5 benefits of concentration curls for bigger arms

As dedicated individuals seeking to maximize our workout efforts, it’s important to focus on exercises that provide targeted results. Among these, concentration curls stand as a shining example.

Concentration curls are a variation of bicep curls that are done to strengthen the muscles of the upper arm.

woman doing concentration curls at the edge of a bench in the gym

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Also known as dumbbell curls, concentrated arm curls or dumbbell concentration curls, this exercise is also done to build strength in the upper body.

This exercise focuses or concentrates only on your biceps by isolating them.

What are concentration curls?

Concentration curls are a bicep isolation exercise that helps to build muscle in the biceps brachii, the two muscles on the front of your upper arm. To do a concentration curl, you will need a dumbbell.

woman doing concentration curls at the edge of a bench in the gym
woman doing concentration curls at the edge of a bench in the gym
  • Grab a dumbbell with your right hand or left hand using a supinated grip (palm facing up) and sit upright on the end of a bench.
  • Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground and spread out wide enough to where you can easily curl the dumbbell without hitting the other leg.
  • Hinge forward slightly and place your upper arm against the inside of your inner thigh. Place your other hand on the opposite leg to provide even more support.
  • Allow your arm to fully extend (the dumbbell should not touch the floor).
  • Curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder, keeping your upper arm still.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Muscles worked in concentration curls

Concentration curls work the biceps brachii, the two muscles on the front of your upper arm. The biceps brachii has two heads: the short head of the biceps and the long head of the biceps. Concentration curls work both heads of the biceps brachii, but they focus more on the short head. The short head is responsible for curling your arm up towards your shoulder. It also helps to create the peak of your biceps.

Here are some other muscles that are worked in concentration curls:

  • Brachialis: This muscle is located underneath the biceps brachii. It helps to flex your elbow joint.
  • Forearms: The forearms are used to stabilize the weight during concentration curls.
  • Grip: The grip muscles are used to hold the weight during concentration curls.

Benefits of concentration curls

​Concentration curls are a bicep curl variation that should be included in your workout routine to add variety and create bigger biceps.

Builds muscle mass

Concentration curls are a great way to build muscle in your biceps. They help to isolate the biceps muscles, so you can focus on working them without using other muscles. This makes concentration curls a good exercise for beginners.

Builds pulling strength

Concentration curls can help to build pulling strength by targeting the biceps brachii, the muscles on the front of your upper arm. The biceps brachii are responsible for flexing your elbow joint, which is the main movement involved in pulling.

When you do concentration curls, you are using your biceps to curl the weight up towards your shoulder. This requires a lot of pulling strength.

concentration curls is a long head bicep exercise

Isolates the biceps

Because the elbow of the working arm leans against the inner leg, the bicep alone lifts the weight. In a standard bicep curl, the upper arm can sway to lift the weight, recruiting the anterior deltoid and brachioradialis and shifting the emphasis away from the biceps. 

Concentration curls target the biceps muscle specifically, allowing you to isolate and fully engage the muscle group for optimal growth.

Reduces muscular imbalances 

If one of your biceps is stronger than the other, you may have a muscle imbalance. Concentration curls can help to correct muscle imbalances by working both biceps one arm at a time.

Reduces cheating

You are in a seated position with your elbow on the inside of your leg, which will minimize the use of the momentum of your bicep muscle. This will ensure that the targeted muscle is doing the work and there is no cheating.

This way, your muscles get stronger without any shortcuts.

Improves mind-muscle connection

Concentration curls were given their name for a reason: they are performed one arm at a time, in a seated position, with your arm locked in place and your gaze looking at the dumbbell you are lifting. This focussed attention helps you zone in on the muscle you are engaging and concentrate on squeezing the bicep to initiate the lift. 

Activates the short head of the biceps

The concentration curl creates a significant muscular strain at the top range of the rep, engaging the short head of the biceps brachii, which is located on the inner arm. This helps to create a wider and fuller-looking bicep.

Improves athletic performance

Concentration curls can improve athletic performance by strengthening your bicep muscle. Strong biceps are important for many athletic activities, such as throwing, swinging and rowing.

When you have strong biceps, you can generate more power with your arms. This can help you throw farther, swing a bat harder or row faster.

Increases range of motion

Concentration curls can increase the range of motion in your elbows by stretching the muscles and tendons in your arm. When you do a concentration curl, you are slowly curling the weight up towards your shoulder. This stretches the muscles and tendons in your arm, which can help to increase your range of motion.

For even more arm exercises, you should try these:

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