Home » 3 Best Bicep Dumbbell Exercises

3 Best Bicep Dumbbell Exercises

Working your biceps is probably the most common thing to do when you are in the weight room. Biceps are the muscles that most people showcase when they want to look ripped and dumbbells can help you with that. Here are the 3 best bicep dumbbell exercises you can do at home or at the gym. 

3 Best Bicep Dumbbell Exercises

The 3 bicep dumbbell exercises are dumbbell biceps curl, dumbbell hammer curl, and the renegade row. They have been used a lot in the gym and at home. They are easy to do and produce quality results as long as you stay consistent and stick to your workout plan. 

Remember that it’s important that you follow the proper form and technique so you can get the maximum yield from doing these dumbbell exercises. 

Elderly woman doing bicep dumbbell exercises

Dumbbell Biceps Curl

The dumbbell biceps curl is probably the most popular bicep dumbbell exercise in the world. It’s an easy routine to do, that’s why it’s one of the best. Even if it’s simple, it targets your biceps and develops those muscles. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand upright while holding a dumbbell in each hand with your hands placed on the side.
  2. Make sure your elbows are close to your torso and your palms face forward.
  3. Keep your upper arms stationary. As you curl the weights upward to shoulder length, exhale while also contracting your biceps.
  4. Hold the weight at shoulder length. After a brief pause, inhale as you slowly lower back the dumbbells to the starting position.

Using a thumbless grip will increase peak contraction in the biceps during the top point of the movement. Do this by placing your thumb on the same side of the dumbbell bar with your fingers.

Sets and Reps

Dumbbell biceps curl will vary for every individual. Depending on your fitness level you can do a lot of dumbbell biceps curl or only a few of them. Here are some guidelines you can follow. 

  • Beginners: 2 sets of 12 reps. With 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Intermediate: 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps. With 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Advanced: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets 

Ideally, you should do the dumbbell biceps curl at the end of your workout to focus on your biceps after it has been worked in other exercises such as pulling.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The dumbbell hammer curl is almost the same as the regular dumbbell biceps curl. The difference is in the manner you hold the dumbbell. We recommend the dumbbell hammer curl if you want to make your arms look thicker as it targets the brachialis

Man lifting a dumbbell with one hand
  1. Start with a standing upright position or sit on a bench with your back in an upright position with your dumbbells at each hand placed at your side. It’s best to do it sitting down as it decreases the chance of you swinging arms which lessens muscle work. 
  2. Keep your elbows close to your side and pull your shoulders back for proper posture. 
  3. Curl the dumbbells until your thumbs are near your shoulders while exhaling as you curl it upwards. Your arms should be fully extended and your hands should always face each other.
  4. Pause when your thumbs reach your shoulders and slowly lower the dumbbells to your original position while inhaling. 

If you are a beginner, you are better doing dumbbell hammer curls slowly. Spending your muscles more time under tension is better for muscle hypertrophy and promotes growth. 

Sets and Reps

The dumbbell hammer curl is similar to the biceps curl so there’s no difference between their sets and reps

  • Beginners: 2 sets of 12 reps. With 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Intermediate: 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps. With 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Advanced: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets 

Try to avoid swinging the dumbbells. It’s when you use momentum to lift weights. This won’t work your biceps as much as you would like to have. 

Renegade Row

The renegade row is a simple yet important bicep dumbbell exercise. It can help you progress to different forms of exercise because of its benefits. Here’s how to do it:

Woman about to do a renegade row, one of the 3 best bicep dumbbell exercises
  1. Get into a press-up position while holding a dumbbell in each hand. 
  2. Support the weight of your body, then slowly raise one of the dumbbells while your other arm supports your weight. 
  3. Row the dumbbell upwards until your upper arm is a bit higher than your torso.
  4. Remember to exhale when rowing. 
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbell to the ground while inhaling.
  6. Repeat the steps using your other arm. 

Sets and Reps

While the level of difficulty of renegade row is higher compared to the dumbbell biceps curl, it also has a lot of benefits such as improving your core and back. 

Beginners: 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps with 90 seconds rest between sets

Intermediate: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps with 90 seconds rest between sets

Advanced: 5 sets of 10 – 12 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets

It’s important that you master it properly before you start doing it with heavy dumbbell weights. Always start with light ones and get used to the exercise. 

Conclusion

These are the 3 best bicep dumbbell exercises you can do at home or at the gym. These exercises will surely help develop your muscle for strength, endurance, and boost your self-confidence. Remember to master the correct and proper technique before you actually start increasing dumbbell weights. 

Robert Lemus is natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.