How To Perform a Reverse Curl

A Reverse Curl or a reverse biceps curl is performed by using a different grip from the standard curl, where it requires you to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Holding a pair of dumbbells or EZ-curl bar with a pronated grip, unlike the standard curl where you hold the weight with your palms facing up. In a reverse curl workouts, the muscles around your forearms benefits greatly, as they are the main focal point. This exercise needs to be done with utmost care and supervision, especially for those who are amateurs. This article seeks to provide you with adequate guidance on how to perform the reverse curl safely.


Step-by-Step Guide for Reverse Curl

Focus: Biceps and forearms

Equipment Needed: EZ curl bar, Barbell, and dumbbells.

Stand straight, without bending or tilting, make sure your shoulders back, and chest are raised.

Grasp a set of dumbbells, holding them with your palms facing down (pronated grip) not up, if it faces up that becomes standard curl instead of reverse.

Next, allow the weights settle on the front of your thighs. Exhale, and bend your elbows to raise the weights toward your shoulders.

Keep lifting the weights until you feel a tension. The pronated grip that you are using will engage the brachialis muscles in order for you to be able to move the weight. However, if you feel any unusual pain you should stop.

Next, slowly lower back the dumbbells to the original position, after about 2 seconds with your upper arms unmoving during the process, and inhale as you go.

Usually, you should feel your blood race through different parts of your arm than it would if it were a standard curl, stimulating growth in new areas.

Note: A Barbell, dumbbells or an EZ curl bar can be used to perform the reverse curl conveniently. Always, opt for about half of the weight you’d have use for a regular barbell curl for 8 reps, and increase it in time, once you get your form right. 

For an EZ curl bar grip it on the downward-sloping parts of the bar, located just outside the middle straight section. Also, accurately place your elbows close to your sides with your knees slightly bent, and your hands gripped tightly to the bar, for a proper form.


Benefits of Reverse Curl

The primary muscles targeted during the reverse curl are the biceps brachii and brachialis, and this helps in elbow flexion.

This exercise improves your ability to lift heavier weight and correct muscle imbalance, as well as make them grow stronger.

A pronated grip is said to promote greater muscle activation than other grip methods.

The reverse biceps curl helps in biceps injuries rehabilitation.


Variations of a Reverse Curl

The reverse biceps curl can be performed the following forms.

EZ Bar Reverse Curl

Perform the exercise using an EZ curl bar for wrist comfort during the exercise. This variation also works to better activate the biceps muscles,4 allowing you to develop strength and exercise confidence.

Reverse Barbell Curl

With the use of barbells, perform your reverse curl, it works just the same and efficiently as using a dumbell. Difference, is individual preference and comfort.

Wall-Aided Reverse Curl

As the name implies, this type of reverse curl encourages you to stand against a wall to perform the reverse curl. It is ideal for people who have difficulty maintaining good form, and allow for better and safer lifting experience.

Prone Incline Reverse Curl

A prone incline reverse curl gives you a new angle when performing the reverse curl exercise. To do it, lie face down on an incline bench and do reverse curls in this position. This can be performed with a barbell, EZ curl bar, or dumbbells.

Safety and Precautions

If you have an injury to your biceps, elbow, or wrist, you may want to avoid this exercise. Alternatively, you can ask your doctor or physical therapist whether the reverse bicep curl is safe given your specific condition.If you experience pain or discomfort that doesn’t feel right during the reverse bicep curl, discontinue the exercise. Start with a weight that you can lift 8 to 12 times with proper form. Work up to two to three sets of 8 to 12 reps.If you are new to this exercise or weight training, in general, it may be a good idea to enlist the guidance of a qualified personal trainer both to learn proper form and to decide how many sets and reps are right for you.

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