Blast Those Bi’s With Drag Curls!


Want bigger guns? Then blast those bi’s with drag curls! For many, drag curls are a new and different exercise, yet it’s been around for over 60 years. In this article, I will cover the history, how to do them, and present an example routine. Of course, I also provide nutrition and supplement guidelines. Let’s get started!

What Are Drag Curls & Where Did They Come From? 

The drag curl is an old-school biceps exercise that isolates the biceps, specifically the long head. It also works the brachialis and forearms to a lesser degree. This exercise is credited to legendary Iron Guru Vince Gironda and is also known as the body drag curl. Gironda came up with it in the 1960s as a way to isolate the biceps. He was a big believer in isolating a muscle and had a reputation for controversial viewpoints about several established exercises and training principles. 

What Is The Point Of Drag Curls?

The point of this unusual exercise is to isolate the biceps, maintain continuous tension throughout the range of motion, and prevent the ability to cheat during the exercise. Finally, as noted this exercise primarily hits the long or outer head of the biceps. This head is harder to develop than the short, or inner head. (1)

How To Do Drag Curls

Perform this exercise as follows:

  • Pick up an EZ bar, barbell, pair of dumbbells, resistance bands, or low cable EZ bar attachment and stand as if you were beginning a regular barbell curl. 
  • Keep your upper arms tucked into your sides.
  • Instead of curling the bar like you usually would, start the exercise by pulling your elbows behind your body and dragging (or pulling) the bar up your body.
  • The bar should lightly graze your body as you drag it upward.
  • Drag it up as high as you can, hold and squeeze for a 3-count, and lower it slowly back to the start position.

An Example Biceps Routine Featuring Drag Curls

If you follow back with biceps, your arms will be warmed up and ready to go. Unlike regular curls, the tension does not ease up at the top of the exercise. Follow the last exercise with direct forearm work.

Drag Curls

4 sets x 12 – 15 reps

Preacher Curls

4 sets x 12 – 15 reps

Rope Hammer Curls

3 sets x 12-15 reps

– Or –

Here’s another way to use drag curls. Make your first exercise regular EZ curls. When you fail, go right into drag curls. Do this for every set, and you can even add rest-pause for maximum intensity. 

Performance Notes

Start with your heaviest weight, then drop weight and keep the reps the same (as much as possible). Perform each rep using a 2-3-2 rep tempo (the “3” is a squeeze and hold at the top). Take your sets to failure. Feel free to use rest-pause to take them even further.

Nutrition Suggestions

The right nutrition and supplement program is a key to gains. Make sure you take in plenty of high-quality protein. I suggest at least 1 gram per pound of body weight. Despite some of the current thinking about protein timing, I still advocate timing your protein intake evenly throughout the day. In other words, if you’re hungry, eat. If it’s been a while since you ingested protein, have a meal or a shake. It’s not a problem, despite some of the current thinking. 


Also take in plenty of quality carbohydrates, especially in the hours around your workout. I suggest consuming about 50% of your daily intake during this time. Finally, after your workout, you should immediately drink your post-workout shake. 

Supplement Suggestions

As noted, use a protein powder to help you meet your daily requirements. Rule 1 R1 Whey Blend provides 24 grams of protein per serving and consists of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein isolate.


Of course, you’ll need a good pre-workout. Are you a high-stim lifter? Then we have Grind Nutrition Stim-Junky 2.0 – the name says it all! Do you want something more balanced? How does 5% Nutrition Kill It Reloaded sound? It has 325 mg of caffeine, a creatine complex, and betaine, just to name a few of the ingredients.


Next is an intra-workout and creatine. 5% Nutrition All Day You May is the best BCAA-based amino acid powder on the market. What about creatine? Hi-Tech Pharma Creatine makes a great choice. If you really want to get aggressive, try Hi-Tech Halodrol (don’t forget a PCT).


If you’re looking for a new twist in your biceps training, drag curls are an old-school answer. Add them to your program and stop by and stock up on all your supplement needs.



  1. Biceps brachii muscle: Origin, insertion, action | Kenhub

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