Barbell Curl

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Biceps
Secondary Muscle(s) Forearms
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Isolation
Type Pull

Barbell Curl Instructions

  • Feet positioned in an athletic stance slightly outside shoulder-width.
    • Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead.
  • The core is braced and engaged. Shoulders are pinned back with your chest up.
  • Grab a barbell with an underhand grip at shoulder-width. Your elbows should be resting by your sides.
  • While maintaining fixed upper arms, begin by curling the bar up using your biceps until it is at shoulder level.
    • The movement is initiated and controlled by the bicep, not momentum.
  • Take a quick pause to hold the contraction at the top.
  • Lower the bar slowly to starting stance, maintaining tension on the muscle throughout the range-of-motion.
    • The eccentric portion is just as important as the concentric with arm. development.


  • The muscle used first will be used the most. Momentum will negate the movement.
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