Biceps Curl, Preacher Curl, And Other Curls For Building Biceps Part 2

In this entry, we’ll be talking about variations on the Dumbbells Biceps Curls – and those would be using kettlebells, barbells, and a cable machine.

So let’s get right to it, boys and girls!

Standing Kettlebell Biceps Curl

You’ll find some arguments online on why you should or shouldn’t use kettlebells for biceps curls, with some saying it’s too unwieldy for not a lot of gain. Wherever you stand on the subject, one thing that we know it does do is make you watch your form more, so we’ve decided to include this in our Curl Series.

The steps on how to do dumbbell biceps curls and kettlebell biceps curls are pretty similar outside of swapping one tool for another.

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

  1. Hold a kettlebell in each hand with your palms facing up, arms very slightly bent (or straight but not fully extended). Kettlebell handles should rest on your mid-upper palms.
  2. Keep your back straight, shoulders peeled back. Position feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Brace core muscles, and lift kettlebells toward your shoulders. Make sure you’re lifting using your biceps and not shoulders.
  4. The full range of motion of your arm should bring the kettlebells just right below shoulder-height. Any higher than that you’ll be bringing more of your shoulders into it and taking away focus from the biceps muscles.
  5. Squeeze biceps at the top, and slowly lower arms until they’re extended again.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

Don’t excessively use your arm’s upward momentum to ease the weight – that’s cheating (and you won’t make as much gains), and swinging the kettlebell too much will cause it to hit your forearms (not good).

Using kettlebells instead of dumbbells in this exercise will cause more continuous tension in your muscles, so do fewer reps. If you’re doing 10 reps for 3 sets, consider doing 5 reps for 3 sets.

Barbell Curl

One of the best things about doing a barbell curl is that you get to work out both arms more evenly at the same time. How you grip the barbell also allows you to focus on different parts of the muscle.

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

  1. Use an underhand grip to hold the barbell at about hip height, with your hands positioned as wide as your hips.
  2. Keep your back straight, shoulders peeled back. Position feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Brace core muscles, and curl the bar toward your shoulders. Make sure you’re lifting using your biceps and not shoulders and hips.
  4. The full range of motion of your arm should bring the barbell just right below shoulder-height. Any higher than that you’ll be bringing more of your shoulders into it and taking away focus from the biceps muscles.
  5. Squeeze biceps at the top, and slowly lower arms until they’re extended again.

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THINGS TO CONSIDER:

To focus on the inner portion of the bicep, you can position your hands at a wider grip on the bar. To focus on the outer part of the muscle, position your hands closer together.

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Check out our Grenadier Grips for maximum gains!

Cable Curl

Cable curls are quite similar to barbell curls – and to a lesser extent, to kettlebell curls in that you’ll have more continuous tension since you’re using a pulley machine.

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

  1. Attach a curl handle to a cable machine.
  2. Face the cable machine and stand close to it. Keep your back straight, shoulders peeled back, and feet about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Brace core muscles, and curl toward your shoulders. Make sure you’re lifting using your biceps and not shoulders.
  4. The full range of motion of your arm should bring the cable just right below shoulder-height. Any higher than that you’ll be bringing more of your shoulders into it and taking away focus from the biceps muscles.
  5. Squeeze biceps at the top, and slowly lower arms until they’re extended again.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

These exercises are some of the best you can do to make gains on your biceps – the moves are easy and allow you to perfect your form and build a more solid foundation. Having many variations also mean you can keep rotating this exercise depending on the equipment available in your gym.

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Of course, for added safety, comfort, max gains, and to look super cool doing these exercises, check out our shop for BFR Bands and grips!

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