What are concentration curls?

We often hear about concentration curls, but what makes concentration curls so useful? What does it do and what are its benefits? Read on to know more.

Concentration curls are a variation of the bicep curl exercise that’s done to strengthen the muscles of the upper arm and to an extent those of the lower arm. 

Also known as dumbbell curls, concentrated arm curls, or dumbbell concentration curls, this exercise is also done to build strength and endurance in the upper body. As the name suggests, this exercise focuses or concentrates only on your biceps by isolating them.

The dumbbell concentration curl is done using one arm at a time and is often used by weightlifters and bodybuilders. 

Which muscles do concentration curls work on?

Concentration dumbbell curls work on more than just the biceps. Here is a list of muscles that this exercises targets:

1. Brachialis muscles

  1. Biceps brachii
  2. Tricep brachii
  3. Pectoral major and minor
  4. Flexor digitorum
  5. Rectus abdominis
  6. Serratus anterior
  7. Deltoids

How are concentration curls done?

To perfect the concentration curl form, it is essential to know its exact technique. Here is a detailed explanation of how to do concentration biceps curls. The traditional version is known as seated concentration curls. To do this exercise, you will need a dumbbell and a gym bench. 

1. To start the concentration curls, sit on the bench with your thighs parallel to the floor and your upper body at an angle of 45-degrees. Keep your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart.

  1. Hold a dumbbell while keeping the elbow of your left arm resting on your inner left thigh. Make sure that your arm is fully extended. You can keep the opposite hand on the same leg to balance your position.
  2. Squeeze your left bicep and curl the weight upward towards your chest.
  3. Ensure that the weight travels in an arc until it reaches shoulder level.
  4. Hold this position for 3-4 seconds.
  5. Gently lower the dumbbell back into the starting position of the seated concentration curl. 

Sets and reps for the concentration bicep curl: If you are a beginner, you can do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps of this exercise. Build up your practice gradually.

Which are some concentration curls variations?

Here are some concentration biceps curls variations for you to try:

  1. Standing concentration curl: As the name suggests, this variation is done while standing. This is perfect for those who work out at home and don’t have access to a bench. This is how the standing concentration curl is done:
  1. To start the concentrated arm curl exercise, hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand in a straight position. 
  2. Keep your feet flared slightly. 
  3. Bend at the waist and extend the arm with the dumbbell. Keep your elbows extended fully. You can hold your knee with a spare arm.
  4. Now rotate your shoulder so that your elbow flares to the side. 
  5. Keep the elbow still and raise the dumbbell toward your shoulder.
  6. Squeeze your bicep as much as you can and hold this pose for 3-4 seconds.
  7. Lower the dumbbell and repeat the dumbbell concentration exercise on the other side.

Here are some ways to make your DB concentration curls more challenging:

  1. Use a heavier dumbbell to bolster your strength and muscle gain in your dumbbell biceps concentration curl. However, ensure that you train with progressive overload to make actual gains.
  1. If you don’t want to use heavier weights, you can slow down the tempo of the lifts. This places additional pressure on your muscles during each rep and readies them for the exercise and heavier weights.
  1. To gain more muscle through your concentration curl workout, you can alternate between both arms.

What are the benefits of concentration curls?

Regularly practising the dumbbell concentration exercise has a great impact on your overall fitness and health. Here are some of the most important concentration curls benefits:

  1. Concentration dumbbell curls have a clear advantage over bicep curls, especially for those who are into strength weight training. This exercise targets the biceps in all its sense by isolating their muscles.
  1. The concentration bicep curl exercise strengthens your biceps and enhances biceps hypertrophy. This not just increases the strength and size of your arms but also improves your gym performance.
  1. Stronger arms boost your sports performance too. DB concentration curls are especially great for sportspeople who need to throw, swing, or row.
  1. Who doesn’t want toned and better-looking arms? Concentration biceps exercise is a great way to get toned, well-defined, and bigger arms.
  1. The concentration curl exercise is easy to learn and practice. It requires minimal equipment and can be done at home. 
  1. Concentration curl exercise is a great way to burn calories. Working as a weight loss exercise, it helps you lose fat and prevent obesity-related health problems.
  1. One of the most important concentration curl benefits is that it corrects posture-related problems, especially in people who need to sit for long hours. It helps prevent pains and stiffness in the lower back.

How to do concentration curls safely?

The key to gaining concentration curls benefits is to practise this exercise correctly avoiding common mistakes. Here is how to perfect the concentration curl form:

  • If you have any pre-existing injuries, pains, or medical conditions, never start doing the concentration biceps exercise without consulting your doctor.
  • Modify the concentration dumbbell curl according to your age, general health, and exercise experience. 
  • Never start doing the dumbbell biceps concentration curl with very heavyweights at the outset. Start with lighter weights and gradually build up.
  • Don’t do concentration curls without proper warm-up and cool-down sessions. 
  • Manage your nutrition well and take proper rest between two concentration curls workouts. 


Your concentration curl workout is a great way to fire up your biceps. The key to bigger and stronger biceps is to keep yourself engaged and motivated. Keep trying new variations and most of all, enjoy your workout. 

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