Easy methods to Do the Reverse Biceps Curl for Full Arm Improvement

For many lifters, per week stuffed with workouts simply isn’t full with out some tickets to the gun present. However good arm coaching goes past merely ripping via some biceps curls and triceps pressdowns. There must be a technique to the insanity if you wish to do greater than construct a pump that solely seems to be good within the mirror.

Arm training doesn’t must be overly difficult, nevertheless, it’s essential to grasp the anatomy of the working muscle mass with the intention to correctly deal with full growth.

In relation to arm measurement, the biceps and triceps would be the two key gamers, however utilizing the standard curl for biceps growth is simply half the reply, since curls are usually carried out with a supinated (palm-up) grip which emphasizes most, however not all, of the biceps muscle mass.

Credit score: Paul Aiken / Shutterstock

For whole arm growth, it’s essential to involve the forearms, which is why the reverse biceps curl ought to be a part of your arm-training arsenal. Right here’s a breakdown of this seemingly easy, however extremely helpful, curl variation. 

Reverse Biceps Curl

Easy methods to Do the Reverse Biceps Curl

The commonest forms of biceps curls contain a supinated, aka underhand or palm-up, hand place. In the usual curl, your palms will probably be dealing with away out of your physique on the backside of the curl and dealing with towards your physique within the prime place.

To do reverse curls, nevertheless, you “reverse” your grip and take a pronated, aka overhand or palm-down, hand place. Your palms will face towards your physique on the backside of the rep and away out of your physique on the prime. Take a second to easily make fists and discretely carry out each curling actions with out holding any weights. Chances are you’ll discover a distinction in how your arms really feel, and possibly even how they appear after they’re totally flexed on the prime. 

Step 1 — Select Your Implement Correctly 

Barbells on a rack.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

Like most curl workout routines, you could have the choice to make use of a variety of bars or dumbbells when performing reverse biceps curls. Utilizing dumbbells would require a bit extra stability at your shoulder joint so your arms can keep in the best proximity to at least one one other whereas curling. Poor wrist mobility can even flip the reverse biceps curl right into a hammer curl, which change the train and muscle recruitment.

Holding on to a standard barbell asks essentially the most of a lifter’s wrist mobility due to the straight angle. Some lifters, particularly if they’ve a bigger frame, could not possess the joint vary of movement wanted to completely pronate their arms onto a barbell. Over time, forcing your self into the place can result in persistent wrist ache and detract from the advantages of the reverse curl motion.

Utilizing an EZ-curl bar (which is a bar particularly designed with ergonomic curves) can assist a lifter discover the comfy diploma of pronation with out inserting your arms fully “flat” the way in which a standard barbell will ask. That is usually the most well-liked and only possibility.

Type Tip: Assess for your self by attempting barbell reverse curls with a lightweight weight. In case your gym has a rack of quick, fixed-weight barbells, you could possibly go as mild as 10 or 20 kilos. If the motion nonetheless isn’t comfy, follow the EZ-curl bar.

Step 2 — Set up Your Stance

A person preparing for a reverse biceps curl.
Credit score: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

Maintain the bar barely nearer than shoulder-width, utilizing the required overhand grip. Your arms ought to be resting on the entrance of your thighs. Stand together with your chest “proud” and up, your shoulders pulled again, and your neck lengthy and tall.

Look straight forward — Performing the train from a slouched place with ahead head posture doesn’t assist something. Interact your glutes and abs by flexing each muscle mass whereas standing.

Type Tip: Don’t simply take into consideration holding your arms straight within the backside place. Take into consideration contracting your triceps to completely straighten your arms and activate extra muscle mass.

Step 3 — Curl

Muscular person in gym doing barbell curl
Credit score: Slatan / Shutterstock

Grip the load tightly and produce your arms up towards shoulder-level. Don’t let your elbows flare out to the perimeters or drift considerably ahead. Your elbows shouldn’t want to maneuver greater than a few inches to accommodate completely different physique sorts and arm lengths.

As you method the highest place, you’ll discover your arms attain a pure level the place they will’t flex any extra. That’s a pure and efficient place to cease the elevate, moderately than attempting to power your arms as excessive as potential. Return the load to the straight-arm beginning place underneath management.

Type Tip: Concentrate on what your elbows and shoulders are doing through the motion. In case your shoulders shrug up or your elbows come too far ahead through the elevate, it’s a clue that the load is simply too heavy and also you’re recruiting too many further muscle mass to maneuver the load. Hold the motion strict to maintain rigidity solely on the goal muscle mass.

Reverse Biceps Curl Errors to Keep away from

Curls typically get disrespected and carried out casually, with a scarcity of focus, which might result in technical errors. These errors can result in poor muscle activation and potential damage. Take the train critically and method it with a great mindset to get higher total outcomes.

Swinging Your Hips

Utilizing “physique English” to begin the motion means your hips, core, and lower back are driving the load upward as a substitute of your biceps. That’s not one of the best method when your purpose is to truly prepare your biceps.

Swinging and heaving the weights up with out muscular rigidity additionally places your decrease again in danger by forcing it to maneuver the load in an unstable and awkward place.

long-haired person in gym lifting barbell
Credit score: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

Keep away from it: Earlier than lifting the load, tighten your core and flex your legs to make sure a steady base. Consciously deal with curling the load by bending your arms to get the load transferring. In case your hips are bouncing into the bar, you’re off to a foul begin.

Lacking Full Extension

Failing to completely straighten your arm into the stretched place may be a method to take care of muscular rigidity and trigger more growth. (1) Nevertheless, most of the time, lifters skip the decrease portion of the repetition out of dangerous behavior moderately than deliberate motion.

By not utilizing a full vary of movement, you shortchange potential enhancements in flexibility and mobility in your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. (2) This implies, should you’re having hassle reaching a completely pronated grip, you’re not making any strides towards fixing the issue should you carry out half-reps.

A person doing a reverse biceps curl, with arms not fully extended.
Credit score: ESB Fundamental / Shutterstock

Keep away from it: Start and finish every repetition together with your arms straight and your arms touching, or almost touching, the entrance of your thighs. Contracting your triceps can be a cue to test for a great straight-arm place.

Easy methods to Progress the Reverse Biceps Curl

Some lifters would possibly contemplate the reverse biceps curl to be a easy train, but it surely’s really an intermediate variation of an in any other case easy train — the traditional biceps curl. For that reason, it’s efficient to make use of the reverse biceps curl after growing a basis with conventional actions. The reverse biceps curl isn’t a motion to neglect, but it surely must be tackled on the proper time in your total program for maximum benefit.

Biceps Curl

Earlier than getting in “reverse,” be sure you can deal with the usual motion. Just like the reverse biceps curl, the supinated curl might be carried out with dumbbells, a barbell, or, in case your wrist mobility restricts a snug supinated hand place, an EZ-curl bar.

The general physique place and approach ought to almost mimic the reverse biceps curl, with the only exception being the hand and grip placement. The vary of movement and different efficiency elements will even be similar with both motion.

Thick Bar Reverse Curl

You may enhance the grip-building advantages by making the bar harder to carry. Whereas this may occasionally sound counterintuitive — “make the train more durable, not simpler” — a bigger diameter deal with will enhance the calls for in your gripping and forearm muscle mass. (3) Whereas it could, within the short-term, result in performing fewer repetitions or utilizing barely lighter weights, you’ll profit within the long-term with improved outcomes, a stronger grip, and extra total power.

These advantages are particularly noticeable if you revert again to utilizing standard-sized handles which can really feel considerably smaller (and comparatively simpler) as compared. This motion might be carried out on a specifically designed thick bar manufactured with a bigger total diameter or you possibly can connect particular person, detachable handles to any bar.

Advantages of the Reverse Biceps Curl

Curl variations typically get lumped into the “for seems to be solely” class, however that’s a comparatively short-sighted outlook that misses the larger advantages of coaching your arms immediately with the reverse biceps curl.

Grip and Arm Energy

The pronated grip emphasizes the gripping muscle mass of your forearm as a result of it’s worthwhile to apply a continuing “crushing” grip to forestall the bar from falling out of your arms. This makes the reverse biceps curl an environment friendly approach to enhance power in your grip, forearms, and higher arms.

A person with strong arms.
Credit score: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

This improved power can carry over to many compound (multi-joint) exercises like farmer’s carries, chin-ups, rows, and deadlifts.

Arm Measurement

If bigger arms are in your want listing, the reverse biceps curl could be a main participant in including measurement to your higher and decrease arms. The distinctive hand supinate hand place emphasizes the brachioradialis muscle, which isn’t typically focused with different curl variations.

Whereas your major biceps muscle mass are additionally extremely energetic through the reverse biceps curl, the brachioradialis takes up a comparatively great amount of house in your arm, and growing its measurement with the reverse biceps curl can pay dividends to your whole arm measurement.

More healthy Wrists and Elbows

Should you’re a lifter who suffers with recurring pain round your wrists or elbow joints, tries to work round weak wrists, or has normal grip-strength points, it’s price incorporating the reverse biceps curl into your coaching plan.

The elevated activation of the forearm muscle mass can assist to enhance wrist and elbow well being by growing the muscle mass round each joints, resulting in improved joint stability and power.

Muscle Labored within the Reverse Biceps Curl

The reverse biceps curl doesn’t “solely” prepare your biceps. The pronated hand place creates distinctive muscle recruitment that prompts muscle mass not usually skilled throughout many different curl variations.


What makes the pronated (reverse) curl so completely different from a supinated (traditional) curl is the truth that now an enormous participant in arm power and measurement will get to enter the image: The brachioradialis muscle. (4) This comparatively giant muscle runs out of your wrist, alongside the thumb-side of your forearm, crosses over the elbow joint, and attaches close to the underside portion of your biceps.

A person's arm, where the brachioradialis is located.
Credit score: MalikNalik / Shutterstock

It performs a task in turning your wrist (pronating and supinating), whereas additionally flexing your arm on the elbow joint. Utilizing a pronated hand place is the one approach to particularly emphasize the brachioradialis.

Biceps Brachii

The biceps brachii are “the biceps” that get all the eye, entrance and middle in your higher arms. The biceps are nonetheless the prime movers for this train since elbow flexion, the biceps’ major operate, remains to be the basic motion.

Easy methods to Program the Reverse Biceps Curl

Whether or not you’re changing supinated biceps curls with reverse biceps curls or utilizing them as further biceps coaching in your program, there are just a few programming ideas and efficient approaches that can allow you to get essentially the most profit from the motion.

Curl After Greater Lifts

It’s essential to recollect the train’s position — it’s an adjunct motion and, underneath most circumstances, it ought to be carried out towards the tip of your workout.

Should you prepare with a devoted arm day, some leeway might be given as to when the train is carried out within the session. Nevertheless, should you’re like many individuals, you most likely prefer to crush a little bit of arm training at the end of a workout that has already focused a bigger physique half, like your again or chest.

A person performing reverse biceps curl.
Credit score: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

The very last thing you’d need is to fatigue your arms early in a session, which might inhibit the power and efficiency of bigger movements like rows, pulls, or presses. Be sensible and understand that the muscle mass focused by the reverse biceps curl act as synergists to different large movers, aiding in these bigger actions, and they need to be skilled with correct consciousness and relative precedence.

Reasonable Weight, Reasonable Repetition

When it’s time to begin curling, follow the tried and true method for constructing measurement and power — three to 4 units of eight to fifteen reps. This can allow you to hit the reverse curls with sufficient load and quantity to set off muscle development and power good points.

Utilizing extraordinarily heavy weight for low reps, on any form of curl, is simply asking to your lower back to assist out. Going super-light for very excessive repetitions will unduly fatigue your smaller hand and grip muscle mass with out sufficiently focusing on your biceps or brachioradialis.

Reverse Biceps Curl Variations

When you’ve gotten the cling of the straightforward reverse biceps curl, you possibly can add some selection to the motion for continued progress. Altering the coaching implement — switching from an EZ-curl bar to dumbbells to a straight bar — is one possibility. Particular exercise variations can be helpful

Reverse Cable Curl

By attaching an EZ-curl bar or straight bar to a low cable pulley, you possibly can enhance the time underneath rigidity which might result in a higher muscle-building stimulus. The cable gives fixed rigidity, which suggests you possibly can pause at factors through the repetition to additional enhance the stress.

For a extra superior and extra centered motion, you possibly can connect a single deal with to the low pulley and carry out the train with one arm at a time, just like utilizing a single dumbbell. This might allow you to actually zone-in and deal with every particular person arm.

Zottman Curl

This old skool bodybuilding train combines a normal dumbbell curl on the concentric (lifting part) and turns right into a reverse dumbbell curl on the eccentric (reducing part), making a “better of each worlds”-type of motion.

The Zottman curl is usually carried out in an alternating style, elevating one dumbbell whereas concurrently reducing the alternative hand. If that coordination is an excessive amount of to deal with, you possibly can carry out the motion with each arms on the identical time — curl with each arms palm-up, decrease with each arms palm-down.


How typically ought to I carry out the reverse biceps curl?

Together with this train as soon as per week ought to be a lot for most individuals, if their total coaching plan is well-designed and contains sufficient rowing and pulling workout routines with different direct biceps coaching.
Typically, you don’t have to go overboard with biceps coaching to finish up with greater arms. A whole weekly training routine that includes “the large lifts” just like the bench press, shoulder press, row, and pull-up will recruit your biceps and triceps alongside the way in which. Complementing these large lifts with focused arm workout routines will allow you to get essentially the most bang for the buck.

Reverse for Ahead Progress

Biceps curls, generally, don’t get sufficient love and a focus in most individuals’s programs. It’s nearly as if “arm coaching” has fallen out of style within the fitness center, however if you wish to build bigger arms, it’s time to embrace your purpose and go full-tilt towards it with an entire plan. That may most likely imply programming an arm day in your coaching week. The reverse biceps curl can go an extended approach to boosting your grip power, enhancing your wrists and elbows, and, in fact, splitting your sleeves. 


  1. Burd, N. A., Andrews, R. J., West, D. W., Little, J. P., Cochran, A. J., Hector, A. J., Cashaback, J. G., Gibala, M. J., Potvin, J. R., Baker, S. Ok., & Phillips, S. M. (2012). Muscle time underneath rigidity throughout resistance train stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional artificial responses in males. The Journal of physiology, 590(2), 351–362. https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200
  2. Afonso, J., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Moscão, J., Rocha, T., Zacca, R., Martins, A., Milheiro, A. A., Ferreira, J., Sarmento, H., & Clemente, F. M. (2021). Energy Coaching versus Stretching for Bettering Vary of Movement: A Systematic Assessment and Meta-Evaluation. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4), 427. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040427
  3. Krings, B. M., Shepherd, B. D., Swain, J. C., Turner, A. J., Chander, H., Waldman, H. S., McAllister, M. J., Knight, A. C., & Smith, J. W. (2021). Influence of Fats Grip Attachments on Muscular Energy and Neuromuscular Activation Throughout Resistance Train. Journal of power and conditioning analysis, 35(Suppl 1), S152–S157. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002954
  4. Kleiber, T., Kunz, L., & Disselhorst-Klug, C. (2015). Muscular coordination of biceps brachii and brachioradialis in elbow flexion with respect at hand place. Frontiers in physiology, 6, 215. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2015.00215

Featured Picture: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

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