Bicep curls are arguably the most famous of all weight lifting exercises, and it’s unsurprising, as large well-defined biceps have been widely regarded as one of the most attractive and desirable attributes and can improve your strength immensely.
However there is more than one way to do a bicep curl, and they can be done with dumbbells or barbells, with some debate about which method of curling is more effective and beneficial.
For those who don’t know, dumbbells are weights that are held in one hand, while barbells enable you to lift the weight using two hands, due to their additional length and durability.
In this guide, we’re going to look at which, if any, of these types of weights are more effective for doing bicep curls, as well as the pros and cons of both methods so you can make an informed decision and choose a method that suits your own goals and preferences.
But first, let’s establish if one method is really more effective than the other.
Which Is More Effective?
As with most things in weight lifting, it depends on what you need and your own specific goals.
Both are incredibly effective at building mass and strength for your biceps, and if used correctly they can both lead to you obtaining excellent results regardless of which you use.
However, there are pros and cons to both.
Generally, barbells are better for helping you to lift a heavier weight per exercise and allow you to push for increases in weight more quickly if time is a factor in your progress.
However, dumbbells allow you to focus on each arm individually which has a lot of benefits including making sure that both arms develop evenly and one arm isn’t dominating the other and doing more of the work which can happen with a barbell.
Pros Of Dumbells
The Pros Of Dumbbells Are
- There is greater freedom of movement using dumbbells as you can manipulate the dumbbell more easily and move your wrists to help leverage the weight and orient it more comfortably.
- Each weight is lifted in isolation which can help isolate each arm and ensure that both arms develop evenly, and are both as strong and well developed as each other.
Dumbbells are a little safer for beginners and more stable.
Cons Of Dumbells
The Cons Of Dumbbells Are
- You can only do one exercise on each side.
- Unilateral exercises are more time-consuming for those who are in a rush or have limited time to work out.
- Lifting heavy dumbbells is harder as the wrist is under more strain when it’s isolated which can lead to injury.
- Each arm lifts a lower amount of weight than when using a barbell.
Pros Of Barbells
The Pros Of Barbells Are
- Progressing your weight is much easier.
- You can lift heavier amounts of weight
- The wrists support each other helping to avoid injury
- Both arms are worked simultaneously which helps save time for people with limited time to work out.
Cons Of Barbells
The Cons Of Barbells Are
- The wrists are in a more unnatural position and aren’t as easy to move around
- Strength can develop unevenly as the dominant arm lifts more weight
- Limited range of motion makes it harder to get a full movement each repetition.