DB Concentration Curls (How To & Alternatives)

Concentration Curls

DB Concentration Curls might be the best, most pure bodybuilding style biceps exercise to finish a workout with. Then again, it’s hard to go wrong with almost any biceps exercise to finish a workout.

In this guide I’m going to teach you how to do Dumbbell Concentration Curls, what muscle groups they work and a few alternatives in case you need them.

How To Do Dumbbell Concentration Curls

Equipment Needed

  • Flat Bench (although almost any kind chair or box that you can sit on will work)
  • Dumbbells


  • Start in a seated position on the edge of a bench, knees bent with feet flat on the ground slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Hold a dumbbell in the right hand, lean slightly forward and rest the right elbow on the inside of the right thigh.
  • Now, curl the dumbbell up to shoulder level by flexing the biceps. Palm should finish up, facing the shoulder.
  • Squeeze the biceps at the top of the rep and then lower back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and then switch to the other side.

Coaching Points

The biggest mistake I see with Seated Dumbbell Curls is swinging the dumbbells at the bottom of the rep. Lower the weights down under control and do not swing them at the bottom.

The other mistake I see usually comes when an athlete is trying to use too much weight. Instead of keeping the elbow, they allow the elbow to drift back which turns the movement into more of a row than a curl.

Muscles Worked

Biceps Muscle 3D Body

Concentration Curls work the biceps of the upper arms and slightly work the forearms as well.

More specifically, Concentration Curls involves the Biceps Brachii, Brachialis and to a lesser extent the Brachioradialis.

Dumbbell Concentration Curl Variations

Looking to shake up your workout a bit? Here are a couple other seated curl variations:

Seated DB Curls

Let’s be honest. Seated DB Curls are pretty much Concentration Curls, but done with two dumbbells at the same time.

Sit tall at the end of a bench with a dumbbell in each hand and curl both dumbbells simultaneously turning the palms up at the top.

Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curls are another seated curl exercise with one slight variation. Instead of turning the palms up, keep the palms turned in for the entire movement.

Hammer Curls focus on the Brachioradialis more than any other biceps exercise.

Concentration Curls Alternatives

If you can’t do Concentration Curls, for whatever reason, here are a couple alternatives.

Barbell Curl

If you don’t have dumbbells, don’t worry, Barbell Curls are a perfect (some would even say better) alternative to their dumbbell cousin.

Stand tall, grip the bar shoulder width apart, keep elbows tucked and curl the bar up to shoulder level. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Band Curls

If Dumbbell Curls bother your wrist or elbow, you may be able to give Band Curls a try.

Stand on one end of a resistance band and grab the other end with both hands. With Band Curls, you can use more of a neutral grip by keeping your palms facing each other.

Sometimes this type of grip (also similar to the grip used in hammer curls) can be less stressful on the wrist and/or elbow.

More Links and Info

Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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