How to Do 21’s For Bigger Biceps

Looking for a great bicep exercise to add to your training session for that killer ‘pump’?

Try out 21’s! The name refers to the number of reps you need to perform, here’s how it’s done.

First you need to load up a Barbell or EZ Curl Bar with your chosen weight.

Tip: go lighter than you think, you don’t want your form to break down before the end. I recommend 50-60% of what you might expect to curl in a normal exercise.

First 7 reps: Starting from the bottom of the movement, curl until your forearms are parallel with the ground, then back down.

barbell 21's first 7 reps

Second 7 reps: Starting from halfway, curl to the top of the movement and back to halfway.

barbell 21's middle 7 reps

Last 7 reps: Starting from the bottom of the movement, curl all the way up and back down.

barbell 21's last 7 reps

How to do 21’s – Coaching Cues
  • Grab the bar with an underhand grip, placing your hands shoulder width apart
  • Stand upright with your shoulders back
  • Place one foot in front of the other to add stability and reduce upper body swinging
  • Allow the elbows to drift slightly forward so your arms can be FULLY EXTENDED, then keep elbows tight to sides
  • For the first seven curls, bring the bar up HALFWAY, where your forearms are parallel to the floor, then lower down
  • Then in the next seven curls, use the halfway point as the start of the movement and curl up to the top and back to halfway
  • For the last seven curls, go from full arm extension and curl right to the top of the movement, and slowly lower

You can do more than one set of this exercise and it’s a great choice for the end of an arm workout.

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About Fraser_9to5 206 Articles
Site owner. I'm a graduate in Sports Science and have an MSc in Sports Biomechanics. I set up 9to5strength in 2015 as a resource for people interested in strength training, nutrition and fitness. I consider myself a fitness blogger and enjoy creating YouTube videos and trying out workout programs.