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Tube-Assisted Dumbbell Curls

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

Turn your body into a cable machine by doing curls with dumbbells and a tube simultaneously. How you stand on the tube controls the difficulty of the exercise, allowing for endless variations and adaptability. By the end of this intense set, regular dumbbell curls will seem like child’s play.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing inward. Take an exercise tube and hold one handle in each hand, along with the dumbbells. Allow the center of the tube to rest on the floor, and stand on it one foot. Place the other foot on the floor at about hip distance from the foot on the tube. Stand upright with arms at your sides and palms facing forward, with knees very slightly bent. To reduce the intensity of this exercise, instead of standing on the tube, wrap it around a pole or other fixed point behind you at the level of your feet (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, curl both hands quickly upward, lifting both the dumbbells and the tube handles. Keep your upper arms close to your body throughout this motion. Keep your core engaged, your wrists straight, and your elbows in front of your ribs throughout the movement (see Photos 2 and 3).
  2. When you have reached the top of the movement, reverse the motion and bring the weights swiftly back down to the starting position. Be sure to keep your biceps engaged as you bring the weights back down (see Photos 4 and 5).
  3. Continue to do the curls in a quick but controlled manner with one foot on the tube until you have completed one quarter of the reps in the set. As you begin the second quarter of the set, add intensity to the exercise by placing both feet side-by-side on the tube. Add further intensity in the third quarter of the set by taking your feet wide, still standing on the tube. For the final quarter of the set, remove your feet from the tubes and complete the set with only the dumbbells.
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.