Master The Bicep Curl Variations in 3 Easy Steps
In this blog post, I’m going to describe what a bicep curl is, how to do it, the correct form, and how you can use them to explode your biceps.
Bicep curls sounds like simply moving your biceps up and down like a curl, but in reality are far more advanced than that. Progressive overload, eccentric, concentric, and many other factors, that I’ll REALLY dumb down for you, all contribute to the bicep curl.
Using that info, here’s 5 easy steps on how to perfect your bicep curling.
Step 1: Mastering the Basic Bicep Curl Form
Bicep curling has one very important step, and that’s…
Knowing how to use the correct form for a bicep curl can turn you from looking like you’re flailing your arms around like crazy and actually making some progress in the gym.
In fact, knowing the form of a bicep curl can…
Decrease your risk of injury by nearly 80%
Help you progressively overload much faster
Keep a consistent tension on your biceps for maximum growth
Start with the weights by your side, resting in your hands, with your palms facing up
In a bicep curl, start by picking up the weight at your hands.
Make sure to very specifically…
SUPINATE (palms facing upwards)
…the weight in your hands, with a medium grip.
It’s very important to not have too strong of a grip.
If the grip is too strong, the weight can be overpowered by your forearms.
Instead of working your biceps, you’d more likely be working out your forearm muscles.
Bring the weight up with controlled power, not allowing your elbows to flare out too much
The biggest mistake made during the bench press is using momentum to get the weight up.
What does that mean, though?
Using momentum is when you sway your entire body to get the weight up.
This strategy seems good at first, because you can get more weight up…
But it's probably the worst thing you could do for muscle mass...
The more momentum you use, the less your biceps are used.
Muscular growth comes from tension, force output, and correct stimulation of muscle fibers.
Momentum bicep curls decrease all of these.
Instead, drag the weight up with controlled power, focusing on your biceps with a loose grip.
Pause the weight at the top, and slowly, for about a second, bring the weight back down.
The biggest muscle growth that comes from bicep curls is on the way down, which is neglected a lot in training.
After pausing at the top, bring the weight slowly back down, focusing the tension on your biceps.
Reset back to standard position, and lift the weight back up.
Step 2: Master When to Use Variations of Bicep Curls
There are way more bicep exercises than a simple curl.
Each variation can usually target the bicep and the surrounding muscle differently.
You can usually separate these into groups, based on what part of the muscle they affect.
Here’s that list:
List of Bicep Exercises
- Spider Curls
- Preacher Curls
- EZBar Curls
- Dumbell Hammer Curls
- Concentration Curls
- 7-7-7 Curls
- Reverse Curls
- Chin Ups
- Dumbell Curls
- Barbell Curls
Now, which curl variation is for you?
Each variation comes with it’s own specific part of the bicep that it affects, but mostly you want to focus on the curl you personally like more.
Why does it matter that you like your bicep curl variation?
Science shows that if you like an exercise more, not only do you grow more muscle while you do it, you also tend to get less fatigued and simply do it more.
Most people spend too much time worrying about how optimal their training is, but simply liking the bicep curl variation will have much better results!
It should be said that the chin-up, preacher curls, and 7-7-7 curls tend to have the most muscle activation, while dumbell curls, EZBar Curls, and barbell curls are the least fatiguing.
Step 3: Do a ton of back exercises
Most, if not all back exercises, work the biceps. If you want to increase your 💪 curls, you need to start doing more back exercises on top of it.
Make sure to not fatigue yourself too hard though when doing back exercises.
Manage Your Back Exercises and Fatigue
In order to manage your fatigue, you need to workout your back and your biceps either on the same day, or at least 36-48 hours apart.
It also matters how hard the exercise was. You can’t be doing deadlifts one day, and intense preacher curls the next.
We reviewed the bicep curl, all the variations, and the back exercises that help with it.
Stay tuned for next time, when I talk about how you can easily meal plan on a budget.