Top 7 Dumbbell Exercises for Biceps for Strength & Shape

biceps dumbbell exercises

I’m a big fan of free weights, especially dumbbells, and for working my biceps I almost always use them. In my opinion, if somebody does not use dumbbell exercises for biceps training he makes a huge mistake.

This simple fitness equipment let us perform various, very efficient movements to work the upper and lower part of the arms. With the help of bicep dumbbell exercises, we can strengthen and tone all part of the bicep muscles.

  • The main advantage of using dumbbells is that most of the exercises allow us to perform the full range of motion. Just think about dumbbell curl and barbell curl. If you do it with a barbell, you cannot do a full motion because of your legs.
  • We can also handle heavier weights in case we want to improve the strength of the arms or want to grow the muscle mass.
  • Finally, I think bicep dumbbell exercises are better because they need more control. Hence, several other muscles are activated in order to keep the stability of the body and to perform the move accurately. It is especially true for the shoulders and core muscles.

I do not say that barbell exercises or ones with cable are ineffective; I just want to point out that dumbbell ones are maybe more efficient.

Here is the list of the best and most popular bicep exercises with dumbbells.

But first some motivation from Arnold 🙂



Best biceps dumbbell exercises

1. Regular biceps curl for size & strength

It is the one that everybody knows, and it is essential for arm workouts. However, there are several variations that work the muscles from a different angle and the different parts of it.

The most common one is the simple standing biceps curl when you lower the dumbbells next to you, and your palms are opposite to each other. You can make variations such as lifting the weights at the same time, or alternating them or you can even lift only one for the reps you want then you go to the other arm.

Here is a tutorial how to do it properly and what you should focus on.


You can also do seated dumbbell curls by sitting on a bench with the mentioned combinations. This practice may need more power and concentration since you cannot cheat with using other muscles. That is why it is even more valuable.

Here is how to do it.


Another alternated biceps curl is when you so it on an incline bench which works the muscles from a different angle. In my opinion, it is useful to target the lower part of the biceps muscles.

Here is a incline dumbbell curl tutorial.

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2. Seated concentration curls to make them bulky

This bicep dumbbell workout is pretty good to make your biceps bulky. It is very important to avoid using your body to pull the weight up, do the motion slowly and precisely. There is no need to use large weights, use one that is comfortable to use, but provides enough resistance.

Here is how to do it.


3. Preacher bench curls to shape the lower part

This one is typically done by doing barbell or with machines, but I still vote on dumbbells. In order to get the results, you want from this exercise never utilize your upper body to lift the weight. Concentrate on the muscles, do the motion slowly and hold the weight for a sec before lifting it up. You can use one or two dumbbells, but I prefer one. It is excellent for working the lower part of the biceps.

Here is how to do it.


4. Dumbbell hammer curl for your lower arms

It is very similar to the simple curl, but your palms face to each other during the whole motion. This exercise is beneficial to strengthen your forearm as well. You should include it in your arm routine.

Here is how to do it correctly.


5. Supine biceps curls for variety

It is another dumbbell bicep workout to train your arms from a different angle. For it, you will need to lay on the bench.

Here is a guide.


Biceps workout at home with dumbbells

Now you know what the most beneficial moves are, so let’s put them together into a bicep workout routine. I usually pick 3 exercises and do 3 sets of each of them, with 8-12 reps. That is enough for me but watch the video below for an example routine that you can do at home. Or here is another one.



In my opinion these are the most efficient dumbbell bicep exercises for building muscle mass and shaping. I always prefer free weights to other equipment. You can do almost all these moves with cable or resistance band, if you are a beginner or you do not like weight training. if you have any questions or tips, feel free to share below.


Related: I have put together a poll about what are the best biceps brachii exercises. Vote and see the results here.

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