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the differences among the various curls

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  • the differences among the various curls

    oddly enough i've never really trained biceps, partly because i used to do more powerlifting and didnt care, and partly because they always grew without my needing to do any curls

    now i'm trying to get more experience in "feeling the muscle" and knowing my body/what exercises work.

    i noticed there are TONS of different types of curls, so my question is what is the top curling exercises that have worked for you guys, and the worst ones? and what rep range is good?

    just ones that come to my mind
    db curls
    bb curl
    ez bar curls
    preacher curls db
    preacher curls ez bar
    concentration curls
    curl machines??
    db curls on incline bench

    etc etc

  • #2
    My opinion?

    Well, only because you asked

    I don't think there is any difference in a dumbbell curl, barbell curl, incline curl, preacher curl, etc.. Flexion from the elbow joint isn't multi-angle like the shoulder or the hip or ankle. It is basically the same as the knee and as far as I am concerned, a curl is a curl is a curl.

    EDIT: Clearly, a barbell curl uses more weight through a full range of motion vs. something like a concentration curl. I am just making the point that I don't see much of a different, at all, for almost all of the bicep curls.

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    • #3
      Biggest difference I've found:
      Do curls with an explosive concentric and a slow, controlled eccentric. Give a good 3-5 Mississippi as you lower the weight, then blast it back up on the contraction. That seems to make all the difference in the world.
      Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
      kind of a douche

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      • #4
        @skip
        earlier before making this post, i did some searching on google that led to many people saying that conc curls are the worst, and that preacher is more forearm or "length" and conc is more "peak". then i was thinking this was a bunch of BS, considering that it WAS a BB.com thread...but that got me curious about curling in general

        @sammich
        sounds like a plan, always good to remember the importance of control and tempo. does a squeeze at the top of the movement matter?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by drcrappants View Post
          @sammich
          sounds like a plan, always good to remember the importance of control and tempo. does a squeeze at the top of the movement matter?
          I really don't know, but it couldn't hurt. The way I look at curls is as kind of "focusing" exercise. I think the "meat" of building biceps is with heavy, compound exercises (like any other muscle), so curls are, in my opinion, the icing on the cake to finish off what was started with movements like deadlifts, rows, pulldowns, chins, etc.

          That being said, take the above advice with a grain of salt since my biceps suck donkey ass.
          Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
          kind of a douche

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          • #6
            The only difference I see is.

            - Pronation/supination
            - Speed of concentric/eccentric phase
            - Unilateral/ Isolateral

            Therefore, to make things short:

            - A hammer curl, a rev.grip curl and a bb curls are 3 different kinds of curls/ totally different exercises
            - A 3-second negative curl and a explosive cheat bb curl are different kinds of curls
            -Alternating db curls and BB curls are different kinds of curls.


            That's about it
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            • #7
              I totally agree with Sammich. I would start out that way and work on your mind muscle connection (fancy way of saying feeling the muscle do the work).

              If you want to pump up the intensity, one way I did my curls in the past was holding the contraction for 5 seconds, lowering in 5 seconds, and then raising the weight quickly. Hit failure around 10 reps, rest for 5 deep breaths and go again for 3 or more reps. 2 sets of these (after a couple easy warm ups) will kill.

              A couple preacher curls with a slow negative should finish off your arms nicely. Sink into the stretch, feel it, and then raise it up. Don't go too heavy.

              Also remember to switch things up from time to time. That's one reason DC training works so well.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                I really don't know, but it couldn't hurt. The way I look at curls is as kind of "focusing" exercise. I think the "meat" of building biceps is with heavy, compound exercises (like any other muscle), so curls are, in my opinion, the icing on the cake to finish off what was started with movements like deadlifts, rows, pulldowns, chins, etc.

                That being said, take the above advice with a grain of salt since my biceps suck donkey ass.
                i dont know what i was thinking seeking the advice of a frog and his frog arms :nuts:

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 0001Delta View Post
                  The only difference I see is.

                  - Pronation/supination
                  - Speed of concentric/eccentric phase
                  - Unilateral/ Isolateral

                  Therefore, to make things short:

                  - A hammer curl, a rev.grip curl and a bb curls are 3 different kinds of curls/ totally different exercises
                  - A 3-second negative curl and a explosive cheat bb curl are different kinds of curls
                  -Alternating db curls and BB curls are different kinds of curls.


                  That's about it
                  can you comment on the pros/cons of such exercises then?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doberman View Post
                    I totally agree with Sammich. I would start out that way and work on your mind muscle connection (fancy way of saying feeling the muscle do the work).

                    If you want to pump up the intensity, one way I did my curls in the past was holding the contraction for 5 seconds, lowering in 5 seconds, and then raising the weight quickly. Hit failure around 10 reps, rest for 5 deep breaths and go again for 3 or more reps. 2 sets of these (after a couple easy warm ups) will kill.

                    A couple preacher curls with a slow negative should finish off your arms nicely. Sink into the stretch, feel it, and then raise it up. Don't go too heavy.

                    Also remember to switch things up from time to time. That's one reason DC training works so well.
                    ouch, definitely going to NOT do that! :p

                    good point on the Mind muscle connection--it's one thing that i've neglected that i am now trying to develop.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 0001Delta View Post
                      -Alternating db curls and BB curls are different kinds of curls.

                      Why? Because of supination?

                      Not picking at you but, honestly, in my experience sipination means nothing. It is incredibly over-rated and hangs close to the spot on my list as keeping your pinky up during kickbacks.

                      If you did dumbbell curls for a year and barbell curls for a year and did them both heavy, your biceps would be no further along with either option, in my opinion.

                      Skip


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                      • #12
                        ▲▲▲ agree
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                        • #13
                          don't fail to realize the importance of keeping the pinky up while drinking wine

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                          • #14
                            not to hijack the thread but I have a problem with grip strength were I can't hold on to the dumbells without wraps when going for a heavier set on db curls. Meaning mid set I have to stop to drop them, even If I have more left in the tank because of grip.

                            Using wraps is it a issue for db curls?

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                            • #15
                              how heavy are you going on your db sfor them to be hard to hold??

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