Plate Curls – The very adaptable yet overlooked, ones are great ways to strengthen your biceps with little to no equipment.
The most popular exercises for building greater biceps mass usually involve a barbell or dumbbells, but if you have access to a set of adjustable dumbbells or a preacher curl bench, you can also opt for plate curls. The workout is simple and old-school but can help you build bigger muscle because plate curls train more than just your biceps.
So, add plate curls to your biceps workouts. Not only it is a great way to build biceps, but it can also help you achieve the arms of your dreams.
In this article, we’ve covered why and how to do plate curls, plus the best variations and alternatives.
Plate Curls – Targeted Muscles
Plate bicep curl involves only isolated movement at one joint. The main muscles developed during plate curls are the bicep brachii, flexor digitorum superficialis, and brachialis.
Your upper arm’s front big muscle is called the biceps brachii. It extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and helps you flex your arm at this joint. Flexor digitorum superficialis is a flat, triangular muscle that lies on top of your forearm muscles and runs from your elbow to the middle finger. The brachialis is located between your biceps and triceps muscles. It extends from your humerus (upper arm bone) to below where it meets with your ulna (lower arm bone).
How to Do Plate Curls
1. To do plate curls, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight plate (barbell plates work best) with both hands.
2. Curl the weight up to your chest with your upper arms tucked in close to your sides.
3. Return the weight to its starting position by lowering it gradually. Repeat for one set of 10 reps.
Plate Curl Benefits
Bang! That’s the sound of your arm development hitting a plateau. Not to worry though. Plate curls have several benefits that make them a great choice for your next arm workout. The following are a few of the main advantages:
- Plate curls target more than just your biceps. And allows you to train your arms while building strength and improving your definition.
- With plate curls, you don’t need to train your biceps if you want bigger arms. You just need to focus on your brachialis and brachioradialis muscles. The biceps curls workout hits all these muscles as well.
- Reverse grip curls are important for building strong biceps and developing a strong grip. Holding a weight plate is more challenging than holding dumbbells or barbells. As such, they are better at building the entire bicep than other biceps exercises.
- The plate curl is a great way to mix up your arm workout. Adding plate curls to your arm workout will bust you out of your current training rut.
Drawbacks of Plate Curl
Despite the fact that plate curls are generally good, there are a few disadvantages to take into account:
- You might need to raise your training weights more than you are comfortable with.
- You might not be able to fully extend your arms at the bottom of each rep if you’re using a heavy weight plate.
- Most gyms use 45lbs/20kg weighted plates. There are 55lbs/25kg weight plates at several gyms. This means You’ll be limited to lifting the largest plate available in your gym.
Variations of Plate Curl
Plate curls are a classic biceps exercise and although can be useful, you don’t necessarily need to perform these exercises every day. To keep your workouts fruitful and exciting, try these variations instead!
1. Reverse plate curls
Plate curls are a pretty effective forearm exercise but, doing them with your hands pronated makes them even more forearm-focused.
How to do it:
- Grab a plate in each hand, with your palms facing downwards.
- Bend your arms and bring the plates up to your chest.
- Slowly lower them back down to starting position.
Rope Cable Curl
Use a rope instead of plates to make this exercise even more challenging. The rope will create additional friction on your forearms, helping them grow bigger and stronger!
- Grab a rope in each hand and hold them at arm’s length in front of you.
- Slowly curl the rope towards your chest while keeping your elbows tucked in tight against your sides (maintain a 90-degree bend angle).
- Lower the ropes back down to starting position.
Reverse Barbell Curl
Reverse curls with a barbell is an ideal for building massive forearms and wrists! It also allows you to lift heavy weights without hurting your joints, making it perfect for beginners or anyone who has joint problems. You can also perform this exercise with an EZ barbell.
Brace your abs and pull the barbell back towards your face until your forearms touch your biceps.
Your arms will be bent, and your palm will be facing behind you. That’s the starting position.
You should raise the bar to your chest while bending your elbows.
Dumbbell Plate Curls
Use dumbbells instead of rope to make this exercise even more challenging! Dumbbells will allow you to focus on each side individually, making it easier for you to see progress in your biceps. Perform the same way you did with rope.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced lifter, these exercises will help you get the most out of your arm day. See how bicep curls perform for you by giving them a try.