How to do alternate bicep curls

How to do alternate bicep curls

Similar to a straight dumbbell curl, the alternate bicep curl is a strength training exercise that focuses on your bicep muscles, but unlike the straight curl it also works your forearms. Adding the alternate bicep curl into your workout routine can provide variety and reduce the plateau or lack of improvement that often occurs when the same exercises are performed over and over again.


Step 1

Grasp the dumbbells and stand up

Bending with your knees rather than your back, grip each dumbbell in one hand and rise to a standing position. Hold the dumbbells with your arms hanging down at your sides and your palms facing in, toward your body.

Step 2

Lift one dumbbell (1 repetition)

Starting with either your right or left hand, slowly lift one dumbbell up toward your shoulder without bending your upper arm. Only your forearm should be moving. Avoid «rocking» your body as you lift — that will take some of the stress away from your biceps and forearms and they won’t get as much of a workout. As you lift the dumbbell, rotate it gradually so that by the time it reaches shoulder level, your palm is facing your chest.

Step 3

Lower the dumbbell

Now reverse your motion to lower the dumbbell back to its starting position at your side, with your palm facing toward your body again. Lower the dumbbell slowly — don’t just let it drop down — in a controlled motion so that the weight can work your muscles on the way down, too.

Once the dumbbell is back in its starting position, one repition has been completed. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your other arm, and alternate between the two arms until you’ve completed about 10 or 12 reps with each arm. (You can do more if you want to, but 10-12 makes for a good set.)

If it’s too hard to get to 10 reps, you might need to use a lower-weight dumbbell. If 12 reps are too easy and you feel like you could do many more, try a heavier dumbbell.

Things Needed
• a pair of dumbbells
• a towel (optional)
• water or a sports drink (optional)

Tips & Warnings
• Start out with a low-weight dumbbell and work your way up to avoid injury.
• If you have any medical conditions or health issues, consult with a physician before beginning any strength training or exercise program.


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