Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Biceps
Secondary Muscle(s) Forearms
Equipment Dumbbell
Emphasis Isolation
Type Pull

Alternating Dumbbell Curls Instruction

  • Feet positioned in an athletic stance slightly outside shoulder-width.
    • Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead.
  • The core is braced and engaged. Shoulders are pinned back with your chest up.
  • Have a dumbbell in each hand, resting at your sides, palms facing your body.
  • Maintaining fixed upper arms, begin to curl one arm up while rotating the palm so it is faces you at the top of the lift.
  • Initiate and control the movement with your bicep and forearm.
    • Avoid shrugging your shoulders.
  • Bring the weight to shoulder level.
  • After a brief pause, slowly the lower the weight and repeat with the opposite arm.
    • Don't "drop" the weight from the top.


  • Refrain from “swinging” the weight or leaning backwards.
  • The muscle used first will be used the most. Initiate the movement with your bicep and forearm, not your lower half or shoulder.
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