There is no shortage of curl variations to sculpt a head-turning set of pipes. The go-to is usually the barbell curl, while variations such as EZ-bar curls to ease wrist pain and hammer curls to create denser bi’s are also options. But the banded dumbbell curl is an often-overlooked variation that’s incredibly useful.

Looping a band on the inside of two dumbbells forces your forearms to turn inward and stay that way, which activates even more muscle than a standard curl. Why? Because you’re now fighting to keep your palms facing up as you lift the weight. This new, literal twist on the
curl isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

How to do it

  1. Stand on the middle of a looped resistance band.
  2. Loop both ends of the band around the inside of the dumbbells while holding them with your palms up.
  3. Brace your core and then curl the dumbbells up until they reach about shoulder level.

Form tip: With you palms up, curl with a slow, controlled, full motion to recruit more muscle fibers.