T Nation

Curls ;\


I just watched a movie of a bodybuilder doing barbell bicep curls.
He raised his arms as he curled the weight.when I curl I just keep my elbows at the sides of my my stomach and curl with them like that.

Which of us is doing it wrong ?

Shruging / lifting his arms


He is. The whole point of curls is to isolate your bicep. Ignore the cunt and curl your own way.


thanks =)


I've seen a number of folks raise their elbows and bring the weight up towards their face as they curl (BBL curl). Not the same as shrugging up the weight. I just figured it was they way they chose to do it. I try to keep my elbows at my sides as if there is a long pin through my torso from elbow to elbow.


Yeah, keep it there then. It is the same as shrugging the weight up. If you are going to do curls- and they suck, by the way- then keep your elbows by your pelvis. Doing anything to cheat the weight up is not impressive.


He was doing a cheated biceps curl. From what I hear, there actually is a place for those, but not if you're looking to isolate the biceps. His way calls into play the front deltoids near the end of the movement. I wouldn't go for those. I did see them in some article here on T-Nation once though (I think).


Like I say, the whole point of curls is to isolate the biceps. If you want a real weights exercise, you could be doing squats or something.


Great little tool for Barbell curls, not nessessary at all but it keeps you from cheating.

Arm Blaster Board.

And yup yer doing those curls correctly isolate that Bi.


In my opinion thats the way to do them. its not a cheatcurl and its not going to make it easyier if you move your elbows in front of the body. I get more contact by doing this. of course if you bounce and throw the weight up its another thing.


Here's a promotional video of Ronnie Coleman. He "cheats" on just about every exercise he performs, including BB bicep curls:

I myself try to always keep strict form, but after a while you notice that the people that cheat the most, are usually the biggest. You should think about that.

Maybe Prof X will chime in whith his opinion on cheating.


Your elbows should still move forward a couple inches on their own, at the end of the movement, even when isolating the biceps. This happens as the biceps meet the forearms. Just focus on isolating that biceps flexion though, and go with what feels natural.


Those work fine, until they break as you're in the middle of a heavy 8-rep set, and you have about 1/19th of a second to do all you can to not throw your back out as the strap breaks and the support falls away.

As for doing "strict" curls...if your elbows leave your ribs, before your forearm touches your bicep, you're using the front delts for assistance. Whether that's "acceptable" or not is up to you, based on why you're doing the exercise in the first place.


I kept my form as strict as possible until about 4 years ago. One of my mentors taught me to loosen up my form on some exercises, one of them being curls. If any of you saw the Cutler video posted last week, my form is very similar to that. By doing this I am able to use heavier weight, and I immediately started growing faster.

After the initial workout he explained to me that the important part of many of the exercises is a prolonged contraction of the muscle. It has worked well for me, but I do not work out like that all the time.

In summary, do I think that strict form is necessary for everyone all the time? No. Do I think loose form should be used all the time? No.


I found that using the arm blaster for a month if your form isn't so good teaches you to curl better when you stop using it.


Agreed. There are so many "Isolation" moves for biceps using dumbells. I always thought the intent of barbell curls was to allow you to use more weight to force more tension on the muscle.


anyone else watch the second video? he got down in almost a full split thats insane


Watching someone do drag curls (not saying that this what you saw) can look pretty strange, especially if you've never seen them before.

'Cheat' curls are an excellent way to get stronger, but there is still a right and wrong way to do them.

Just remember that you'll always be stronger in the negitive portion of an exercise, so if 'cheating' the weight up will also allow you to focus on a heavy negitive, then by all means try it once in a while.


My thoughts exactly.


Yeah, but if you wanted to train shoulder flexion, shouldn't you be doing pullups or barbell rows? I mean, I do curls but only after I've done some more serious exercises. That's what I think, anyway.


How many more posts will there be before newbies begin to understand that some 250lbs guy with 20" arms cheating a little while curling 85lbs dumbbells is NOT the same as some scrawny kid cheating and ruining his form just to curl a 35lbs dumbbell?