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  1. #1
    HWT Rower PumpAddict's Avatar
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    Loose grip for barbell curls?

    I heard someone say that for curls you shouldn't grip the bar really tightly. I never thought about, but I guess I do grip it quite firmly. Yesterday I tried doing them with a very loose grip, I had to use less weight but it felt like I was isolating my biceps more and they are pretty sore today.
    Does anyone else train biceps with a very loose grip? Does the better isolation make up for the smaller wieght?
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  2. #2
    Moderator Dominik's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PumpAddict
    I heard someone say that for curls you shouldn't grip the bar really tightly. I never thought about, but I guess I do grip it quite firmly. Yesterday I tried doing them with a very loose grip, I had to use less weight but it felt like I was isolating my biceps more and they are pretty sore today.
    Does anyone else train biceps with a very loose grip? Does the better isolation make up for the smaller wieght?
    I only ever grip it hard enough to keep the bar balanced correctly and everything under control.

    The main thing to watch out for with curls is to keep the wrists straight and not do the old curl of the wrists at the beginning to make it easier. It's probably okay at the end of the ROM to do a slight curl to give the biceps a good squeeze if that helps but not as a way to take any stress off the biceps.

    Almost every second guy I see at the gym curling interprets the "curl" with a DB or BB as a wrist curl first and then a bicep "curl" second. I was probably doing it when I started out but I quickly learned keeping the wrists straight is the key.
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  3. #3
    Train smarter, not harder $AJ's Avatar
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    use a tight grip on everything. it's like people who say to have a "Weak" core when squatting - isolates the leg more....WTF? Stupid idiots. Tight grip on everything.
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    Just hold the bar so it doesn't move and concentrate on staying stiff and curling with the bis.As AJ said its the same with everything,you gotta make the bar just an extension of your body.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Dominik's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by $AJ
    use a tight grip on everything. it's like people who say to have a "Weak" core when squatting - isolates the leg more....WTF? Stupid idiots. Tight grip on everything.
    This probably ties in with the forearm threads. My grip is already strong from doing deads, heavy shrugs, lots of dumbbell work and never using straps for anything so when it comes to barbell curls I don't need to waste all that grip strength on them and I'm doing around 130lbs w/ the ez-curl bar on a preacher. Heck, that bar trashes your wrists and forearms enough as it is.

    But if grip/forearm strength is an issue for a guy, for sure, target it during every exercise to improve it, that's probably excellent advice. But once it's really strong, why hold on to that bar for dear life if it's only a fraction of the load your wrists/forearms are expected to handle in the heavy compounds?
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    You should hold on as tight as possible for the same reason you should tightly grip the bar during bench press - it recruits the most muscle, and allows for the most control. I don't know about you, but i would rather do the most weight possible on every exercise, and as long as my form remains good, im going to use every trick possible!
    If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything
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    Originally Posted by powerbui1der
    You should hold on as tight as possible for the same reason you should tightly grip the bar during bench press - it recruits the most muscle, and allows for the most control. I don't know about you, but i would rather do the most weight possible on every exercise, and as long as my form remains good, im going to use every trick possible!
    I agree, the more tension you can generate the more muscle fibres will be recruited. Crush the bar!!!
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  8. #8
    MET-Rx Team Sports MCWTRAINER's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by _Dominik_
    This probably ties in with the forearm threads. My grip is already strong from doing deads, heavy shrugs, lots of dumbbell work and never using straps for anything so when it comes to barbell curls I don't need to waste all that grip strength on them and I'm doing around 130lbs w/ the ez-curl bar on a preacher. Heck, that bar trashes your wrists and forearms enough as it is.

    But if grip/forearm strength is an issue for a guy, for sure, target it during every exercise to improve it, that's probably excellent advice. But once it's really strong, why hold on to that bar for dear life if it's only a fraction of the load your wrists/forearms are expected to handle in the heavy compounds?
    BINGO! When you do curls you are also using your forearms. Just as an example, if you have access to a preacher curl machine at your gym (machine, not free weight) do a set with a tight grip. Remember how that felt. Now curl the weight with your palms open so the only thing touching the grip is your open hand. You will feel that with palms open it is much harder. The forearms play a big role in curls. You can do it both ways to switch it up every once in a while. It's not going to kill you to not use your forearms for one exercise.
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