The Barbell curl is probably the original biceps exercise. It is still one of the most effective, if not THE most effective for building quality mass on your arms.

Barbell curlThe basic movement of the barbell curl is the same as all other bicep curl exercises, where you curl the weight from a straight arm position, up towards your shoulders, without moving your upper arms forward.

The main things to focus on when you do this exercise is squeezing the crap out of the barbell and still trying to supinate your hand as you curl the bar up, to get the best squeeze in your arm.

Although you will not be able to actually twist your hand, the attempt will make the bicep muscle contract harder and give you more squeeze through the exercise.

Take a look at our video tutorial below to see the fine form points of this exercise, and if you need something to print off and take to the gym, you can find our step-by-step exercise technique further down this page.

Barbell Curl – Step-by-Step Technique

    • Step 1: Start by standing upright with a good posture, holding a barbell with a shoulder width grip as tight as you can. Breathe in.
    • Step 2: Breathing out, slowly curl the bar up towards your shoulders, making sure you keep your upper arms tight to your body and straight.
    • Step 3: As you curl, try to twist your hands so your pinky finger is pressing on the bar. This will give you a peak contraction. Squeeze at the top of the movement.
    • Step 4: Breathing in, slowly lower the barbell back to the start point, flexing your triceps at the bottom of the movement to pre-stretch the bicep again.

** Pro Tip #1: We recommend you start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

** Pro Tip #2: Make sure to keep your upper arm straight throughout the exercise, to avoid your shoulder muscles helping with the lift.

** Pro Tip #3: An EZ bar is better to use for the barbell curl as it is less stressful on your wrists and elbows. If you have access to one, we recommend using it as a start.

To learn more exercises that you can use in your training, visit our complete exercise library on the Fit Father Project YouTube channel.


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* We hoped you enjoyed this article. Remember to always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program and that this is not medical advice – just well-researched info. Please see our disclaimer at the bottom of this website. Exercise intelligently and safely at your own risk.