When I'm doing standing bar curls for a high rep-count (and especially during the 21-rep challenge), my shoulders are absolutely burning by the time I get close to finished.

I'm focusing on keeping my shoulders back, chest out and up, and keeping my elbows static at all times.

I'm not sure of the name of the shoulder muscle here, but it's the one located at the front, and flexes if you push your elbow diagonally forward/up. I know this should indicate what I'm doing wrong during the curl, but it's like I can't help but tighten it when curling.

For reference, this does not happen during concentrated curls or hammer curls.

Any tips on correcting the issue, or alternative measures?

2 Answers 2


The shoulder muscle which you are referring to is the front deltiod.

EZ bar curls require a good deal of form in comparison to dumbbell curls. If you are assuming correct form when doing this exercise you should have have feet shoulder width apart with your back straight. Also try to bend your knees slightly while doing this - I found it helped when I started training.

Other than that I wouldn't know exactly how to correct it - but just with anything (almost) in the fitness world you can overcome it. To build on your front delts try to do kettle bell presses on a flat bench, this completely isolates the area and if done correctly you should see results soon.


This could come down to a few simple things.

  • your form
  • your flexibility
  • overexertion

....your form

I have been lifting now for eight solid years and am now prepping for NJ amateur show later this year. I have lifted for strength (football in hs) quickness (wrestling) and now physique and aesthetic preparedness in college for a show. All the way throughout my years of training i have only experience the pain you are describing in the beginning.. way back 8 years. Frankly my form was complete shit then, i was going too heavy, and i didn't give a rats ass about flexibility.

From what i understand you are talking about standing curls with free bar ? Wear a sleeveless shirt the nextime you do them and analyze your shoulders. If your bf% is low enough you will see the striations in your shoulder whilst doing these... indicating that they are indeed being worked during this exercise. What i did to mitigate this issue was

  • lower the weight and make sure your stance is completely stagnant throughout the movement. After a while the shoulder will grow accustom to the weight and movement and will go away. Allowing you to move up in weight.
  • And stretch that shit... This allowed me to completely get rid of the shoulder pain... haven't felt it in years.

But what do i know lol

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