Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Biceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Standing Dumbbell Curl Instructions

  1. Assume the starting position for the standing dumbbell curl by grasping a pair of dumbbells and standing straight up, feet together, and dumbbells by your side. The dumbbells should not be touching your body.
  2. Your palms should face upwards.
  3. Take up the slack by bending the elbows slightly. Tension should be on the biceps.
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells up as far as possible.
  5. Squeeze the biceps hard, and then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Standing Dumbbell Curl Tips

  • The tension should be on the biceps at all times. Do not let them "hang" at the bottom of the exercise.
  • Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight throughout the set.
  • Do not let the dumbbells touch your body.
  • And finally, do not swing the body back as you curl up the weight. The body should stay fixed throughout the movement. Focus on only moving your forearms.
Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2024 - 14:17

For these and hammers is it best to do weights that can get me close to that 10-15 rep range?

I can get close to 10 doing 20lbs but I'm exhausted at 8 and doing partials to failure, I can do 30lbs to 5-6 before partials to failures, should I drop even lower?

Also is it a good idea to do this on a seated incline (75*) and reset between reps so the dumbbells are completely pointed to the floor or is it any different from standing?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2024 - 20:14

This depends on your goals, MyKo. If you want your arms to grow, then the 10-15 rep range would be best. So, dropping down to 15s would be a good move. If you want to get stronger as well, then your plan is fine as is.

I personally love inclines, so I don't argue against them. You don't have to go to a full stretch at the bottom of each rep. Keeping a little tension is good. Nothing wrong with taking the dumbbells all the way down, but you have more options. Just don't use momentum.

Anton Gilliland
Posted on: Mon, 07/31/2023 - 12:11

I just tried the 3 day dumbell workouts.
1st day and love your easy but great plan.
Thanks guys!

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2023 - 16:14

The work out plan says 4a /4b and 5a/5b…should we alternate these or do all 4 exercises on Tuesdays?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 04/19/2023 - 20:59

Those are supersets. Do 4a, immediately followed by 4b, then rest. Same for 5a/5b. Hope this helps.

Posted on: Sun, 11/21/2021 - 03:42

Should we increase weight during sets?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/22/2021 - 18:55

If size and strength are goals of yours, then yes, Vishak.

Ali Aljanabi
Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 13:14

Any tips to prevent wrist pain with this exercise? It made me stop the exercise.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 15:01

Hey Ali - you can add in wrist and forearm curls to your routine to help strengthen your wrists. You can also try using a lighter dumbbell or wearing wrist wraps.

Posted on: Wed, 06/23/2021 - 14:57

When I do this exercise near the top of the back of my forearm hurts after every rep?

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2021 - 11:15

During the exercise I work my biceps enough to the point where its a struggle to get the last ones in. However I never get sore from it the day after. I'm pretty sure my posture isn't the issue. How do I know if I'm doing this correctly?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2021 - 11:32

Hey Learner - being sore after your workouts doesn't always directly correlate with an effective workout. You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day.

Posted on: Thu, 12/17/2020 - 19:18

To get maximum effectiveness on every rep, place both of your elbows on your abdomen.

Posted on: Tue, 12/08/2020 - 06:46

Is it okay to do alternative dumbbell curls with the same number of sets and reps?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/08/2020 - 13:31

Hey Aryan - yes

Posted on: Wed, 11/25/2020 - 10:07

Why did my left elbow always making a clicking sound when i do this exercise or something similar? How can i fix it?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/30/2020 - 09:17

Hey Newbie - this can sometimes be related to your form and grip.

Posted on: Wed, 01/20/2021 - 07:43

Hey I felt the same. It went away after a few weeks. I'm assuming you're thin like me. We dont have enough strength. But It'll get better in the following weeks.

cristiana araujo
Posted on: Wed, 12/04/2019 - 07:49

Can you please tell me how much weight should we use?
I m a beginner, never done exercise!

Peytr Zajicek
Posted on: Thu, 12/19/2019 - 19:03

Depends. Are you bulking? Go with what feels heavy and drop the number of reps.

Are you cutting? Go lighter increase reps.

Posted on: Sat, 08/15/2015 - 05:28

Hello everyone,

I have dumbbells that I can use that are collared (the ones that you can adjust-not fused). Consequently the bar piece of the dumbbell (i.e. where it sticks out beside the collar lock) sits by my thighs at the bottom position of the curl.

Should I place the ends of the bar at my thighs (almost like an injection) or should I rest them near my thighs at the bottom of the movement (like balancing the bar across my thighs)?

Thank you.

Posted on: Wed, 08/12/2015 - 04:54

Sir,I'm 15yr old I can do biceps workout.and how to do dumbbell workout

Posted on: Mon, 09/22/2014 - 02:13

hello sir.. how many sets should i do for big biceps am 62kg and doing gym from last 6months... my beiceps are 13 inches now want to grow the little big 15 inches

Posted on: Mon, 11/25/2013 - 17:13

Is it okay to perform this exercise one arm at a time? That is, holding both dumbbells but doing left, right, left, right, etc. Or should the weights always be lifted in unison? I have the same question for the standing hammer curl. Thanks.

Posted on: Wed, 08/24/2022 - 10:30

Yes bro. You can do it one arm at a time. It helps to focus on one arm effectively and also a brief rest when performing one arm and switching. Tip-Keep the bicep tense, dont let it rest or hang your arm at lower part of the exercise.

Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2013 - 08:23

u see this

Posted on: Thu, 06/13/2013 - 07:29

What should I do if one of my arms is stronger than the other, and one can't carry on past a certain number of reps but one can..?

Posted on: Fri, 03/07/2014 - 22:11

You should always start off with your weaker arm. Once you can't get any more reps in your weaker arm, stop doing the exercise...otherwise your dominant arm will continue to get stronger than your weaker arm.

gaurav chauhan
Posted on: Tue, 04/02/2013 - 03:48

you didnt tell the weights used means we have to start with light weight than heavy or what?for muscle building ?can we do power set ,is it help in muscle buildindg ....probably last set is power set?

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 04:37

Experiment with lighter weights. If it's easy to complete the set & rep ranges, go up weight. Keep doing this until the last rep of your set is a struggle. Not that much of a struggle that you lose your form. But enough of a struggle so that you may be able to get one more rep out if you had to

Posted on: Sun, 01/13/2013 - 15:38

Might be worth mentioning in the tips that you should keep your shoulders back and stationary and your elbows kept in throughout the lift.

Posted on: Tue, 05/15/2012 - 11:36

I've never agreed with standing curls of any kind. Reason being, once you get to your last couple of reps and things get difficult, it's waaaaay too easy to cheat by leaning back and incorporating many other muscle groups to lift the weight up.

Ensuring your body (back) is completely stationary and allowing ONLY your arms (biceps) to do the lifting is the only way to really make them work.

Far too often I see guys at the gym rocking out of control to try and squeeze in those last few reps, and it's really not even their biceps doing the lifting anymore.

Posted on: Wed, 09/05/2012 - 23:33

Very true but you can easily cheat on almost any exercise. The trick is to have the discipline not to cheat. To use a cliché, you're only cheating yourself.

Posted on: Sat, 03/16/2013 - 23:10

Learning which excercises to cheat on and when to do it is key to being bigger than everyone else. Use a standing curl at the end of your routine and always cheat a little to get the extra reps out. Then get your partner to lift them up so you have to lower them your self in whats called a "negative rep". Or pick a weight you can only do 5 times before you do a "cheat" rep, then immediately drop it for a weight you can do another 5 times before doing a "cheat rep". I'd rather have huge form than "correct form".

Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2014 - 20:55

haha huge form. nice comment

Posted on: Fri, 04/13/2012 - 01:57

This training reali works for me I'm a beginner and can see and feel the difference
Thanks guys for all the info on muscle building

Posted on: Sun, 03/25/2012 - 14:55

does changing how high you keep your elbows for different sets, increase tension to benefit muscle growth?