This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The classic standing barbell curl is a staple of any biceps-building exercise regimen. By leaning against a wall in this variation on the classic, you'll stabilize your body and isolate the bicep muscles. You'll max out three times using a series of increasingly lighter weights.
Stack a barbell with a heavy amount weight that you think you curl for six repetitions while maintaining proper form, but not much more. Holding the barbell with an underhand grip about shoulder-width apart, lean back against a wall so that your head, hips, and shoulder blades are against the wall. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, curl the bar up toward your chest. Keep your head, hips, and shoulder blades firmly against the wall as you lift. Be careful to engage your core so that you do not swing your body or lift off the wall. Focus on using your biceps muscles to curl the bar (see Photo 2).
- When you have brought the bar up so that you fully flex the bicep (while keeping your wrists straight), reverse the motion and bring the bar slowly back down to the starting position. Be careful not to bring the weight up past a point where your forearms are perpendicular with the floor; stopping the range of motion at this point will keep your biceps fully flexed and engaged at the top of movement. Be sure to keep your biceps engaged as you bring the weights back down (see Photo 3).
- Do the maximum number of reps you can, and then reduce the weight on the barbell to a slightly lighter weight and repeat the steps above until you max out.
- Finally, reduce the weight a second time and again do the maximum number of curls you can.