The Lateral Bicep Curl: The Complete How-To Guide (for bigger biceps!)

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Lateral bicep curls are a fantastic exercise to include in your bicep workout plan! They add a variation to your arm training that will train the bicep’s long and short head, enabling more muscle growth and strength.


Lateral curls place stress on the entire biceps, brachial, forearms, and shoulders, so it is an excellent overall muscle-building exercise.


This article will go through the lateral curl, why you should do it, and how to add it to your current workout plan!


So get ready to be arm-ed (!), and let’s get those biceps growing!


What Is An Lateral Bicep Curl?

The lateral bicep curl resembles the dumbbell curl, except you need to curl the weight out to the side of the body instead of the front. This bicep curl targets the muscle’s long and short head, making it an excellent addition to any arm workout.

How to do the lateral bicep curl?

Let’s now look at how to perform the lateral bicep curl.


  • Select a pair of dumbbells that will allow you to perform ten strict reps of curls.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and pick the dumbbells up, ensuring that you keep your shoulders back and down and pin your elbows to the side.


  • Curl the dumbbells out to the side together, ensuring that you try and keep your elbows as close to your body as possible


  • At the top of the movement, when the dumbbells are near your shoulders, flex the biceps for 3 seconds and lower back to the starting position.


  • You have completed one rep, and you have nine more to go.


Recommended Read: >>> How to Get Bigger Forearms Fast <<<

Which muscles do the lateral bicep curl target?

The lateral bicep curl targets the biceps brachii, deltoids, brachialis, brachioradialis and forearm flexors.

What are the benefits of lateral bicep curl?

The lateral bicep curl is very similar to the dumbbell bicep curl, except that it requires you to curl the weight to the sides.


Here are 5 of the top benefits of this bicep movement:


  • It adds variation to the arm workout and attacks the muscle fibers from a different angle.


  • You can train each arm separately or together, thus allowing you to focus on each arm and rep.


  • Works the bicep peak, therefore, improving the appearance of the bicep when flexed


  • Easier to perform drop sets as you can drop the dumbbells and pick up lighter ones


  • An excellent exercise for a starting movement or a finisher at the end of your workout


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What are the challenges of lateral bicep curl?

There are a few challenges that can arise when performing eccentric bicep curls:


Range of motion: The lateral curl puts the arm and shoulder joint in an elevated position, so ensuring you select the proper weight will enable you to execute a full range of motion.


Risk of injury: Do not select a weight that is too heavy else, and you may increase the risk of injury in the upper arm and shoulder. This exercise’s key is keeping the rep range in the 10+


4 types of lateral bicep curl

There are many variations for the lateral curl, and we have listed 4 of the most common ones below:

#1 Dumbbell lateral bicep curl:

Dumbbell lateral bicep curl

This is the most common version of the exercise and involves holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing forward. You then curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows pinned to your sides.

#2 Cable lateral bicep curl:

Cable lateral bicep curl

This exercise involves using a cable machine instead of free weights. You attach a single-arm pulley handle to the cable and perform the curl as you would with free weights.

#3 Resistance band lateral bicep curl:

Resistance band lateral curl

This variation involves using a resistance band instead of free weights. You hold the band with your palms facing forward and perform the curl as you would with free weights.

#4 One-arm lateral bicep curl:

One-arm lateral bicep curl

This variation involves performing the exercise with one arm at a time.

How to add lateral bicep curl to your workout routine

You can add any of the previously mentioned exercises to your bicep routine. Still, we recommend that you consider the following:


  • Only perform four sets of 12 reps when doing lateral curls.


  • If you experience any form of pain in the arm, then stop.


  • Start with light weights and progress as you hit the desired rep range


  • Always execute proper form for all biceps curlsc


  • Warm up and warm down properly by including stretches for your upper arms


  • Switch up the exercise variations week to week to keep the muscle fibers guessing


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Summary: Lateral Bicep Curl

With this movement, you are now armed with all the information you need to start packing on muscle mass to your biceps!


As always, respect the weight, execute a good range of motion and aim to progress with weight or reps every workout!


(oh, and do keep in touch and check in with us regularly for more fantastic content. For a complete list of our previous blog posts, please go here)


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