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How To Do Plate Curl Workouts? Benefits And Variations

  • Plate curl workouts are one of the most versatile exercises out there
  • They help your arm muscles grow bigger and stronger if done properly
  • There are several benefits and variations of this exercise
  • They are a great way to spice things up when it comes to arm exercises. Here is how to do bicep curls with a plate.

Plate curl workouts are very versatile but can be overlooked because minimal equipment is required for this exercise. Similar to other types of bicep curl exercises, plate curl workouts come with different variations, giving you room to experiment when it comes to growing your bicep muscles. The beauty of plate curl workouts is that they can be tweaked depending on your fitness levels.

Plate Curl Workouts – Muscles Worked

Plate curl workouts

Plate curl workouts target specific muscle groups and come under the category of isolate exercise. Considering they are an isolate workout, they still target many lower and upper arm muscles. Here are the main muscles worked during plate curl workouts.


The brachialis is located beneath the bicep muscles and that’s why it’s not visible. Yet, it is responsible for upper arm strength and size and helps you pump your biceps making them look stronger and bigger. The brachialis muscle is also responsible for elbow joint flexion.

Biceps Brachii

Biceps brachii is basically your biceps, perhaps the most popular muscles of the human body. Bicep muscles are located on the upper arm and are responsible for flexing your elbow joints as well as the supination of your forearm.

The biceps brachii is an arm muscle with two heads. There are two separate sites and one insertion. Plate curl workouts target the long head; located outside the biceps.


Brachioradialis is located in the lower arm and is a forearm muscle in the upper body that is also responsible for flexing your elbow joint. Brachioradialis is also responsible for the supination of forearms. To grow your muscles bigger and stronger your brachioradialis has to be well-developed.

How To Do Plate Curl Workouts?

Plate curl workouts

  • Start by standing upright with your legs shoulder-width apart
  • Grab a weight plate by its sides
  • Hold the plate against your thighs and in front of the hips
  • Make sure your core is engaged shoulders back and keep your breathing steady
  • Bend your elbows slowly bringing your curl plate up
  • Your wrists should be higher than your elbows
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly bring down the plate to the starting position
  • Do 10 to 12 reps

Alternative Way Of Doing Plate Curl Workouts

  • Take the small weight plate, make sure it’s smaller, and hold it in one of the palms of the hands
  • Engage your core, push your shoulder blades back and hold the plate against your thighs with your arms extended
  • Place your arms on the side
  • Bring the arm with the weight plate up with your wrist higher than your elbow
  • Pause in this position for a few seconds, and then bring your arm back down
  • Hold the plate with your other arm and repeat
  • Do the same number of reps alternatively

Benefits Of Doing Plate Curl Workouts

Plate curl workouts come with a lot of benefits that are great for your arms if you want them to grow bigger and stronger. Plate curls are part of resistance training and study suggests that it acts like medicine for your body. Resistance training helps prevent the onset of several physical ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Here are a few benefits we’ve listed for you:

  • Low Technicality

There is nothing more straightforward than plate curl workouts when it comes to arm exercises. The only thing you need is a weight plate. These workouts are great for anyone who is a beginner and doesn’t have access to kettlebells, EZ bars, or dumbbells.

  • Targets Multiple Muscles

Plate curls target several muscles at once. If you want stronger and bigger arms, exercises that only target your biceps are not enough, you must do exercises that also target your brachioradialis and brachialis muscles. All muscles must be trained at the same time for your arm workout to be effective.

  • Grip Strength

Plate curls help by increasing your grip strength. For this exercise to be effective a strong grip is a must. Since many people are more familiar with using dumbbells or barbells, using a weight plate isn’t easy, and holding it with a proper grip can be challenging for some people. Doing plate curls frequently improves your grip compared to other bicep workouts.

Variations Of Plate Curl Workouts

Here are some variations of plate curls that target similar primary muscles but with different forms and equipment.

Dumbbell Reverse Curl

Reverse curls workouts a great variation of standard plate curls. While doing this exercise make sure your wrists don’t droop when holding the dumbbell.

How To Do Dumbbell Reverse Curls

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and back straight
  • Hold the two dumbbells with overhand grip and keep your core engaged
  • Make sure your arms are by your side and as you exhale bring up the dumbbells towards your shoulders
  • Keep the movement slow and steady without engaging your back and lower body
  • Slowly bring down the dumbbells to the starting position
  • Do 10 to 12 sets

EZ Bar Reverse Curl

Curl bar workouts are excellent for your biceps. It can be done with different gym equipment but most people prefer doing them with EZ bars. EZ bar reverse curl is another effective variation of plate curls that can be done at home or the gym if you have an EZ bar.

How To Do EZ Bar Reverse Curl?

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the EZ bar with an overhand grip
  • Keep your arms on the side and bring up the EZ bar to your shoulders
  • Avoid using your back and legs for momentum
  • Continue bringing the bar up towards your shoulders until you the bar is unable to curl any further
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then bring the bar down to the starting position
  • Do 10 to 12 reps


Can you do curls with plates?

Yes,you can do curls with plates. Plate curl workouts can be done by standing in a neutral position. Hold a plate by your waist and slowly bring it up to your shoulders in a curl position. Stay there for a few seconds and then bring the plate back to the starting position.

What do plate curl workouts target?

Plate curl workouts target your:

biceps brachii, located in the front of your arms;

brachialis, also located in the front of your upper arms. This muscle is responsible for your elbow flexion;

brachioradialis, a muscle situated in your arm and spans from your wrist to the elbow

What curl is best for forearms?

Plate curl workouts are the best for your forearms because they make your muscles work harder making them grow bigger and stronger.

Is it better to do plate curls standing or sitting?

It is better to do seated plate curls because it puts less strain on your lower back and they are also effective at targeting and isolating your bicep muscles.

Key Takeaway

Plate curl workouts can be considered old school, yet these are one of the most effective upper body workouts out there. They effectively target multiple bicep muscles helping you grow and shape your upper arms.

Sometimes doing just standard dumbbell curls can be boring not just for you but for your body as well. Plate curls are a great way to give your muscles a bit of a jolt leading to the development of your biceps.

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