Video Demonstration

Looking to add that high peak to your biceps?

Well, then this is the exercise you need to start adding into your training routine.

The Close Grip Bicep Curl gets classified as a Pulling Strength Training exercise that specifically trains the outside(long head) of your biceps.

In this article, we will cover how you are to perform the Rotating Plank with video, image and a written step by step description.

Its difficulty level, optional and required equipment, and the different muscles that get worked.

The different benefits that you get from adding it to your training routine, and some training tips to make sure you get the most out of it when you are performing this exercise.

Close Grip Barbell Curl How to Guide

Image Example

man showing how to do the Close Grip Barbell Exercise

Step by Step Description

Step 1: Grab a barbell with both of your hands. Use an underhand grip. Your palms should face upwards. Have your hands closer than shoulder width to only a few inches apart from one another.

Step 2: Stand with your shoulders back and chest out. Keep your head straight and look forwards. Put your feet approximately shoulder-width apart with a slight bend at your knees. Tuck your elbows in close to your body.

You are now in the starting position for this exercise.

Step 3: Exhale and move the bar in a semicircular motion curling it up towards your shoulders. Keep your upper arms and elbows stationary as you perform this movement. Keep lifting the bar until your forearms touch your biceps. When you reach the top part of the curl, you need to hold in this position for one to two seconds. As you hold the weight, you should also forcefully contract your biceps. Do not bend your back or try to swing the bar as you are lifting the weight. Only your forearms should be moving.

Step 4: Inhale, use a slow and controlled movement to return the weight back to the starting position.

Congratulations you have now completed one repetition of the Close Grip Barbell Curl. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Difficulty Level

This is a simple exercise to learn because of the basic movement pattern that it uses. It gets rated at a beginner difficulty level.

Equipment Required

To perform this exercise, you will need a Barbell and some Weight Plates.

Muscles Worked

The Primary muscle that gets worked by Close Grip Curls is your Outer Bicep (Long head bicep).

The secondary muscles used by this lift are the Inner Head of your Biceps. Your Forearms also get used when you to perform this exercise.

Benefits of the Close Grip Barbell Curl

This lift works great at developing and increasing the size and strength of your bicep, specifically the long head (outer) of your biceps. People will notice the perceived size difference you get since it is the Long head of your bicep that is responsible for creating the peak of the bicep.

You may find that you can overcome a plateau on other pulling Compound exercises. Like Rowing or Traditional Curls since you are now specifically training different muscle fibers also used in compound lifts with this new movement.

Having your hands closer together will also more heavily recruit your forearm muscles than its broad grip counterpart.

By using the Close Grip Barbell Curl with other wider hand variations, you ensure your muscles get worked from many different angles. Using different angles will result in giving your biceps maximum strength and development.

Training Tips

Since you are isolating your biceps with this exercise, it should be added at the end of your workout after you have completed all of your pulling compound lifts.

Your torso needs to stay fixed throughout the entire set. Make sure you do not lean back when you curl the bar up.

Leaning back as you lift and forwards when you lower the weight will cause the bar to swing. When this rocking happens, it reduces the stress placed on your bicep and makes the exercise less effective. It also increases the chance of injury to your lower back.

When someone places their hands closer together with curls, people have a tendency to hunch their shoulders and upper back.

The slight bend in the knees will take some of the pressure off of your back. Remember to keep your shoulders pulled back, chest pushing out and look directly in front of you to keep your neck straight.

Your technique is crucial to ensure you are maximizing the stress placed on your forearms and biceps.


The Close Grip Barbell Curl is a great exercise to add that additional peak and definition to your biceps.

Before adding it to your training routine, you should have spent some time developing your body with heavy compound lifts. If you have been using compound lifts for some time and feel your biceps are lacking in size, this lift will help you to bring them up to par with the rest of your body.

If you have never done this lift before you definitely should add it to your routine for at least a few months to see for yourself all the benefits it has to offer.

Just remember to use a weight you can manage without having to rock your body or use movement in the upper arms to get the weight up.

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