Skip to content

Lateral Bicep Curl [Exercise Guide]

Lateral Bicep Curl

What Is A Lateral Bicep Curl

A lateral bicep curl is a strength isolation workout focused on the bicep muscles. Including this exercise in your routine is an excellent idea for many reasons. By incorporating variety into your arm workout, you may simultaneously increase muscular development and power by working both the long and short head of the bicep.

The biceps, brachial, forearms, and shoulders are all worked during the movement, making it a great all-around workout. The lateral bicep curl is extremely similar to the dumbbell bicep curl. The only difference is that instead of curling the weight above, an athlete raises dumbbells to the sides.

What Muscles Does A Lateral Bicep Curl Work

The exercise primarily targets the biceps, brachii and deltoids. Secondary the workout involves:

  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis
  • Forearm flexors

How To Perform A Lateral Bicep Curl 

Step 1. Choose the proper weights

While doing a lateral curl, the arm and shoulder joint is in a flexed posture. Thus, choosing a weight that allows you to go through the whole range of motion is essential. Avoid picking overly heavy dumbbells since doing so might raise the likelihood of shoulder and arm injuries. 

Step 2. Get into the starting position

Pick up a pair of light dumbbells and hold them above your shoulders with your hands tucked into your sides. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step 3. Curl all the way

Flex your biceps to curl the weights toward your shoulders. Then relax your delts and extend your elbows to stretch the targeted muscles fully. Ensure your shoulder blades stay down and back. Keep your body tight and rely on your biceps, not momentum, to raise the weight.

Repeat the motion three to four times for 8 to 15 repetitions, holding at the peak of contraction for a brief period after each set.

Benefits Of A Lateral Bicep Curl

Add some variety

The workout can diversify your routine. The muscle fibers will be worked from a new perspective. You can train each arm alone or jointly, allowing you to concentrate on either side.

Better looks

Bicep is probably one of the most noticeable muscles. Your figure will definitely become more beautiful with pumped biceps. The lateral bicep curl targets the apex of the bicep, making it easier to see the muscle when the arm is flexed.

Suitable for all fitness levels

The exercise technique is simple and accessible to everyone. Even if you are a beginner, you will easily master lateral bicep curls. It is simpler to do the exercise since you can put down heavier weights and replace them with smaller ones.

Many variations and ways to apply

There are several ways to perform the exercise. So you can choose the most suitable one, focusing on individual preferences. It’s a wonderful exercise as either a warm-up before you begin your workout or an excellent finisher in the end.

Lateral curl variations

The technique of a lateral bicep curl varies. Athletes prefer to perform it in slightly different ways. Thus, we made guidelines for the two most frequent lateral curls variations that you can practice with simple dumbbells.

Version One

This variant is also called the bicep curl to lateral raise. It is a great workout for developing your biceps and shaping your shoulders simultaneously. The main drawback is that your shoulders will fatigue before your biceps. Hence, although this exercise is fantastic for quickly achieving a pump, it may not be the best choice if your goal is to maximize the size of the targeted muscles.

How to do:

  • Start by holding two lightweights with an underhand grip at your sides.
  • Flex your biceps and curl the weights toward your front deltoids. 
  • At the peak of each rep, squeeze your biceps and slowly return the weights to the starting position. 
  • Then, bring the weights out to the sides until your shoulders are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Bring the dumbbells back down to the starting position by lowering your elbows. 

Version Two

This lateral curl variation is excellent for building bicep bulk as a whole. It’s also superior for those wanting to make the biceps bigger. Since in this variation, the intended target muscle receives the full benefit.

How to do: 

  • Take a dumbbell in each hand and externally twist your shoulders such that your elbows are pinned into your sides. 
  • The next step is to curl the weights until your forearms and biceps make solid contact. 
  • After a brief pause, release the contraction by letting your elbows fully stretch as you drop the weights.


A lateral bicep curl is an excellent workout to strengthen your biceps and diversify your routine. It works both heads of the biceps and offers a simple technique, assessable for any athlete. Enhanced looks of the most noticeable arm muscle, increased strength and stamina are all among the benefits of this workout. And on top of that, it can be easily done at home. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and free time. There are a few variants of this workout with a slight difference in muscle load. Everyone may choose the proper technique depending on their goals.