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🏆Hammer Curls w/Triceps Bar: 4 sets, 12-15 reps
🏆Isolated Spider Curls: 4 sets, 10-12 reps
🏆Standing Cable Machine Curls: 4 sets, 10-12 reps
🏆Standing EZ Bar Curls: 4 sets, 12-15 reps
🏆Hammer Curls w/Dumbbell: 4 sets, 12-15 reps
🏆Standing EZ Bar Curls: 5 sets, 10-12 reps
🏆Isolated Standing Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets, 12-15 reps
🏆Seated Isolated Curls Machine: 3 sets, 12-15 reps
| Barbell or EZ-Bar Curl |
The standard shoulder-width curl engages the short and long heads of the biceps equally, you can alter grip width to slightly change the emphasis (wide to target the short head, narrow for the long head), you can really pile on the weight, and you don't have to sit there endlessly working one arm at a time.
Want to use a straight bar instead of a cambered EZ-bar? Have at it, if your wrists don't mind. A 2018 study found that while both variants produced greater activity than dumbbell curls, "The small difference between [barbell] and EZ variants… makes the choice between these two exercises a matter of subjective comfort."
| Cable Curl |
This movement seems a lot like the standing barbell curl at first glance. After all, they're both bilateral movements in which you take a shoulder-width, underhand grip on the bar. What makes it different is that, like all of the best muscle-building cable exercises, the angle of loading gives you constant tension on the muscle through the full range of motion.
Essentially, that means you can't rest at the bottom or the top, which creates more total time under tension. Plus, depending on the gym you're in, you might have numerous handle options and body positions to keep you busy.
| Dumbbell Curl |
Is this really any different than a barbell curl? That's up to you. Sure, you can do the moves in basically the same way in the same workout, but we don't recommend it. The real value of dumbbell curls is that they can be done a number of ways: standing or seated, with both arms or alternating, rotating your wrists into Zottman curls to work on your fearsome forearms, or twisting that pinky up to focus purely on the bis. In short, you have options.
| Hammer Curl |
Curls with a palms-facing or neutral grip do more than just hit the biceps, they also heavily recruit the brachialis, a muscle that doesn't get measured on EMG studies because it's beneath the biceps. Because it's not as obvious a move as, say, a barbell curl, it often gets undeservedly skipped on arm day.
Why should you care? Increasing the girth of the brachialis can "raise" your biceps from below, making your entire arm larger. Another reason: They were Chris Hemsworth's go-to curl to transform into Thor.
Pro tip: The dumbbell version is solid, but even better is the cable version holding a rope grip, because it gives you constant tension throughout the range of motion.
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