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Barbell Bicep Exercises



These exercises are an absolute staple in any arm workout routine. Barbell Curls, Preach Curls, 21s, all of these barbell bicep exercises can help you get the results that you want. Barbell bicep exercises take out some of the stability that you need when working with dumbbells, so it’s no surprise that people can usually lift more using the bar than dumbbells. You must be mindful to make sure that the extra weight comes only from the additional stability and NOT from using other parts of your body to lift the weight. Don’t start cheating just because you’re using a barbell.

Rocking While Curling

Rocking is for chairs, not for the gym. There’s a time and place where cheating is acceptable, but for the most part, assume that you should not be using a rocking motion to help you lift weight. The added momentum doesn’t do anything for the workout, and only makes it easier for you to complete the exercise. Rocking is one of the first signs of cheating repetitions. There’s also the risk of engaging other muscles that aren’t your biceps. For example, the shoulders. The bottom line is if the weights and reps are becoming too difficult where you need to rock back and forth to get that extra rep – trying lowering the weight a bit.

Barbell Bicep Grips

Similar to dumbbell bicep exercises, the grip will be key. It’s more binary with a barbell though: overhand and underhand. The overhand grip when doing curls will primarily target the forearms. It’s definitely a grip that will be used in Daily Spot programs, just needs to be at the right time and cadence. Take a look at some more barbell bicep exercises below. Combine these and tricep exercises to get a great workout, or you can check out the arms programs on Daily Spot for a guaranteed bicep workout.

Examples of Barbell Bicep Exercises

We've included examples and instructions of barbell bicep exercises below:

Barbell Preacher Curl

Sit on preacher bench while holding barbell. Keep your elbows close to your torso and palms in an underhand grip placed on bar shoulder width. Curl the weights while contracting your biceps, raise until dumbbells are at shoulder level.


Standing Barbell Curl

While standing, hold a barbell shoulder width. Keep your elbows close to your torso and palms in an underhand grip. Curl the weights while contracting your biceps, raise until barbell is at shoulder level.


Standing EZ-Bar Reverse Curl

Stand with hands placed shoulder width on an EZ-Bar, palms facing body. Keeping elbows at tight on midsection, curl the bar up to shoulder height. Slowly return to starting position.



Bodyweight Bicep Exercises

No weights? No problem. No chin-up bar? Err….no problem. Nowhere at all to do a pull-up or curl yourself up? Ok, now we got a problem. When we talk about bodyweight bicep exercises, we’re not going to recommend to put a bunch of weight in two shopping bags and curl it. That’s too hacked together for us to seriously endorse. Instead, we’ll repurpose some of the workouts that you can do in the gym at home. In this case, it comes down to one staple: pull-ups.


Dumbbell Bicep Exercises

There’s a greater range of motion when using dumbbells, and these dumbbell bicep exercises take full advantage of it. Dumbbells allow for you to do a specific lifts that are impossible when using a barbell: concentration curls and cross-body curls for starters. We’ll outline a few dumbbell bicep exercises below and offer some pointers for how to most effectively incorporate them into a routine.