Just what the heck are cambered bar curls and how do I do them? Are they any different than straight bar curls?
Yeah this is exactly what I was asking myself when I first started trying to figure out how to build my biceps as big as I possibly could.
I started looking at just what bicep exercises I could do that would be good for putting on size rather than just toning them up. Since I had skinny arms, my goal was for size.
I came across many exercises and gave them all a shot but cambered bar curls and hammer curls are what did it for me. I have to say cambered curls worked just a bit better and had the edge when it came to putting size on my t rex arms but hammer curls came in at a close 2nd and definitely made for great muscularity and tone.
What are Cambered Bar Curls?
But just what the heck are they and what makes them so great for building up skinny arms?
Well cambered bar curls are actually pretty dang simple. They are essentially a type of curling exercise with a specific grip angle.
Cambered curls are normal curls with your hands facing towards each other. The best way to describe them is to say that they are a mix between straight bar curls and hammer curls.
This grip allows you to not only lift heavier weight which is awesome for packing on more size to your arms but cambered bar curls are also so much easier on your joints and wrist. Your wrist will not feel like they want to explode after you curl heavy weight like they would with straight bar curls.
How To Do Cambered Bar Curls?
So in order to do cambered bar curls you have to either have a cambered curling bar or an EZ curl bar that has the grip angles designed in them.
When you are holding the EZ bar or cambered bar you pretty much just curl normally only with your hands at a different angle. Your hands will usually be at about 45 degree angle with your palms facing up at the ceiling but also towards each other. Hope that makes sense.
Watch our video below for a visual demonstration on how to do them properly
Cambered Bar Preacher Curls – Are these Better than standing Curls?
Now that you know what cambered curls are you may be wondering if doing them in a preacher position would be better and build more muscle?
The answer to this is YES!
Cambered preacher bar curls pack on more size than standing curls for two reasons.
1. Cambered preacher curls force you to work against gravity and have constant tension on your bicep muscles when you normally wouldn’t if you were standing.
2. cambered bar preacher curls force you to go through the entire range of motion when you otherwise would not if you were standing.
Doing cambered curls in a preacher position is always going to build more muscle than doing them standing. When you are standing you tend to throw a lot of body into the curling motion and also tend to ego curl. Ego curling is when you throw a bunch of weight on the bar and do not do full reps.
cambered bar preacher curls force you to go lighter weight and focus more on contracting the bicep muscle and working the entire range of motion
Close Grip Vs Wide Grip Cambered Bar Curls?
So with an EZ curl bar or with a cambered bar there are usually two different angles that you can perform camber curls with. They have the wide grip and the close grip. But which one should do and which one is going to build the most muscle and in the right areas?
I would recommend sticking to close grip cambered bar curls for the majority of your sets and here is the reason why. Wide grip cambered curls are great for building the inside of your bicep head (one closest to your body a.k.a. the short head) but the thing is… who really cares about the inside head of your biceps? Nobody and let me tell you why.. Because nobody is going to be checking out the inside of your biceps..
Close grip on the other hand works the outside head of the bicep (a.k.a long head of the bicep). The long head of the bicep is the one that will be showing when you wear short sleeve shirts and is the one that is so hard to make pop. Biceps in general are hard to build up, especially when you have skinny arms, so why not focus all of the attention on what will show rather than what will not?
Cambered Bar Curls vs Straight Bar Curls? What’s the difference?
So just what is the difference between straight bar curls and cambered curls?
Well its all about the angle that your hands are at when you curl. Straight bar curls force your hands to be at a 90 degree angle and this is what makes them so hard on the wrist and elbows. Cambered curls are great for when you want to engage multiple muscles of the arms to pack on the most size. Yes, the main main focus is on the bicep but also works the brachialis muscle of the forearm. Save your wrist, pack some size on, and do cambered bar curls!
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