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Standing Barbell Biceps Curl with Wide Angle Grip Biceps Curl Variation

I am going to explain with text instructions as well as demonstrate in my 2 HD videos about how to do the standing barbell biceps curl with two different grips - a shoulder grip and a wide grip. I really like this exercise because it really works your biceps hard, gives you amazing bicep size and definition and works the full length of the bicep muscles.

Since this exercise is done standing, it also acts as a full body workout because you use your back, legs, glutes and core muscles as support to do the exercise, allowing your biceps to do the work and to prevent you from swinging as you curl the bar. If you are swinging, then you are not doing the exercise properly and you run the risk of injury, plus you are not working your biceps to their fullest potential.

Shoulder Width Grip

The first exercise uses a shoulder width using a straight barbell. You can also use the easy grip barbell if your gym doesn't have the straight one, but I prefer the straight one as you can place your hands anywhere on the bar and it works your biceps better.

Here’s how to do it:
  • Stand tall with feet at shoulder width apart.
  • Pull in your abs in order to support your back. Basically, the correct placement of your feet and the use of your core muscles provide the support and form required to do this exercise properly - prevent you from swinging your body as you do the exercise.
  • Shoulders should be back.
  • Hold the barbell with elbows slightly bent (don't lock your elbows) and arms straight, lowered and perpendicular to each other and palms facing upwards. This is your starting position.
  • Arms and elbows should be close by your side and not outwards like in a V position in order to prevent injury. Also, by keeping arms and elbows close to your sides, you will work the biceps more effectively and harder and it gives you more leverage to lift the weights and prevents you from swinging.
  • Breath out as you curl (raise the bar) towards your chest or as close to the chest as possible and breathe in as you lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  • For the first set, I like to start with a lighter weight as a warm-up exercise for the biceps. Do about 4 to 5 sets of 12 repetitions. With heavier weights you can do a lower number of reps.

Wide Grip

For the second exercise or variation of this exercise, you will use a wide grip and at an angle.

The instructions are the same as the shoulder width biceps curl exercise. The only difference is that you will place the hands further apart, closer to the end where the weights join the bar and your forearms are also slightly angled outwards or as far as you are comfortable.

This variation allows you to work the bicep from a different angle and improve the shape and pump of the bicep. Also, variation is always good in a weight training workout.

Here is my HD video demonstration on how to do both exercises:

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