Kinesiology of Exercise

Incline Bench Biceps Curl with Dumbbells

The incline dumbbell curl can also be done using a supinated or neutral grip. Both of these grips are effective for development of the elbow joint flexors, and the biceps in particular. Most effective, however, is the incline dumbbell curl with supination to work the biceps in its two major actions.

Major Muscles and Actions Involved

The same as for the beginning range barbell curl. This variant allows for a greater range of muscle action.

Sports Uses

The same as for the beginning range barbell biceps curl. This variant is probably even more effective for most sports because when the biceps is involved the elbow is usually slightly bent.

Exercise Analysis

  • This exercise is most effective for the mid-range action of the biceps, where the muscle is most powerful. The dumbbells allow you to turn your hands in a supinating action against resistance as you do the exercise. The greater the weight you use, the greater is the resistance as you turn your hands. As a result, the biceps is taxed in this exercise, not only in the flexion movement, but also in its very important action of supination. This is why using dumbbells are used as opposed to a barbell. 
  • Even more effective is use of a Roto Bar in which you turn the handles against resistance when you supinate. The more weight that you use the greater is the resistance for supination and the greater the resulting development of the biceps in both of his actions. 
  • Many bodybuilders include shoulder flexion with elbow flexion in the belief that it creates a stronger contraction. But doing this actually decreases the tension on the biceps. If you want to include some shoulder flexion, do it only after the biceps is maximally shortened. Thus, do the exercise as described, but upon reaching the uppermost position, raise your elbow until your arm is horizontal.  
  • The biceps brachii is a two-joint muscle (shoulder and elbow) with attachment to the scapula and the radius. Therefore, in order to get total development of this muscle, it should be worked in both the shoulder and elbow joints. Contraction of the short head is involved in shoulder joint flexion, abduction, inward rotation, and horizontal adduction. Contraction of the long head pulls the humerus into the glenoid cavity, stabilizes movement in the joint, and may assist with abduction. 
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