Your Proven Reverse Barbell Curl Guide To Stronger Forearms and Biceps

Your Proven Reverse Barbell Curl Guide To Stronger Forearms and Biceps

The reverse barbell curl is an excellent exercise for building your biceps and your grip strength. Are you looking to develop your forearms and grip strength without adding additional time to your workouts?  Here is a great exercise to occasionally incorporate into your training routine.

Who Should Do Reverse Barbell Curls

Any athlete that requires to grip anything should be doing reverse barbell curls. Many powerlifters incorporate reverse curls to improve their grip strength for the deadlift. Many bodybuilders perform reverse curls to build bigger forearms.

Reverse Barbell Curl Summary

  • Primary Muscles Worked: Biceps Brachii
  • Other Muscles (Secondary) Worked: Forearms Brachioradialis
  • Equipment: barbell
  • Mechanics Type: Isolation
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary

Correct Execution Of The Reverse Barbell Curl


  • Stand upright with your back and head straight. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • With both hands grasp barbell with an overhand grip palms facing down (pronated grip). Press your elbows firmly against your body.
  • Bring your shoulders back and chest out.


  • Beginning with arms straight and you, barbell at your upper thighs.
  • Now Raise the barbell towards your chest until your forearms are near vertical.
  • Lower the barbell slowly until your arms are fully extended.
  • Repeat.
Man performing reverse grip barbell curl with MuscleMagFitness logo background.

Proper Reverse Barbell Curl Form From Michelle Trapp

How to Do Reverse Curls

Muscles Utilized For Reverse Barbell Curl

Target (Agonist) Muscles

  • Biceps Brachii, Forearms Brachioradialis

Synergist Muscles

  • Brachialis

Stabilizers Muscles

  • Deltoid
  • Trapezius
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Wrist Extensors

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None

Brett Azar Demonstrating EZ Bar Reverse Curls

How to Do a Reverse Curl | Arm Workout

Tips for Better Results and Proper Curl From

To reduce your chance of injuries and to get the best results, follow these easy tips.

  • Move the bar up and down in a controlled manner.
  • Never swing your hips or swing your shoulders back. Although, you don’t have to be as stiff as aboard. For instance, you will likely sway slightly to maintain you center of gravity and not fall forward. This slight shift in weight is fine.
  • Squeeze your biceps and forearms at the top.
  • If the normal barbell hurts your wrist, then try different grip with the EZ bar.
  • Keep Your Elbows tight to your body.

Frequent Mistakes You Want To Avoid When Doing Curls

It is very important to perform reverse barbell curls with good form. Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes. Fortunately, these mistakes are easy to avoid if you know what they are.

  • Do through the wait up. Specifically, this is a great exercise for building strength, not for a cardio workout.
  • Don’t use too much weight, you will do less than you normally would do with a standard barbell curl.
  • You are not keeping elbow tight against your side. Specifically, when your elbows move out you be putting more strain on your wrists.

Some Variations to Reverse Barbell Curls

Here are some variations for the reverse barbell curls. You can use these exercises as replacements for or supplements to the reverse barbell curl. Similarly, if you are already doing some of these exercises you can replace them with these other curls occasionally.

Additional Exercises that Target the Same Muscle Groups

The following exercises can be performed instead of {exercise} or to complement it.

Complementary and Superset Push Pull Options

Most people work there biceps in fore arms paired with either other pulling exercises or with complementary pushing exercises. Example of someone who combines curls with other pulling exercises is a person who does a back and bicep workout day. Similarly a person who does push pull superset work may do tricep extensions and bicep curls together or as a super set.

The Deadlift. If you are powerlifting, then you may want to add reverse barbell curls to your deadlift days occasionally to raise your grip strength. Obviously you would want to do the reverse curls after your deadlifting.
Reverse Grip (Supplanted) Lat Pull Downs. For you bodybuilders you would likely perform reverse curls in conjunction with back day on a back and bicep rotation. Specifically the reverse grip lat pull down is a great complementary exercise.
Barbell Tricep Extensions. These tricep extensions are an excellent superset option with reverse curls. Especially, for those of you who like to do a push pull day. It is likely that you can use the same bar and the same amount of weight and get in a great superset with these two exercises.

Advocating for Reverse Barbell Curls

If you could not tell we are advocates for the reverse barbell curl. Especially, over doing isolated forearm exercises. Accordingly, if you are not yet a believer try them for a few training sessions and see your grip strength improve.

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Your Proven Reverse Barbell Curl Guide To Stronger Forearms and Biceps

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