How To Do Reverse Barbell Curls Properly

The reverse barbell curls exercise is an isolation exercise that targets the wrists and biceps. It works the brachialis, brachioradialis, and brachii.

It is an optimal exercise for building broader muscles and for strength. The reverse barbell curls aid in bodybuilding, explaining why most bodybuilders prefer it.

Don’t miss out on the reverse barbell curls if you are after bigger biceps and stronger upper arm.

It is also known as the overhead curls or the pronated curls.

Required equipment: Barbell, weights.

Exercise type: Strength.

Mechanics: Isolation.

Difficulty: Beginner.

STEPS:

  • Load the barbell with the appropriate amount of weight. You can also use a fixed bar.
  • Stand and spread your feet your hip-width apart, then grab the bar. When grabbing the bar, ensure your hands are your shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the barbell and rest it on your thighs, allowing your elbows to extend fully.
  • Keep your elbows still as you begin to curl the weight towards your shoulders. Your forearms should be the only moving part in this phase.
  • Keep lifting until your forearm comes into contact with your biceps.
  • Hold that position for a moment before lowering the back barbell. Control your movement when lowering the bar to prevent you from injuries.
  • Repeat the rep 6-12 times.

MUSCLES WORKED BY THE REVERSE BARBELL CURLS

The reverse barbell curls will engage your brachialis and the brachioradialis giving you broader and stronger biceps. Also, it works the biceps brachii and the forearm extensor muscles.

To a lesser degree, the reverser barbell curls work the trapezius and deltoids to improve your stability.

BENEFITS OF THE REVERSE BARBELL CURLS

BIGGER BRACHIALIS

The reverse barbell curls working mechanics often disadvantage the biceps, reducing their ability to produce power. As a result, the brachialis takes over and produces the power required to lift the weights. This leads to the sculpting of the arms, consequently promoting the growth of the brachialis.

IMPROVED BRACHIORADIALIS DEVELOPMENT

The reverse barbell curl is suitable for the forearm because it targets the brachioradialis muscles – a thick layer of meat and muscles that runs from the biceps to the wrist. The exercise utilizes the brachioradialis during the curl when the biceps are at their weakest position and cannot supply power. This improves their development.

IT IMPROVES THE PROPORTIONS OF ARM MUSCLES

Many bodybuilders have well-developed muscles and underdeveloped brachialis and brachioradialis. To correct that situation, the reverse barbell curls will sculpt your arms proportionally by training the lagging muscles, ensuring they are strong and fresh. It also stimulates muscle growth which further contributes to proportional arm muscles.

IT WILL IMPROVE YOUR COMPOUND LIFTS

Lifting heavy equipment requires a stronger upper arm. This is because the brachioradialis is often used in those types of activities. If your brachialis and the brachioradialis are weak, they will prevent you from lifting heavyweights. You have to work your brachioradialis and the brachialis to give you the power to perform the heavy lifts.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE REVERSE BARBELL CURLS

PULL-UPS

The pull-ups exercise is one of the best workouts for strength and bodybuilding. It is easy to perform and requires minimal equipment. You can conveniently perform it at home if you have a pull-up bar. It is a good alternative for the reverse barbell curls because it also engages the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles. Also, it stabilizes and strengthens the core muscles.

Required Equipment: Pull up bar.

Exercise type: Strength.

Difficulty: Intermediate

STEPS:

  • Hang onto a pull-up bar, ensuring that your hands are your shoulder-width apart.
  • Straighten your hands as your move your shoulders back. Start moving up (pulling your body up).
  • Pause for a moment when the lower part of your neck gets in line with the pull-up bar.
  • Drop back to the starting position slowly. This will prevent injury risks and will increase resistance in your biceps.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING THE REVERSE BARBELL CURLS

LIFTING TOO MUCH WEIGHT

Unlike the standard bicep curl, which provides room for heavy lifts, the reverse barbell curl does not allow for heavy lifts. The exercise does not target blasting your biceps. It targets the underlooked bicep muscles; brachialis and brachioradialis. Lifting too much weight can increase the risks of muscle and wrist injury. Lift the appropriate weights to reduce resistance and avoid those injuries.

LOCKING YOUR ARMS

Some people don’t pay attention to executing the reverse barbell curls properly. Most of them end up locking their arms at the bottom of the movement. Locking your arms will shift the stress of the weights onto your shoulders, creating no impact on your biceps. Ultimately, it can cause shoulder and elbow injuries. Avoid locking your shoulders by bending your elbows slightly throughout the movement. Do not flare out the elbows, and ensure your arms are close to your body at all times.

POTENTIAL RISKS

WRIST INJURIES

Wrist injuries, though not so common, are injuries that can arise from reverse barbell curls. If your wrists hurt while performing the curls, chances are you have a wrist injury. The injury arises if you allow too much movement, which can loosen your wrist’s ligaments. Too much movement can also lead to shifting and irritation. Avoid wrist injuries by limiting your wrist’s range of motion. This will protect you from putting too much force on the wrists.

SHOULDER INJURIES

The reverse barbell curls can cause severe pain to the shoulders if done incorrectly. It will hurt your rotator cuffs and the shoulder muscles. The shoulder injury can arise if you lift too much weight because it will lead to swinging, which might press your shoulder blades together as you lift. Avoid hurting your shoulders by lifting the appropriate weight.

CONCLUSION

If you are looking to have broader and stronger biceps, the reverse barbell curl is a suitable exercise for you. It is a relatively easy workout that requires a barbell and weights only. You can perform conveniently at home. It does not require advanced techniques and constant supervision.

The exercise will work your biceps, improve your posture, and strengthen you. If you perform it correctly, it will not harm you.

Try it now!