Standing Barbell Curl: How to Master Barbell Curl.

The Standing Barbell Curl is traditionally the most common bicep exercise, and the most prominent one also. When done correctly, this exercise targets your biceps and can add more strength and size to the entire muscle. With the barbell curl, you can curl more weight by adding plates. Barbell allows both arms to work simultaneously and evenly, which is great for stability and control. Simply hold the barbell curl with both hands, and lift it up towards your chin.

standing barbell curl

We recommended using EZ- bar and wide grip standing barbell curls as better bang-for-your-buck moves because they force the biceps to curl full range of motion than barbell curl, as well as allowing your wrists and elbows to stay in a more natural position throughout each stage of each rep. And that is the main problem with the barbell biceps curl; as much you start adding serious weight to the bar, it can place great stress or impact on these two joints (wrists and elbows).

How to do Standing Barbell Curl?

  • Grab the barbell with an underhand grip, your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Compress your core and contract your biceps to curl the bar up.
  • Slowly lift the weight at the front of your shoulders and keep your elbows and shoulder fixed.
  • Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly reverse the movement to its starting position.
  • Repeat it again, You can do 3 sets with 12-14 reps.

Barbell Curl Tips:

  1. Maintain proper form by keeping your back straight and your elbows close to your body.
  2. Use a full range of motion, allowing your arms to fully extend at the bottom of the movement and squeezing your biceps at the top.
  3. Keep your wrists in a neutral position and avoid swinging the weight.
  4. Use a weight that is challenging but allows you to maintain proper form throughout the entire set.
  5. Incorporate variations such as hammer curls and incline curls to target different muscle fibers and reduce muscle imbalances.


Once you’ve practiced the traditional barbell curl, consider trying one of these four variations.

1. EZ bar standing curl: This variation uses an EZ bar with an angled bar rather than a straight barbell. Although they activate your forearms less, EZ bar curls are typically easier on your wrists during lifting exercises.

2. Barbell preacher curl: If you want to focus on toning your arms, consider trying the barbell preacher curl. Perform this variation by sitting at a preacher bench with your arms resting on a slanted, padded surface as you lift.

3. Wide-grip standing barbell curl: The wider grip used in this variation puts more emphasis on the short head of your biceps brachii muscle.

4. Seated barbell curl: This seated variation uses a shorter range of motion, targeting your biceps brachii while taking pressure off your forearms.

Muscle Worked

The primary muscle worked during the standing barbell curl exercise is the biceps brachii. The biceps brachii is a two-headed muscle located on the front of the upper arm. It is responsible for flexing the elbow and supinating the forearm. The standing barbell curl is a classic exercise for targeting the biceps and can be used to build size and strength in this muscle group.

How to Work out Safely and Avoid Injury

To work out safely and avoid injury during bicep day, it is important to:

  1. Warm up properly: Before starting your bicep workout, it is essential to warm up your muscles by doing some light cardio and stretching exercises. This will help to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for the workout.
  2. Use proper form: When performing bicep exercises, it is important to use proper form to ensure that you are targeting the right muscles and avoiding injury. This includes keeping your back straight, shoulders back, and elbows close to your body.
  3. Start with a lightweight: It is always better to start with a lightweight and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the exercise. This will help to prevent muscle strain and injury.
  4. Don’t overdo it: Avoid doing too many reps or sets, or using too much weight. This can lead to muscle fatigue and injury. It’s important to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.
  5. Rest and recovery: Give your muscles enough time to rest and recover between workout sessions. It’s important to allow muscle tissue to repair and grow, and to prevent overuse injuries.

Read: How to do Concentration Curl.

General FAQs-

Are standing barbell curls good?

Standing barbell curls are a common exercise for targeting the biceps muscles. They can be a good exercise for building bicep strength and mass, but it’s important to use proper form to avoid injury and to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

When performing standing barbell curls, it’s important to keep your back straight, shoulders back, and elbows close to your body. Also, try to keep the movement isolated to your biceps, avoiding swinging or using momentum to lift the weight.

What muscles do standing curls work?

The barbell curl targets your biceps brachii muscle as well as the brachialis, a muscle responsible for elbow flexion. With regular practice, barbell curls can help you build bigger biceps. Barbell curls generally allow you to lift heavier weights than dumbbell curls.

Should barbell curls be heavy or light?

The weight used for barbell curls should be based on your fitness level and the specific goals of your workout.

If your goal is to build muscle mass and strength, it’s generally recommended to use a weight that is heavy enough to fatigue your muscles within the 8-12 rep range. This will help to stimulate muscle growth and increase strength.

However, if your goal is to increase muscle endurance, it’s recommended to use a lighter weight and perform a higher number of reps (12-15+).

It’s important to note that it is always better to start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the exercise, this will help to prevent muscle strain and injury.

Are biceps hard to grow?

Biceps can be challenging to grow for some people, but it is not impossible. The key to growing your biceps is to follow a consistent workout routine that includes exercises that target the biceps and other muscle groups, and to eat a balanced diet that provides enough protein to support muscle growth.

There are a few things that can make it difficult to grow your biceps:

  1. Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to smaller biceps, which makes it harder to build muscle mass in that area.
  2. Overuse: Overworking the biceps can lead to muscle fatigue and injury, which can impede muscle growth.
  3. Lack of progressive overload: If you are not challenging your muscles by gradually increasing the weight or resistance, your muscles will not grow.
  4. Inadequate nutrition: Without enough protein and other essential nutrients, your muscles will not have the building blocks they need to grow.
  5. Not targeting the biceps from different angles: targeting the biceps from different angles is important for muscle development and growth, as it will help to stimulate muscle fibers from different directions.

Read: Top 10 best bicep exercises for bicep growth.

It’s important to keep in mind that muscle growth is a process that takes time and consistent effort. It’s also important to be patient and not to compare yourself to others, as muscle growth can happen at different rates for different people.

Do hammer curls build big arms?

Hammer curls are important because of the way they work on your arms. Hammer curls help to build the brachialis and brachioradialis in a way other curl variations simply do not, allowing you to develop additional strength and size.