Cranking out curls for the girls can actually come in many different forms. There are a lot of subtle nuances to how you hold the bar, position your arms and hands, and which direction your palms are pointing that make up different types of curls. Here’s 5 curl exercises to help build bulging biceps.
Alternating Hammer Curls – Perform these curls with dumbbells. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand held down by your sides; alms of your hand should be facing your torso. Keep your elbows and shoulders locked in place and bring the dumbbells straight up to shoulder height. Only your forearms should move. Squeeze the bicep and slowly return the dumbbell to the starting position.
Barbell Curl – Perform these curls with a barbell. Stand up straight with a barbell in front of you with your grip at shoulder width. Bring your elbows in tight and lock them against your sides. Your palms should be facing away from your body (supinated grip). Without moving your shoulders or elbows, bring the barbell all the way up until it is at about shoulder height and squeeze the biceps. Slowly return to the starting position.
Cable Hammer Curls – Perform these curls with a cable machine with a low pulley and the rope attachment. This will add the element of continued cable resistance to your hammer curls. Attach the rope to the pulley at the lowest setting then grip and end of the rope in each hand. Take a step back, drawing the cable and keep your back straight or lean back very slightly. Hold the rope at your waist, arms fully extended, with your palms neutral, that is, they should be facing each other. Elbows should be in tight. Without moving your shoulders or elbows, pull the rope all the way up until your biceps are fully contracted and your hands are about at shoulder height and squeeze your biceps. Slowly return to the starting position.
Drag Curls – Perform these curls with a barbell. The posture and starting position will be the same as the barbell curl, standing straight with the elbows in tight, palms facing out in a supinated grip, but the execution will be slightly different. When you curl for this exercise, you can, and should, unlock your elbows from your sides. When you curl the barbell up, you drag it up your torso and your elbows will move backwards. Still do not lift your shoulders. Curl until your biceps are fully contracted, squeeze, and then slowly return to the starting position.
Concentration Curls – Perform these curls with dumbbells. Sit on the end of a flat bench with your legs spread apart. The dumbbell should be between your feet. These curls are performed one arm at a time. So with your first arm, say your right arm, scoop up the dumbbell off the floor. Position your right elbow in your inner right thigh. Your arm should be fully extended and the dumbbell should no longer be touching the floor. Your palms should face away from your thigh. Curl the dumbbell until your bicep is fully contracted, squeeze the bicep, and then slowly return to the starting position.