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View Full Version : Why curls are good functional exercise


Neal Winkler
07-23-2007, 10:13 AM
It's high time I end all this baloney about curls being a silly exercise only for the vain.

So here it is:

Curls are an awesome functional exercise because often times when carrying something you can't always let your arms hang, sometimes you have hold an object in an isometric curl position - elbows at sides and all. For example, if you want to be really cool and carry your wifey or hubby over the threshold, they'll probably appreciate it if you don't carry them by gripping their clothes and letting them hang as you walk and bounce them off your legs.

Now go load that squat rack up and do some curls!

And remember, you heard it from me first...

Scott Kustes
07-23-2007, 10:33 AM
You could always clean and jerk your wife when carrying her over the threshold. Oh wait....I didn't mean that to sound that way. Perhaps a snatch would be better. Oops!

Steve Shafley
07-23-2007, 11:48 AM
A lot of the bicep injuries could be prevented by regular strengthening (full ROM) of the elbow flexors.

Robb Wolf
07-23-2007, 03:08 PM
I think a good 80/20 rule applies here. Spend the bulk of your time on compound movements...use a few isolation elements to bring up specific elements such as triceps extensions and curls.

Mike ODonnell
07-23-2007, 04:59 PM
Curls = ability to contract biceps to lift full mug off bar and to mouth....repeat 100 or so times....functional, case closed.

Greg Everett
07-23-2007, 05:01 PM
sometimes you have hold an object in an isometric curl position - elbows at sides and all.

so wouldn't the functional exercise be isometrics in said position?

if you want to do curls, just do some curls. no need to get anyone's approval.

Neal Winkler
07-24-2007, 08:49 AM
Greg, to answer your first question, you can certainly do that, but there's nothing wrong with doing the ful ROM either. Duh.

As to your second comment, you are correct. However, I work out in my basement, whereas as some poor chap reading the PM might not. He might be working out a gym, and one day decide to do a perfectly functional curl (iso or ful ROM) and unwittingly get beratted by some wayward young Crossfitter with an attitiude and a nasty distain for all things isolation. What then? What recourse will this poor fellow have? To stand there drooping his head with his tail between his legs??? NO! Because now I have given him the ammunition he needs to defend this perfectly good and functional exercise.

Robb Wolf
07-24-2007, 04:57 PM
Greg, to answer your first question, you can certainly do that, but there's nothing wrong with doing the ful ROM either. Duh.

As to your second comment, you are correct. However, I work out in my basement, whereas as some poor chap reading the PM might not. He might be working out a gym, and one day decide to do a perfectly functional curl (iso or ful ROM) and unwittingly get beratted by some wayward young Crossfitter with an attitiude and a nasty distain for all things isolation. What then? What recourse will this poor fellow have? To stand there drooping his head with his tail between his legs??? NO! Because now I have given him the ammunition he needs to defend this perfectly good and functional exercise.

Well...that puts it all in perspective.

Allen Yeh
07-24-2007, 05:24 PM
As to your second comment, you are correct. However, I work out in my basement, whereas as some poor chap reading the PM might not. He might be working out a gym, and one day decide to do a perfectly functional curl (iso or ful ROM) and unwittingly get beratted by some wayward young Crossfitter with an attitiude and a nasty distain for all things isolation. What then? What recourse will this poor fellow have? To stand there drooping his head with his tail between his legs??? NO! Because now I have given him the ammunition he needs to defend this perfectly good and functional exercise.

Neal, that is seriously hilarious.

David Aguasca
07-24-2007, 05:28 PM
um...i do over 100 right arm curls/ front raises with a nailgun or screwgun every day.

yes, my right shoulder and bicep are bigger than my left ones.

no, you can't make a joke about why my right arm is bigger.

Steven Low
07-24-2007, 07:32 PM
I can't tell if this whole thread is serious or not..

Scott Kustes
07-25-2007, 07:09 AM
I'm thinking not, but around here you just never know.

William Hunter
07-25-2007, 08:43 AM
I'm thinking Neal is just a very empathetic individual who is concerned about the wayward CFer, hoping to give clear guidance lest they run astray, drunk on kool aid, starting fights with those at the big box gyms that would dare curl in the squat rack. Or curl at all.

I know that ever since he started this thread I've been ravaged by guilt that unlike Neal I was giving no thought whatsoever to this small (but suffering nonetheless) population of trainees. Just a nice public service announcement if you ask me (no one asked but whatever).