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

Bulk Supplements Direct

By bulksupplementsdirect

lateral bicep curl_3

Table of Contents

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

 

lateral bicep curl_4

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

Description of the exercise

 

  • Dumbbell Lateral Bicep Curl is a unique take on the traditional bicep curl.

 

  • It helps in working out the bicep muscles from a different angle, adding a unique intensity and diversity to your arm training regimen.

 

Muscles Worked:

 

  • Main Target: Biceps Brachii and Brachialis.

 

  • Secondary Target: Brachioradialis in the forearm.

 

 

How To Do The Exercise:

 

  1. Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended, and palms facing your torso.
  2. Keep your upper arms stationary, exhale, and curl the weights while contracting your biceps.
  3. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position as you squeeze your biceps.
  4. Inhale and slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

 

  • Beginners can start with 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

 

  • As you gain strength, increase the weight and decrease reps to 8-10 for better muscle development.

 

Tips To Help:

 

  1. Always keep your elbows close to your torso.
  2. Ensure that your biceps are doing the work and you’re not using your back or shoulders to lift the weights.
  3. Focus on muscle-mind connection by visualizing your biceps lifting and lowering the weight.

 

Things You Must Avoid:

 

  1. Do not use your back or shoulders to lift the weight as this can lead to injury and reduces the effectiveness of the exercise on the biceps.
  2. Do not rush the movements, ensure to perform each part of the exercise in a controlled manner.
  3. Avoid fully extending your arms at the bottom of the exercise to prevent unnecessary stress on your elbow joints.

 

Recommended Read: >>> Mastering Tricep Workouts with Dumbbells: A Comprehensive Guide to Strengthen Your Arms <<<

#2 Cable lateral bicep curl:

Cable lateral bicep curl

Description of the exercise:

 

  • The Cable Lateral Bicep Curl is a unique exercise that primarily targets the biceps but also engages other arm and shoulder muscles.

 

  • It involves the use of a cable machine, which provides constant tension throughout the movement.

 

Muscles Worked:

 

  • Main target: Biceps Brachii.

 

  • Secondary targets: Brachialis and Brachioradialis.

 

 

How To Do The Exercise:

 

  1. Position yourself in the middle of a cable machine with the pulleys set to the lowest level.
  2. Grab the cable handles with your palms facing up.
  3. Stand up straight, keeping a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Curl your arms outward and upward until your biceps are fully contracted.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position, maintaining control of the movement.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

 

  • Start with 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions each.
  • As your strength improves, you can increase the weight and decrease the reps to between 8 and 10 for each set.

 

Tips To Help:

 

  1. Always maintain a slow, controlled movement to ensure maximum muscle engagement.
  2. Avoid locking your elbows; keep a slight bend even at the end of the movement.
  3. Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise.

 

Things You Must Avoid:

 

  1. Avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight; this can lead to injury and will lessen the effectiveness of the exercise.
  2. Don’t let your elbows move out of place; they should remain at your sides throughout the movement.
  3. Do not rush the exercise, control is key to effectively working the intended muscles.

 

Recommended Read: >>> Lower Bicep Workout Secrets: Top 7 Exercises for Massive Gains <<<

#3 Resistance band lateral bicep curl:

Resistance band lateral curl

Recommended Read: >>> 10 Best Short Head Biceps Exercises For Massive Upper Arms <<<

Description of the exercise:

 

Resistance Band Lateral Bicep Curl is a unique exercise that targets the bicep muscles differently than traditional curls. By utilizing a resistance band, it offers an alternative to weights, making it accessible and easy to do anywhere.

 

Muscles Worked:

 

  • Primary muscle: Biceps

 

  • Secondary muscles: Forearms and Brachialis

 

How To Do The Exercise:

 

  1. Stand upright and step onto the middle of the resistance band.
  2. Hold the ends of the band with your palms facing forward, arms fully extended, and hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  3. Bend your elbows and curl your hands toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows stationary and close to your body.
  4. Squeeze your biceps at the top and then slowly lower your hands back to the starting position.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

 

For beginners, it’s suggested to start with 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of sets or use a band with more resistance.

 

Tips To Help:

 

  • Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the exercise to keep the focus on your biceps.

 

  • Make sure to fully extend your arms at the bottom of each rep to get a full range of motion.

 

  • Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement for maximum muscle engagement.

 

Things You Must Avoid:

 

  • Do not use your back or shoulders to lift the band, as this can lead to injury and reduces the effectiveness of the exercise on your biceps.

 

  • Avoid rushing through the movement. Maintain a controlled tempo to make sure your biceps are doing the work, not the momentum.

 

Recommended Read: >>> The Ultimate Guide to Wide Grip Barbell Curls for Mass Building <<<

#4 One-arm lateral bicep curl:

One-arm lateral bicep curl

Description of the exercise:

 

One Arm Lateral Bicep Curl is an effective exercise to isolate and target the biceps. Using a single dumbbell allows you to focus on one arm at a time, which can help correct muscle imbalances and promote concentrated muscle growth.

 

Muscles Worked:

 

  • Primary muscle: Biceps

 

  • Secondary muscles: Brachialis and Brachioradialis (forearm)

 

How To Do The Exercise:

 

  1. Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in one hand with your palm facing forward and your arm fully extended.
  2. Keep your elbow close to your body and make sure it is aligned with your torso.
  3. Curl the dumbbell towards your shoulder, while keeping your upper arm stationary.
  4. Squeeze your bicep at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the dumbbell back down to the starting position.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

 

Beginners should start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions per arm. As you build strength, you can increase the number of sets or the weight of the dumbbell.

 

Tips To Help:

 

  • Maintain control throughout the movement, ensuring that the movement is smooth and consistent.

 

  • Squeeze your bicep at the top of the curl for maximum muscle engagement.

 

  • Make sure to fully extend your arm at the bottom of the movement to get a full range of motion.

 

Things You Must Avoid:

 

  • Avoid using your shoulder or back to lift the weight, as it can lead to injury and detracts from the focus on the bicep.

 

  • Avoid swinging the weight or using momentum to lift the dumbbell. Each repetition should be done with control to ensure that the bicep is doing the work.

 

  • Make sure not to lock your elbow at the bottom of the movement.

 

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

 

lateral bicep curl

FAQs on Lateral Bicep Curls

What is the best way to increase the width of my biceps?

One of the best ways to increase biceps width is by incorporating different types of curls into your workout, such as the lateral bicep curl and the eccentric bicep curl.

What exercises target the short head of the biceps?

here are a variety of short head bicep exercises that effectively target this muscle, including the lateral bicep curl and hammer curl.

How can I do bicep exercises at home with dumbbells?

here are numerous bicep exercises with dumbbells that you can perform at home. A great example is the lateral bicep curl.

How effective are bicep machine workouts compared to free weights?

Both bicep machine workouts and free weights have their advantages. Machines can be beneficial for beginners or those looking to isolate their biceps.

Recommended Read: >>> Mastering 21s Bicep Curls: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Success <<<

Can you explain the difference between a hammer curl and a bicep curl?

Certainly! The main difference in the hammer curl vs bicep curl is the way the dumbbell is held. Hammer curls engage both the biceps and the brachialis, an assisting muscle.

Can I train my biceps and triceps on the same day?

Absolutely! Doing bicep and tricep exercises on the same day allows for an efficient, balanced upper-body workout.

What is a good bicep warm-up before starting my workout?

A proper bicep warm-up is crucial to prime your muscles for the workout ahead and to avoid injury. This can include light cardio, stretching, and performing your exercises with light weights to start.

Recommended Read: >>> 13 Best Cable Arm Exercises For Muscle Growth Workouts! <<<

What are some effective bodyweight bicep exercises?

You can work your biceps effectively using your own bodyweight. Some of the best bodyweight bicep exercises include pull-ups and chin-ups.

Are there any beginner-friendly bicep workouts?

Yes, there are many bicep workouts for beginners that are effective and easy to follow. Start with basic exercises like the lateral bicep curl and gradually add more complex moves as your strength increases.

Can you suggest a quick but effective bicep workout?

Definitely! A 5 minute dumbbell bicep workout can be surprisingly effective.

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)

 

lateral bicep curl_2

Ultimate 6-Week Muscle Building eBook!

69 Pages of everything you need to know to pack on muscle in a 6 week training and nutrition plan. Free and available for a limited time! Download Now!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Don't Miss Out!

Subscribe to our private newsletter to receive the latest news, views and offers!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more information.