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  1. #1
    Star Fleet Gym Manager startrek's Avatar
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    Standing Barbell Curl: Compound or Isolation?

    I've always thought of curls as an isolation exercise, but lately I've met a few very large, very strong dudes who include the standing barbell curl in their powerlifting routines. One guy said he considers it a compound lift, because if you go heavy, it gives your stabilizer muscles a good workout just to stay upright.

    So what do you think of the standing barbell curl? Should it be considered compound or isolation? If your goal is to build mass, does it help? Or does it suck for mass-building just like every other isolation exercise?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Kouta's Avatar
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    People can call it what ever they want but barbell curls are an isolation exercise. It is an exercise around one joint.

    Any exercise you do is going to use stabiliser muscles, just to differing degrees.
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    Star Fleet Gym Manager startrek's Avatar
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    What these guys are saying is that heavy standing barbell curls require so much effort just to keep upright and maintain good form, that they're good for a program built around compound exercises like deadlift, squats, bench, etc.

    And I'd like to know if you agree with that or not.
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    Registered User LatissimusDorsi's Avatar
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    They just want an excuse to do curls
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    Registered User Kouta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by startrek
    What these guys are saying is that heavy standing barbell curls require so much effort just to keep upright and maintain good form, that they're good for a program built around compound exercises like deadlift, squats, bench, etc.

    And I'd like to know if you agree with that or not.

    Im telling you what they are, Barbell curls are an isolation exercise. They are an exercise around one joint which is an isolation exercise. Any exercise can be hard but that does not make it a compound.

    And again any exercise requires stabiliser muscles to be used to varying degrees.

    and there is nothing wrong with doing curls in a program with deads and squats, but curls are still not a compund exercise.
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    Star Fleet Gym Manager startrek's Avatar
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    Okay, let's consider that question settled then. Curls are isolation no matter what.

    Now how about the mass-building aspect? Are they any good for that? I've never believed that any kind of curl is good for mass, but when I see huge guys doing barbell curls, I'm willing to reconsider my position.
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    One Tough Hombre magicmatt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kouta
    People can call it what ever they want but barbell curls are an isolation exercise. It is an exercise around one joint.

    Any exercise you do is going to use stabiliser muscles, just to differing degrees.

    its an exercise that should use 1 joint, but ive seen it use 2 on many occasions.
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