Barbell Bicep Curl
Primary Muscle Group: Biceps
Secondary Muscle Group: Forearms
Equipment Needed: Barbell, Weight Plates
The Benefits of Barbell Bicep Curls
Barbells aren't just for compound movements like presses, squats, and snatches, they are also great isolation exercises like barbell Bicep Curls, too!
The barbell bicep curl and other bicep specific movements can and do serve a purpose for strength, power, fitness, and general training. It’s a very effective movement which has been used for decades to build bigger arms, and it’s still the first choice for bicep exercises. Now, anyone can perform the barbell curl safely but it’s recommended to start light and learn proper form before progressing to heavier resistance loads.
The standing barbell bicep curl is the staple of many bicep building routines.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our affordable full workout plans with coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Barbell Bicep Curls
Avoid overloading your Barbell Bicep Curls straight away. If you attempt this exercise with heavy weight without warming up, you put yourself at serious risk of pulling or tearing your biceps. It’s a small muscle so tread carefully and make sure you are fully warm before going into a working set.
How To Do Barbell Bicep Curls
1. Start by grasping a barbell or Olympic bar at around shoulder width apart using an underhand grip (palms facing up).
2. Stand straight up, feet together (you may be more comfortable putting one foot back for stability), back straight, and with your arms fully extended.
3. The bar should not be touching your body.
4. Keeping your eyes facing forwards, elbows tucked in at your sides, and your body completely still, slowly curl the bar up.
5. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower it back to the starting position.
For Perfect Technique
The single biggest mistake lifters make when doing a barbell Bicep Curls is swinging the body back to assist in moving the weight up. Avoid doing this because it is cheating! Your body should remain fixed and only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
Another mistake is not keeping the elbows fixed and in at the sides. You should not let your elbows come forward when moving the weight up.
Finally, you need to control the weight throughout the set. This means not letting it drop quickly!
Once you have mastered the Barbell Bicep Curls exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Dumbbell Bicep Curl
1. Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging by your sides.
2. Ensure your elbows are close to your torso and your palms facing forward.
3. Keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale as you curl the weights up to shoulder level while contracting your biceps. Make sure you keep your palms facing forward.
4. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
How To Do Close Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curl
1. Stand holding an EZ-curl bar using a close supinated grip (hands closer than shoulder width apart and palms facing upward). Your elbows should be almost fully extended, and the bar should be resting against your thighs.
2. Keeping your elbows fixed to your sides, exhale as you curl the EZ-curl bar up toward your shoulders.
3. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps.
4. Inhale as you lower the EZ-curl bar to the starting position.
5. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.