Different Types of Bicep Curls

So you are looking to make some arm gains but are presented with a ton of different bicep exercises. Particularly different bicep curls.

Curls are a great way to put some size on to your arms when used in combination with compound movements such as rows.

In this article I will go over some different curls and the benefits of each.

Barbell Curl:

The barbell curl utilizes a straight bar or an EZ bar. The EZ bar can be a little more forgiving on the wrist. So if you are going to do a barbell curl I recommend using a EZ bar if it is available to you.

Load up the bar and let your arms fully extend. Your hands will be palms up. With zero to minimal swing bring the barbell up in a curling motion, pause at the top and then go back down. I do not like barbell curls too much because of the stress it can put on your wrist. I much prefer Dumbbells. However, it is okay to put into your program here and there.

DB Curl:

Curls with DB’s are much more superior in my opinion when comparing it to the barbell curl. It is a more natural position for your wrists. Take two dumbbells and have them at your sides fully extended. Curl up in the same fashion as a barbell curl and then down. I personally like twisting them when I go up and down. This feels more natural on your wrists.

Hammer Curl:

A hammer curl is done with DB’s but your wrists will go in a different position. Picture yourself doing a karate chop and then make a fist. That is the position your wrist will be in. These hit the Brachialis and Forearms more. Definitely a favorite of mine.

Concentration Curl:

Concentration curls are done to completely isolate the biceps. You can forget about swinging them using momentum to get them up. The main way to do them is to put your elbow inside your knee at an angle. Using the inside of the knee/leg as a pivot point. Curl up and squeeze then back down. These are done one at a time with dumbells.

Cable Curl:

If you have access to a cable stack you can to cable rows. Typically done with an ez bar attachment or straight bar. Choose your weight on the stack and then go for it. These are fun to run that stack. Start with a heavier weight, max out and then keep going down in weight.

Spider Curl:

Lean over the side of an incline bench with DB’s. Your chest will be on the bench and arms hanging over. Bring the DB to your forehead or as high up as you can go. Pause, squeeze and then go back down.  These will be similar to concentration curls where you will not be able to swing them and use momentum. I like these a lot more than concentration curls. Given the option I would choose these.

There are various different curls you can do. Feel free to switch them up to hit different parts of your biceps to keep increasing size.


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