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Bicep Exercises - Alternating Bicep Curls

Exercise Name: Alternating Bicep Curls

Purpose: Develop the overal bicep.

Target Muscle Group(s): The primary muscle group being developed is the bicep muscles (brachialis, biceps brachii).

Secondary muscle groups being worked are the front deltoid (anterior deltoid) and the forearm (brachioradialis).


Instructions: Proper Bicep Curl Technique  

1. Stand upright with a dumbbell on each hand.
2. Place feet shoulder width apart.
3. At the starting position the each dumbbell should on the sides of your legs with palms facing your legs.
4. "Curl" one of the dumbbell forward and up (toward your bicep).
5. While "curling" the weight, make sure your elbows stay at your sides (they shouldn't move).
6. As you're curling the weight, twist or pronate your wrist for maximum bicep contraction. Thumbs should be moving down and your little finger up.
7. At the top of the movement, contract your biceps.
8. Start lowering the weight back down to the starting position.
9. Just as the weight is almost fully lowered to its original position, start the same curling motion with the other dumbbell.

Additional Comments And Tips:  

1. Inhale as you raise the weight, exhale towards the end of the movement.
2. Contract your biceps hard for a split second at the top of the movement.
3. Do not use any momentum when performing bicep curls. A common mistake is to swing the weight or arch the back (this is not working the bicep muscle!).
4. Only swing the weight up to perform forced reps, or negatives, at the end of the set for added intensity (only advanced bodybuilders should attempt this).

Also Known As: Dumbbell Curls, Alternating Dumbbell Curls, Alternating Bicep Curls
Exercise Type: Building Muscle, Strength Training, Toning, Sports Training
Force: Pull
Exercise Level: Beginner
Mechanics Type: Isolation Exercise

Alternating Bicep Curl Variations: Hammer curls, standing barbell curls, alternating pulley curls, back against the wall (prevent swinging or arching of the back), sitting on bench (seated bicep curls), lying on an incline bench (incline bicep curls).

Safety Precautions:

1. Using a weight that's so heavy that it forces you to swing and/or arch your back to raise the weight up, this can cause injuries. Instead, use a lighter weight which allows you to perform the desired number of repetitions without any arching or swinging.
2. Use a spotter if you want to do forced reps. Only advance weight trainers should attempt to swing the weights up to perform negative repetitions.

Alternatives/Substitutions: List of Similar Bicep Exercises

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