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Biceps curl variations and their utility


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I'm curious as to how highly the community rates the various biceps curl types, with general hand/wrist/forearm strength in mind.

For instance, Zottman curl, plate curl, reverse curl, classic biceps curl, uneven dumbbell curl (plates loaded one side), hammer curl, curls with thick grips etc.

Anyone into pinching plates and curling them? Kettlebell curls with a towel looped through (towel grip)? Or "bottom up" kettlebell curls and other lesser known go-tos?

Are there any must-haves in this group, or does anyone not do curls at all? Maybe someone out there does a different variation every week...

Thanks in advance.


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If you don't have a specific goal, for most people it's good to have the majority of your training with regular supinate curls and hammer curls, then sprinkle in the other variations over time just for extra stimulus and balance. Zottman and Scott curls are some of my favorites, as well as uneven dumbbell curls. Incline and spider curls on a bench are also very useful for changing the strength curve. 

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I am no expert on this but with my experience plate curls and reverse grip curls really help the forearm and the grip for me.


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I cant remember the last time I've curled anything more than 12ounces...  I really should start throwing a few sets in. 


I've always liked hammer curls, plate curls are great too but i've never really done them.  Find what works for you but also make sure you enjoy them.

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Thanks for responses so far. I've never really liked curls as I'm more of a compound guy. For example, I prefer to take (most of) my grip work from thick grip pull-ups, towel pull-ups, sandbag rows and carries, Bulgarian bag spins etc.

That said, I've noticed that when getting into heavier weights, some of the curl variations can expose one's weaknesses of the wrist.

I've always heard of plate curls being a winner, so I've recently incorporated them, as well as the Zottman curl, which at present I am using very light weights for, and am looking forward to increasing the weight to see if it really does offer any forearm benefit.

Edited by Gripperer
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