Form Friday: Dumbbell Curl to Press


by Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Exercise: Dumbbell Curl to Press

Muscle Groups: Biceps, Shoulders, Triceps

Importance: Work your “show” muscles while still doing more than just a single joint movement. This compound movement allows for you to attack multiple muscle groups in one fluid movement.

Proper Form:

  1. Start with one dumbbell in each hand, standing tall with your feet about shoulder width apart and your arms hanging at your side, palms facing forward
  2. Initiate the movement by flexing at the elbows to curl the weight up in a controlled manner
  3. Once you reach the top of your curl with the bicep in full flexion you will then begin to transition into the press
  4. Begin by rotating your arms as you press overhead so that your palms are facing forward again
  5. Continue to extend the arm overhead while flexing and abducting the shoulder
  6. Press the arms out to full extension overhead and pause at the top of your press
  7. Reverse the motion so that the dumbbells slowly return to your shoulders, rotate inward and the elbows are re-extended to return the dumbbells back to their starting positions
  8. Repeat for desired number of repetitions

Progression/Regression: Hammer Curl to Press, Seated Curl to Press, Bar Reverse Grip Curl to Press


  • Keep your core tight throughout the movement
  • Do not lean back or swing during the curl

Sample Workout, 5 rounds:

  • 10 DB Curl to Press
  • 12 Walking Lunges (each leg)
  • 15 Burpees
  • 45 second Plank Hold