If you’re on a mission to build bigger arms, one question that you might find yourself asking is whether you should be performing barbell curls or whether bicep curls would be your better bet.
Which exercise will offer the better results?
Many people aren’t quite sure what the difference is between the two exercises so they simply pick whatever one has the equipment available at the time or that they prefer.
But, there are some clear differences between the two exercises, so this is something that you must consider.
Let’s go over what these differences are so that you can choose wisely.
Barbell Curls And Strength Gains
The first thing to take note of is that typically speaking, you will get greater strength gains when using a barbell. Most people will find they can lift more weight when using a barbell as opposed to dumbbells, so if that’s your primary goal, it’s the strength move to turn to.
Dumbbells still produce strength, but they tend to require more core muscle activation, which lends to a lighter weight being used.
Dumbbell Curls And Muscular Imbalances
Second, a clear benefit to using dumbbells over barbells is the fact that with dumbbells, you’ll prevent any strength imbalances.
With a barbell, one side of the body may overcompensate for the weaker side, so this could lead to a muscular imbalance over time.
With a dumbbell bicep curl, each arm will be responsible for its own weight, therefore there’s no way for a stronger side to compensate for a weaker side.
The Factor Of Momentum
Finally, the last thing that should be taken into account is the issue with momentum. Most people will be more likely to use momentum to help carry them through the movement when they’re doing dumbbell curls as opposed to barbell curls.
You can swing the weight upwards more easily and readily with dumbbell curls, whereas with barbell curls, you’re more locked into place throughout the movement pattern.
Since using momentum can lead to injury, it is something that you shouldn’t be overlooking. If you often find yourself swinging the weight upwards, stick to barbell curls to resolve this.
So there you have the main points to remember about these two exercises. Choose whichever you feel is best in line with your goals and preferences.
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