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Dumbbell Drag Curl
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how to do drag curlsThe dumbbell Drag Curl

Dumbbell Drag Curl Table of Contents

1: Introduction

2: What Is a Drag Curl?

3: Are Drag Curls Harder?

4: Are Drag Curls Effective?

5: What Muscles Do Drag Curls Work?

6: How To Do A Drag Curl

7: Incline Drag Curl

8: Incline Drag Curl & Hold

9: Standing Zottman Drag Curls

10:  Dumbbell Hammer Drag Curls

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Drag Curl With Dumbbells - Introduction:

Dumbbell Drag Curl
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The Dumbbell Drag Curl is a great exercise for placing stress on the biceps and taking the stress away from the front deltoids. If you find that your anterior delts seem to dominate most of your bicep workouts, it’s time to add in drag curls with dumbbells.

Although this movement can be done with a barbell, we're going to concentrate on the dumbbell version as dumbbells help iron out strength imbalances and offer equal work to both the left and right sides.

I’m Psymon H., the 50-something-year-old war-horse, making his name from improving physiques and growing natural muscle with minimal equipment.

Dumbbell Drag Curl
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In this article, we’re going to put the drag curl front and center. I’m going to use the standing version to explain how best to perform the exercise movement.

Next, I’m going to arm you with 4 more drag curl variations to add your list of bicep exercises with dumbbells so you’re never short of a variation to choose.

What Is A Drag Curl?

A drag curl, whether standing, seated, with a barbell or dumbbell is a curl that limits anterior deltoid involvement, and an exercise that helps to place more stress on the bicep heads.

Are Drag Curls Harder?

The drag curl is a much harder exercise to perform than many other bicep exercises because most other movements allow for front deltoid involvement. Also, it is much harder to curl the weight in line or behind the line of your torso than it is to curl a weight in front of the body simply because you have limited involvement of the shoulders as you would in a normal bicep curl.

Is Dumbbell Drag Curl Effective?

Yes, dumbbell drag curls are effective because you can work on strength imbalances and limit front delt usage.

What Muscles Do Drag Curls Work?

Dumbbell Drag Curl
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The Dumbbell Drag Curl mostly works the Biceps Brachii which is located on the ventral portion of the upper arm. The Bicep Brachii is made up of a short bicep head and a long bicep head. The short bicep head is situated on the medial side (or the side close to the body).  The long bicep head is located on the lateral side of the biceps.

incline bicep curl
db drag curls

How To Do A Drag Curl Dumbbell Exercise
(Standing Dumbbell Drag Curl)

Dumbbell Drag Curl
drag curls with dumbbells
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dumbbell drag curls
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how to do drag curlsFinish Position

Items Needed: Two Dumbbells

Cue 1: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells in hand using an underhand grip.

Cue 2: With the dumbbells down by your side, retract your shoulders by bringing them down and back.

Keep your chest high and tense your core. At this point, your elbows should be almost behind the line of your torso.

Cue 3: Curl the dumbbells up to chest height, by keeping them as close to your torso as possible. Try not to curl the dumbbells too far in front of you, but instead keep your elbows as far back as possible.

Cue 4: Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement before returning the dumbbells to the start.

Let Do Some Variation Drag Curls With Dumbbells:

incline drag curl
dumbbell incline curl

Incline Curls

Incline Dumbbell Drag Curl
(The Drag Incline db Curl):

By placing yourself in the incline position, you limit any kind of momentum from creeping into the movement.

Items Needed: Incline bench and one pair of dumbbells.

Set up your incline bench at a 60-degree angle.

Cue 1: Sit back on the bench with dumbbells at your side using an underhand grip. Retract your shoulders by bringing them back and down. At this point, your elbows should be almost in line with the back of the bench. Lift your chest and tense your core.

Cue 2: Curl the dumbbells up to chest height and try to keep them in line with your torso as you bring them to the top position. Slowly return the dumbbells to the start position.

incline db curl

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Incline Dumbbell Drag Curl and Hold
(Seated Dumbbell Drag Curl & Hold):

This slowed-down version of drag curls with dumbbells will almost certainly cripple the biceps with an untold amount of stress on the muscle. The one good thing is that you may not have to use as much weight to experience the pump of your life.

Items Needed: Incline bench and one pair of dumbbells

Cue 1: Set a bench up at a 60-degree angle.

Cue 2: Lean back on the bench and retract your Shoulders by bringing them down and back so you can feel your lats activate.

Cue 3: Curl both dumbbells to the top position by making sure that they do not travel too far in front of you and that your elbows stay back throughout the movement.

Cue 4: Slowly let one dumbbell return to the start position while holding the other dumbbell in the top position.

 Cue 5: Curl the lowest dumbbell back to the top. While it is static at the top of the movement, slowly return the other dumbbell to the straight arm position.  Alternate which dumbbells stay at the top until all desired repetitions have been completed. 

This can also be done in the standing position.

seated incline db curls

Standing Zottman Dumbbell Drag Curl

When it comes to drag curls with dumbbells, the Standing and Seated Zottman Drag Curl is a very effective exercise. Varying your grips helps to enhance your workouts and target different areas of the biceps as well as muscles in the forearm.

Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells

Standing Version:

Cue 1: Stand with feet set about shoulder-width apart and dumbbells in hand using a supinated grip.

Cue 2: Retract your shoulders by bringing them back and down. Lift your chest, tense your core and pull your elbows back.

Cue 3: Curl the dumbbells to chest height.

Cue 4: Twist the dumbbells so that your hands are in the pronated position (palms facing down) and lower them to the start position. Turn your palms back to the supinated position before starting the next repetition.

This can also be done in the seated incline position using a 60-degree angle

Dumbbell Drag Curl
drag curls with dumbbells
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how to do drag curlsPosition 1
Dumbbell Drag Curl
drag curls with dumbbells
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how to do drag curlsPosition 2

incline bicep curl

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Dumbbell Hammer Drag Curl:

The Dumbbell Hammer Curl is another exercise that can be performed standing or on an incline bench.

As with the original version of the hammer curl, this exercise targets the long bicep head, the brachialis and the main muscle in the forearm, the brachioradialis.

The one major difference when performing this exercise in a dumbbell drag curl situation is that the exercise places less stress on the front deltoids and more on the long head of the biceps.

The Seated Dumbbell Drag Curl Version:

Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells and an incline bench set at a 60-degree angle

Cue 1: Sit back on the bench with dumbbells in hand using a hammer grip.

Cue 2: Retract your scapula by pulling your shoulder blades back. Your elbows should be almost in line with the back of the bench.

Cue 3: Lift your chest and tense your core before curling the dumbbells to your chest.

Cue 4: Slowly lower the dumbbells to the start position. 

seated incline curl

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