How To Do Barbell Curls
What Is A Barbell Curl
The barbell curl is a bilateral bicep curl variation which uses a barbell with weight plates. This is an isolation exercise that uses elbow flexion to challenge the biceps, as well as improve overall arm and grip strength.
The concentric portion (the lifting of the barbell) of the movement is the most challenging, while the eccentric portion (the lowering of the barbell) feels easier. To ensure effective reps, it is best to control both portions of the exercise, thinking about contracting your biceps without rushing through the movement.
Commonly Asked Questions On Barbell Curls
Barbell curls are an isolation exercise that build strength and size in the bicep muscles, and can assist with grip and forearm strength. While it’s mainly used for aesthetics, bicep curls can help to improve lifts like rows and pull ups by improving overall arm strength.
Barbell curls and dumbbell curls are not necessarily better than one another. The dumbbell curl is a unilateral exercise which makes it an effective way to minimise muscular imbalances and focus on mind muscle connection. The barbell curl is a bilateral exercise which allows heavier loads to be lifted, which can help with strength and hypertrophy. Both are useful in a training programme.
Barbell curls are a great way to help build the bicep muscles, however it’s important to implement other exercises which engage the biceps, including compound exercises like lat pulldowns, pull ups, and rows, to ensure the muscles are challenged sufficiently. The use of different exercises will also add variety to your training to aid enjoyment and adherence!
Barbell Bicep Curls Tips
Barbell curls are a popular and straightforward movement, however form mistakes can be common. Using momentum to swing the weight up is a common issue, usually caused by choosing a load that is too heavy. Swinging the weight up shifts the load away from the biceps and onto the shoulders.
To avoid this mistake, try to think about keeping your elbows pinned close to your side and your torso rigid. When you begin to fatigue and start to use momentum stop your set and rest or lighten the load if you’re looking for more reps!
How To Do A Barbell Curl
Stand straight, gripping a barbell using a supinated grip so that your palms are facing upwards.
Engage your core and pin your elbows close to your sides.
Squeeze your biceps as you bend at the elbows to curl the barbell towards your shoulders.
Lower the barbell slowly, until it returns to the starting position.
If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.