Incline Curls, the baddest sit-down exercises in the whole of the bicep kingdom. This demanding bicep exercise is better known by its gym-rat names, incline dB curls, incline dumbbell curls, and Long Head Bicep Curls.
Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to learn the ways of the incline curl and all its variations. Next, you're going to take this information and curl with it. Results may vary, but one thing will remain the same, by the time you finish this gun-slinging, sleeve tearing article, you'll be ready to curl some size onto your biceps.
Hi, I’m Psymon H., the creator of arguably the best muscle-building home workout program, The BIG-UP Training System, and the man making his name from improving physiques and growing natural muscle with minimal equipment.
In my nearly 40 years of clashing with the iron, I’ve come across some great exercises for arms, but few movements match up to incline dumbbell curls. In this article, we'll break down the exercise movement and nail the form. After that, we'll curl our way up using three blood-thirsty variations of the same exercise to stress the biceps ( Wikipedia) even further. I’ll end by advising you on sets and repetitions.
The one thing you’ll notice when watching some people perform normal curls is the excessive swing of the dumbbells to initiate movement. When you use an incline bench to curl, you can get rid of much of the momentum and generate better mechanical tension in the biceps. Higher levels of mechanical tension equate to further growth potential.
Some may question why we’re even talking about the muscle that the exercise targets; shouldn’t that be obvious? Yes, we know Incline Curls target the bicep, but by paying attention to the setup, you can remove some of the stress on the front delts and upper trap muscle. We'll target the setup in a while, but for now, we want our incline dB curls to focus on the long bicep head which is the outer and much bigger portion of the biceps.
Items Needed: A bench set at between a 45 and 60-degree angle and one pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Sit back on your incline bench with dumbbells in hand and assume a palm facing forward grip.
Cue 2: Retract your shoulder blades by pulling them back and down into the bench. Your elbows should now be towards the rear of the bench. By locking your shoulders into place, you’ll shift most of the stress onto your biceps and away from your front delts.
Drag Curls With Dumbbells For Bigger Guns
Cue 3: Slowly curl the dumbbells up so they're at 90-degrees to the muscle, aiming to keep the dumbbells in line with your torso. Because of gravity and the 90-degree principle, lifting the dumbbells any higher won’t generate any more tension. At the top of the movement, squeeze your pinky finger to maximize peak contraction of the biceps.
Cue 4: Slowly return the dumbbells to the start position. Make sure to reset your shoulder blades at the beginning of the movement to maximize tension.
This short Bicep head exercise is a variation of the incline dumbbell curl, and a movement, if done correctly, will have you wanting to drop the dumbbells long before the set is over.
The two major differences between the incline dumbbell curl and the Incline Jam Curl are the setup and the angle at which you curl the dumbbells.
Target Muscle: Short Bicep Head
Items Needed: Incline Bench set up about 60 degrees and a pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Sit back on an incline bench with dumbbells in hand. Pinback your shoulders so your elbows are pinned into your sides. You should feel your Lats tense as you lift your chest and tighten your core.
Cue 2: Keeping your elbows tucked in and dumbbells out to each side, tense your Biceps before curling the dumbbells so they come up in line with your mid-Deltoids instead of in front of you. As you get to the top of the movement, gently rotate the dumbbells so your pinky finger is higher than the rest of your hand.
Cue 3: Briefly squeeze each dumbbell before slowly returning to the start position. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.
Action this movement with precision and you won’t know what to do with the pump in your Biceps at the end.
Target Muscle Group: Long Bicep Head
Items Needed: Incline bench and a pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Set up a bench between 45 and 75 degrees incline. Sit with dumbbells in hand and retract your shoulder blades.
Cue 2: Aim to make sure that the dumbbells travel behind in line with your torso and not in front, curl both dumbbells to the 90-degree angle.
Cue 3: Keep one dumbbell in the 90-degree position, and return the other dumbbell to the start position.
Cue 4: Curl the dumbbell back to the 90-degree position and release the other dumbbell by bringing it back to the start position. Now alternate between the two positions for the remainder of the set.
This movement allows you to feel the peak contraction twice within the same rep while also helping to strengthen the top area of the bicep where a lot of tears and injuries happen.
Items Needed: Incline Bench set at a 60-degree angle and one pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Sit with dumbbells in hand and retract your shoulder blades.
Cue 2: Curl both dumbbells until the dumbbells are at a 90-degree angle to your biceps.
Curl 3: Lift elbows while keeping the dumbbells at a 90-degree angle to your biceps. Squeeze each bicep at the top of the movement before reversing the action back to the start.
For reps and reps in reserve (RIR), you could use anything from 5 – 20 repetitions per set, aiming to leave 1-2 repetitions in reserve on all working sets which will ensure you’re achieving maximum motor unit recruitment. Your sets will depend on your training structure, recovery, fatigue, and training age, but 3 – 5 sets could be a great ballpark.
Now you have a better understanding of incline curls, don't sit on the information, but instead put these curl gems to work, be patient and your arms will reward you. Want more Dumbbell Bicep Exercises?
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1: Incline Curl
2: Incline Dumbbell Curl
3: Incline Dumbbell Curls
4: Dumbbell Incline Curls
5: Dumbbell Incline Curl
6: db Incline Curls
7: db Incline Curl
8: Incline Drag Curl
9: Incline Dumbbell Drag Curl
10: Incline Drag Curls
11: Incline Dumbbell Drag Curls
12: Incline db Curl
13: Incline db Curls
14: Incline Curls Dumbbell
15: Incline Curl Dumbbell
16: Incline Curls db
17: Incline Curl db
18: Drag Incline Curls
19: Drag Incline Curl
20: Drag Dumbbell Incline Curls
21: Drag Dumbbell Incline Curl
22: Drag db Incline Curl
23: Drag db Incline Curls
24: Incline Jam Curl
25: Jam Incline Curls
26: Jam Incline Curl
27: Jam Dumbbell Incline Curls
28: Jam Dumbbell Incline Curl
29: Jam db Incline Curls
30: Jam db Incline Curl
31: Seated Incline Curls
32: Seated Incline Curl
33: Seated db Incline Curls
34: Seated db Incline Curl
35: Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl
36: Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls
37: Seated Dumbbell Incline Curls
38: Seated Dumbbell Incline Curl
39: Dumbbell Seated Incline Curls
40: Dumbbell Seated Incline Curl
41: db Seated Incline Curl
42: db Seated Incline Curls
43: 45-degree Incline Curl
44: 45-degree Incline Curls
45: 45-degree Dumbbell Incline Curl
46: 45-degree Dumbbell Incline Curls
47: High incline Curls
48: High Incline Curl
49: High Incline Dumbbell Curl
50: High incline Dumbbell Curls
51: High Incline db Curls
52: High Incline db Curl
53: Dumbbell High Incline Curls
54: Dumbbell High Incline Curl
55: db High Incline Curls
56: db High Incline Curl
57: High Dumbbell Incline Curl
58: High Dumbbell Incline Curls
59: High db Incline Curl
60: High db Incline Curls
61: Incline Seated Curls
62: Incline Seated Curl
63: Incline Seated Dumbbell Curls
64: Incline Seated db Curl
65: Incline Seated db Curls
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