Concentration Curl Exercise Guide

The concentration curl is one of the original big bicep building exercises used by bodybuilders since the 70's! The concentration curl will isolate each bicep muscle, ensuring that the bicep is responsible for all of the work. There are two types of concentration curl. The dumbell concentration curl and the cable concentration curl. I will focus on the dumbell concentration curl here, but I mention the cable curl at the bottom of this page.

Why use the concentration curl? Like I mentioned earlier, the concentration curl will fully isolate your bicep muscle. This means none of your other muscles can help move the weight. More bicep work means more muscle building and strength! Also because you have a free arm in the concentration curl, you can use your other arm as a spotter for your working arm.

OK, let's look at how we do a concentration curl correctly. As with all bicep building exercises, strict technique is a must. Read our concentration curl tips for information on correct technique.

How to do a concentration curl correctly

Concentration curl setup: Sit on the end of a flat bench with your legs apart and lean forward slightly. Grab a dumbbell in one hand with your palm facing upward and rest your elbow on the inside of your thigh letting the dumbbell hang.

Concentration curl execution: Slowly curl the dumbell up while keeping your elbow locked in place against your thigh. As you are curling, twist your wrist to the outside (i.e., supinate). Squeeze your bicep at the top of the movement for a one-count and then slowly return to the start position and repeat.

Concentration curl 1

Concentration curl 2

Concentration curl tips

Concentration Curl
Concentration curl results!
With concentration curls you will find that you can not lift as much weight as usual. This is because your bicep muscles are responsible for 100% of the work here! Start your concentration curl with a light weight and work up.

Don't rock your body too much during the concentration curl. You want to move the weight with your bicep muscle, not your shifting bodyweight. Focus on keeping your body still and flexing your bicep.

Try not to focus on how much weight you are lifting, buty focus on squeezing your bicep muscle hard at the top of the concentration curl and pausing before you lower the weight. You can get good strength and muacle gains on your bicep by only doing light concentration curl exercises.

Variations - cable concentration curl

The cable concentration curl is identical to the dumbell concentration execpt you are using the cable pulley machine. Sit on the bench the same way as the dumbell concentration curl, but instead grab the cable handle (the handle must be at it's lowest position) and pull it towards your body. Some bodybuilders prefer the cable concentration girl, but you can get the same effect with a dumbell and it's much more comfortable.

Now that you know how to do a concentration curl, use it one of our bicep workout routines.