How to get the most out of a Bicep Curl

Dos and do nots… broken down by Cat & Bethany

You’re going to see them in just about any Studio SWEAT Sculpt class – bicep curls (or some variation of them). While the exercise is basic, it can still be done wrong, so Cat Kom and Bethany are ready with some tips on how to maximize the carve.

Perfect curl form is in your immediate future with just some simple reminders. Here are three top no-nos and corrections when it comes to bicep curl form:

  1. Don’t backswing. Backswing happens when you’re using momentum instead of muscle strength to get the weights up and down. Know why? You’re probably using too much weight. If you’re using momentum, you’re not getting stronger. (Hey, momentum is good in its place – like for kettlebell swings. Just not for your curls.)
    Once you’ve got the proper weight in hand, make sure your weights don’t go behind your hips on the decline. Bethany likes to remind us to “dead drop at the bottom,” meaning don’t swing back behind your hips. Control your weights right down to that spot before the next curl.
  2. Don’t bring your hands up too high. Stop at your collarbone with your elbows ever so slightly in front of your body. 
  3. Don’t flare out your elbows. You’re no floppy chicken. Pin those wings to your side like a Thanksgiving turkey. 

Beautiful biceps are about control. In fact, slow, controlled curls, really working the negative (super slow and controlled on the down curl) will really get you those “suns out guns out” muscles we all love. 

Now that you’re a bicep curl master, you’ll see that they’re very easy to add to any combo move. Lots of the Studio SWEAT trainers like adding them to squats and lunges. But guess what – combos make it also kinda easy to use too much of that momentum. So if you find you’re swinging the weights up into your curls as you come out of a squat, break it down. Workshop each move together – in control but without flow so you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

And for those body-sculpting, fat-torching workouts including lots of ways to strengthen those biceps properly, check out Studio SWEAT and Studio SWEAT onDemand!


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Here's what people said about “How to get the most out of a Bicep Curl”


Good info. Would be interested in the same thing for tricep kickbacks. I see different form with different trainers. I like how Fred specifically kicks back and holds, rather than kicking down. Just wondering if there are several ways to target that muscle with this exercise. Thank u!

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Hi Linda. You should totally send that request in to They track vlog requests. Just like there are many variations of a bi curl (jab curl, hammer curl, rotating curl, seated curl, single arm curl) there are also many variation of the tricep kickback. And… with each variation you can play with the speed of the rep (including the iso hold) and even the range of the rep (half, quarter, full). I love the squeeze hols too and do that in several workouts. It causes the blood to pool in the muscle for a hot second. Really what’s proven best is mixing up all the styles! So many options right!!