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How to Properly Perform a Barbell Curl

By Edited Oct 25, 2015 0 3

Wow I am tired of seeing this done wrong - even by people with some size on them, who should clearly know better. Improper performance of the biceps curl can cause injury, and will always lead to less than optimal results.

Let's take a step by step look at this, and get you all on the right track...

Things You Will Need

You need a barbel for this part of your biceps workout. It can be one of three types: A standard barbell, an EZ Curl bar, or an Olympic bar, if you are doing Gladiator Curls.

Load you bar up with about half the amount of weight you would use for a set of eight reps. We are just trying to get your form locked in here - don't worry about moving a lot of iron just yet.

Step 1

Stand with your feet roughly shoulder width apart. There should be a slight bend in your knees. Under no circumstances should they be locked. The knee bend will add to your stabiltity, and take some strain off of your back.

The bar should be held at waist level with a supinated grip. Keep a slight crook in your elbows as well. This will decrease the chance of an injury to that joint.

Now we are set for our first rep...

Step 2

Bring you hands up to your shoulders y curling your arms (duh). You can come all of the way up, or stop with the bar a few inches from you chest, to maintain some tension on the biceps muscle.

Pause briefly, and lower the weight steadily - always have the weight under control here. Do nto ever just let it "fall" back down. Rinse and repeat.
This is a really simple exercise, and should be the centerpiece of your biceps workout. Do it right, and you will see some tremendous progress, do it wrong and get hurt - see the tips and warnings below...

Tips & Warnings

Never swing your body during a biceps curl. Your body should be still. Only your arms should move.
If you swing you barbell up, you risk hurting your lower back.

Think carefully before you try super-slow negatives or forced negatives with this exercise. The biceps is a small muscle, and it is not hard to overwork it - remember, you use it for every back exercise as well.


Jul 20, 2009 9:03am
I am so with you on the last paragraph. I developed the nastiest case of tendentious a few weeks ago doing heavy preacher negatives and I'm having trouble keeping the inflammation down now.

While negatives curls are definitely fantastic for growth, going to heavy can really mess you up.
Sep 9, 2009 9:39pm
cool tips!
Jan 13, 2012 11:46am
Yup no swinging! I see guys at the gym lifting too heavy of weight. Its all about form. Elbows should be kept tight at the hips
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