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Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl 101 Video Tutorial

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Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl
Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment


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The Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl is a focused bicep exercise that involves lifting a dumbbell with one arm while seated. This exercise primarily targets the biceps, emphasizing the contraction and extension of the arm to promote muscle growth and strength. Executed with a dumbbell, it allows for unilateral training, addressing potential muscle imbalances. While the biceps are the main focus, the triceps and forearms also act as secondary targets, providing comprehensive upper arm development. Seated positioning ensures stability during the curl, isolating the biceps effectively. With the versatility of dumbbells, individuals can tailor the resistance to their fitness level, making the Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl a valuable addition to upper body workouts for those seeking targeted bicep engagement and overall arm definition.

How to Perform

  1. Prepare for the Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl by securing a flat or adjustable bench and placing a dumbbell at one end. If utilizing an adjustable bench, ensure the back is set to a 90-degree angle.

  2. Sit at the end of the bench, extending your feet forward and bringing your knees together to establish a stable seated position.

  3. Grasp the dumbbell with one hand, allowing a slight bend in the arm to initiate tension in the bicep; this marks the commencement of the exercise.

  4. Maintain a straight back and ensure your elbow is tucked in at your side as you gradually curl the dumbbell upward, focusing on maximal contraction of the bicep.

  5. Squeeze the bicep firmly at the top of the movement, emphasizing the peak contraction, and then execute a controlled descent, lowering the weight back to the starting position.

  6. Repeat the sequence for the desired number of repetitions, prioritizing controlled form for optimal muscle engagement.

  7. After completing the set, switch to the other arm and replicate the entire process, ensuring balanced development and addressing potential muscle imbalances.

  8. Consider incorporating variations in grip, such as supinating the wrist (turning the palm upward) during the curl, to target different aspects of the bicep for comprehensive development.

  9. Pay attention to the range of motion, allowing the arm to fully extend during the descent phase to optimize muscle engagement and promote a complete contraction.

  10. Gradually increase the dumbbell weight as strength improves, tailoring the resistance to your fitness level for progressive bicep development.


  1. Maintain deliberate and controlled rep timing during the Single-Arm Seated Dumbbell Curl, emphasizing a slow and controlled pace to optimize muscle engagement and prevent momentum-driven movements.

  2. Ensure that your elbow remains close to your side throughout the exercise, avoiding any forward movement. Focus on isolating the biceps, allowing only the forearm to move during the curl for targeted muscle activation.

  3. Experiment with different grip positions on the dumbbell handle, such as a supinated (palms facing up) or neutral grip, to vary the muscle recruitment and stimulate diverse aspects of the biceps.

  4. Incorporate a brief pause at the top of the curl, squeezing the bicep to enhance the peak contraction and intensify the overall workout.

  5. Avoid using excessive wrist movement during the curl; instead, keep the wrist stable and allow the biceps to bear the primary load for optimal isolation.

  6. Focus on maintaining proper seated posture throughout the exercise, ensuring your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed, to prevent unnecessary strain on the lower back.

  7. Gradually progress in weight while maintaining proper form, adjusting the resistance to challenge the biceps progressively for continued development.

  8. Include unilateral training variations by alternating arms during sets to address potential muscle imbalances and promote symmetrical bicep development.

  9. Consider implementing drop sets or incorporating higher-repetition sets to introduce variation and stimulate muscle growth through different training stimuli.

  10. Pay attention to any discomfort or strain, and if necessary, consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider to ensure the exercise is suitable for your individual needs and conditions.

How Not to Perform