Incline Dumbbell Curl

  • Alternative Names: Seated incline dumbbell curl, incline dumbbell biceps curl, incline bench dumbbell curl
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Dumbbells, incline bench
  • Muscles Targeted: Biceps, forearms
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-5 with 6-8 reps each
  • Variations: Alternate, offset, twisted, and Arnold incline dumbbell curls
  • Alternative: Incline inner biceps curl

The incline dumbbell curl has been a popular bicep-building exercise and is commonly included in arm workout routines by bodybuilders who intend to work the long head of their biceps. Since the exercise involves moving your arms behind the body, it gives the long head of your biceps more stretch than the other curl exercises.


  • You can easily manipulate the angle of inclination of the bench to improve the range of motion and achieve a deeper stretch.
  • It not just improves your aesthetics but also helps in maximizing the strength of your arms.

How to do Incline Dumbbell Curl

Set the back of the incline bench to an angle of 30-45 degrees. If you have strong and healthy shoulder muscles, you may adjust it to an angle lesser than 30 degrees for greater activation of the biceps. Sit on the bench with your back rested against the pad and a dumbbell (weighing about 20-40 lbs) in each hand positioned at arm’s length. Grabbing the weights with a supinated grip, curl them forward while contracting your biceps. Continue moving the dumbbells until they reach your shoulder level and the biceps are fully contracted. Hold this contraction for about one second and then bring the weights down to the initial position.

Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl Tips

  • Keep the elbows close to your upper body throughout the movement.
  • Hold your upper arms still while curling the weights forward.
  • Slightly bend your elbows when holding the dumbbells at arm’s length to keep your biceps under tension.


  1. Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl: Performed by curling the weights up to the shoulders in an alternating manner, first with the right hand and then the left.
  2. Incline Offset Dumbbell Curl: Is similar to the basic version except that the weight is held off-center so that your thumb touches the outer head of the dumbbell.
  3. Incline Dumbbell Curl with Twist: Is executed by twisting the dumbbells clockwise and counter-clockwise from the hanging position, doing it for about 6-7 seconds.
  4. Arnold Incline Dumbbell Curl: Done by holding your elbows slightly forward and then curling the weight up.

Alternative Exercise

Incline Inner Biceps Curl

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