The barbell bicep curl is probably the most iconic weight training exercise and is great at isolating the biceps.
If you want “Big Guns” you need to work your biceps!
Although the move is easy to perform, it is just as easy to get wrong, so using correct form is a must.
Other Muscles Used: Forearms
It is essential that you perform the exercise using perfect form, especially if you have neck or lower back problems.
1. Stand shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell also shoulder-width apart, with a palms-up grip and elbows against your side. This is your starting position.
(A shoulder-width grip will target the middle part of the bicep. A wide-grip will target the outer part of the bicep, and a narrow-grip will target the inner part of the bicep.)
2. Engage your core muscles; keep your back straight and knees slightly bent. Curl the barbell up towards your shoulders. Breathe out as you do so.
3. At the top of the move, pause for a second and squeeze your biceps hard.
4. As you breathe in, slowly lower the barbell to a count of 2 to 3 seconds, without locking your elbows out. Always keep tension on your biceps.
5. This counts as one rep.
This exercise can also be performed as dumbbell curls and preacher curls.
Do’s and Do Not’s
DO ensure your knees are slightly bent to help protect your lower back.
DO keep your body still, back straight, and chest out.
DO NOT lean forward and backwards in an attempt to help raise the barbell. This will take the emphasis off the biceps.
DO NOT allow the barbell to fall back down to your thighs in an uncontrolled manner. Doing so could result in tendon problems.
If you have any comments, questions or tips for the barbell bicep curl, please drop them below.