Build Bigger Biceps With These 3 Dumbbell Exercises

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Build Bigger Biceps With These 3 Dumbbell Exercises

Nothing gets your confidence up like looking down at your arms and seeing a pair of bulging biceps with veins and everything. At the same time, nothing can be harder, or more confusing than growing those bulging biceps, as it feels like you just can’t get anywhere with them. There are so many exercises to choose from, and they all seem to do pretty much the same thing, right? But what are the best 3 dumbbell bicep exercises for you to do?

There are so many exercises to choose from when it comes to blowing up your biceps. You’ve got barbell curls, dumbbell curls, concentration curls, zottman curls, incline curls, supinated dumbbell curls, hammer curls, preacher curls, spider curls, and the list goes on and on. However, today we are focusing on one piece of gym equipment in particular for the biceps, dumbbells.

But what are the best dumbbell exercises to actually build bigger biceps? First, let’s get a quick anatomy lesson.

The Anatomy of the Biceps


bicep anatomy
Pics Of Biceps Muscle With Name Muscle Pictures Ii | Chandler Physical Therapy – Anatomy Inner Body

The biceps originate in the shoulder and insert below the elbow. In the picture here, you can see that the long and short head of the biceps actually take different paths through the shoulder before they connect. The short head goes around the humerus (the big upper arm bone), while the long head goes over top of the humerus.

Why Does Bicep Positioning Matter?

Depending on the position of your humerus, the biceps will be stretched to varying degrees, which affects how your biceps behave and respond during an exercise.

For instance, if your elbows are back behind your body, like in an incline curl, then the long head of your biceps will be stretched more than the short head, making it more of an effective exercise for the long head. If your elbows are in front of your body, like in a spider curl, then both heads will be stretched less, and this will hit the peak of the biceps a bit more. We’ll talk more about why that matters in a bit.

Functions of the Biceps

The other important thing to know about your biceps is that they have two functions: flexion and supination.

Flexion is the act of bringing your hand towards your shoulder, and supination is the act of turning your hand from a palms down position, to a palms up position.

Now that you understand about your biceps anatomy and functions, let’s dive into the best dumbbell bicep exercises for you to do for bulging biceps.

Build Bigger Biceps With These 3 Dumbbell Exercises

This workout switches up the angle of your arms to vary the stretch in your biceps. Stretching your biceps more will help emphasize the long head, working your biceps peak, and stretching your biceps less will help you get a really strong contraction.

In addition to changing the angle, this workout incorporates both biceps functions, flexion and supination, for a full biceps workout.

Exercise #1: Dumbbell Spider Curls – 3 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps

With your elbows in front of you, like here in the spider curl, your biceps are stretched less. This is done on an incline bench, where you lay face down on the bench instead of on your back. Your arms hang down below, and you curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders.

This allows you to get a really strong mind-muscle connection and a great contraction. Make sure to squeeze your biceps as hard as you can at the top of this movement.

Exercise #2: Supinated Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 8 reps

Supinated dumbbell curls are one of the best biceps exercises because it incorporates both flexion and supination. You can do these standing or sitting, where your wrists are at your sides. Then curl the weight up towards your shoulders. Make sure to twist your wrists earlier in the movement, rather than later, and twist and squeeze as much as you can at the top.

Exercise #3: Incline Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Remember that if your elbows are behind your body, like here in the incline curl, then the long head is stretched more. Since the long head is stretched more, this will cause it to slightly work more.

Want to get a taller biceps peak? The peak is actually the long head, so doing incline curls can help.

Pro Tip: Flex your triceps at the bottom of the movement. This will ensure you get a full stretch for your biceps and don’t cheat.

Our Favorite Dumbbells

When it comes to doing the best dumbbell bicep exercises, you should be equipped with the best dumbbells, especially if you are training in your home gym. That being said, we have hand-picked our favorite dumbbells.

Grab yourself our top pick for the best dumbbells overall!

Living Fit Hex Dumbbells are great workout equipment for those looking to build strength, burn fat, and create a stellar physique that others will envy. Perfect for free weight training, these can be stored easily for optimal convenience. Made from solid cast iron, these ensure durability and longevity and the rubber coating helps prevent damage to floors and other equipment. With a hexagon-shaped head to prevent rolling, the grip is also secure to prevent slipping and injury.

living fit dumbbell bicep exercises


This workout is one of the best dumbbell bicep workouts because it works your biceps in the flexed position, in the stretched position, and hits both functions of your biceps. That being said, it is an all around great workout to hit every angle of these muscles.

Also, you only need a set of dumbbells to complete the workout, so it can be done at nearly any home or commercial gym.

Have a different combination of dumbbell biceps exercises you like? For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Jake is a former personal trainer & current fitness nerd. Check out more tips to get bigger arms on his site

*Header image courtesy of Envato Elements.

Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.