The reverse curl is a solid exercise that helps to tone the biceps brachii and also to increase strength and size of the forearms. This exercise typically uses a preloaded barbell that is roughly 3 to 5 feet long. More advanced exercisers can use an Olympic barbell if desired.
Reverse curls directly target the brachioradialis muscle which is located on the upper part of the forearm between the elbow and the wrist. This muscle is primarily responsible for elbow flexion. The biceps brachii and the brachialis assist the brachioradialis in the curling motion. The deltoids, traps, and wrist flexors help to stabilize the arm during the curl.
How to Perform
- Stand with feet roughly shoulder width apart.
- Grab the barbell with an overhand grip roughly shoulder width apart.
- Keep elbows to the side of your body at all times.
- Keep torso upright and straight. Do not rock as you are curling the barbell.
- Bend the elbows and start curling the barbell up towards your neckline or until forearms are perpendicular to the ground.
- Pause at the top of the curl and slowly return to starting position.
- To increase difficulty: increase the volume, stand on one leg or slowly raise and lower the bar.
The amount of sets and reps is determined by your muscular goals and your one rep max (1RM).
- Muscular endurance is typically 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps, at a weight from 0 to 50% of 1RM, and a rest time of less than 1 minute between each set.
- Muscular strength/size is typically 1 to 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps at a weight of 50% to 80% of 1RM, and a rest time of 1 to 3 minutes between each set.
- Muscular power is typically 1 to 2 sets of 1-4 reps, at a weight of 85% to 95% of 1RM, and a rest time of 3 to 5 minutes between each set.
With all exercises, safety and proper form are vital to a successful workout. Make sure to pay attention to the following:
- Keep a tight grip on the barbell at all times.
- Do not rock back and forth when performing the curling motion as this can decrease the effectiveness of the exercise and cause injuries.
- Do not lean backwards when curling the barbell upwards as this can lead to back injuries or a loss of balance.