How To Do Congdon Curls Properly

Congdon curls is an upper body exercise that incorporates a pair of weights on each hand to work the muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, and chest.

This exercise is very similar to bicep curls, the only difference comes in how the curls are done.

This exercise is great for working your biceps and triceps and to a lesser extent the muscles in your lower arm.

This is great in training you for most pulling exercises and you can see improvements in other lifts by adding this exercise to your workout program.

Your grip strength also benefits from the regularly performing congdon curls which become resourceful when it comes to tricky compound exercises such as pull-ups, deadlifts which depend greatly on your grip.

When starting out with congdon curls, it is advisable to use light enough dumbbells to maintain a stable body position without arching your back. You can increase the weight of the dumbbells to increase the difficulty as you progress.

If you have a weak lower back you can stand against a wall for extra support. You can also do it seated but standing congdon curls engages and challenges your core more.


  • To do congdon curls you need a pair of dumbbells that are a comfortable weight for you.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your knees slightly bent, abs tight to engage your core, arms down by your sides and shoulders back.
  • With a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing forward, exhale as you bend your elbows bringing the dumbbells up to your shoulders just like you would bicep curls.
  • Turn your wrists so that your palms face your sides and each other. Your thumbs should be closest to your shoulders.
  • Then inhale as you lower your arms to start position.
  • Remember to keep your body stable throughout the entire movement by bracing your core. Repeat this curl movement for a full set.


Congdon curls work your upper body muscles with emphasis on your upper arm and shoulder muscles.


Your deltoid muscle is the rounded muscle that curves around the outer part of your shoulder and upper arm.

The muscle attaches to your shoulder blade and your collarbone before stretching down to your humerus bone.

The deltoid is responsible for several motions; in this case, it helps bring your upper arm forward if you aren’t isolating the elbow joint during your biceps curls.

The congdon curls will stimulate muscle growth in the deltoids for broader and stronger shoulders.

It will also boost strength in these muscles which will become more apparent the more you do this exercise.


These are the muscles of the upper arm. The biceps on the anterior side of the arm and the triceps the posterior.

These muscles connect to the forearm and along with the deltoids and their contraction is responsible for the curling of the forearm to the shoulders.

Their relaxation lowers the arm back to neutral position. The biceps and triceps are the primary target of the congdon curls.

This exercise triggers muscle activation of both muscles during the curls which forms the basis for strength training and building of muscles.

Congdon curls are therefore excellent for burning upper arm fat and toning the muscles to give muscle definition.


Your brachialis muscle sits under the biceps and triceps. It’s a long muscle that flexes your elbow. It connects your upper arm bone to the long forearm bone .

Your brachioradialis muscle assists the brachialis with flexing your elbow and connects your humerus bone to the short lower arm bone known as the radius.

These muscles are responsible for the lifting movement along with the upper arm muscles, therefore they are responsible for the curling movement of the arms.


These muscles connect your elbow to your hand, running down your forarm. The carpi radialis and carpi ulnaris flex your wrist up toward your forearm while the flexor muscles connect your forearm bone to the bones in your fingers allowing them to curl.

These muscles are basically responsible for hoing your wrist stable as you curl the dumbbells. As you progress it will become easier to do exercises that involve lifting.



Congdon curls will isolate and work the muscles in your upper and lower arms and shoulders to trigger muscle activation and muscle building.

All this come along with strength training which becomes evident after you have done this exercise for a while.

All exercises involving lifting will become easier and easier to do.

It will also improve your grip strength which is invaluable when doing other exercises that require strong grips such as pull ups and overhead presses.

This exercise also helps build bigger biceps and wider shoulders.


Congdon curls will to some extent engage your core when you do the standing variation.


Congdon curls get your heart rate up without the need for moving from your spot.


This exercise will isolate the muscles in your arms and shoulders and burn the stubborn fat around the muscles.

This will help you develop strong muscles in these areas.



Bicep curls exercise is similar to the congdon curls and the only difference is the position of the palms.

Where the palms change from being supinated in the congdons, they are constantly facing up when doing bicep curls. It also has several variations that you can try

Grab a pair of dumbbells, hanging down at your sides, and holding them with your palms facing forward. Move your shoulders back and tight up your belly

Slowly flex at the elbows and curl the weights up while keeping your upper arms steady and your elbows close to your body.

Pause for a second at the top and lower the dumbbells to the initial position in a controlled manner and repeat the movement.


Going too fast – You should lift the weights with a smooth motion, taking as much time to lower the weights as you take to lift. Concentrate on proper form rather than rapid execution.

Using momentum – Don’t use the shoulders or torso to swing the weights up and down during the exercise. Concentrate on maintaining a tall, upright spine and a tight core. Keep the shoulders relaxed and watch that they don’t move forward to initiate the movement


Congdon curls are an excellent exercise to get you a stronger and leaner upper body. They are effective if you’re looking to get bigger arms or blast fat around your upper arms and shoulder area.

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