Correct Form, Variations, Benefits, and Common Mistakes

Unlike classic bicep curls, reverse bicep curls are variations that use a completely different type of grip. In your quest for bigger arms and a bigger body, reverse curls could be your hidden weapon.

The biceps is the most well-known muscle in the human body. This means giving your lower arms the same attention as your upper arms. Not only will your forearms get stronger, but your grip will as well.

The biceps brachii and brachialis are the main muscles used during the reverse curl. The biceps curl version would be the most effective for targeting an undeveloped brachialis muscle hiding behind the biceps.


What is a reverse bicep curl?

The reverse bicep curl is the most popular version of the bicep curl. In this variation, your palms face down when holding a barbell, EZ-curl bar, or dumbbells, rather than up and toward you like in a traditional dumbbell bicep curl.

Including this exercise in your regular workout can help you develop stronger, more toned arms.


The correct form of a reverse bicep curl

To make sure your reverse curl sets are as effective and safe as possible, follow this step-by-step guide.

  • Start with a weight you can handle for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps for reverse curls.
  • Select a weight that allows you to maintain good form throughout all sets and reps.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Grab a bar or EZ curl bar and do some curls. Shoulder-width grip with hands on top of the bar (overhand grip) rather than underneath as in a typical curl.
  • Grasp an EZ curl bar on the downward sloping part of the bar when using it.
  • Maintain a strong core by keeping your shoulders back and your core tight.
  • Start by placing the bar against the top of your tights and keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Curl the bar up, hold for a second or two, then slowly lower the weight.
  • Repeat

Variations of reverse bicep curls

Although regular reverse curls are beneficial, you don’t have to stick to just one workout. Here are a few other options to try and spice up your workouts.

1) Reverse Grip Dumbbell Curl

A pair of dumbbells is needed for the reverse dumbbell curl variation. This exercise works wonders for isolating the biceps.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand during the movement to complete the reverse curl. Perform this exercise with light weights if you are new to reverse curls.


2) Reverse bend of the cable

For reverse curls, you don’t have to stick with free weight. Instead, connect a straight or EZ bar to a low pulley and perform reverse cable curls.

The use of wires ensures that muscle tension does not drop at the top of each repetition.


3) Inverted Tummy Curl

To provide a challenging angle during this workout, try an incline reverse belly curl. In this pose, lie face down on an incline bench and perform reverse curls.

A barbell, EZ curl bar or dumbbells can be used for this exercise.


4) Reverse Preacher Biceps Curl

Using a preacher chair provides support while stimulating the biceps and brachialis muscles to reach their maximum contraction.

Extend your forearms and place the backs of your arms against the bench. Pull the bar toward your shoulders with an overhand grip before lowering it back down.


How can reverse bicep curls be beneficial?

Reverse curls work the brachialis and brachialis muscles in your arms, which are the key muscles for elbow flexion.

Another benefit of doing reverse curls daily is that your biceps will get bigger.

Reverse curls strengthen your grip and increase your performance in other upper body workouts like deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups by stimulating the brachioradialis muscle in your forearm.

Having a firm grip is beneficial not only in terms of physical fitness but also in everyday life. It is useful for carrying groceries and other items.


Common mistakes to avoid

When doing reverse bicep curls, always choose a weight that allows you to maintain complete control of your body throughout the exercise.

Pay close attention to your body when doing any exercise and stop immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Below, we’ve listed some common mistakes to avoid when performing reverse bicep curls:

  • Relax or lower the weight without moving your wrists. To maintain stability and proper contraction of all the muscles involved, the wrists and forearms should be straight and aligned.
  • Avoid doing the movement too quickly. This exercise requires slow execution and deliberate repetition.
  • Avoid rocking and moving your torso. Your body should be in a stable position. Your biceps should lift the weight without help from your back or core.

Q. Have you tried the reverse bicep curl?

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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Richard V. Johnson