Barbell Prone Incline Curl

Start Position
End Position

Starting position:

  1. Position the barbell within grabbing distance of an incline bench or have a spotter ready to pass you the barbell.
  2. Lie face down on a 45-degree incline bench, resting your chest on the bench with head and neck located above the edge of the bench.
  3. Keep both feet on the floor, straddling the incline bench or kneel on seat.
  4. Grasp the bar with a closed, supinated grip (the back of your palms facing the front of your thighs).
  5. Extend elbows, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
Grip should be shoulder-width apart.

Upward movement/concentric phase:

  1. Flex the elbows until the bar is 4 to 6 inches away from the front of shoulder(s).
  2. Keep neck aligned with spine.
Do not remove your body from the incline bench as the weight is lifted. Do not flex or extend neck.

Downward movement/eccentric phase:

    1. In a controlled fashion, allow the elbows to extend back to the starting position.
    2. Keep a slight bend in elbows to maintain tension on the biceps before the next repetition.
    3. Upper arms should remain motionless during lift.
Do not hyperextend elbows at the bottom of the descent. Do not hold your breath. Exhale during the concentric phase and inhale during the eccentric phase.

Exercise Data

  • Primary Muscles: Biceps brachii and brachialis
  • Synergists: Brachioradialis
  • Stabilizers: Forearm flexors (flexor carpi radialis and flexor carpi ulnaris)
  • Type: Strength, hypertrophy
  • Mechanics: Elbow flexion
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Lever: 3rd class lever
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • FAQ'S & FACTS ABOUT Barbell Prone Incline Curl

    What Is A Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curl?

    A prone incline curl is a resistance exercise, which involves the primary elbow flexors, the brachialis and biceps brachii. Body weight is rested on an incline bench to better isolate the biceps while placing the biceps at a fixed angle.

    This exercise can be performed with an Olympic bar or other barbell alternative. The concentric portion of the lift is elbow flexion which involves the lifting of the weight. The eccentric portion is elbow extension, which involves the descent of the weight.

    The purpose of the prone incline curl is to strengthen the biceps while promoting hypertrophy (increases in size) of the biceps.

    Why Do A Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curl?

    Prone incline barbell curls strengthen and increase the size of the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis. The exercise is performed at a fixed angle to isolate elbow flexion. Although it is primarily an exercise for aesthetics, prone incline curls also serve as an auxiliary exercise that can increase strength involved in other multi-joint exercises.

    Anatomy Of A Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curl

    The biceps brachii is located on the front of the arm, originating at the shoulder and inserting in the elbow joint. It consists of two heads, the long head (outer biceps) and the short head (inner biceps). The long head tendon helps stabilize the shoulder joint and its origin is located at the tubercle and lip of the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade). The short head origin is located at the coracoid process of the scapula. The long and short head unite as the muscle bellies run down the front of the arm. Both heads merge, sharing insertion into the radial tuberosity of the elbow joint.

    The biceps brachii flexes the elbow joint and supinates the forearm. Supination refers to the simultaneous rotation of the wrist and elbow as the palm of your hand faces upward.

    The brachialis lies underneath the biceps brachii, originating at the front of the lower end of the humerus bone. Its insertion is located at the coronoid process of the ulna at the elbow joint. The brachialis is a primary elbow flexor.

    The brachioradialis aids the biceps brachii and brachialis, helping stabilize the elbow joint during biceps curls.

    Although their contribution is minimal, forearm muscles, palmaris longus, flexor carpi radialis, and pronator teres contribute as weak flexors of the elbow joint.

    Primary forearms flexors, flexor carpi radialis and flexor carpi ulnaris are stabilizers. Both insert at the elbow joint and attach at the metacarpals near the wrist.

    Variations Of A Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curl

    Wide grip, narrow grip, EZ bar, dumbbell curl, cable curl, reverse grip, hammer curl.

    How To Improve Your Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curl

    Strategically varying your grip width can result in optimal muscle activation that increases strength and hypertrophy of the biceps and brachialis.

    Emphasis on eccentric contractions, prolonging the eccentric portion of the contraction, may also be incorporated in a training program focused on increasing strength. This should be implemented accordingly and with adequate muscle recovery as eccentric contractions cause substantial damage to muscle tissue.

    It’s important to note that your repetition and set volume will depend on your goals (e.g. strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance). It is also important to allow adequate recovery days in between biceps training to allow muscles to repair.

    Common Mistakes When Doing Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curls

    Returning the weight to starting position to quickly. Performing the eccentric portion of the lift ballistically (e.g. dropping the weight on the way down, extending the elbows quickly) and/or hyperextending the elbow can result in biceps tendon injuries.

    Injuries Or Ailments & Their Effects Regarding Biceps Barbell Prone Incline Curls:

    If proper technique is not adhered to (e.g. dropping the weight quickly instead of controlling the descent on the eccentric portion of the lift), the likelihood of a biceps injury increases.

    Although rare, biceps tendon rupture may occur if warm-up is not sufficient and/or if intensity (load) is increased inappropriately.

    If proper recovery is not implemented between training days for optimal muscle repair of the biceps, the biceps tendon becomes inflamed. Without proper rest and treatment, the inflammation remains and results in biceps tendonitis.

    Impingement syndrome and rotator cuff injuries, in general, are commonly associated with biceps tendonitis/biceps tendinosis. Therefore, it’s best to avoid biceps exercises when addressing impingement syndrome/rotator cuff injury unless advised by a physical therapist.