Incline Dumbbell Curls - Optimized Form

The longer you train, the more you'll realize that even what you might normally think of as a basic exercise can be done MUCH more effectively with some very simple changes.

The Incline Curl is one of THE most effective bicep-building exercises you can do. It puts a great stretch on the biceps at the bottom and can be a key exercise for major muscle growth.

And the standard way of setting up and performing the Incline Curl is just fine...there's nothing inherently wrong with lying back on an incline bench, letting your arms hang down beside you then curling the dumbbells up to the top position.

 

So here's the simple technique for maximizing the results you get with the Incline Dumbbell Curl...

You're NOT going to sit on the seat of the incline bench as you normally would.

 

 

First, pick up your dumbbells and straddle the incline bench. In that standing position, move your butt all the way back onto the bench.

Incline Dumbell Curl

Sit on the incline face of the bench then set your FEET on the seat of the bench (knees bent).

The top end of the bench should hit you just below the shoulder blades. Now arch your back over the top end of the bench as though you were trying to wrap your back over and around the bench end.

Turn your palms forward and keep them facing forward throughout the exercise for best results. In this bottom position, you should feel an increased stretch on the biceps beyond what you normally get with the Incline Curl.

Incline Dumbell Curl

Perform the curl as you normally would, but let your back round over the top edge of the bench to get a better stretch at the bottom.

Incline Dumbell Curl

Incline Dumbell Curl

The reason this position results in an increased stretch on the biceps lies in the positioning of the chest and shoulders. The biceps attach in the shoulder joint. When you're in the standard position on the incline bench, your shoulders are braced on the bench and you can't fully open up your chest.

 

In the NORMAL Incline DB Curl, you do get a good stretch but it's not a MAXIMUM stretch, which is the key to massive results with this exercise.

When your shoulders are up and off the top end of the bench, the weight of the dumbbells pulls your shoulders back and down, opening up the chest and increasing the stretch on the biceps at the bottom.

Perform the exercise as you normally would an Incline Dumbbell Curl.

Start the movement with a deliberate squeeze of the biceps, curl all the way up to the top, doing your best to keep the upper arms vertical (they may move up and forward a bit). Hold for a second at the top.

Now comes the payoff...on the way back down, DO NOT let your palms turn inwards into a neutral grip. Keep them facing FORWARD all the way down to the bottom. This keeps full tension on the biceps all the way to the bottom, which is the most beneficial part of the exercise.

Lower the dumbbells under complete control. For an extra shot of tension, try to "push" your elbows forward as you lower the dumbbells. To do this, imagine as though you're trying to push a button with your bicep - it takes a bit of practice to get this feeling but it's definitely worth pursuing.

As you lower the dumbbells to the very bottom, let them pull and stretch your shoulders backwards and down, opening up the chest. This increased tension from the negative portion of the movement coupled with the greater stretch potential of your body position will give you an INCREDIBLE muscle-building stimulus. Take advantage of it and don't lose the stretch tension in your biceps!

Feel for that stretch then curl up again with a deliberate movement. When you go to choose weights for this exercise, start with weights that are lighter than you would normally use. When you apply stretch and tension to the biceps like this, it's a humbling experience in terms of the amount of weight you can use.

 

Want more arm exercises and training techniques like this?

My book "The Best Arm Exercises You've Never Heard Of" is packed with 68 innovative, new exercises for your biceps, triceps and forearms.

Definitely worth checking out if you want arms that stretch your shirt sleeves.

 

 


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