I am one of the few gym rats I know who is willing to admit that I love doing curls. Granted, I usually train people at a Crossfit Gym where the emphasis seems to be on getting torn palms and collapsing into a puddle of tears after a workout, and where they scorn direct arm work like curling, but I love it.
My friend Adam T. Glass has said many times “the better I look, the better I play.” I agree.
From the earliest age that I got interested in muscles, I got interested in curls. Hammer curls, preachers curls, you name it, I was doing it, picturing the day when I would have arms like Jay Cutler–well, back then Arnold was still about as monstrous as it got.
And of course, my arms never even got close to looking like theirs. In the most recent five years of my training I have quit worrying about getting and have focused instead on getting stronger in any lift. Happily, this has resulted in me looking better than I ever did when I trained solely for muscles.
As far as curls, if I’m doing them these days I prefer the hammer curl. The primary reason for this is that I also do a lot of dedicated grip work and I focus on wrist strength as well. Training the wrist, in my opinion, is best done while locking the wrist into position and then moving it against resistance. This type of curl is a perfect example of this:
He’s training his biceps, but his forearms are still getting a good workout, and his wrists are getting stronger–as opposed to simply getting a pump, which is usually what you’re looking at when you train wrist curls with an EZ curl bar.
There are various ways to experiment with leverage, torso rotation, rep tempo, and resistance, but this video gives the basic pattern. Do what feels best to you and tack your results. If the numbers go up in size or strength, you’re doing something right.