By BJ Gaddour
Dumbbell concentration curls are a classic biceps-building exercise from the golden era of bodybuilding (see how to perform these and 2 other sleeves-busting biceps moves here). But doing them using one side of a barbell — referred to as the landmine setup — is an instant exercise upgrade you’ve gotta try at your next arms workout.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “bro, just do regular curls and stick to the basics.” But bro, we can’t just do regular biceps curls all the time because then you’ll say: “lame. nothing new here, been doing these forever.” Can you tell I get beat up on social media a little bit?
Sarcasm-aside, this single-sided barbell variation has several distinct advantages that can’t be overlooked:
1. The end of a barbell is much thicker than the typical dumbbell handle. And gripping a fatter handle increases grip strength, overall arm activation, and can actually take stress off the elbow joint. Even if I can’t convince you to try this exercise, consider making your dumbbell handle thicker by adding fat-gripz to them. The grip and forearm gains are real.
2. The landmine option provides a unique arching bar path that I personally find more comfortable than the dumbbell option. It’s probably because I’ve suffered 3 broken arms and I’ve got some asymmetries in the way the bones were set. Either way it feels really smooth and the pump is precious.
The setup is a lot easier than you think. Either use a landmine post that you can quickly place through the hole of a couple weight plates (like I show in the video above) or place one end of the barbell in the corner of a wall and use the other side to curl.
I recommend 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps per side towards the end of your arms workout. You can also add smaller 5 to 10-pound weight plates to keep progressing or to dip into some lower rep ranges if you’d like.
And for those of you moaning and groaning about this “complicated” landmine setup, just remember you can do an endless number of other exercises using a barbell in this manner for an insane whole body workout.