Supinating Dumbbell Biceps Curls

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Supinating Dumbbell Biceps Curls

Supinating dumbbell biceps curls or twisting dumbbell biceps curls can be performed both at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the workout session. We recommend this exercise very much because – when properly performed – it is perfect for achieving peak concentration in the biceps, taking advantage of the full range of motion. This is a good mass building exercise, and with adequate “muscle feel” – also for roundness of the biceps. This is one of the best bicep exercise with dumbbells.

Why Adding Supination?

Adding supination to the standard dumbbell curl exercise works the biceps more completely than performing the exercise without supination. This exercise can be performed standing or seated.
So, as you lift the dumbbell, simultaneously rotate your forearm outward, moving your thumbs as far outside as you can by the time you reach the top position. Lower the weight to the starting position, reversing the twisting motion until your hands are once again in the hammer-grip position (palms facing in) when you reach the bottom.

How To Do Supinating Dumbbell Biceps Curls?

STARTING POSITION (PREPARATIONS): In the initial phase, keep the dumbbells in extended hands by your sides, elbows close to the body and thumbs turned towards each other (palms facing in – neutral grip).

Supinating dumbbell biceps curls - seated version

Supinating dumbbell biceps curls – seated version

MOVEMENT (ACTION): One arm at a time, curl the dumbbell up toward your shoulder, rotating your hand so the palm faces upward (your thumb faces toward the outside) at the top of the movement. Hold the contracted position for one second. Next, lower the dumbbell to the starting position, while breathing out, and then repeat with the opposite arm.

Useful Tips & Tricks

  • Position your torso upright with the spine straight while seated on the flat exercise bench. Tilting the torso is often used as a method of cheating the weight upward with momentum. Leaning slightly forward makes the initial phase of the curl easier. Leaning slightly backwards helps complete the final phase of the repetition.
  • During the concentric phase do not stick your elbows to the front, and turn the wrists smoothly while lifting the weight. During the eccentric phase try not to extend the arm in the elbow joint so as to maintain the muscle tension of the biceps.
  • One of the most frequent errors with this exercise is using excessive weight and sticking the elbows to the front which limits the range of motion of the biceps.
  • Other common mistakes: rocking the body; pulling your elbows too far back to shorten the movement and get help from the back muscles, or too far forward to use the deltoid and gravity; bending the wrists as you raise the weights; and twisting and lifting in an uncoordinated movement.

Exercise Variations

Dumbbell biceps curls can be done while seated (as already described in this post) or standing. Furthermore, you can raise both dumbbells simultaneously or alternate arms. Finally, you can begin and finish this biceps exercise with your palms facing forward all the time. There is no need to supinate the hand (palm uppermost) as you raise the dumbbell.

Standing dumbbell biceps curl - supination, two arms

Standing dumbbell biceps curl – supination, two arms

Standing dumbbell biceps curl - without supination, two arms

Standing dumbbell biceps curl – without supination, two arms

Alternating standing dumbbell biceps curls - without supination

Alternating standing dumbbell biceps curls – without supination

Alternating standing dumbbell biceps curls - supinated

Alternating standing dumbbell biceps curls – supinated

Muscles Used

  • Main muscles: biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis
  • Secondary muscles: pronator teres, extensor carpi radialis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis,
    flexor carpi radialis
  • Antagonists: triceps, anconeus

Replacement Exerices

To add variety to your biceps workout routine, replace the supinating dumbbell biceps curls with a different exercise from our database that works the same muscles – biceps brachii. Each exercise works the bicep and supporting muscles slightly differently.

Closing Thoughts

Supinating dumbbell biceps curls are a heavy exercise for the biceps. They are using the basic functions of flexing and supination (the effects produced by the two heads of the biceps, especially the short head in supination). None of the movements involve any bending of the wrists (which are independent of the action of the biceps). Always try to remain your wrists firmly in line with the forearm, contrary to what some trainers recommend, as finger pressure is up to four times weaker if the wrist is bent. If you alternate dumbbells rather than lifting them simultaneously, you will find the exercise a little less demanding, as the arms get a few seconds rest between reps. There will also be less strain on your lower back. If you pause at the top of the movement, you will make it a little more intense.

About Author

Hey! My name is Kruno, and I'm the owner and author of Bodybuilding Wizard. I started this website back in late 2014, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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