How to do a Barbell Curl

Authored by Fitbod

About Barbell Curl

Sets Logged
5,202,328
Popularity Rank
15th
Difficulty
Beginner
Biceps Strength
97 mSCORE 4th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

As with other curls, this isolation exercise targets the biceps. The use of a barbell adds more stability to this movement, and somewhat restricts your range of motion. This added stability means you can focus more on exertion than stabilizing the movement. This is a great variation for helping you build strength in your biceps.

  1. Stand in an upright posture grabbing ahold of a barbell shoulder-width apart with your palms facing away from your body just below waist height.
  2. Brace your core by breathing into your stomach and flexing your abdominal muscles as you begin to flex your elbows to raise the bar.
  3. Keep your elbows at your sides as you flex the barbell to shoulder height avoiding movement through your spine.
  4. Exhale and lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • Swinging the Dumbbells

    Using momentum, or recruiting additional muscle groups can help you lift heavier weights with this exercise. However it also reduces the effectiveness, and increases the risk of injury. Keep your weights on the lighter side, and focus on controlling the weight. If you’re struggling, consider using a seated variation. This can help you prevent swinging the dumbbells or adding additional movements to this exercise.

  • Limit Range of Motion

    There should always be tension on your biceps. It’s very common to lose tension in your biceps at the top or bottom of the exercise. Try to limit your range of motion so that your biceps are always engaged.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    30
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    40
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    40
    lbs
    50
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    45
    lbs
    55
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Sets & Reps