Mayo Clinic Health Library

Biceps curl with barbell

Updated: 02-23-2013

Transcript

Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.: The biceps curl is an exercise you can do with a barbell to work the biceps muscle. As the name implies, the biceps curl helps you build strength in your biceps, which are located in the front of the upper arm.

Nicole L. Campbell: To do a biceps curl with a barbell, pick up the barbell with your palms facing away from your body. Place your hands comfortably apart on the bar. This is usually about shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, and tighten your abdominal muscles. Slowly curl the barbell up by bending your elbows. Keep your elbows close to your body. Then slowly lower the barbell to the starting position. You'll feel tension in the muscles in the front of your upper arm.

When you're doing bicep curls, be careful to keep your wrists straight and rigid. Don't arch your back or swing the barbell, and keep your abdominal muscles tight throughout the exercise.

If it feels comfortable, step back with one foot while you're doing biceps curls. This will give you better stability.

For most people, one set of 12 to 15 repetitions is adequate.

Remember, for best results, keep your wrists straight and rigid during the exercise. Don't arch your back or swing the barbell. Keep your movements smooth and controlled.