The barbell curl is an isolation exercise which builds muscle and strength in the bicep muscles. It’s a very effective movement which has been used for decades to build bigger arms, and it’s still the first choice for bicep exercises. Now, anyone can perform the barbell curl safely but it’s recommended to start light and learn proper form before progressing to heavier resistance loads.
Alternatively, you can use dumbbells but barbells do allow you to lift heavier which is ideal for promoting muscle hypertrophy.
So, do yourself a favor and make room in your bicep routine for the barbell curl if you want to experience maximum arm gains.
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: Biceps Brachii
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Barbell
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Grip the barbell with hands about shoulder-width distance apart while standing straight.
- With arms extended and resting on your thighs, curl the barbell as high as you can while contracting your biceps. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Then, lower the barbell back down to the starting position. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- You can use dumbbells alternatively.
- Using a barbell allows you to lift the maximum amount of weight since the barbell distributes weight bilaterally, allowing both arms to perform the movement simultaneously.
- Do not lock out your elbows during the exercise to prevent a bicep injury.
- The barbell curl targets the two bicep head muscles effectively.