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Proper Technique with the Barbell Curl Training Database Bodybuilding Articles Proper Technique with the Barbell Curl

The Standing Barbell Curl has been much maligned in recent years.

The Standing Barbell Curl has been much maligned in recent years with some claiming that technically it's really an inferior exercise for developing biceps' mass. Others continue to swear by this old standard and make it an intricate part of their arm development strategy.

Having done my fair share of every type of curl, I still see an important place for the Standing Barbell Curl with two important stipulations: I'm convinced that the keys to getting great results with this exercise are form and grip.

There's no doubt that most people don't get as much as they can out of Barbell Curls because they use terrible form. While it's occasionally OK to cheat on a forced rep or two by swinging the weight up a bit, by-and-large you want to keep your body still, your elbows in tight to your sides, and your biceps pumping.

The other often overlooked key is, of course, hand position. While variation is always a good idea, I prefer to use a fairly narrow grip with most of my Barbell Curls. Eight to twelve inches apart is about right.

By keeping your grip in tight, you'll hit both the medial and lateral heads on the biceps hard. Using a wider grip tend to shift the stress onto the medial head, taking the lateral head pretty much out of the picture.

An added benefit of a narrower grip is that you'll also work the brachialis fairly significantly. As I've written many times, the brachialis is one of the real keys to developing that fully peaked, muscular line to the biceps.

The standing barbell curl may also be performed with the cambered bar as shown below:

Take care,

Matt Canning

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