This exercise targets upper arm strength by building strength in the biceps brachii. It involves activation of the muscle through concentric contraction of the target toward the center of the body by isolated pulling movement. As a basic utility exercise, it places absolute intensity on the head of the biceps brachii. It should be part of a routine in conjunction with auxiliary utility exercises. These include reverse curls that focus on placing relative intensity on synergist muscles. The synergists involved in a seated curl include the brachialis and the brachioradialis. The stabilizing muscles involved include the anterior deltoid, the upper trapezius, the middle trapezius, the wrist flexors and the levator scapulae. A balanced routine can begin with 3-5 sets of 8-10 repetitions and gradually work toward 6-8 sets of 10-15 repetitions. To relieve relative tension, fully flex the elbows and bring the forearms vertical between repetitions or periodically as needed.
How to perform the seated curl
Sit on a bench or armless chair, with a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging down your sides, turn your hands out so your palms face forward, and without moving your upper arms, slowly curl the weights up until the dumbbells reach your shoulders. Flex your biceps, and then slowly return back to the starting position.