Joe Donnelly: Build Bigger Biceps With This Curl Variation

M&S Team
Written By: M&S Team
March 28th, 2016
Updated: March 30th, 2021
Categories: Articles Training
Tags: Video
Hitting those barbell curls hard, but still not making bicep gains? Maybe it's time to switch things up. Try Joe Donnelly's barbell curl variation!

Everyone knows the curling motion is crucial to developing bulging biceps.

But if you think standing straight bar curls alone will build biceps that peak, you’ve sadly been misinformed.

Don’t fret. AML athlete Joe Donnelly provides Muscle & Strength and our viewers a variation of the bicep curl that’s way more effective than regular standing bicep curls.

Joe begins the video by explaining how and why modern science proves the straight bar curl is not the most effective way to build biceps.

Since the bicep is not activated during the first third of the motion, the forearms and delts take over the workload. By the time the bicep is activated, the weight already feels lighter as momentum carries it through the remaining portion of the rep.

Joe’s solution? Seated barbell bicep curls.

By allowing your quads to stop the bottom portion of the rep, you can no longer swing the weight. The bicep becomes completely engaged as the forearms and delts no longer play a role in moving the weight.

Weight that you would normally do standing is going to be much harder while seated.

Give Joe’s variation a shot for a bicep pump worthy of flexing.

Related: 5 Effective Biceps Workout Routines (Beginner to Advanced)