Barbell Drag Curl – Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Barbell Drag Curl - Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Are your conventional bicep curls not yielding the desired results? A barbell drag curl could be just what you need to level up. This unique exercise targets multiple sections of the arm, providing an intense workout and transforming your biceps.

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Stick around to discover a step-by-step guide on perfecting your form, potential variations, tips, and all other things related about this powerful upper body exercise.

Key Takeaways

  • The Barbell Drag Curl targets multiple arm muscles, including the biceps, brachialis, and deltoids, for a complete upper body workout.
  • This exercise helps build muscle size and definition in the arms while improving grip strength and stability.
  • Common mistakes to avoid during Barbell Drag Curls include using too much momentum, lifting weights that are too heavy to control, and arching or leaning back excessively.

What is a Barbell Drag Curl?

The Barbell Drag Curl is a biceps curl variation that targets the muscles of the upper arm and provides numerous benefits for strength training and muscle development.

Muscles targeted

The Barbell Drag Curl targets several muscles for a robust upper body workout. Dominantly, it hits the biceps brachii muscle that gives your arms their curved appearance when flexed.

Simultaneously, this exercise also strengthens other arm muscles such as the brachialis and the brachioradialis. These muscles run beneath your biceps and into your forearms, enhancing overall grip strength and stability.

Lastly, even though it’s an arm-focused exercise, executing a Barbell Drag Curl still engages your deltoids (shoulder muscles) for supporting the weight throughout each curl. This further contributes to broader shoulders while maintaining proper posture during workouts.


The Barbell Drag Curl offers several key benefits for your arm strength and aesthetics. This exercise specifically targets the biceps, helping to build muscle and improve their overall appearance.

By incorporating the Barbell Drag Curl into your workout routine, you can strengthen your arms, increase muscle size, and enhance definition in this area. Additionally, this exercise can potentially help prevent injuries by improving the stability of your elbows and wrists.

Overall, including the Barbell Drag Curl in your fitness regimen will contribute to functional strength and give you impressive arm aesthetics. So start curling those barbells for stronger and more defined arms!

Barbell Drag Curl: Step-by-Step Guide

To perform the Barbell Drag Curl, start by standing tall with a barbell in your hands, palms facing down and shoulder-width apart.

Starting position

Grasp a barbell with an underhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and the barbell hanging in front of your thighs. Your palms should be facing towards you and elbows fully extended.

Positioning the barbell at arm’s length away from your body, engage your core muscles to maintain proper posture throughout the exercise.


To properly execute the barbell drag curl, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a barbell with an underhand grip that is slightly narrower than shoulder width.

Keep your arms fully extended, allowing the barbell to hang in front of your thighs. Next, exhale as you flex your elbows and lift the barbell towards your shoulders while keeping it close to your body throughout the movement.

Pause briefly at the top of the motion before slowly lowering the weight back down to starting position. Maintain control and avoid using momentum or swinging during the exercise for optimal results.

Common mistakes to avoid

To get the most out of your barbell drag curls and prevent injury, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes. One mistake is using too much momentum by swinging the barbell up with your body instead of relying on the strength of your biceps.

This not only reduces the effectiveness of the exercise but also increases the risk of strain or injury to other muscles. Another mistake is lifting too heavy a weight that you can’t control throughout the movement.

This compromises form and can lead to poor technique and potential injury. Lastly, avoid arching or leaning back excessively as you lift, as this can strain your lower back instead of targeting your biceps effectively.

To ensure proper execution and maximize results, focus on maintaining a controlled and steady movement throughout each repetition. Use a weight that challenges you without sacrificing form or control.

Tips for proper form

Maintaining proper form is crucial when performing the Barbell Drag Curl to maximize its effectiveness and prevent injury. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and gripping the barbell with an underhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Keep your chest upright, shoulders back, and elbows close to your body throughout the movement. As you curl the weight up towards your upper chest, focus on contracting your biceps and avoiding any swinging or momentum.

Lower the barbell back down in a controlled manner while maintaining tension in your muscles. By using proper form, you’ll ensure that you’re targeting your biceps effectively and getting the most out of this exercise.

Variations and Alternatives

Explore different variations of the Barbell Drag Curl, such as the Dumbbell Drag Curl and Reverse-grip Drag Curl, to customize your biceps workout and achieve maximum results. Read on to learn more!

Dumbbell Drag Curl

To perform the dumbbell drag curl, start by standing upright with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing towards your body. Keep your core engaged and maintain a slight bend in your knees.

Lift the dumbbells up towards your shoulders while simultaneously dragging them along the front of your legs. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weights back down to starting position.

This exercise specifically targets your biceps and helps to build strength and definition in this muscle group. Incorporating dumbbell drag curls into your upper body workout routine can help add variety and challenge to your arm training regimen.

Reverse-grip Drag Curl

To perform the reverse-grip drag curl, start with a shoulder-width grip on the barbell, palms facing down. Keeping your elbows close to your sides and your back straight, curl the barbell up towards your chest.

Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the weight back down. This exercise targets both your biceps and forearms, helping to sculpt strong and defined arms.

The reverse-grip drag curl is a variation of the traditional bicep curl that places more emphasis on the brachialis muscle in addition to targeting the biceps brachii. By using an underhand grip, you activate these muscles more effectively.

Cable Drag Curl

To perform the Cable Drag Curl, attach a straight bar to a low cable pulley and stand facing the machine. Hold the bar with an underhand grip, arms fully extended in front of you. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the bar up towards your chest by flexing your biceps.

Squeeze at the top for a brief moment before slowly lowering the weight back down to starting position. The cable drag curl is a great variation of the traditional barbell curl as it provides constant tension on your biceps throughout the movement.

It also helps improve forearm strength and stability due to the resistance from the cable.

Concentration Biceps Curl

To isolate and fully target your biceps muscles, the concentration biceps curl is an excellent exercise to incorporate into your upper body workout routine. This exercise primarily focuses on the biceps brachii muscle, helping to build strength and enhance arm aesthetics.

To perform this exercise, sit upright on a bench with your legs spread wide apart. Grasp a dumbbell with one hand and rest your elbow against the inner thigh of the same side. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, slowly curl the weight up towards your shoulder while contracting your bicep muscle.

Lower the weight back down in a controlled manner and repeat for desired repetitions before switching sides for balanced development.

Wall Biceps Curl

To target your biceps in a unique way, try the wall biceps curl. Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes about six inches away from the wall. Place both hands on the wall at shoulder height, palms facing forward.

Keeping your body upright, slowly bend your elbows to bring your chest closer to the wall while maintaining contact with it. Hold for a moment at the top of the movement before lowering back down to starting position.

This exercise engages not only the biceps but also activates stabilizer muscles in the shoulders and core.

Tips for Incorporating the Barbell Drag Curl in Your Workout

To maximize the benefits of the barbell drag curl, consider incorporating it as a finisher in your arm workout routine for an intense burn and muscle pump.

Programming suggestions

To incorporate the barbell drag curl into your workout program, it is recommended to perform it as part of your arm day routine. Start with a warm-up set using lighter weights and gradually increase the weight for each subsequent set.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions to effectively target your biceps. Remember to maintain proper form throughout the exercise and avoid using momentum or swinging movements. If you’re looking for variety, you can also alternate between different variations of the drag curl mentioned earlier, such as dumbbell drag curls or reverse-grip drag curls, to keep challenging your muscles in new ways.

Sample workout finishers

To maximize the benefits of the barbell drag curl, you can incorporate some sample workout finishers into your routine. One option is to perform a superset with another upper body exercise, such as tricep dips or shoulder presses.

This will help to further fatigue your muscles and enhance overall arm strength. Another idea is to add in some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises at the end of your workout, like burpees or mountain climbers.

These full-body movements will not only target your biceps but also provide a cardiovascular challenge. Finally, you could try incorporating drop sets into your barbell drag curl routine by gradually reducing the weight after each set.

Benefits and Importance of Barbell Drag Curl

The Barbell Drag Curl offers numerous benefits, including strengthening the arms, building muscle, improving arm aesthetics, preventing potential injuries, and enhancing functional strength.

Discover how this exercise can elevate your upper body workouts. Read more to learn about the advantages of incorporating the Barbell Drag Curl into your fitness routine.

Arm strengthening

The Barbell Drag Curl is an excellent exercise for strengthening the arms. By targeting the biceps muscles, it helps to build overall arm strength and improve muscle tone. This exercise specifically focuses on the brachialis muscle that lies beneath the biceps, resulting in well-rounded arm development.

Performing Barbell Drag Curls regularly as part of your workout routine will help you achieve stronger and more defined arms.

To perform a Barbell Drag Curl, start with a shoulder-width grip on the barbell and let your arms hang fully extended. Keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement as you curl the weight up towards your chest using only your forearms.

This unique motion places significant emphasis on both the biceps and brachialis muscles, making it an effective exercise for building arm strength.

Muscle building

The Barbell Drag Curl is an effective exercise for muscle building, specifically targeting the biceps. By performing this exercise, you can stimulate growth in your arm muscles, leading to increased strength and size.

The drag curl places a unique emphasis on the biceps, allowing for maximum muscle activation throughout the movement. Incorporating the Barbell Drag Curl into your upper body workouts can help you achieve your goals of building lean muscle mass and achieving well-defined arms.

Improving arm aesthetics

Improving the aesthetics of your arms is one of the key benefits of incorporating the barbell drag curl into your workout routine. This exercise specifically targets and engages your biceps, helping to build definition and size in this area.

By consistently performing the barbell drag curl with proper form and gradually increasing weight, you can sculpt stronger, more visually appealing arms. Whether you’re looking to enhance the appearance of your muscles for personal reasons or to showcase them on stage, incorporating this exercise into your training regimen can help you achieve those desired aesthetic results.

Potential injury prevention

Proper form and technique are essential when performing the Barbell Drag Curl to prevent potential injuries. By maintaining a stable core, keeping your back straight, and avoiding excessive momentum, you can reduce the risk of straining your biceps or causing shoulder discomfort.

It is also important not to use excessive weight that you cannot control, as this can lead to muscle imbalances and increased stress on your joints. Remember to warm up before starting any exercise routine and listen to your body’s signals if you experience any pain or discomfort during the exercise.

Functional strength

Functional strength is essential for everyday activities and sports performance. When you perform barbell drag curls, you engage multiple muscles simultaneously, increasing your overall functional strength.

This exercise targets the biceps, forearms, and shoulders, all of which play a crucial role in lifting and carrying objects in real-life scenarios. By incorporating barbell drag curls into your workout routine, you can improve your ability to perform tasks like picking up groceries or moving furniture with ease.

Strengthening these muscle groups also enhances your overall athletic performance by improving your grip strength and upper body stability during sports activities such as throwing or swinging motions.


Incorporating the barbell drag curl into your workout routine can help strengthen your arms, build muscle, and improve the aesthetics of your biceps. With its potential to prevent injuries and enhance functional strength, this exercise is a valuable addition to any upper body workout.

Try out different variations like dumbbell drag curls or reverse-grip drag curls to keep challenging yourself and continue seeing progress in your arm strength training journey. Get started today by following our step-by-step guide and tips!


1. What is a Barbell Drag Curl?

A Barbell Drag Curl is an arm strength training exercise that focuses on curling exercises with barbells to build muscle.

2. How does Drag Curl differ from other curls like Dumbbell, Cable, Hammer, Preacher, Concentration, Spider and Incline curl?

While all these weightlifting techniques involve some form of curling motion to strengthen the arms, a drag curl specifically involves pulling the barbell upwards close to your body for increased tension and targeted muscle building exercises.

3. Are there variations to the Barbell Drag Curl?

Yes! There are several drag curl variations which can be introduced into your fitness routine as per individual strength and conditioning capabilities.

4. Can I find guidance videos for performing this exercise correctly?

Absolutely! The ‘Barbell Drag Curl – Video Exercise Guide & Tips (003812)’ provides detailed instructions along with useful fitness tips for safely adding this workout in your routine.

5. Is a Barbell Drag Curl effective in muscle building?

Definitely! As it targets specific muscles during the upward pull movement, it’s a great addition to any arm strength training plan aiming at efficient muscle development.

workout guru author


Serg Bayracny

Years ago, the spark of my life’s passion ignited in my mind the moment I stepped into the local gym for the first time. The inaugural bead of perspiration, the initial endeavor, the very first surge of endorphins, and a sense of pride that washed over me post-workout marked the beginning of my deep-seated interest in strength sports, fitness, and sports nutrition. This very curiosity blossomed rapidly into a profound fascination, propelling me to earn a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, followed by a Sports Manager diploma from the Jagiellonian University. My journey of growth led me to gain more specialized qualifications, such as being a certified personal trainer with a focus on sports dietetics, a lifeguard, and an instructor for wellness and corrective gymnastics. Theoretical knowledge paired seamlessly with practical experience, reinforcing my belief that the transformation of individuals under my guidance was also a reflection of my personal growth. This belief holds true even today. Each day, I strive to push the boundaries and explore new realms. These realms gently elevate me to greater heights. The unique combination of passion for my field and the continuous quest for growth fuels my drive to break new ground.

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