Plate Curls – How To + (VIDEO)

Who doesn’t want bigger and more muscular arms? Most bodybuilders dedicate one day each week following a specific workout regimen to build massive triceps and biceps. Training such a small muscle group takes a significant amount of time. When looking for the perfect exercise to buff your arms, plate curls do the job perfectly. This arm-specific exercise has plenty of variations and benefits to enhance your muscle gains quickly. You can incorporate barbells and dumbbells to amplify the outcomes further.

However, this old-school exercise may become less effective if overused. You may need to replace the regular plate bicep curls with their better variations to build your ideal biceps.

This article will discuss how to do this exercise and the best variations for biceps. Also, read along to learn about the benefits of plate curls. 

Let’s get into it.

How to Do Plate Curls?

Performing plate bicep curls are not back-breaking at all. However, you still have to follow specific directions to reap accurate results.

Here is a step-by-step guide to doing plate bicep curls:

Step 1:

Get in the starting position by slightly bending your knees and opening your legs. Then, take a weight plate of your choice by its sides and grab it in front of your thighs.

Step 2:

Engage your abs and take a deep breath while bringing your shoulders back.

Step 3:

Next, curl the weight plate towards your chest by bending your elbow. Curl until your forearms touch your biceps.

Do not use your legs or back to curl in the weight plate.

Step 4:

Lower the plate slowly and exhale. Extend out your arms fully before doing the next rep.

Step 5:

Take a deep breath and repeat the curls for 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps.

Which Muscles Do Plate Curls Work On?

Since plate curls are an isolation exercise, it primarily focuses on one muscle group by involving one joint. However, it still manages to develop several surrounding muscles.

Plate curls muscles worked on involve:

Biceps Brachii

The Biceps Brachii, located on the front of the upper arm, is the most involved muscle when doing plate curls.


The brachialis is the muscle lying beneath the bicep. It plays a vital part in enhancing your bicep size by pushing it up.


It is a forearm muscle involved in the arm’s supination. With the help of plate curls, the brachioradialis becomes thicker and more muscular.

Benefits of Plate Curls

If you are going through the process of putting together your arm workout routine, consider adding plate bicep curls because it has a never-ending list of benefits for biceps.

Here are some benefits of plate curls:

  • Plate bicep curls don’t require you to own any high-grade gym equipment. It is a low-tech exercise offering noticeable results using only a weight plate.
  • This old-school exercise helps you develop a firm hand grip because holding a weight plate is not as easy as it may seem.
  • Plate curls train multiple arm muscle groups simultaneously, which results in bulkier arms. Also, this exercise provides you with a time-efficient arm workout.
  • Plate bicep curls are ideal for drop sets. You can use plates of different weights and back-to-back reps to get pumped arms.

Mistakes to Avoid when Performing Plate Curls

1. Adding too much weight

Lifting a heavier plate when doing curls limits your range of motion and results in improper bicep activation. Therefore, start with small weights and gradually increase the resistance for notable progress.

2. Limiting yourself to only one plate curl variation

Another common mistake people make when doing plate curls is clinging to only one plate curl variation.

Consider switching between different variations to stimulate muscles uniquely and reap the best results.

3. Not extending your arms fully.

Beginners often make this error when performing plate bicep curls, which diminishes the exercise’s efficiency. Too much weight and poor plate position may prevent you from raising your hands properly.

Plate Curl Variations

The traditional plate bicep curls are a great bicep exercise, but to increase their efficacy, you have to opt for better plate curl variations.

Here are the 3 best variations to keep your arm workouts productive:

1. Reverse Plate Curls:

This variation of this move is a forearm-centric exercise as it focuses better on your lower arm than the biceps. It intensifies your forearm strength.

Steps to do Reverse Plate Curls:

  • Take the starting position by bending your knees and holding the weight plate with a thumbless probated grip.
  • Curl the plate towards your chest, tucking your upper arms close to your sides. Do not twist your wrists.
  • Hold the contraction for a few seconds and then slowly lower the plate.
  • Repeat the reverse plate curls for a fair number of sets x reps.

2. Plate Hammer Curls

The plate hammer curls are highly convenient and practical for boosting your bicep gains as it directly target your biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles.

Here’s how to do plate hammer curls:

  • Hold the weight disc from the middle of its outer rims.
  • Curl the weight disc toward your shoulders until your bicep squeezes the forearm.
  • Lower the plate by fully extending your elbow and repeat.

3. Double Plate Curl

This plate curl variation is perfect for speeding up your progress, or your gym doesn’t offer heavy-weight plates.

Double plate curl is an ideal size-builder than just pumping up your biceps. So, try to shift the double plate curls towards the start of your workout routine to fuel your mass gain.

How to perform Double Plate Curls: 

Hold two weight discs together and curl them in until your bicep comes in contact with your form. Slowly extend out your elbow and repeat the same steps.

Final Thoughts

Although plate curls are old-fashioned, it is the best option for building strong, muscular, bulky biceps and arms. With minimal equipment, you can also perform this bicep workout at home.

Plate bicep curl and its variations are convenient and result-bearing exercises as it involves single-joint movements. The resistance from the weights makes your biceps all pumped up, building strong and more muscular arms in no time.

4/5 - (5 votes)


James Moore
James Moore
James is co-founder of He works as a fitness trainer and nutrition specialist. His main mission is to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their sport goals. He believes staying in shape has an overall positive effect on body, mind, and spirit.

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