How to Train Biceps With Dumbbells

If you want to showcase the results of your training and hard work, what better way to show it by flexing your biceps. Learning how to train biceps with dumbbells can help you target one of the most functional muscles in your body effectively. The best part? You can easily use them from the comfort of your home. 

How to Train Biceps With Dumbbells 

To help you better target your biceps, we’ve curated a list of the best exercises to train biceps with dumbbells. Choose the exercises you like the most and practice them to tone your arms effectively and start the gun show.

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Man holding a dumbbell with each hands

Biceps Curl

The biceps curl is probably one of the most basic yet important bicep exercises you can learn. It serves as the base for almost all dumbbell exercises for biceps. This should be your starting point.

  • Stand upright with your chest out and tummy tucked in. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand placed at the side of your body. Your palms should be facing towards the thighs with your arms straight down.
  • Lift one dumbbell slowly towards the shoulder. 
  • Rotate your arms as you move the dumbbell upwards. Your palm should be facing upwards as you lift. Your elbow should always be pointing towards the ground and close to your body. Exhale as you lift.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell back to your side position while inhaling as you lower the weight. Do the exact same steps to your other arm. 
  • Continue the steps until you complete a set and rest. 

It’s important that you don’t move the rest of your body and let your forearms do the lifting. This will greatly work your biceps and you will feel it instantly upon lifting. There are also modified versions of the bicep curl that adds more difficulty to the workout. 

Biceps Curl in a Seated Position

If you want more variety in your biceps curl then there are also other ways you can do it. One example is the biceps curl in a seated position.

Simply follow the steps you do when doing biceps curl, this time in a seated position. 

Sit in a position where your upper body is upright and not slouching. You must maintain this upright position as you lift and lower down the dumbbells. Your lower body can relax while doing this. 

Biceps Curl on Incline Bench

If you have an inclined bench at home or at your local gym, then you should definitely try the incline alternated biceps curl. When you are in an inclined position, your center of gravity changes, and this makes it harder to lift weights. You also stretch out the core and target it when lifting dumbbells. 

Man performing dumbbell exercises

You can have a lot of modifications when using an inclined bench. You can adjust the degree of inclination to add more difficulty in lifting weights. You can also use the inclined bench as support for doing a concentrated biceps curl. 

In this case, simply place one of your arms on top of the head part of the inclined bench. The bench will act as support to your arms as you lift the dumbbell. 

Seated Concentrated Biceps Curl

The seated concentrated curl is a simple routine that you can do at home. All you need is a bench you can sit on. 

Sit on a bench, resting one arm against your thigh and holding one dumbbell with your hand. Your elbow should be placed against the front of your thigh. 

Then do the basic bicep curl of lifting the dumbbell using only your forearm with your elbow staying in place at the front of your thigh. Your thigh acts as a support that keeps your whole arms steady when you are lifting the dumbbell. 

Why Use Dumbbells?

There are plenty of advantages in using dumbbells especially in today’s age where everyone is advised to stay at home so there’s not much chance that you will be visiting the gym. Here are some pros of using dumbbells:

  • Anyone can use them: Most dumbbells are very affordable, so even if you can’t go to the gym, you can still work out. They also come in a wide range of weight levels so almost everybody can use dumbbells.
  • Eliminate strength imbalances: dumbbells force your limbs to work unilaterally. You get to work both your left and right side equally at the same time or alternatively. This will help develop your biceps at the same time so that the other one won’t look as bulky compared to the other. 
  • Safe to use: unlike heavy gym equipment or machines, it’s easier to hand dumbbells. They’re not a safety hazard even when you are working out alone. Whereas you would need assistance when doing bench press or heavy squat.
Woman lifting a dumbbell with one arm while holding the other pair on her side

What is the Best Dumbbell Exercise for Biceps?

It’s important to master the most basic dumbbell exercise, and that is the biceps curl. Just being able to do it opens up to a lot of dumbbell exercises that will be helpful for developing your biceps. 

You don’t have to go for fancy and complicated workout routines. Stick to the tested and basic ones which will give you the results. 

Can You Build Muscle with Just Dumbbells?

Most people think that you have to lift big and heavy weights in order to build and bulk up your muscle mass. While it does bulk up your muscles, it isn’t really necessary or the only option. 

What you lack in heavy weightlifting, you can compensate with high repetitions. You can gain the muscle you need without going to the gym and just using your dumbbells at home. All you need is the determination and discipline to workout using dumbbells


Training your biceps with dumbbells is really convenient. Dumbbells are great gym equipment overall and you can use them on a lot of workout routines. If you are slowly developing your biceps, you have the option to add more weights to your dumbbells which is a great feature.

Robert Lemus has been a 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.