Alternating Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Learn how to do alternating dumbbell biceps curls. This is one of the most important biceps exercises and should not be missing in your routine. The alternating dumbbell biceps curl works the inner and the outer head of the biceps as well as the forearms. I recommend you do this exercises after barbell biceps curls. Do 6 to 12 repetitions per set and 3 sets per workout. Find more biceps exercises on the main page for weight training and bodybuilding.


  • Stand straight and hold two dumbbells with your palms facing your thighs. Bend your knees a little, contract your abdominals slightly, and make sure you keep your shoulders down throughout the entire exercise. Don't move the shoulders or the elbows as you curl up the weight.
  • Curl up one dumbbell and rotate the palm at the same time. Your biceps remains aligned vertically and the elbow stays still. Exhale on the way up. Don't lean back and don't swing the weight. If you do this right, and don't move the elbow and the back, it's impossible to get the weight over shoulder height. So if you end up with the dumbbell in front of your face, you definitely did something wrong. To make sure I can't use my back, I got used to moving forward at the end of every curl.
  • Hold the highest position for a second and squeeze your biceps. The upper arm is still aligned vertically!
  • Move back down to the starting position and inhale slowly. Keep in mind that the down-motion, the negative part of the repetition, is even more important than the up-motion. So don't let the weight fall, but go down even slower than up.
  • Repeat the movement with the other arm. One repetition is 1 curl with the left arm + 1 curl with the right arm.


  • As you can see in the last step of the video, now there is no rest-time between left and right curl. When you do this, make sure you exhale during the upper portion of each repetition. Just like when you do normal alternating biceps curls, keep your elbows still and don't lean back. Do this variation at the end of your biceps training or in a super-set.
  • You can also do your alternating dumbbell biceps curls sitting on a bench.


  • How it's NOT done! Twisting too much and separating the elbows from the hips are the most common mistakes. But letting the weight fall is even worse. Remember that the slow, negative part of the repetition, is very important.
  • If you wanna mess up your back and look like a ?%!"§/?% swing the weight.
  • One repetition is 1 curl with the left hand + 1 curl with the right hand.
  • Only the forearms move.
  • Don't relax your wrists.
  • No swinging, no bouncing, no cheating!
  • The down-motion should be slower than the up motion.
  • Do this exercises in front of a mirror