1. STANDING DUMBBELL CURL

 

1-standing-db-curl

In a list like this, you can’t leave out the classic curl. So we didn’t. (Don’t worry: The exercises will get more interesting.) But would ask that you use a weight that makes sense: If you’re swaying back wildly and contorting your body—especially excessively arching your lower back—to lift the load, you should probably get a lighter pair of dumbbells.

Do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Turn your arms so your palms face forward. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

 2. OFFSET-GRIP DUMBBELL CURL

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It’s nearly identical to the standard-grip biceps curl, with one important twist: Your palm is not centred on the bar of the dumbbell.

Holding the dumbbell close to one of the heads shifts the weight distribution. It challenges your biceps brachii to work harder to keep your palms facing forward at all points of the exercise.

Do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides—either your thumbs or pinkies should rest right next to one of the heads of your dumbbells. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

 3. HAMMER CURL

3-hammer-curls

Take your standard-grip curl and flip it on its side. This small difference in the way you hold the dumbbell helps transfer more of the work from your biceps brachii to your brachialis—a muscle that can make your arms look thicker.

Do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides with your palms facing your thighs. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.