There are many ways you can grow and strengthen your bicep muscles. You can perform specific exercises that target these muscle groups or manipulate certain variables in your exercise regimen.

Sometimes, all you need is the right exercise equipment to get bigger and stronger biceps. One such piece of equipment is the curl bar.

Here is how you can use this exercise tool to achieve better gains in your biceps muscle-building routine.

1. Keep Your Wrists in a Semi-Supinated Position

It is important to know the difference between a curl bar and a barbell or a dumbbell.

The curl bar looks a lot like a barbell, except that the handle is not a straight bar. It features an undulating handlebar that will allow you to hold it in a semi-supinated wrist position.

In an ordinary barbell, you will be gripping the bar as if your palms will be facing straight forward. This is the normal anatomical position of a supinated wrist.

In holding the curl bar, your wrist will still be facing forward. However, it will also face a little bit towards the side of the body.

This is the semi-supinated wrist position that stabilises the wrist joints.

2. Make Sure that the Biceps are Doing the Lifting

Always start with both arms as straight as possible. You should also feel the tension in your triceps. You can then start squeezing the biceps to initiate the lift.

This zeroes in the work on the biceps. The key here is to eliminate the effects of momentum. You would want the muscles to do the work for you without the aid of momentum.

As you raise the curl bar, make sure that the biceps retain their tension. As soon as you reach the top of the maneuver, squeeze the biceps as hard as you can.

You can then start to lower the curl bar in a deliberately slow manner. Whenever lowering the curl bar, make sure to extend your arms to the starting position before you go for another rep. 

Do not forget to exhale as you lift the curl bar. This allows you to focus your attention on the tightening of the biceps.

3. Keep the Elbows Tight

One of the secrets of the successful use of a curl bar is keeping the elbows tight. If you are going to perform the lift standing, then the elbows should stay right on your sides.

Under no circumstances should any of your elbows move forward or upward. Doing so will rob tension from the biceps. Remember, the biceps have to do the work if you want them to grow bigger and stronger.

If you are going to perform the lift sitting on a preacher bench, your elbows should still be tight. It is important that the back of the upper arms and the elbows are flush against the bench padding throughout the duration of the lifting.

If you are having difficulty lifting the curl bar without moving your elbows, then it could be because the weight is heavier than what you can lift.

Remove some of the weight plates and try again. It is important to keep the elbows tight so that the biceps will do the work.

4. Retract the Shoulders

In addition to keeping the elbows tight, it is also important to retract the shoulder blades. In the same vein, it’s important to raise the chest in an effort to keep the torso in an upright position.

This will help prevent the tendency to hunch forwards. Doing so will create a poor posture which can increase the pressure on the wrist joints and reduce their range of motion.

It is also important to keep the shoulders back if ever you are in a sitting position. This will help prevent you from leaning forward. This position allows you to maintain a lifting posture that is safe.

5. Maintain the Alignment of the Head and Neck

Always look in front of you. Raise your chin to help maintain the alignment of the head and neck.

Avoid the temptation to drop your chin towards the chest. This can add pressure to the upper spine and neck, which can result in the rolling of the shoulders forward.

Final Thoughts

Using a curl bar is as easy as lifting a dumbbell or a barbell. However, it is important that you focus on making the biceps do the work.

Hopefully, the steps and tips above help you learn and master curl bar lifting for well-defined biceps.

More Questions About Curl Bars

1. Which is better for my biceps: curl or straight bar?

The choice between curl and straight bars depends on your needs and fitness level. Generally, curl bars are best for people new to weightlifting or those with wrist or mobility issues. On the other hand, straight bars are ideal for serious strength athletes and people who enjoy lifting heavier weights.

2. Are barbell curls enough for biceps?

Barbell curls are good for biceps, but it is better to do other exercises to engage your arm muscles. Lat pulldowns, pull-ups, and rows are some examples. Adding variety to your muscle-building routine should keep your motivation up. Consider using a multi-gym machine to work as many muscles with one equipment.