Different ways you can do Concentration Curls

If done correctly, your regular concentration curls can do wonders for your biceps. The problem is that a lot of athletes are used to going heavy with their standing dumbbell and barbell exercises. The reason they can go so much heavier is that the weight load is being shared by a lot more muscle groups. So, trying to apply the same training principles to this isolation exercise simply will not work. Hence why it is so important to know how to execute this exercise with perfect form.

Why you should implement concentration curls into your workout?

Besides helping you to grow a bigger and stronger biceps, concentration biceps curls are great for other reasons:

– Does not require any equipment other than a set of dumbbells.

– Helps you to balance out any muscle imbalances.

– A common exercise in biceps tendon rehab.

Common Mistakes

Concentration curls should not be done as a part of your functional training workout. I am pretty sure you have seen gym fail videos where athletes would grab the biggest dumbbell in the gym and attempt to curl/row it. Here are the most common concentration curl mistakes:

– Throwing the weight back and forth.

– Choosing a weight which is way too heavy.

– Not extending your arm fully

– Not squeezing at the top of the movement.

When should you do the concentration curls?

You will achieve the best results by pushing the concentration curls to the back of your workout. Your arms would already be engorged with blood from all the basic exercises performed previously. The muscles have already been overloaded, we are just trying to isolate and finish off all the fibres in the biceps.

Exercise Variations:

One Arm from the Thigh

The most common and the most botched up exercise variation. If you can master the movement, you can achieve some great results.

How to:

– Pick an extremely lightweight until you will get used to the movement.

– Rest the back of your arm against your inner thigh.

– The best way to isolate your biceps in this exercise is to think that your arm is a hook.

– Curl it up in a slow and controlled manner.

– Squeeze the biceps at the top of the moment.

– If you start rocking back and forth, lower the weight.

– Extend your arm fully at the bottom of the movement.

– Ideally, you would not use any other body momentum at all, you are just using your biceps.

This exercise can also be done standing, in a bent-over position:

– Grab a light dumbbell.

– Bend over until your torso is close to parallel to the ground.

– You can place your other arm on a bench or any stable surface for additional support.

– Lock your elbow in the same position.

– Slowly curl the dumbbell up, while your elbow remains in the same position.

– Extend your arm fully at the bottom of the movement.

– Try to focus on your form, as this variation makes it way easier for you to swing the dumbbell.

Negative One Arm Curls

There are two parts to every rep. Concentric is when you are lifting the dumbbell up and eccentric is when you are bringing the dumbbell down. If you only focus on the concentric part of the movement and let your arms drop on the second one you are missing out on a large part of the muscle growth.

Ideally, you would perform the movement with absolute control on both motions. However, if you are looking for a variation, you could perform the negative/assisted one-arm concentration curls.

How to:

– Choose a slightly heavier weight for this variation.

– The set-up is going to be identical to your regular one-arm concentration curls.

– Slowly bring the dumbbell up with the help of your free hand.

– Squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement.

– Slowly return to the starting position without the aid of your free hand.

Bent-Over Barbell Concentration Curls

What if you do not have dumbbells or looking to add even more variation to your arms days?

This exercise is like your two-arm concentration curl. Normally you would get a fixed weight bar at a gym, but if you do not have access to them you can use a shorter 4ft Olympic Barbell. If you have wrist problems, you can always opt for the EZ Curl Bar.

Please note this variation is slightly more taxing on your lower back since you do not have any support.

How to:

– Bend over until your shoulders are parallel to the ground.

– You can rest your arms on the knees or let them hang.

– This exercise is performed with low weight.

– Grip the barbell in the middle (close grip).

– Tense your whole body when performing this exercise.

– Slowly curl the barbell up.

– Squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement.

– Slowly return to the starting position.