How to Do Barbell Drag Curl Properly

If there is one defining factor for people who work out or go to the gym, it is big biceps. The barbell drag curl is an exercise that targets the biceps.

While this exercise is very effective, it is not very popular for the weirdest of reasons. The first is, it allows for very minimal movement. As such you cannot pile on weight as you would wish.

For people who equate weight to progress, this might not occur to them as the right exercise for biceps.

Also, the success of this workout leans greatly on control and good form, two things that most people lack. Thus, they choose to ignore it, but in the true sense, ignoring this workout is a huge loss.

HOW TO DO THE BARBELL DRAG CURL PROPERLY

Equipment – Barbell

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Maintain your shoulders, hips and knees in the same line.
  • Hold the bar wider than your shoulder width and keep it in contact with your upper thigh.
  • Curl the barbell upwards and as you do so, push your elbows and shoulders back. This allows you to keep the barbell in contact with your body.
  • Once at the top, give your biceps a hard squeeze to make up for the limited range of motion.
  • Slowly lower the barbell to the initial position.

TIPS FOR THE BARBELL DRAG CURLS

The barbell should remain in contact with your body both during the up and down movement. It is essentially dragging it up and down the body, hence the name barbell drag curl.

Do not forget to squeeze your arms at the peak position, especially if your arms are big, to get the maximum effect.

Both the reverse grip and the regular grip will work, so it is a matter of preference.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BARBELL DRAG CURL WORK

BICEPS

This exercise mainly targets the biceps. The biceps are made up of two ‘heads’, a longer and shorter one that is the brachialis.

Whenever you flex your arm a bit, there is this muscle that looks the most pronounced between the front side, between your shoulder, and the inner part of the elbow.

That there is called the biceps brachii. This is a very important muscle that helps with flexing and elbow supination.

BARBELL DRAG CURL BENEFITS

There are plenty of benefits that accompany doing this exercise.

INCREASE WRIST STRENGTH

Much as this is a bicep exercise, its effect is felt all the way to the wrists.

BUILDS BICEPS

The main reason why this exercise allows for a minimal range of motion is so that it can focus fully on the biceps. Thus, it increases the strength and appearance of the biceps.

PRETTY SIMPLE

This exercise is very easy to master and does not require you to get complex material. The instructions are also pretty straight forward and you can do it anywhere, even when not at the gym.

REDUCES INJURY

What makes this particularly special is that it does not activate the front deltoids. Regular bicep curls are notorious for activating the front deltoids in order to stabilize you when curling.

This often results in shoulder pain and people find it hard to balance.

The right form for this exercise will have the elbows going back during peak contraction, thus you can focus on getting bigger biceps but with minimal chances of injury.

BETTER LOOKING BICEPS

Who doesn’t love well-toned biceps peeking out of a sleeveless outfit? They are a classic that will never go out of style! This exercise increases the bicep circumference and strength.

Besides good looks, strong biceps help you perform better when doing other exercises in the gym.

BARBELL DRAG CURL ALTERNATIVES

DRAG CURL HOLD

This variation of the barbell drag curl requires you to hold the peal position for 3-5 seconds before dragging it down. It increases the intensity of the workout and promises better gains.

SUPINATED DUMBBELL CURL

  • Stand with both feet firmly planted to the ground.
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand while ensuring that your arms are facing forward.
  • Bring your elbows close to your sides.
  • Curl upwards while squeezing your elbows and slowly return to the initial position. Repeat for desired reps.

BARBELL DRAG CURL MISTAKES TO AVOID

As earlier mentioned, this exercise requires good form and control. These are the mistakes to look out for:

MOVING ELBOWS FORWARD

The barbell drag curl requires you to keep your elbows up when moving up and back during the peak contraction. This is how it keeps the tension on the biceps.

Moving the elbows forwards will inadvertently push the shoulders forward too, and this is how injuries occur and also minimizes the gains on the biceps.

TOO MUCH WEIGHT

There is a certain thrill that comes with lifting heavyweights. Unfortunately, this exercise does not require that.

In fact, due to the limited range of motion, it is recommended that you go for weight lighter than what you would normally carry.

This will prevent you from swinging your arm too much and depending on momentum to curl. That is something your biceps should be doing.

RUSHING

Control is the name of the game when it comes to the barbell drag curl. Your biceps need that delayed downward curl in order to maximize on the tension.

Avoid the rushed swinging motions that could very well result in injury. Establish a good tempo that allows your biceps to absorb the tension of the curl.

CONCLUSION

If you thought well-rounded, protruding biceps are just but a distant dream, the barbell drag curl brings this dream closer.

Pay attention to the small details such as the right form and pace your workout to a reasonable tempo.

Remember to keep the weights lighter than what you would normally lift.