Concentration Curl: For Toning Your Arms and Showing Them Off

Are you tired of feeling like your biceps just won’t grow, no matter how hard you work them? Then you might need to switch up your arm workouts and try out the women’s concentration curl. It’s a common problem in the fitness world, where your muscles reach a plateau and seem to stop growing entirely. Don’t worry, I’ve been there before, and I sympathize with how frustrating it can be. But fear not, because in this blog post, I’ll show you how the women’s concentration curl can help you break through that plateau and achieve your bicep gains.

Concentration Curl Summary

Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Concentration Curl Instructions

  • Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Inhale and exhale deeply, relax your body.
  • Place your hands on the back of your head.
  • Concentrate on the area of your neck and shoulders.
  • Exhale and contract your neck and shoulders, bring them towards each other.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds while inhaling and exhaling deeply.
  • Release the contraction and relax your neck and shoulders.
  • Repeat the exercise a few times.

Video Tutorial

How to Do a Concentration Curl | Female Bodybuilding

Concentration Curl Muscles

Target (Agonist)


  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


  • DeltoidAnterior
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Trapezius – Middle
  • Trapezius – Upper
  • Wrist Flexors

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the concentration curl exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Concentration Curl

The concentration curl is an excellent exercise for targeting the biceps brachii muscle. By concentrating on one arm at a time, you can ensure that your form is perfect and that your biceps are properly engaged. This isolation exercise helps to build strength in the biceps and helps to promote muscular balance between both arms. When performing this exercise, you also get the added benefit of increased muscular endurance and improved coordination. Furthermore, the concentration curl helps to isolate the biceps brachii muscle, allowing for targeted development of the biceps. All in all, the concentration curl is an effective exercise for strengthening the biceps and developing functional fitness.

Tips for Performing Concentration Curl

Exercising with concentration curls can be a great way to help build and tone muscles in your arms. When done correctly, you can start to see the benefits of increased strength and definition in your biceps. To ensure you are getting the most out of your workout, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Conduct Drop Sets. You can improve your results by using drop sets. Drop sets are when you lift to until you can’t do another rep, then you lighten the weight and keep going. You can drop the weight multiple times to fatigue your muscles even more. Don’t do drop sets every-time you workout or they will have a negative impact.
  • Execute Primary Compound Movements at the Beginning of Your Routine. If you are going to do squats, bench, deadlifts, shoulder press or other primary compound movements do them first. Then conduct your isolation lifts like concentration curls to focus on individual muscles at the end. You really want the optimum performance of every muscles when you accomplish compound movements and if you have already fatigued one muscle group you will not be able to lift as much. Next you should work the muscles that you determined were weak for those exercises, or areas that didn’t get fatigued because of the style of compound exercise you performed.
  • Maintain A Weight Training Record. You ought to have a journal of all weights, sets and reps. When you are really good you will even record your rest periods. Now there are a great deal of excellent apps to use a diary, or you may simply like to use a little pocket book. The goal of using a record is to ensure that you are pushing yourself to do more.
  • Do the Proper Quantity of Sets and Rest. Your goal at first might be to do 3 sets to near fatigue. After that, you can build up to 5 sets. If your muscles aren’t fatigued at the ending of the 3 to 5 sets you aren’t doing something right. You can increase the resistance to make each rep more difficult or you can decrease the rest time between your sets.

Benefits and Tips Video

Concentration Curls Aren't Working for You (HERE'S WHY!)

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When it comes to concentration curls, it’s important to be mindful of your form and technique. Common mistakes can lead to injury and decreased results. To get the most out of this exercise, it’s important to avoid the following mistakes.

  • Don’t Go Easy. Your only way to improve strength will be to challenge your muscles.
  • Don’t Cheat. In nearly all cases, cheating is using momentum as a substitute for the force of your agonist (target) muscle. To cheat curls you would jerk your upper body back to help through the dumbbell up. Once in a while, a some cheating on your last rep can be used to overload your muscles. However, don’t do cheat reps for more than one or two reps.
  • You Must Not Neglect Your Cooldown. You will have longer recovery time and more soreness if you miss your cooldown.

Find More Dumbbell Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

If you are looking for a way to keep your bicep workout routine fresh, here are some variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that will help you target the same muscles as the concentration curl.

Reverse Grip Cable Curls

Graphic image of Reverse Grip Cable Curls.

Reverse grip cable curls are an excellent alternative or complementary exercise for concentration curls. This exercise targets the biceps, but with a different angle of stress. Instead of grasping a dumbbell in one hand, the user stands in front of a cable machine and grasps the bar with an underhand grip, allowing for greater range of motion. The cable machine provides constant tension throughout the entire range of motion, allowing for more complete muscle activation. Reverse grip cable curls are a great way to add variety to any biceps routine and help to maximize muscle growth.

Cable Straight Bar Curls

Graphic image of Cable Straight Bar Curls.

Cable Straight Bar Curls is a great exercise to complement or even replace Concentration Curls. It allows you to use heavier weights and the angle of the bar allows for a different angle of pull on your biceps. This can help to create more balance in your biceps development and can be used to target both the short and long heads of the biceps. With this exercise you can also work on your grip strength, as well as increasing your strength, as it requires a greater level of stability and control than Concentration Curls.

Rope Cable Hammer Curl

Graphic image of Rope Cable Hammer Curl.

The rope cable hammer curl is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise for the concentration curl. This exercise works the biceps and forearms, but it also engages the upper back and shoulders, making it a great full-body move. The cable version of the hammer curl allows you to perform the exercise with a smooth and controlled motion, helping you to better target your biceps and forearms. Additionally, the rope handle provides a more secure grip than a straight bar, allowing you to focus more on proper form. Finally, the hammer curl is a great way to add variety to your arm workouts, as it works the muscles in a slightly different way than the concentration curl.

Check Out These Top Dumbbell Exercises

Resistance Band One Arm Bicep Curls

Graphic image of Resistance Band One Arm Bicep Curls.

Resistance Band One Arm Bicep Curls are an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Concentration Curl. This exercise targets the same muscles as the Concentration Curl, however, it can be done with a resistance band and just one arm at a time. To do this exercise, you will need a resistance band and a sturdy anchor point such as a door knob or the frame of a door. Place the band around your wrist, hold it with your non-dominant arm and pull the band up towards your shoulder in a curl motion. This exercise is great for building strength and stability in the bicep muscle while also engaging your core muscles and stabilizers.

Resistance Band Hammer Curls

Graphic image of Resistance Band Hammer Curls.

Resistance Band Hammer Curls are an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Concentration Curl. Resistance Band Hammer Curls involve standing with feet hip-width apart and holding a resistance band in both hands. You then curl the arms up towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your sides. This exercise works the biceps and shoulders, while also engaging the core and back muscles for stability. Unlike the Concentration Curl, Resistance Band Hammer Curls allow for a more dynamic range of motion, allowing for more muscle recruitment than a traditional bicep curl. Additionally, the resistance bands provide a continuous tension throughout the exercise to further challenge the muscles.

Resistance Band Reverse Grip Curls

Graphic image of Resistance Band Reverse Grip Curls.

Resistance Band Reverse Grip Curls are a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Concentration Curl. This exercise is performed by standing on the band with feet shoulder-width apart, and gripping the band with an underhand grip. Then, keeping the elbows close to the body, curl the hands up towards the shoulders and lower them back down. This exercise primarily works the biceps, just like the Concentration Curl, but it also targets the forearms and shoulders more than the Concentration Curl. Resistance Band Reverse Grip Curls are a great way to increase muscle strength and endurance in the arms.

Find More Arms Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In order to achieve a balanced physique, it’s important to work opposing muscle groups. After performing Concentration Curls to target the biceps, the following exercises can be used to work the opposing muscles, the triceps.

Resistance Band Push Downs

Graphic image of Resistance Band Push Downs.

Resistance Band Push Downs are an excellent complement to the Concentration Curl exercise. This exercise focuses on strengthening the triceps and working the opposing muscle group to the biceps. Resistance bands are a great way to add resistance and provide an effective workout. When performing the Push Down, hold the band in both hands and keep your elbows close to your body. Slowly extend your arms downward, and then return to the starting position. By combining both exercises, you will be able to work all of the muscles in the arm and gain strength in both the biceps and triceps.

Resistance Band Overhead Triceps Extensions

Graphic image of Resistance Band Overhead Triceps Extensions.

Resistance Band Overhead Triceps Extensions are an excellent complementary exercise to the Concentration Curl, as they target the opposing muscle group. This exercise helps to strengthen and stretch the triceps muscles, which are responsible for extending the elbow. By combining these two exercises, you can work both the biceps and triceps muscles to build a strong upper arm. The Resistance Band Overhead Triceps Extension also helps to improve flexibility and stability in the shoulder joint.

Resistance Band Anchored Tricep Kickbacks

Graphic image of Resistance Band Anchored Tricep Kickbacks.

Resistance Band Anchored Tricep Kickbacks are a great complement to the Concentration Curl exercise, as they target the opposing muscle group. This exercise is performed by anchoring a resistance band to a stable object, such as a door handle, and looping the other end around your ankle. With your feet planted on the ground, you then drive your heel and ankle back while keeping your knee bent and arm straight. This move works the triceps, which are the opposing muscle group of the biceps targeted in the Concentration Curl.

Get Strong and Sculpted Arms with Concentration Curls

Looking to tone and strengthen your arms? Concentration curls are a great way to isolate your biceps and get the most out of your workout. By focusing on one arm at a time, you can ensure that you’re really engaging the muscle and getting the most out of each repetition. Using a manageable weight and focusing on proper form will help you see results quickly and avoid injury. Try incorporating concentration curls into your routine for strong and sculpted arms.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Arms Dumbbell Exercises

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