Building Bigger Biceps By Putting A Twist On Your Curls

Cory Gregory
Written By: Cory Gregory
February 12th, 2013
Updated: June 13th, 2020
78.8K Reads
Take your bicep development to the next level with this simple but potent tip from Cory Gregory. Get your twist on during incline dumbbell curls and build bigger arms.

Cory Gregory is the Co-Founder of MusclePharm.

I’m always on the search for a way to build my arms to another level, I felt like I hit the jackpot when I was 15.

I started hearing about a guy named Shawn Dorsey who grew up around us, and I was totally blown away by the size of his arm. Simply put, the dude had some huge-ass arms, so the wheels in my head immediately began to churn.

His arms were undoubtedly bigger than anyone I knew, so I had to find out what he was doing to get his arms that much bigger.

I asked to train with him in his garage, and that’s when I got in on a few of his secrets, and he told me one of the biggest twists he used to get some serious gains.

It all started with Shawn seeing some old pictures of Arnold doing some incline curls, and if I remembered correctly, Arnold was always big on doing both arms at the same time.

The exercise was an important one for Shawn, but instead of doing them at the same time, he alternated arms, doing 6-8 reps depending on the weight.

Of course, this exercise is nothing new or revolutionary, but he had a unique addition to the movement.

After finishing his final rep on both arms, he simply let the dumbbells hang for about three seconds. Then, he twisted them clockwise and counter-clockwise in a continuous motion from the hanging motion, doing this for about 6-8 seconds.

It didn’t seem like much initially, but Shawn was clearly laboring doing this after his set. I noticed some considerable discomfort, but I also noticed his biceps swelling up with blood quickly.

From there, he immediately did 4 more reps, which looked like complete torture. Of course, there was a killer pump that came with the pain making it well worth the extra effort.

After just seeing it one time, I was completely sold on the movement and I couldn’t wait to try it for myself. Now, I’m addicted to the movement and it’s a staple when it comes to working my biceps.

Yes, it’s now 17 years later, but I’m still adding a twist to my incline dumbbell work every week, and it’s very much worth it.

So thanks Shawn for opening my eyes to this unique and crazy exercise.

If done correctly, this little twist will make sure your arm training will never be the same again.

Alternating Incline Curls With 5 sec Twist And Additional Reps

Step 1: Grab dumbbells out of a rack or off the floor and sit down on an incline bench (which should be angled around 30-45 degrees).

Step 2: Keep your arms straight and, using an overhand grip, grab the dumbbells off the floor. Have the dumbbells by your side with your palms facing each other. Keep your feet firmly on the floor, pinch your shoulder blades together and make sure your back is tight and knees are bent. Your upper back will likely come off the incline bench.

Step 3: With your wrists straight, bend your elbows and curl one dumbbell upward toward the front of your shoulders in a controlled manner, twisting the dumbbell on the way up so that your palm is facing you once it reaches shoulder level. Continue to keep your back tight and your knees bent.

Step 4: Once the dumbbell reaches shoulder level, pause for a split-second, squeeze your bicep, twist the dumbbell and then straighten the elbows, lowering the dumbbell in a controlled manner, until it is by your side and your palms are facing each other. Your elbow will continue to remain by your side throughout the descent. Repeat with the opposite arm.


Step 5: After a certain amount of reps, twist the dumbbell out of the starting position. Your arms will be straight and simply twist the dumbbell from side-to-side for 5 seconds. Once completed, resume full reps with each arm.

Step 6: Take a breath between reps, exhaling only when reps are completed. Repeat until the desired reps are reached and then set the dumbbells back on the ground.

Got questions? Hit up @MusclePharmPres on Twitter or post below!

Posted on: Sun, 04/27/2014 - 06:41

Bro, do you even twist?

Posted on: Sat, 04/26/2014 - 16:44

It's because it works your brachialis (strongest elbow flexor) and your biceps brachii (which is your strongest supinator of the elbow). Working your brachialis with a reverse grip curl motion (palms facing away) may give you the nice bulge you're looking for.

Posted on: Wed, 02/20/2013 - 19:29

This workout is very effective in giving an instant pump. I ended up adding a twist in each bicep exercise and my biceps felt more worked out than ever. Thanks.

Posted on: Sat, 02/16/2013 - 18:10

How many sets do you recommend doing with this? Or should it only be done on the last set?

Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 12:21

It says keep feet firmly on the floor...but yet in the video, only your toes are on the floor and your heels are raised?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 12:31

Perfectly fine - whatever's comfortable. You just want to make sure your feet aren't raised.

Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 13:05

Thanks....i will give this a shot when i am fully recovered from the flu!

Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 10:28

Thanks for the info. Gunna add this to my workout today.

Brendon Greene
Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 10:14

This was done by Arnold from day one. He writes a out it in the Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding