Reverse Grip Plate Curls – Biceps Exercise Guide


The bicep muscle’s name is derived from Latin words meaning “two-headed” and “arm”. The name perfectly describes the muscle: it is located in the arm, and it is composed of two different parts. That’s right, the biceps are actually two muscle bodies that work together in unison (short head and long head). This muscle body is called the biceps brachii and it is the muscle body responsible for the ball-like bulging of your biceps that athletes and weight lifters so often strive to achieve. The biceps brachalis is another muscle in the upper arm. It begins just above the elbow and extends to the point at which it merges with another muscle body. Together, the bicep muscle bodies help you bend your elbow and turn your forearm.


Exercise Instructions: Grasp a weight plate with an overhand grip and pinch the plate with your fingers. Next, simply curl the weight plate up to the top and bring it close to your upper chest. Slowly return the weight plate back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Building up your biceps helps you achieve that strong, toned look in your upper body. Strong biceps balance out your body and gives you the strength needed to efficiently execute many important weight lifting movements like deadlifts and barbell rows which are fantastic mass building multi-joint compound exercises for building muscular size and strength. If your biceps are strong then your chances of suffering tendonitis and muscle ruptures are greatly decreased which is something anyone who lifts weights wants to avoid at all times.

Muscles Targeted: A great way to achieve strong biceps is through the execution of reverse grip plate curls and it’s a very basic exercise for your arms. A popular beginner bicep exercise and finishing movement in your arm workout routine, reverse grip plate curls is a toning style technique that uses resistance and will yield great results. The biceps and forearms are the primary muscle groups targeted. Your forearms are activated due to the positioning of your hands on the weight plate with an overhand grip.

Why This Exercise is Important: Reverse plate curls will help you build up and develop your biceps and forearms. Bicep strength is important for daily activities (picking things up) and also help to prevent injuries along with achieving balanced symmetry in your upper body.

Things To Avoid:

  • Improper posture – it is essential that you are standing straight up with a flat back while you perform repetitions of this exercise. Be sure to begin with your arms completely extended and hanging naturally down in front of your body.
  • Feet together – it is important that you position your feet with a shoulder width stance and plant your feet securely on the floor for adequate support and stabilization.
  • Elbows out – make sure to keep your elbows in and close to your body. Avoid flaring your elbows out to the sides at any time during the full range of motion.
  • Using too much weight – Never lift weights that are too heavy for you. This could lead to injury and will not benefit you when trying to stimulate a muscle group. Drop the weight down if your technique starts to get sloppy.

Reps and Sets: Since this a an isolation and finishing type of exercise, your reps will be much higher in the range of 15-20 per set. Beginners only need to do 1-2 sets while advanced trainees can do 2-3 sets. Don’t perform over 7-8 total sets for your biceps workout. It’s a very small muscle group and you might run into overtraining issues if you do lots of sets multiple times per week. Only train your biceps once per week for the best results. Hit them hard and then your muscles rest so they can recover and grow.

Other Exercises To Use:

  • Cable Preacher Curls: this exercise will work your biceps in a slightly different way. It’s a great exercise to use alongside reverse grip plate curls.
  • Standing Angled Dumbbell Curls: this exercise compliments cable preacher curls and reverse grip plate curls very well. It works the same muscle bodies at a slightly different angle.
  • Two Arm Cable Curls: another fantastic compliment to the above-listed exercises. This forces the biceps to pull in from your shoulders instead of upwards, providing a solid addition to your arm workout.

View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps.

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