Let’s face it, for many of us, weight lifting and bodybuilding is all about the biceps, or as people like to refer to them as “guns”. You know the popular and humorous sayings amongst bodybuilders and weight trainers, mainly male it has to be said, “sun’s out, gun’s out”, or “do curls, get girls”.
Those sayings are obviously just a bit of harmless fun, but when it comes to weight training, a solid bicep routine is absolutely essential to really add the finishing touches to a muscular and aesthetically pleasing physique. As far as bicep exercises are concerned, you obviously cannot go wrong with the barbell curl.
Many people focus on dumbbell curls for their biceps, which is all well and good, but if you want to really attack the biceps, as well as give your forearms a heck of a workout too, then the barbell curl is absolutely ideal, and is a lot harder than it looks too.
How to perform the barbell curl
Here’s a step by step guide on how to perform barbell curls.
– Begin by grabbing a barbell with an underhand grip, with your hands placed roughly shoulder width apart.
– Next, stand up straight, with your feet close together, making sure that your arms are fully extended.
– Ensure that the bar is not quite touching your body, and keeping your eyes forward dead ahead and your elbows tucked in at your sides, slowly curl the bar upwards, making sure to keep your body as still as possible.
– Use the biceps to generate the power to curl the weight, and squeeze them at the top of the movement and hold for a second or two. The bar should be roughly level with your chin once you’ve curled the weight upwards.
– Slowly lower the barbell back downwards to the initial starting position, and then repeat for the necessary amount of reps required.
Things to remember
- Make sure to keep your back as straight as you possibly can, one of the biggest mistakes that people can make is rocking their bodies backwards and forwards in order to gain momentum. If you have to lean backwards in order to complete the curl, the weight is too heavy, so go lighter. Leaning back when curling is a recipe for disaster, especially concerning back injuries.
- Ensure that you keep your elbows fixed to your sides at all time during this exercise. Never let them come forwards when you’re doing the curling.
- Control the weight throughout the whole exercise. That means you slowly curl it upwards, and you slowly allow the weight to lower back down to the starting position. You should not allow the bar to fall quickly once you’ve curled it upwards. You should be in control the entire exercise.