Building the perfectly chiselled biceps is a dream of many. But such a physique requires the right set of workouts and a proper diet. You have to maintain both in order to get an athletic body and pumped-up biceps. While you should definitely talk to a dietician or nutritionist about the diet, we can help you with the workout part. 

There are plenty of biceps exercises for a workout for beginners. And the one we are going to talk about today is none other than a reverse curl. Touted as one of the most crucial exercises, it can target your biceps while ultimately adding more muscles and strength to your upper body. Read on to know more: 

What is Reverse Curl?

You may have heard of terms like reverse ab curls or reverse leg curls but what is a reverse curl? A reverse curl or reverse bicep curl is an exercise in which you grip free weights with your palms facing downwards. This bicep contraction follows the same isotonic moment with both dumbbells and barbells like a standard bicep curl. The only difference is that of the grip. If you wish to build stronger and more toned arms, a reverse curl should be in your fitness routine.

Here are some basic facts to know about reverse curl before learning how to do it:

  • Other Names: Reverse Arm Curl, Reverse Grip Curls
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment Used: Dumbbells, barbells, EZ curl bar, or Cable Station
  • Muscles Targeted: Biceps and forearms

Types of Reverse Curls

Based on the equipment you use, here are some of the different types of reverse curl you can try: 

  • Reverse Dumbbell Curl: As the name suggests, you have to use two dumbbells in each hand to perform this reverse curl. It is best suited for a workout at home since dumbbells are easy to carry and store. 
  • Reverse Barbell Curl: A reverse grip barbell curl is one of the most popular barbell exercises bodybuilders do for stronger and bigger biceps. But always do a standing reverse barbell curl when you have mastered the standard barbell curl. 
  • Reverse Bar Curl: Also known as EZ-curl bar reverse curl, this type of reverse curl is good if you wish to protect your wrist joint. It also gives you a better grip than a barbell. 
  • Reverse Cable Curl: Also known as reverse cable bicep curls, this type is a more advanced yet safe way to do reverse curls. But since it requires a cable machine, you can’t perform reverse grip cable curls unless you have a fully-equipped gym at home. 

How To Do Reverse Curl

As mentioned above, a reverse curl can be done using various free weights like dumbbells, EZ curl bar, or even a cable station. While the process remains the same in all types of revere curl exercises, the technique differs a bit. 

To begin with, here is the step-by-step guide on how you can do a reverse curl exercise with any of the equipment: 

  1. Pick the equipment – be it a barbell, EZ-curl bar, barbell, or dumbbells. Use an overhand grip (with palms down) to grab the weights properly. 
  2. Stand with a slight bend in your knees. Your feet should be hip-width apart and your hands should be slightly wider than your hips. Your neck should be in a neutral position but you should tuck your chin as if holding an egg under it. This should be your chin’s position throughout the movement. 
  3. Stabilize your body by evenly distributing your body weight. As for hands, let them be straight with a slight bend in the elbows. The wrist position should be comfortable. 
  4. To engage your lats and upper back, rotate your shoulders outward. You should also engage your core. This is the starting position. 
  5. Now without moving the upper arms, just squeeze your biceps as you start bending your elbows. Keep bending till your lower arms touch your upper arm. If you are doing an EZ barbell reverse wrist curl, you can finish when your lower arms are close to the shoulder and not in contact. 
  6. Pause at the top of the moment for a few seconds and then slowly straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. 
  7. This is one rep. You can do at least 8 reps if you are a beginner. 

Benefits of Reverse Curl

No doubt that reverse curl exercise helps you in building stronger biceps but that’s just one of the reverse curl benefits. Some other amazing benefits you can get from this workout are as follows: 

  • It activates the muscles in your arms and improves their overall functions. 
  • Reverse curl can also improve your grip strength.
  • It can also improve your performance in other workouts such as reverse wrist curls, deadlifts, bench presses, reverse hammer curls, etc., 
  • This is a versatile exercise and can be used at both home and gym. 
  • It can also reduce elbow pain.

Extra Tips

Performing a reverse curl seems easy until you make a mistake. Not following the right technique or tips can lead to injury and that is why we have jotted some expert tips down. Read them carefully and keep them in mind while doing reverse curls: 

  • Always start the workout after performing a good 5-10 minutes workout. 
  • If you have had any recent injury in the wrist or hands, make sure you consult the doctor or fitness experts before starting reverse curl or reverse forearm curls.
  • Always select the weight you think you can control. In case you are a beginner, go for lighter weight. Once you are comfortable, you can move to heavier weights.  
  • Rest is also quite crucial. Wait for at least 24-48 hours before training the same muscle group. 
  • If you notice any pain or discomfort, stop the workout. 
  • Always perform reverse curl at the end of your biceps workout. 


Whether you are a regular gym-goer or a bodybuilder, reverse curls should be on your workout list. This simple yet effective exercise can bring you a step closer to sculpted biceps like the bodybuilders. That being said, always follow the right tips and techniques. For this, we would recommend you to consult a fitness trainer. 

Nowadays, you can also get expert guidance online for plenty of exercises – be it the basic reverse curl or a specialized reverse Nordic curl or a deadlift. Just focus and get started. 

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May 18, 2022

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