How to Do a Proper Barbell Curl

Barbell curls can help tone your arms.

Barbell curls can help tone your arms.

Curls can be cute in your hair, but curls can also make your arms look good -- that is, if you’re talking about weight training curls. Barbell curls will strengthen your biceps while also working some back, shoulder and forearm muscles. As with any weight training exercise, proper form is important when you’re doing barbell curls. You have to look good while performing the exercise if you want to look good afterward.

Hold the barbell with an underhand grip. Your palms should face away from your body as you stand erect with your arms extended at your sides. Set your hands shoulder-width apart.

Exhale as you raise the bar to your upper chest by bending your elbows. Your upper arms should remain still for most of the lift, but they can move forward slightly at the end, to allow your forearms to reach a vertical position.

Inhale as you lower the bar slowly to the starting position. Perform at least eight repetitions.

Items you will need

  • Barbell


  • Keep your torso still and don’t let the barbell sway at any point during the exercise.
  • More of your back muscles come into play as stabilizers when you perform barbell curls, as opposed to dumbbell curls.

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About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

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