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How to Do the Concentration Curl

An Exercise for the Biceps


Updated May 26, 2008

The dumbbell concentration curl is performed sitting on a bench, feet flat on the floor with one arm holding a dumbbell with the upper arm firmly supported against the inside of the thigh on the same side. The dumbbell curl is performed using this support to concentrate tension in the biceps muscle for a better workout.

If you need more guidance on weight training please refer to the beginner's guide.

1. The Starting Position

Concentration Curl
(c) Paul Rogers / Cooloola Gym
  1. Sit comfortably on a gym bench or a chair with feet firmly placed on the floor and grasp a dumbbell of suitable weight.
  2. Spread your legs to the extent that you can rest the upper arm of the hand holding the dumbbell against the inner thigh on the same side.
  3. The dumbbell will be hanging down toward the floor in the hand.
  4. Brace the abdominal muscles, straighten the back, keep the head steady and remember to breathe out on exertion and in on recovery.

2. The Exercise Movement and Points to Note

Concentration Curl Movement
(c) Paul Rogers / Cooloola Gym
  1. Curl the weight upward and slightly across the body while firmly fixing the upper arm against the inner thigh of the leg on the same side.
  2. Make sure to press this upper arm solidly into the thigh so that you feel a corresponding emphasis on the biceps muscle as you curl.
  3. Complete the chosen number of repetitions -- 10 or 12 is a good number -- then swap arms and use the thigh on the same side as the other arm for support.
  4. Keep the back straight as possible and not curved over. The head and neck should be steady looking mostly ahead rather than down.
  5. The exercise works by isolating and targeting the biceps rather than other upper arm muscles that get used in an unsupported curl.
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