Barbell Bicep Curl


About Barbell Bicep Curls

The barbell bicep curl is a great exercise to build up the biceps providing that the movement is executed with strict form. Avoid arching the lower back and throwing the shoulders forward in an effort to create momentum for assistance.


Exercise Video


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Exercise Instructions

  1. To establish the starting position, stand in anatomical position(palms forward) and where your hands naturally gravitate to is where you should grasp the bar. This is typically around shoulder width with your pinkie finger touching the outer thigh.
  2. While holding the bar, spread the chest, bend the knees slightly and position your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Exhale and flex the arms until your hands come within 5 inches of your shoulder.
  4. Inhale and lower the bar back down to starting position in a controlled fashion.
  5. Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.

Exercise Variations

Using a wide grip when performing the barbell bicep curl will effectively recruit the outer long head of the biceps.


Using a narrow grip when performing the barbell bicep curl exercise will effectively recruit the inside short head of the biceps.


Using a curl bar places less stress on the wrist but since the biceps are involved in supination, this method isn’t as effective in training the biceps to their full functional ability.


Performing reverse curls with a straight bar increases the recruitment of the forearm muscles (radiobrachialis & brachialis). However, holding the wrist in pronation (palms down) can be hard on the joint.


Performing reverse curls using a curl bar instead of a straight bar reduces the strain on the wrists while still delivering a great workout to the forearms.


Leaning over a bench while performing the movement is a variation that ensures that each repetition is completed with strict form because it takes away the athletes ability to swing and use momentum.

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exercises for arms
arm exercises