Drag Curl Train: How To, Advantages, Variations

March 2, 2022

Arm day lifestyle for many of us. Most new lifters solely know just a few workout routines — and the barbell and the most well-liked one is that this staple and its multitude of variations. One variation that’s typically disregarded chilly is the drag curl. Why? As a result of it’s arduous.

The drag curl not like quite a lot of different biceps curl variations takes physique English and the deltoids out of the motion to focus more on the biceps. Plus, throughout the peak contraction, your elbows are behind your physique which units you up for an intense bicep contraction. The strict vary of movement offers your biceps the time underneath pressure they deserve for extra flex attraction.

Right here we are going to go into what the drag curl is, tips on how to do it, muscle tissue skilled, advantages of coaching biceps, programming, and a few variations and alternate options.


This drag curl has you arrange with the barbell proper towards your physique. Reasonably than curling up towards your shoulders, you’re dragging the barbell as much as your physique whereas your elbows go behind you. This strict and shorter range of motion takes the shoulders out to focus extra on the biceps.

The momentum from different muscle tissue right here is minimal to extend the time underneath pressure on the biceps for a extra intense pump. Due to these elements, the load you’ll use can be much less however the advantages in your biceps can be value it.


  1. Start by gripping a barbell with a palms-up shoulder-width grip with the barbell throughout your thighs.
  2. Preserve your chest up, shoulders down, and look straight forward.
  3. Pull your elbows again to contract your bicep and “drag” the barbell as much as your physique in the direction of your shoulders.
  4. Cease on the decrease chest/higher ab degree and pause then slowly decrease the bar alongside the identical path again to the beginning place. Reset and repeat.


  • Biceps: Each the lengthy and brief head of the biceps are the prime movers with the drag curl.
  • Forearms: Each curl variation includes the forearm muscle tissue to help elbow flexion and for gripping functions.
  • Brachialis: That is the muscle beneath the biceps. This muscle is a robust elbow flexor that assists the biceps with elbow flexion and this muscle helps add width to the higher arm.


Moreover self-importance, there are different essential the explanation why to incorporate biceps curl variations just like the drag curl into your programming.

  • Improved shoulder stability: The biceps are a double-headed muscle, which attaches to the scapula and shoulder joint and assists the rotator cuff with shoulder stability, significantly by way of the anterior deltoid. The rotator cuff secures the humerus to the shoulder joint and the biceps secures the shoulder joint to the humerus and this compression from either side of your shoulder joint advantages your shoulder stability.
  • Nice for shoulder rehab: The biceps play a minor function in shoulder flexion as a result of the biceps and anterior deltoid are skilled when your shoulder goes into flexion. Plus, the higher again muscle tissue contract isometrically to maintain you in good posture and forestall the shoulders from rolling ahead whereas performing curls. This is the reason biceps curls are programmed into the later levels of a rehab program as a solution to strengthen the rotator cuff and the higher again.
  • They assist you elevate extra weight: Workouts that contain the biceps — like chinups, pullups, and rows — profit from stronger biceps and improved grip strength. Wouldn’t it’s a disgrace in your biceps to offer out earlier than you’ve exhausted your shoulders and again?


The purpose of the drag curl is to reduce shoulder involvement so the biceps can get all of the love. Though a easy transfer to carry out, listed below are just a few issues that can assist you get the very best out of the drag curl train.

  • Restrict momentum: Don’t begin the motion out of your decrease physique and resist the urge to lean backward and to make use of physique English to get the load up. This negates the advantages of this train as a result of the dragging movement ought to be gradual and deliberate.
  • Keep away from rolling the anterior shoulder: The ROM is much less is than in a typical curl however please keep away from rolling the shoulder too far ahead to realize further ROM right here. Extra is just not higher right here. Plus, conserving a slight bend within the knees takes the stress off the low again if this can be a downside space for you.


The biceps is a muscle group that assists in my pulling exercises, and it’s best skilled after your essential power workout routines for the day. Doing so means that you can elevate extra weight. Listed below are just a few programming options to pump up your biceps with drag curls.

Biceps Triset Finisher

Doing three biceps workout routines back-to-back to again on the finish of your coaching will give your biceps all they’ll deal with. For instance

1A. Drag curls: 3 units of 8-12 reps

1B. Focus Curls: 3 units of 8-12 reps either side

1C. Hammer curls: 3 units of 12-20 reps

Mechanical Biceps Dropset

Mechanical drop units have you ever beginning with essentially the most tough train for a specific muscle group and pairing it with a more easy variation and taking each to technical failure. For instance, beginning with drag curls after which performing barbell cheat curls. Burn child burn.


The barbell and EZ-bar drag curl are variations that can let you elevate essentially the most weight. But when these instruments worsen your joints, don’t despair. Carry out these variations as a substitute.

Female fitness model doing an upper body workout routine with a land mine press exercise

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