that was in one day for a body part or do you split it up? Like do you work your biceps on 2 days per week or all sets in one day?
@Mario. It’s one day for a body part i.e. one day per week, not split up. It’s all in my free book if you haven’t downloaded it yet.