What is an incline dumbbell curl?

Dumbbell curls are one of the most-used and effective upper body strength training exercises. There are some great variations of this exercise that help you to charge your workout routine and keep you engaged at the same time. 

One such variation is the incline dumbbell curl, also known as the incline DB curls. Your biceps are tricky muscles to engage and putting yourself in varying degrees of incline helps you create a wider range of motion for better contraction or deeper stretch of your bicep muscles. 

As the name suggests, the incline curls are done by positioning yourself on an incline bench. 

How is the incline dumbbell curl done?

To gain the benefits of this exercise, you should know how to do incline dumbbell curl perfectly. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide of the incline curls:

  1. To begin the exercise, set the bench to an incline angle of 45-60 degrees.
  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells and sit with your back placed on the bench. Your back must be straight and your arms must be hanging by your sides. Your palms should be facing forward and your neck and head must be neutral. 
  1. Keep your chin tucked in throughout the movement. 
  1. Rotate your shoulders slowly outwards to engage your lats. Your upper back must be stable and tight. 
  1. Keep your arms still and squeeze your biceps
  1. Start bending your elbows until your lower and upper arms contact. 
  1. The movement must finish close to your shoulders, but without contacting your shoulders. 
  1. When you reach the top of the movement, squeeze your biceps and pause for a second. 
  1. To return to the starting position, straighten your elbows while keeping your upper arms still.

Sets and reps of the incline curl exercise: You can start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Gradually build your practice of the incline curl exercise.

What are some alternatives to incline dumbbell curl?

There are some amazing alternatives to the incline curls to mix up your routine and give you the benefits of progressive overload. 

Here are some great incline bench dumbbell curl alternatives that you can try:

  1. Alternating incline dumbbell curl: The seated incline dumbbell curl is a great variation for people who want to focus more on the form. Working one arm at a time in alternating incline dumbbell curl helps in keeping your elbows fixed while isolating the bicep muscles. All the steps of the traditional exercise remain the same, except that in seated incline dumbbell curl, you work out one arm at a time. 
  1. Incline dumbbell hammer curl: Also known as incline hammer curl, this exercise targets your biceps and forearms and is an excellent way to build your grip strength. This exercise is especially known for not just activating the bicep muscles but also the thicker and deeper brachialis muscle. To do the incline dumbbell hammer curl, you need to hold the dumbbell with an overhand grip i.e. with your palms facing inwards. The rest of the steps remain the same as the traditional incline curl exercise.

     3. Flexor incline dumbbell curl: This variation of the incline DB curls is a great way to work out your upper and lower arm at the same time. To do this exercise, you           need to hold dumbbells in both hands and contract your biceps during the curling movement. Where this exercise differs from the traditional incline bench          dumbbell curl is that you need to pause for a couple of seconds when the dumbbells are just in front of your shoulders. 

What are the benefits of incline dumbbell curl?

Regularly practising the incline dumbbell curl has great benefits. Here are some of them:

  1. One of the most important benefits of the incline dumbbell bicep curl is that it is an isolation exercise that focuses only on your biceps. This is especially beneficial for people who have reached advanced levels of training or those who are not able to gain this benefit from compound exercises.
  1. One of the best incline dumbbell curl benefits is that it by targeting the long head of the biceps brachii muscle, it helps you gain bigger and stronger muscles. This improves your ability to take more load during your workouts. 
  1. The incline dumbbell curl is a great way to prepare yourself for more advanced compound exercises such as barbell rows, bench presses, and deadlifts
  1. This exercise is a great way to improve your bone density by preventing bone loss and fractures
  1. One of the amazing incline dumbbell curl benefits is that when compared to the traditional form of exercise, it allows for a greater range of motion. 
  1. The incline dumbbell curl is a versatile exercise with several variations. You can easily modify the exercise depending on your conditioning, flexibility levels, age, and general health. 
  1. An important benefit of this exercise is that it doesn’t require an elaborate setup. All you need is an incline bench and a pair of dumbbells, and an incline dumbbell curl can be practically done anywhere. This makes it a great addition to your home workouts

How to do incline dumbbell curl safely?

Now that you know how to do incline dumbbell curl, it is essential to know tips that will make this exercise easier and safer for you. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Never start doing this exercise with weights heavier than what you can handle. Choose weights that allow full control of your body during the movement. 
  1. Learn the exercise from an experienced trainer, especially during a workout for beginners.
  1. In case you have any pre-existing medical conditions, talk to your doctor before doing the incline dumbbell curl.


When it comes to gaining defined and bigger muscles incline dumbbell biceps curl is one of the most preferred exercises. However, doing the same exercise will tire you out and may bring a plateau. So, keep yourself challenged through various alternatives of this exercise and gain long-term results.

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May 17, 2022

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