Workout Routines

The Best Dumbbell Biceps Workout

Add serious size to your arms with this four-move dumbbell biceps workout.

alternating dumbbell biceps curl
Duration 45 min
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

Are you a rule-breaker? If so, this workout will hit all your sweet spots. More the type to walk the straight and narrow? You might think cheating on an exercise is only cheating your muscles of the best possible stimulus, but there are times when cheating can do a man good. How else do you explain all the guys with mountainous biceps slinging dumbbells to their shoulders on curls?  

While we don't recommend making bad form a staple in your workouts, we’ll admit that sometimes it helps to break the rules, and with this dumbbell-only routine, we’ll teach you how to cheat to win.


The workout starts with strict dumbbell curls. Since you’ll be fresh, you should have no trouble giving each set your utmost focus, using only the strength in your biceps to complete your reps. The drag curl follows—another movement that relies on precise form and prevents your shoulders or back from assisting. Later, you can loosen up, doing curls again but this time with intentional cheating. At this point, you’ll be tired and unable to execute reps with perfect technique anyway, so you’ll get a little help from your hips to power through your sticking point. Your biceps will still be working hard, and with most of your workout accomplished, all you need do now is top them off with blood to ensure the greatest growth.

SEE ALSO: The Change-Up Biceps Routine

Dumbbell Biceps Routine

Exercise 1

Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
4 sets
15,12,8,8 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 2

Drag Curl
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12-15 reps
60 sec rest
Perform as you would the conventional dumbbell curl, but stand tall and drive your elbows back as you curl so the head of each dumbbell touches the front of your body throughout the rep. (Keep your palms facing up the whole time).

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Hammer Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Hammer Curl thumbnail
4 sets
15-20 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 4

Cheating Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
to failure reps
60 sec rest