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What Type of Curls to Do?


I know i never said i would curl, but i think its time to use them.

I never curl, and im absolutely weak in the movement, and I think my bicep strength may be holding me back in pullups and snatches.

Unlike most people, im strongest at the bottom of the pullup, and weakest at the top.

So im thinking of using some curls to focus on my biceps more, but dont know much about what curls are best.

Should i do barbell curls (not in squat rack of course) or incline db curls, or standing db curls, or what?

thanks all.


First of all, why never curl? The curl itself is not a problem, it is the over use of it. A few sets a week can't hurt.
To answer your question though, yes. Do a variety of curls. I tend to stick with hammer curl, both incline and cross body, and dumbell preacher curls.
I could be wrong, but I figure if biceps are your weak spot during pullups and snatches (where your hands are pronated) you might want to think about reverse curls.


Your hips are supposed to be the prime movers when you snatch. I don't see why biceps would be a problem.

As for pullups, I'd rather you do close grip lat pulldowns with a supinated grip instead of curls. Make sure you get a good squeeze when the bar reaches your chest. Seated rows also help, especially if you squeeze in the fully flexed position. In my experience, I feel my biceps more here than when I do curls. I also get the added benefit of actually getting stronger in pullups.

If you still wanna do curls, I suggest you do one variation and stick to it. I assume your goal is to get stronger, so concentrating on one movement and getting your numbers up would be a good idea. Gironda perfect curls are a great way to put tension in the biceps throughout the whole ROM. This will help you in the top position of a pullup.


Your arms won't get as big as they potentially can if you don't do direct arm work.

You should do all types of curls so you work the brachialis, the bicep, and the various muscles in the forearm.

Bicep: Suppinating Dumbbell Curls (you turn your wrist while you do them), Wide-Grip EZ-Bar Curls, Wide-Grip Rows, Wide-Grip Chins,

Brachialis: Hammer Curls (don't turn your wrist), Close-Grip EZ-Bar Curls, Close-Grip Rows, Close-Grip Chins

Forearm: Zottman Curls (Hard to explain on paper), Reverse-Grip Curls, anything where you use your grip strength.

A lot of people only do wide grip barbell curls because that's where they're strongest and only do suppinating Dumbbell Curls because that's the way they see everyone do them. You should do a variety of arm exercises in order to get the best results BUT if you're just trying to look like a badass and you want to work all the parts of your elbow flexors then do Hammer Curls and Wide-Grip Barbell Curls. Hammer Curls are cake. I can do pretty strict Hammer Curls with 65lb dumbbells and my arms are tiny.


Why would anyone trying to get bigger and stronger not curl?? I just don't understand.


And I was going to crack a joke about how you should do squat rack curls, oh well.


Thanks all,

I guess im gonna do barbell curls, reverse curls, and hammer curls.


In addition to adding in some curls, try doing some heavy negative chins/pullups. Use a box or bench to get in the top position, then lower yourself slowly.

Curls will help to an extent, but if you want to get stronger at the top of pullups, that's where you should train.


If you want to get stronger at pull-ups you should add weight.


exactly, i am adding weight to my pullups, but want to use curls as an accessory lift.

My biceps are only a problem when i fatigue from higher reps, or am doing very heavy weight.

so if im maxing, the top will be where i struggle, and if im doing max reps, i'll fatigue at the top, but still have plenty of partials in the bank