- Biceps: Arm flexor
(Musculus biceps brachii)
- Upper arm: Coracobrachialis muscle
Concentration Curls: Basics and alternatives
Involved main muscle groups:
Concentration curls are definitely one of the most popular biceps exercises. This simple yet effective workout targets your arm flexor (biceps). While sitting, you hold a dumbbell in one hand, rest your elbow on your thigh, and curl your arm. It’s a classic isolation exercise.
Unlike biceps curls, you perform concentration curls one arm at a time. Similar exercises include incline bench preacher curls and machine preacher curls. In these workouts, your arm is also supported, increasing focus on the arm flexor.
Proper elbow placement on the inner side of your thigh is crucial for this exercise (see video). This helps stabilize your upper arm, ensuring smooth movement. Concentration curls share this key feature with various preacher curl variations.
Perform the exercise with both arms alternately. Even if one arm is stronger than the other, do the same number of reps for both. This balances strength and muscle growth over time, preventing imbalances.
Sit on a flat bench, legs spread, with a dumbbell beside your foot.
Lean forward, keeping your back straight. Press your elbow against the inside of your thigh and lift the dumbbell with an underhand grip.
Bend your arm at the elbow, bringing the dumbbell toward your upper body in a controlled manner. Use the full range of motion, fully bending your elbow. Keep your upper body still throughout.
Slowly lower the weight by extending your elbow. Don’t hyperextend your elbow; keep it slightly bent at the end.
Keep your upper body stationary while performing concentration curls; don’t sway with the hand movement. As always, curls should be deliberate and controlled.
Maintain a consistent grip on the dumbbell throughout the movement. Unlike biceps curls, where the dumbbell grip can vary, concentration curls require a constant underhand grip.
Proper elbow placement is essential: don’t rest your elbow on your thigh; press it against the inside of your thigh to help stabilize your upper arm.