Biceps have always been a big topic of discussion, whether it be who has the biggest biceps to the best way to training biceps, or maybe what is the best exercise for training biceps. I have always felt that the number one exercise for training biceps has been the barbell curl, wouldn’t you agree?
There has always been many ways to perform the barbell curl other than the standard way to perform them with a straight bar, shoulder with grip, but there are many different variations that you can do when performing the barbell curls . Today’s topic of discussion will be the barbell curl exercise my recommended top six.
There are more than the six variations that I give, but these six variations that I give have always been my favorite ways to perform the barbell curls and all six variations that I give show promising results.
Standard barbell curls
The standard barbell curl is generally performed in the standing position using a straight bar with a shoulder width grip, although in the picture to the right this move is performed with a ez curl bar. First start with the barbell at arm’s-length, palms facing away from you, keep your elbows at your sides curling the bar upwards toward your chest, when performing this exercise keep your elbows at your sides as though they are pivots.
When performing the barbell curls, you want to be sure not to cheat, that is by putting your lower back into the exercise and swaying your upper torso to get the weight up, you should keep your upper torso in a straight position up-and-down, keep your elbows at your sides and pivot your elbows, it’s about working the biceps and not putting your back into it .
Narrow grip with ez bar
This next exercise is performed with the ez curl bar, with narrow grip. This next exercise is performed in basically the same fashion and the same manner as the standard barbell curl, the only actual difference is the hand positioning and the style of bar that you are using.
I have always liked performing this exercise because I always get real good burn and a good pump and it focuses more attention on the outside area of the bicep. I have also liked doing biceps curls with the ez bar because it not only stresses the biceps at a different angle but it feels like more of a natural position for the wrists as well as being easier on the joints.
Start with your arms at length position, palms away, curl upwards with a narrow grip, about 6 inches apart, curl until the palms of your hands reach your chest, lower and then repeat.
Scott bench curls
This next exercise was made popular by a man named Larry Scott, also known as the preacher bench curls, this exercise is performed seated with a Scott bench. Start out with the backs of your arms resting on the pad with your arms at length position, curl slowly toward the top position but not so far that you are taking stress off the biceps.
When you reach the top position squeeze your biceps and hold for a count of one and then lower slowly, keeping full control of the bar at all times, after you reach the bottom position immediately repeat by curling upwards.
When performing this exercise, never bounce the weight at the bottom position, that is a good way to injure your elbows or suffer a biceps tear as well as causing tendon damage, as mentioned, when doing this exercise it is necessary to always keep full control over the bar as with any exercise, neglecting good form can easily result in injury.
Wide grip with a straight bar
The wide grip with a straight bar is performed basically the same as the standard barbell curl but you are using a wider grip usually at least five inches wider than your shoulder width. The biggest difference with this exercise other than it being a wider grip is it stresses more so the inner part of the biceps.
When performing the wide grip barbell curls, start out with your arms at length, palms of your hands facing forwards, your hand width should be roughly 5-6 inches wider than shoulder width, keeping your elbows at your sides acting as pivots, slowly curl the barbell upwards until the palms of your hands are facing toward your chest.
Once you reach the top position, squeezing your biceps tight, hold for a count of one then lower the bar down slowly always keeping full control over the bar. Typically I will do 8-10 reps for all biceps exercises.
Reverse grip barbell curls
The reverse grip barbell curls are performed in the same manner as the standard barbell curls, except that the only major difference is this exercise is performed with a reverse grip. The reverse grip will still put stress on the biceps but this exercise will also put a lot of stress on the back side of the forearms.
When doing the reverse grip barbell curls, start with your arms at length with the palms of your hands facing toward you, keeping your elbows at your sides as pivots, curl your arms upwards keeping the palms of your hands facing toward the floor.
When you reach the top position, squeezing your biceps tight hold for a count of one lower and repeat always keeping full control over the bar never bouncing the weight at the bottom position and always use full range of motion.
Now this sixth and final one is not a separate exercise of its own, it’s actually a training principal that you can use for any of the five exercises that I have just given.
In this explanation of the 21’s, the 21 is how many reps that you perform per set, the first 7 reps are in the lower half range of the barbell curls, from the bottom position at arms length to the mid point of the barbell curls.
The next 7 reps are at the top half range of motion, from the mid point of the curl to the upper position of the curl where the palms of your hands are facing your chest.
The final 7 reps are following through full range of motion, from the lower portion of the curl where your arms are at length through the full range of the curl where your palms of your hands are facing your chest.
The 21’s can be performed with any of the barbell curl variations that I gave but these are a real killer and they will definitely add size to your arms.
Big biceps have always been a big attention getter, so what’s more important than how you train them? barbell curls have always been the mainstay for building a set of big biceps and not only simply what exercises you do for them but also different angles to the exercise to stress them to a wider degree as well as good form.
Training exercises and technique is not the only thing that you will need to master to build a large set of biceps but also eating the proper diet and supplementation.
If you are interested in checking out a supplement for gaining muscle mass then click on this link.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment below.