Reverse Biceps Curl: Correct Form, Variations, Benefits, and Common Mistakes

The reverse bicep curl is the most well-known version of the bicep curl (Image via Pexels/Julia Larson)
The reverse bicep curl is the most well-known version of the bicep curl (Image via Pexels/Julia Larson)

Unlike classic bicep curls, reverse bicep curls are variations that use a completely different grip type. In your quest for bigger arms and a bigger body, reverse curls could be your hidden weapon.

The biceps are the most well-known muscle in the human body. That means you should give your lower arms the same amount of attention as your upper arms. Not only will your forearms strengthen, but your grip will as well.

Biceps brachii and brachialis are the key muscles addressed during the reverse curl. The biceps curl version is said to be the most effective for targeting an undeveloped brachialis muscle hiding behind the biceps.

What is a reverse biceps curl?

The reverse bicep curl is the most well-known version of the bicep curl. In this variation, your palms face downward when holding a barbell, EZ-curl bar, or dumbbells, rather than upwards and towards you like in a traditional dumbbell biceps curl.

Including this exercise in your regular workout can help you develop stronger, more toned arms.

The correct form of a reverse biceps curl

To ensure that your sets of reverse curls are as effective and safe as possible, follow this step-by-step guide.

  • Start with a weight that you can handle for 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions for reverse curls.
  • Select a weight that permits you to keep good form throughout all sets and repetitions.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Take a barbell or an EZ curl bar and do some curls. Shoulder-width grip with hands on top of the bar (pronated grip) rather than underneath like in a typical curl.
  • Grip an EZ curl bar on the downward-sloping part of the bar when using it.
  • Maintain a strong core by keeping your shoulders back and your core taut.
  • Begin by placing the bar against your upper tights and keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Curl the bar up to the top, hold for a second or two, and then slowly lower the weight.
  • Repeat


Variations of reverse biceps curls

While regular reverse curls are beneficial, you don't have to stick to just that one workout. Here are a few other options to try and spice up your workouts.

1) Reverse Grip Barbell Curl

A pair of dumbbells is required for the reverse dumbbell curl variation. This exercise works wonders for isolating the biceps.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand during the movement to accomplish the reverse curl. Perform this exercise with light weights if you're new to reverse curls.

2) Cable reverse curl

For reverse curls, you don't have to stick to free weight. Instead, connect a straight or EZ bar to a low pulley and perform cable reverse curls.


The use of wires ensures that muscular tension does not drop at the top of each rep.

3) Prone incline reverse curl

To provide a challenging angle during this workout, try a prone incline reverse curl. In this posture, lie face down on an incline bench and perform reverse curls.


A barbell, EZ curl bar, or dumbbells can be used for this exercise.

4) Preacher reverse biceps curl

The use of a preacher chair provides support while challenging the biceps and brachialis muscles to reach their maximum contraction.


Extend your lower arms and place the backs of your upper arms against the bench. Pull the barbell towards your shoulders with a pronated grip before lowering it back down.

How can reverse biceps curls be beneficial?

Reverse curls work the brachii and brachialis muscles in your arms, which are the key muscles for elbow flexion.

Another advantage of doing reverse curls on a daily basis is that your biceps will grow bigger.

Reverse curls strengthen your grip and increase your performance during other upper-body workouts like deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups by stimulating the brachioradialis muscle in your forearm.

Having a firm grasp is beneficial not only in terms of fitness but also in everyday life. It is useful when carrying groceries and other items.

Common mistakes to avoid

When doing reverse biceps curls, always choose a weight that permits you to maintain complete body control throughout the exercise.

Pay great attention to your body when doing any exercise, and stop immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Below, we have listed some common mistakes to avoid during reverse biceps curls:

  • Curl up or decrease the weight without moving your wrists. To maintain stability and adequate contraction of all muscles involved, the wrists and forearms should be straight and aligned.
  • Avoid making the motion too quickly. This exercise necessitates slow execution and deliberate repetition.
  • Avoid swinging and shifting your torso. Your body should be in a stable position. Your biceps should lift the weight without the help of your back or core.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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