Posted on February 29, 2024 by Kate Halsall

If you Google “curls in the squat rack”, some of the memes which are returned are hilarious. The argument goes that the squat rack is a specialised piece of equipment predominantly used for big compound lifts like squats and rack pulls; whereas dumbbell curls can be done anywhere else in the gym – so don’t do them in the squat rack! It’s one of those unspoken rules of gym etiquette.

Here’s the funny thing – if you also google “exercises you can do in a squat rack”, bicep curls are listed in the top ten on multiple sites! In fact, so are many upper body exercises! With this in mind, here are some bicep exercises that I believe, absolutely have a place in a squat rack.

Supinated Grip Pull Ups.

A lot of racks (certainly the ones in our gym), have pull up bars. Supinated-grip pull-ups are performed with your palms facing your body, just like the curl grip used when doing bicep curls.

Reverse Grip Barbell Bent Over Row.

Whilst the muscles predominantly worked during a bent over barbell row are traps, rhomboids and lats, reversing the grip gets the elbow flexors involved aka the biceps.

Inverted Row with Underhand Grip.

The biceps and core play a significant role in pulling your body toward the bar.

Barbell Bicep Curls.

The pins mean you can set the bar down at waist height between sets which is really convenient and the plates are nearby.

Ultimately, the gym is a place to have fun and work your muscles. Sometimes there is no alternative space in the gym to use for your curls. If you choose to use a rack – make it yours; don’t feel bad!