Bicep Curls don't have a huge impact on athletic performance.
This shouldn't come as earth-shattering news.
However, they do serve some purpose, and many people like performing them for their cosmetic benefit.
But how can we make this age-old exercise more functional for athletes and fitness-minded folk?
With this variation from one of the most athletic humans on Earth—2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
By performing the Single-Leg Dumbbell Curl-to-Press on one leg, you're immediately adding full-body stability and balance into the equation when it simply wasn't there before. So that's an immediate advantage the movement has over a traditional Bicep Curl in terms of sports performance. But the benefits don't stop there.
When attempting this move, you'll notice that performing the Curl-to-Press motion without losing your balance is exceedingly difficult unless you have your core and glutes activated.
Training your core to efficiently transfer energy is another crucial component of sports performance, so that's another plus in this exercise's favor.
Instead of just standing in place and mindlessly hammering away curl after curl, you're going to have to focus on your body control, brace your core, and really hone in on staying strong throughout every portion of the exercise. Sure, you're still building up your biceps—but you're doing so much more than that.
Furthermore, the actual movement itself translates to sport much more efficiently than a standard Bicep Curl. In your sport, when are you standing stationary on two feet and pulling a load towards you by flexing at the elbow with both hands in a supinated position? I'd venture to say "never."
But let's think a little broader here. Think of a basketball player driving to the hole and exploding off one leg while fighting the ball up through contact for an and-one, or a wide receiver fighting his hands up through a defensive back to win a jump ball.
Are either of those so different from the movement utilized in the Single-Leg Dumbbell Curl-to-Press? Not really.
You'll likely need to start with weight significantly lighter than you use on a traditional Biceps Curl, but the added benefits are certainly worth it.
How to Perform The Single-Leg DB Press to Curl
- Stand on your left leg with your right leg bent and your right thigh roughly parallel to the ground.
- Hold dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in.
- Curl the dumbbells to your chest, then press them overhead.
- With control, lower the dumbbells and un-curl them to return to the starting position.
Sets/Reps: 3×8 each leg