What Is Barbell Curl Workout?
The barbell curl is a simple bicep workout that helps to increase the size of the bicep muscles. This particular arm exercise also plays a significant role in power, strength, as well as general training.
What Are Its Benefits?
Fitness, strength, and power athletes can benefit greatly from this exercise.
Below are 4 benefits of the exercise;
- Enhanced grip strength
This exercise can be used to enhance arm and grip strength, both of which have an effect on performance and pulling strength.
Even though the forearms are the secondary muscle group that are used in supporting the barbell curl, The improved stability and wrist strength could be conveyed to other exercise movements too.
- Prevention of injury to the arms/elbows
The bicep muscle is responsible for supporting the muscles in carries and pulls as well as elbow flexion. Weak biceps can result to grip issues, strain and muscle tears, as well as a reduced performance in the high-rep exercises.
- Improves upper body mass
The barbell is among the important accessory workouts that help to increase upper body muscle mass and general strength among weight lifters.
Note that it is more effective in achieving an improved upper body mass when accompanied with other exercises such as dips, rows, and presses.
- Larger biceps
The barbell curl targets the bicep muscles. In fact, it is among the most important arm workouts out there in building huge forearms and biceps.
Different Barbell Curl Exercise Techniques
Below are 3 different barbell curl techniques or variations that could be done to enhance strength and overall muscle size.
- Eccentric barbell curls
To do this variation, curl up the weight (you could have someone to assist you) and gently lower the weight under control but on a certain tempo, like 3 to 5 seconds.
Eccentric barbell curls are a way of overloading the biceps and creating large amounts of eccentric damage to these tissues.
The eccentric property of muscle contraction (increasing underweight) has been found to enhance muscle growth.
View Guide: Chest and Triceps Exercises Here!
- Tempo barbell curls
This variation is similar to the eccentric barbell curl but it involves a concentric phase.
For instance, whilst maintaining the 3 to 5 seconds tempo of lowering the load, the lifter can curl the load up at a 5-second tempo, significantly increasing the time under tension (which enhances muscle growth).
- Seated barbell curls
This involves partial motion of the barbell curl, as it often does away with the bottom part of the motion range. It is quite effective for isolating the upper bicep aspects.
How to Do the Barbell Curl Correctly
- When standing in an upright position, hold the barbell at a shoulder-width grip. Have the palm of your hands face forward and your elbows close to your torso. This is your starting position.
- With the upper arms help stationary, curl the load forward whilst contracting your biceps and breathe out. Note that you should only move your forearms.
- Carry on with the movement till the biceps are totally contracted and the bar is at your shoulder level. Hold this contracted position for one second and then squeeze your biceps.
- Gently lower the bar to its initial position and inhale as you do it.
- Hit ten reps and then increase the weight if to light.
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What Muscle Groups Does it Hit Best
The muscle groups that this exercise hits best are the biceps and forearms muscle groups.
How Many Barbell Curls Should One Do As Beginner?
As a beginner, you should aim to do three sets per biceps.
And you should make sure you get to ten repetitions. If you cannot, lower the weight loaded on the barbell until you’re able to and then build your strength slowly increasing weight gradually.
Otherwise, trying to lift excess weight even for two or three reps can injure your muscles.
Reverse Barbell Curl versus Regular Curls
Unlike regular curls where your palms face you, reverse curls are the opposite. Your palms face downward but the motion remains primarily the same.
Reverse curls train deep muscles called the brachialis and are also brilliant for training the forearms. They are also known to reduce the probability of bicep injury.
Other than that regular curls are regarded to be more basic and to recruit and develop the bicep as a whole, better.
Are Preacher Curls Better?
Preacher curls are really intense forms of regular curls.
They are called preacher curls because you do them with your arms resting on a preacher lectern/ podium-like platform but from the front end.
They are best for bulging biceps. But again, if you want your biceps to develop properly, you need to do regular curls.
How to Progress to the Pro Level
Start easy. Start by doing them with the barbell alone and no weights added.
Once you master the form, start adding small weights. Gradually increase the weights until you get to a respectable total weight like 40 kilograms total.
Almost every self-respecting gym-goer will find regular curls to be useful. Start doing them today to reap the maximum rewards.