How The Reverse Barbell Curl Boosts Biceps Growth

Reverse Barbell Curl

The reverse barbell curl is a great curling alternative to build forearm strength and boost your ability to lift heavier weight.

Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts all love to work on their arms. Having defined arms can look great in a tank or tee and showing off our gains is something we certainly all love. But knowing the right biceps exercises to perform can be challenging and with so many out there, you want to be sure you are capitalizing on all your gains.

The reverse barbell curl is a seriously effective exercise that is easy to learn and simple to perform but will benefit your arm growth and development greatly. A nice variation of the traditional barbell curl, this will work those muscles differently and target them in a way that you will see results. Plus, it will add to that physique that others will most definitely envy.

Let’s take a look at the reverse barbell curl to see just how great this exercise is. From what it is, to muscles worked, the many benefits of it, and how to perform, you will have all your bases covered as you seek the best for your gains.

Reverse Barbell Curl

What Is The Reverse Barbell Curl?

The reverse barbell curl is a great arm builder and seriously effective biceps exercise to boost your arm training goals in efforts to see huge growth. Performed in the same motion as a traditional barbell curl, this will see your palms facing the opposite direction which targets your muscles differently for increased gains (1). An exercise perfect for all experience levels, this is an isolation exercise that your arm training days need to really boost biceps growth.

Muscles Worked

The reverse barbell curl exercise works your arm muscles and is great for boosting arm training. This will work muscles in your biceps and your forearms to strengthen and tone those arms. Your biceps brachii, one of the main muscles in your arm, is targeted and this works to bend your arm. It also gives that rounded biceps physique we all know and love. Your brachialis also gets work done and this exercise works to strengthen this muscle for increased size and better elbow flexion. The main muscle of the forearm, the brachioradialis, will also be targeted and this is responsible for bending, flexing, and rotating for sport specific and more functional movements.

Reverse Barbell Curl

Benefits Of The Reverse Barbell Curl

Reverse barbell curls have many great benefits that should not be overlooked when it comes to seeing great growth and definition in your arms. The perfect exercise to throw into your routine mid-workout, or at the end for drop sets, you can’t go wrong with the reverse barbell curl exercise.

Benefits of the reverse barbell curl include:

  • Bigger, stronger arms: This exercise is great for seeing muscle hypertrophy and watching those biceps get bigger and more rounded as you sculpt that massive physique (2).
  • Forearm development: By hitting your forearms, you start to increase strength and definition in an often times overlooked muscle (3).
  • Targets muscle differently: With a different grip, you target your muscles differently so they see growth in a different way.
  • Nice variation: This exercise is a great variation to keep your workouts fun and engaging while still providing a challenge as you seek those gains.

How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Hold a barbell with your palms facing down.
  2. In a similar motion as a traditional barbell curl, curl the bar to around shoulder height. Keep a tight core and a neutral spine.
  3. Give your muscles a squeeze at the top and gently return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

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Featured Supplement For Added Gains

When it comes to a serious lift like the reverse barbell curl, it is important to have a supplement shelf fully stocked with a host of effective and safe supplements for you to try. A pre-workout is great for boosting those muscle pumps and energy and an intra-workout BCAA is one to give you great gains when it comes to bursting through fatigue and minimizing muscle damage. For those looking to get that shredded aesthetic, a fat burner can do the trick and a multivitamin will ensure you don’t miss out on any vital nutrients. But protein powders are essential for growth and recovery and you cannot go wrong with the right protein supplement (4).

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Wrap Up

Reverse barbell curls are a great exercise to see huge gains especially when it comes to seeing that arm growth and development. By working your biceps and forearms, you target those muscles you want to see grow most as you seek to build that massive and well-sculpted physique. An easy to learn and simple exercise to perform, the reverse barbell curl exercise is one to put in your workout to hit multiple sets, or throw in at the end to see great gains in drops sets. Give the reverse barbell curl a try and see what this can do for your arm growth and development.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Marcolin, G.; Panizzolo, F.; Petrone, N.; Moro, T. (2018). “Differences in electromyographic activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing three variants of curl”. (source)
  2. Westcott, W. (2012). “Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health”. (source)
  3. Szymanski, D.; Szymanski, J.; Molloy, J.; Pascoe, D. (2004). “Effect of 12 Weeks of Wrist and Forearm Training on High School Baseball Players”. (source)
  4. Pasiakos, S.; McLellan, T.; Lieberman, H. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.