Best Bicep Curl Workouts for Building Big Arms

These Curl Workouts are designed to forge stronger, more functional and bigger arms in parallel with a better upper body.

Benefits of Curl Workouts

Bicep Curl Workouts will build muscular and stronger arms. They will help you grow muscle, enhance pulling strength, improve your grip and augment the power of your forearms.

This will help you with any other pulling exercise (deadlifts, legless rope climbs, sled pulls) and contribute to a bigger, stronger and more muscular torso in general.

When it comes to outdoor fitness, stronger arms will make you better at everything from rock climbing to kayaking, chopping wood to hammering in a tent peg.

Muscles Worked by Curl Workouts

Bicep Curl Workouts will develop, strengthen and build your biceps brachii muscle (short and long head), branchialis, branchioradialis, deltoids, forearms, wrist extensors and wrist flexors.

Your biceps brachii muscle (long head) is attached to your shoulder blade (scapula) in two places.

The clue to this double configuration is reflected in the name biceps, meaning two heads.

The muscle stretches down along your upper arm bone (humerus) and is inserted by a tendon on your lower arm bone (radius).

When it contracts, your forearm is pulled up, whilst your arm bends at the elbow. Although this is the primary mover during biceps curls, it’s not the only muscle at work.

Your brachialis muscle sits under the biceps brachii.

It’s the long muscle that flexes your elbow. It attaches your upper arm bone (humerus) to the long forearm bone (ulna). Your brachioradialis muscle assists the brachialis with flexing your elbow and connects your humerus bone to the short lower arm bone known as the radius.

Bicep Curl Technique

The most common types of bicep curls are the barbell bicep curl and the dumbbell bicep curl.

Barbell Bicep Curls Technique

  • Grip a bar with an underhand (supinated) grip, hands about shoulder-width apart
  • Inhale and brace your grip and core
  • Lift the bar with control, by flexing your elbows
  • Don’t let your upper arm travel backwards during the movement of the curl, keep it at your side or move it slightly forward
  • Reverse the movement and lower the bar back to the starting position

Training Tips for Barbell Bicep Curls

For the best training effect on your arm flexors (i.e. biceps) you should always maintain strict form, keeping your muscles are under constant tension.

To accomplish this, don’t let your elbows travel backwards during the lift. Additionally, main the tension in the muscles in the bottom position. This will maximise time under tension and gains.

Dumbbell Bicep Curls Technique

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand
  • Bend your knees slightly, spine in a neutral position with good upright posture
  • Inhale and engage your core, glutes and arms
  • Grip the dumbbells as tightly as you can
  • Position your arms so that your palms are facing forward
  • Bending at the elbow, lift both dumbbells up toward your shoulders by flexing your bicep muscles
  • Pin your elbows into a single position in space
  • Lower the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended in the starting position

Training Tips for Dumbbell Bicep Curls

Rely on your muscles and don’t use momentum.

If you find that you need to add momentum to complete each rep, lower the weight because swinging can lead to injury.

Alter the position of your hands and arms in order to vary the stimulus on your bicep muscles.

Placing your hands closer together will target the long head (on the outside of your arms). Having them further apart will concentrate on the short head (inside biceps muscles). Building the latter will help you create a strong bicep peak.

BICEP CURL VARIATIONS

Curl Workouts for Beginners

The following Curl Workouts, in most cases, have scaled options so that you can choose how to create the best workout for your ability level.

Curl Workouts

Add these Curl Workouts into your training.

Workout 1

3 Rounds without breaking

  • 30 Curls (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Strict Presses (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Lateral Raises (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Hammer Curls (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Upright Rows (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Push Presses (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Curls (2×25/15 lb)
  • 1 minute Rest

Increase weight each round. See how heavy you can go. No Time limit once the round has begun.

Once you start the first set of 30, you can’t put the weights down or rest them on any surface. You can stop moving and hold the weights in your hand, but you cannot let go of the Dumbbells.

Once you complete a full round, rest for 1 minute, then pick them back up and go again. This time, you have the option to increase the weight.

Start light, don’t burn out. Rest before you burn up too quickly. The hard part will be the grip so play it smart.

Scaling

Intermediate: Use 20/10 lb dumbbell weights.

Beginner: Use 20/10 lb dumbbell weights. Reduce repetitions to 21 reps.

Workout 2

For Time

  • 2,150 metre Run
  • 21 Air Squats
  • 5 Burpees
  • 21 Shoulder Presses (2×50/35 lb)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 21 Lunges
  • 5 Burpees
  • 21 Bicep Curls (2×50/35 lb)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 2,150 metre Run
  • 2:15 Plank Hold
  • 9 Unbroken Push-Ups
  • 9 Unbroken Push-Ups
  • 6 Unbroken Push-Ups

With a running clock, complete the prescribed work in the order written as fast as possible.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Unbroken Push-Ups is completed.

Workout 3 – Arm Killer

2 Rounds for Reps in 40 minutes

  • Tabata Curls (2×5/2.5 lb)
  • Tabata Strict Presses (2×5/2.5 lb)
  • Tabata Bent Over Rows (2×5/2.5 lb)
  • Tabata Side Lateral Raises (2×5/2.5 lb)
  • Tabata Front Lateral Raises (2×5/2.5 lb)
  • During rest, hold the weight in a static position.

With 10 Tabata cycles, perform the prescribed movements in the order written.

Tabata is 20-second work and 10-second rest.

During the work, perform as many repetitions as possible of the movement, and during rest, hold the weight in a static position.

Score is the total number of repetitions completed before the 40-minute clock stops.

Try these power building Slam Ball Workouts

Workout 4 – Pre Party Pump

5 rounds NFT (not for time)

  • 15 bench presses
  • 15 bent over rows
  • 10 skull crushers
  • 10 bicep curls

Use a weight that is suitable for your level of fitness.

Workout 5 – Bad Karma

For Time

50-40-30-20-10 reps of Barbell Curls (45/35 lb)

10-20-30-40-50 reps of Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)

With a running clock, as fast as possible, complete 50 Barbell Curls and 10 Kettlebell Swings. Then 40 Barbell Curls and 20 Kettlebell Swings.

Alternate movements in this manner until the round of 10 Barbell Curls and 50 Kettlebell Swings.

Score is the time on the clock when the last Kettlebell Swing is completed.

Workout 6

AMRAP in 26 minutes

6 Burpees

  • 11 Bicep Curls (2×45/25 lb)
  • 12 Weighted Lunges (2×45/25 lb)
  • 13 Bench Presses (2×45/25 lb)

On a 26-minute clock, perform as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed before the 26-minute clock stops.

Scaling Options

Burpee: Step in/out Burpees, Elevated Burpees

Curl: Lower the weight. If using only one Dumbbell, do 11 reps with one arm, then the other arm and use a resistance band.

Lunge: Bodyweight Lunges, Partial Lunges, Low Step-Ups

Bench Press: Floor Press, Push-Up, Knee Push-Ups, Plank + Shoulder Taps.

Build explosive pulling strength now

Workout 7

For Time

  • Buy-In: 31 calorie Row

Then,

  • 31 Dumbbell Curls (2×45/25 lb)
  • 31 Sit-Ups
  • 31 Dumbbell Floor Presses (2×45/25 lb)
  • 31 Walking Lunges
  • 31 Dumbbell Deadlifts (2×45/25 lb)
  • 31 Push-Ups
  • 31 Dumbbell Goblet Squats (45/25 lb)
  • 31 Double-Unders
  • 4 Burpees at the top of each minute (starting after the row)

Starting after the row buy-in, perform 4 burpees at the top of each minute.

If the row is completed in 1:00 or less, do the first four burpees at the 1:00 mark.

If the row is completed at 1:01 or later, do the first four burpees at the next minute (eg: 2:00). Do the Dumbbell Curls left/right together (not alternating).

Score is the time on the clock when the last set of Double-Unders is completed.

Workout 8 – Ragnarok by Taco Fleur

For Total Reps in 38 minutes

In 6 minutes, perform:

  • Kettlebell Half UKC* + Halo (12/8 kg)

Rest 2 minutes

2 Rounds of The Pace Maker:

  • 30 seconds of Left-Arm Kettlebell Swings (16/12 kg)
  • 30 seconds of Right-Arm Kettlebell Swings (16/12 kg)
  • 30 seconds of Left-Arm Kettlebell Snatches (16/12 kg)
  • 30 seconds of Right-Arm Kettlebell Snatches (16/12 kg)
  • 30 seconds of Left-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Reverse Lunges (16/12 kg)
  • 30 seconds of Right-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Reverse Lunges (16/12 kg)

Rest 2 minutes

Then, in 8 minutes, perform:

  • Max Strength Kettlebell Complexes** (2×16/12 kg)

Rest 4 minutes

Finally, in 10 minutes, 3 attempts for Power of:

  • Max Double Kettlebell Half Snatches (2×16/12 kg)

*1 UKC consists of: 1 Deadlift, 1 Hang Clean, 1 Power Clean, 1 Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing, 1 Snatch, 1 Strict Press

**1 Strength Kettlebell Complex consists of: 1 Curl, 1 Strict Press, 1 Bent Over Row, 1 Push-Up

You have 10 minutes for 3 attempts at max total double kettlebell half snatches. ON your first attempt, don’t go all out as you know that you’ll have 2 more attempts to come.

Half snatches are where the kettlebell is snatched up overhead and then dropped into racking before the next rep.

Scoring

The only task that is scored are the double kettlebell snatches. The reps of all three attempts are added and used as the final total score for this WOD.

Warm-Up

2 minutes of:

  • Air Squats
  • Hip Hinges
  • Alternating Reverse Lunges

Scaling

UKC: Replace the snatch with clean and push press.

The Pace Maker: Replace full snatches with half snatches or clean and push press. Replace overhead reverse lunge with racked reverse lunges

Strength: Replace double bell work with single and repeat the sequence on both sides

Power: Replace double bell work with single and repeat the sequence on both sides

Beginner option for the final task is single kettlebell work with only one switch per attempt.

Get inspired with these great fitness tips

Workout 9

7 minute AMRAP

  • 15 curls
  • 15 front raises
  • 15 overhead triceps extensions

7 minute AMRAP

  • 15 tricep kickbacks, each
  • 15 dumbbell bent over row, each
  • 15 shoulder press, each

7 minute AMRAP

  • 15 chest fly
  • 15 bench dips
  • 15 lateral raises

1 minute rest between AMRAPs

Workout 10 – Asgard Strength by Taco Fleur

AMRAP in 19 minutes

From 0:00-8:00, EMOM of:

  • 2 Asgard Complexes (2×20/16 kg)*

Rest 3 minutes

From 11:00-19:00, AMRAP of:

  • Asgard Complexes (2×20/16 kg)*

*1 Asgard Kettlebell Complex consists of: 1 Dead Curl, 1 Strict Press, 1 Bent Over Row, 1 Left Renegade Row, 1 Right Renegade Row, and 1 Deadlift

Every minute on the minute perform two repetitions of the Asgard strength complex and rest for the remainder of the minute, start again on the next minute, and so on.

Three minutes rest, then perform the Asgard strength complex for as many reps as possible.

Scoring

Every two reps of the complex competed within the minute for task 1 counts as 1 point add the total of complex reps from task 2.

Scaling

For Beginners, work with one kettlebell. Replace the renegade rows with a row and scale the weight to 12/8 kg.

Workout 11

EMOM in 18 minutes

Odd Minutes:

  • Max Calories Row

Even Minutes: AMRAP of:

  • 4 Dumbbell Deadlifts (50/35 lb)
  • 6 Dumbbell Curls (50/35 lb)
  • 4 Dumbell Push Presses (50/35 lb)

Rest 2 minutes

AMRAP in 12 minutes

  • 12 Up-Down + Lateral Jumps
  • 12 Crossbody Mountain Climbers
  • 24 Plank Shoulder Taps

From 0:00-8:00, every minute on the minute (“EMOM“) complete max calorie Row or any cardio of your choice for the odd minutes and as many rounds and repetitions as possible (“AMRAP“) of 4 Dumbbell Deadlifts, 4 Dumbbell Curls, and 4 Dumbbell Push Presses for the even minutes.

Rest 2 minutes. Then from 10:00-22:00, complete an AMRAP of 12 Up-Down + Tuck Jumps, 12 Crossbody Mountain Climbers, and 24 Plank Shoulder Taps.

Score is the total number of repetitions completed before the 22-minute clock stops.

Movement Standards

Plank Shoulder Tap: From a Plank Hold position, tap the right shoulder with the left hand and the left shoulder with the right hand. This counts as one rep.

Workout 12

EMOM in 10 minutes

  • 1 minute Max Renegade Rows (2×50/35 lb)
  • 1 minute Max Push-Ups
  • 1 minute Max Mountain Climbers
  • 1 minute Max Air Squats
  • 1 minute Max Curl to Overhead Press (2×50/35 lb)

Repeat 2x

On a 10-minute clock, every minute on the minute (EMOM) perform as many repetitions as possible of the prescribed movements. Repeat the sequence twice.

Score is the total number of repetitions completed before the 10-minute clock stops.

Workout 13

4 rounds (with a bumper plate)

  • 12 squats
  • 12 chest press
  • 12 overhead lunges
  • 12 shoulder press
  • 12 step ups
  • 12 bicep curls
  • 12 tricep extensions
  • 12 sit ups

Workout 14

3 Rounds for Total Reps in 15 minutes

  • 1 minute Dumbbell Front Squat + Curl + Strict Press Complexes (2×50/35 lb)
  • 1 minute Resistance Band Row
  • 1 minute Kettlebell Alternating High-Pulls (50/35 lb)
  • 1 minute Medicine Ball Push-Ups
  • 1 minute Bear Crawl with Sandbag Drag (100/75 lb)

On a 15-minute clock, perform 3 rounds of as many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed movements every minute.

Score is the total number of repetitions completed before the 15-minute clock stops.

Movement Standards

Resistance Band Row: Sit on the ground with the legs both extended and feet together. Put one end of the band at the soles of the feet and hold the other end with both hands.

Pull the band towards the chest in a Rowing motion.

Medicine Ball Push-Up: On the starting position of the standard Push-Up, place one hand on top of the medicine ball and perform a Push-Up.

Bear Crawl with Sandbag Drag: This is a variation of the standard Bear Crawl wherein you drag a Sandbag while doing the Bear Crawl.

Workout 15

AMRAP in 15 minutes

  • 5 Pendlay Rows (95/65 lb)
  • 10 Strict Curls (65/45 lb)
  • 15 Push-Ups

On a 15-minute clock, perform as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed before the 15-minute clock stops.

Movement Standard

Pendlay Row Variation: This is a variation of the Bent Over Row. Instead of using a hip-width grip, hold the Barbell using a Snatch grip.

Workout 16

3 rounds

(:30 work/:15 rest)

  • Bicep curls
  • Lateral raises
  • Overhead triceps extension, left
  • Bent over row, left
  • Overhead triceps extension, right
  • Bent over row, right
  • Shoulder press
  • Upright row

Rest an additional 30 seconds between rounds (45 seconds total)

Workout 17

A. 5´FOR QUALITY:

  • 5 sec Hollow, 4 Single Leg V Ups, 3 V Ups
  • 20 sec Superman Hold

B: 8´AMRAP:

  • 2 Burpees*
  • 8 GTOH
  • 16 Double Unders

*+1 every round

C. 16´EMOM: (any object is wellcome)

  • M1: Bicep Curls
  • M2: Bench Dips
  • M3: Rows
  • M4: Shoulder Press

Take any heavy object and enjoy it!

Workout 18

  • 100 Bicep curls
  • 100 Tricep extensions
  • 100 Ring rows
  • 100 Push ups
  • 1 mile Assault bike, arms only

Workout 19 – The Progrm Mash by John Singleton

For time:

  • 20 Box facing burpees 24/20in

Directly into:

For Time: (Andi)

  • 100 Hang Power Snatches 30/25kg
  • 50 Push Ups / Kneeling
  • 100 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls 30/25kg
  • 50 Pistols / Air Squats

5 min Rest

For time

  • 20 Box facing burpees 24/20in

Directly into:

For Time: 10-1: (Lyla)

  • BMU
  • Clean + Jerk (Anyhow) 80/55kg

5 min Rest

For time

  • 20 Box facing burpees 24/20in

Directly into:

5 min AMRAP:

  • 10 Strict HSPU
  • 10 Strict Ring Dip
  • 10 Push up

Directly into:

5 min AMRAP:

  • 10 Strict Pull ups
  • 10 Ring Rows
  • 10 Bicep curls 20/15kg

“The Beach Mash. We have quite a few aspects happening in this Mash, not only do we introduce you to 2 new girls you also have to earn your pump.

We are finishing with 2 x 5 Minute AMRAPs with a pure focus on upper body pushing and pulling.

There is no doubt that once you have finished you will be ready for a mirror selfie.”

Workout 20

5 Rounds for Time

  • 5 Deadlifts (135/75 lb)
  • 10 Curls
  • 15 Ground Presses (135/75 lb)
  • 20 calorie Assault Air Bike
  • 25 AbMat Sit-Ups

For the curls, use a barbell.

Curl Workouts for Mass

If muscle gain is your main objective, concentrate on progressive overload each session, lifting more weight in an 8 – 12 rep range.

Curl Workouts

If you enjoyed these Curl Workouts, try these Slam Ball, Dumbbell Deadlift or Dumbbell Thruster Workouts.