1. Fat-Grip Hammer Curl
Select two dumbbells, and wrap towels around each handle to thicken it. Another option is to use rubber-grip sleeves like Fat Gripz or Grip4orce. Keeping your upper arms stationary at your sides and your palms facing up, curl the weights.
2. Behind-the-Back Cable Curl
Attach a D-handle to the low pulley of a cable machine, grasp the handle in your left hand, and step forward (away from the machine) until there’s tension on the cable and your arm is drawn slightly behind your body. Stagger your feet so your right leg is in front. Curl the handle but don’t allow your elbow to point forward. Alternate sides.
3. EZ-Bar Preacher Curl
Sit at a preacher bench, and adjust the bench height so your armpits touch the top of the bench. Grasp an EZ-curl bar overhand at shoulder-width. Curl it up, keeping the backs of your arms against the bench. Take three seconds to lower the bar back down, flexing your triceps as you do it (as if you were performing a cable pushdown).
4. Reverse Curl
Grasp the bar overhand (aka prone grip) at whatever width is comfortable. Keeping your upper arms against your sides, curl the bar.
5. Wide-Grip Curl
Grasp the bar with hands wider than shoulder-width—if you’re using an Olympic bar, your pinkies should be on the outside knurling. Perform curls.
6. Close-Grip Curl
Curl with your hands inside shoulder-width, in the middle of the bar.
7. Conventional Barbell Curl You’ve certainly done this exercise before, but there are plenty of ways to shake up the set/rep scheme. Try this: Place three 5-lb plates on each side of the bar, hands at shoulder-width, and perform 20 reps. That’s one set. Then take off one plate from each side. Perform 30 reps. Unload another plate from each side and do 40 reps. Finally, remove the last set of plates, and do 50 reps with just the empty bar. 8. Dumbbell Curl Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your sides. Keep your weight on your heels and lean forward slightly. Without letting your upper arms drift forward, curl the weights, rotating your wrists outward so that your palms face you in the top position. Hold the top for a moment and squeeze your biceps. Lower the weights back down and flex your triceps hard in the bottom position (your arms should end up slightly behind your body).
9. Drag Curl
Perform as you would a conventional dumbbell curl, but stand tall and drive your elbows back as you curl so the head of each dumbbell touches the front of your body throughout the rep. (Keep your palms facing up the whole time.) It should look as though you’re dragging the weights up along your torso.
10. Hammer Curl
Perform as you did the conventional dumbbell curl but keep your palms facing your sides throughout (aka neutral grip).
11. Cheat Curl
Choose the heaviest dumbbells you think you can curl, and perform as you did the conventional dumbbell curl, but use momentum from your hips to power through the sticking point (halfway up, when the weights are most difficult to lift). Do not lean back as you lift, but get into a rhythm where you rock your torso forward and then extend your hips to complete each rep. Stop each set one rep shy of total failure.
12. Band Curl
Anchor a band under your feet, holding each end with both hands at your sides. Resist your elbows moving forward as you perform curls as fast as you can. Keep your body still.13. Side Curl
Attach two bands that face each other to sturdy objects at shoulder-height. Stand between them, and hold an end in each hand. Raise your arms out 90° with elbows extended—you should still feel some tension on the band in this starting position. Curl the bands toward your ears, and hold the contracted position for two seconds. You can also do this exercise with cables.
14. Reverse Curl
Attach a band to a sturdy object in front of you, and stand facing it. Hold the band in one hand and walk backward, allowing the band to pull your arm up until it’s parallel to the floor. Curl the band quickly—your forearm should end up at 90° or greater to the floor. Hold the contracted position for two seconds.
15. Suspension Trainer Biceps Curl Face the suspension trainer’s attachment point and grasp the handles with palms facing up. Lean back with your abs braced, body straight, and arms extended in front of you. Curl your body up to the handles. Keep your hips straight—don’t bend or twist. If you need to make this exercise easier, move your feet toward you so you’re in more of an upright position; if you want to make it more difficult, step out your feet slightly farther in front of you.