The reverse curl is one of the most underrated biceps and forearm exercises. Ask yourself when was the last time you did a set of dumbbell reverse curls, barbell reverse curls, incline reverse curls or ez bar reverse curls?
If you regularly have this exercise listed in your arm workout, I tip my hat to you because you have a firm grip on the curl work you should be doing. If you're in the category of lifter who never had the luxury of making your acquaintance with this solid arm and forearm builder, it's time to shake things up and get to grips with the reverse biceps curl.
I'm Psymon H, your online training partner, and workout motivator. In my 40+ years of clashing with the iron, I've done a hell of a lot of curls. It wasn't until I lacked grip strength and had huge muscle loss in my right arm after a car accident did I put the time into dumbbell reverse curls to help repair some of the damage
Once I started implementing this exercise, I noticed a gradual difference in grip strength and overall size. Now, I wouldn't say the results were exclusive to the reverse grip curls, but they went a long way to rebuilding my brachialis, and brachioradialis while increasing grip strength.
In this reverse curls master class, I will show you how to perform the perfect reverse bicep curl. We'll crush it with dumbbells (dumbbell reverse curl), a barbell (barbell reverse curl), and a reverse curl ez bar. By the time I've finished with you, you will become a "Reverse Curl Master."
As we get into this master class, remember that the strength process is limited by the weakest link, which is usually grip strength. For this reason, you may not be able to lift the same amount of weight you would normally lift doing a dumbbell or barbell curl.
Items Needed: 2 dumbbells
Cue 1: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and grab a dumbbell in each hand using a pronated grip (palms facing the floor). Make sure not to use a thumbless grip but instead have your thumb wrapped around the handle. This will ensure that you receive maximum contraction during the movement.
Cue 2: Tuck your elbows into your side and retract your shoulders. Start the exercise with the dumbbells down towards your thighs. Ensure that your back remains flat throughout the exercise.
This exercise requires keeping your upper arms stationary as you bend at the elbows.
Cue 3: Exhale as you begin to bend your elbows. Bring the dumbbells up and just past the 90-degree angle. Try to rotate the dumbbells inwards as you curl upwards to maximize tension.
Hold briefly and squeeze your arms before slowly returning the dumbbells to the start position.
The advantage of this reverse grip bicep curl variation is that it can reduce stress on the wrist.
Items Needed: ez bar and weights.
Cue 1: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend at the knees.
Cue 2: When gripping the bar, be sure to grip the bottom of the slope. This stops the bracing effect the thumbs give against the center of the bar when placed at the top, and helps maximize tension on the muscles.
Cue 3: Tuck your elbows into your side, retract your shoulders and engage your core. Start with the bar just above your thighs. Maintain a flat back.
Cue 4: Exhale as you bend your elbows and curl up. Stop just above the 90-degree mark.
Cue 5: Squeeze the muscles of your arm before slowly returning the bar to the start position.
Items Needed: barbell and weights.
Cue 1: Stand with feet at shoulder-width apart and take a shoulder wide pronated grip on the barbell. Ensure you wrap your thumbs around the bar to maximize tension on the muscles involved.
Cue 2: Start with the bar in front of the thighs. Retract shoulders by bringing them down and back and tuck your elbows into your sides. Maintain a flat back.
Cue 3: Exhale as you begin to bend your elbows. Squeeze the bar during the curl and stop just past the 90-degree angle.
Cue 4: Hold the top position briefly before returning the bar to the start position.
1: Using too much weight
2: Relying on momentum and swinging the body to get the weight up
3: Extending the wrist.
Looking for more variations? You can also do the following...
1: Standing Cable Reverse Curls
2: Incline Cable Reverse Curls
3: Incline Dumbbell Reverse Curls
4: Standing Resistance Band Reverse Curls
5: Spider Reverse Dumbbell Curls
6: Spider ez bar Reverse Curls
7: Spider Barbell Reverse Curls
Reverse Curls work the following muscles of the arm and forearm.
1: Bicep Brachii
4: Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
5: Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
6: Extensor digitorum
7: Extensor digiti Minimi
8: Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
Aim to add this into your arm workout a minimum of once per week to see general improvements in grip strength and overall arm and forearm size. Start with 3 sets and gradually work up to 4-5 sets as part of your bicep workout. Shoot for 10-15 repetitions per set, aiming to leave 0-3 repetitions in reserve.
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