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Incline Dumbbell Curl Shoulder Pain (Causes + Fixes!)

If you’re wondering why the incline dumbbell curl causes shoulder pain, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, I explain why incline curls can hurt your shoulders, as well as some safety considerations when doing the exercise.

Woman doing incline dumbbell curls

Why Can Incline Curls Hurt Your Shoulders?

If you have your bench at the wrong incline angle, incline curls can put more stress on your shoulders than normal.

An incline of around 60 degrees tends to be a good one for incline curls.

If youre feeling pain or discomfort in your shoulders during incline curls, it could be that your bench is leaning too far back.

This can move your elbows behind your body which adds stress and pressure to your shoulders.

Are Incline Curls Dangerous?

Incline curls are a fairly safe exercise if done correctly with an appropriate weight.

That being said, they may be dangerous if you have shoulder issues due to the position they put your shoulders in.

It’s worth remembering that all exercises can be dangerous if you don’t use the correct technique, suitable weight, and fully functioning equipment.

While some exercises present more of a risk than others, care needs to be taken throughout your entire workout.

Can Incline Curls Cause Injury?

Like all exercises, incline curls can cause injury if you do not perform them correctly.

Anytime you are training with weights, you are adding stress to the working muscles and joints.

You could end up causing yourself an injury if this isn’t done in a safe and appropriate way.

Incline curls can be uncomfortable for some people as they put your shoulders in a weak and vulnerable position.

If you don’t take care, you could pick up an injury as a result of incline curls.

Safety Considerations When Performing Incline Curls

Keep The Weight Under Control At All Times

You need to be able to keep the weight under your full control throughout the entire movement.

This is particularly important during the lowering phase.

If you let the weight drop under its own will while your elbows are almost locked out, the joint will be placed under extreme stress cause which can easily cause an injury.

Maintain A Neutral Grip

A neutral grip (palms facing your body) will not only maximize the focus placed on your biceps during incline curls, but will also help prevent injuries to your elbows or wrists.

Changing your grip from the neutral position can place much more stress on your joints instead of on the target muscles which is never a good thing.

Lift A Suitable Weight

Doing incline curls with a weight that’s too heavy for your current fitness level can easily cause an injury.

Lifting too much will put excessive stress on your working muscles and joints.

This is something that you need to avoid to reduce the risk of injury occurring.

Ensure The Correct Technique Is Used

Like with all exercises, the technique of incline curls is important if you want to avoid injury.

Even small errors in your body position or the technique used can lead to injury, pain, and discomfort.


In summary:

  • If you’re experiencing shoulder pain from incline dumbbell curls, it’s likely because you’ve set the incline angle too big which moves your elbows behind your body.
  • Incline curls are generally a safe exercise, but they can cause injury if you have vulnerable body parts or are doing the movement incorrectly.

That’s all for incline curls, but are chin-ups bad for shoulders? Or do you get shoulder pain from hammer curls?

Thanks for reading!


How To Safely Do Incline Curls