top of page

Smith Machine Drag Curl 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Advanced Variation Strength


Smith Machine Drag Curl
Smith Machine Drag Curl

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment

Smith Machine

Fitness Level










The Smith Machine Drag Curl is a bicep-focused exercise that also engages the forearms as a secondary muscle group. Utilizing the Smith Machine, this exercise is designed to isolate and enhance the development of the biceps. To perform the Smith Machine Drag Curl, individuals typically stand facing the machine, gripping the barbell with an underhand grip and keeping the body close to the machine. The movement involves dragging the barbell up the torso, keeping it in constant contact with the body and focusing on contracting the biceps. This controlled upward movement targets the biceps with minimal involvement of the shoulders and back, emphasizing the isolation of the target muscles. Adjusting the weight on the Smith Machine allows for progressive resistance, making the Smith Machine Drag Curl a versatile addition to bicep-focused workouts for individuals seeking to enhance their arm strength and definition.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by choosing the appropriate weight for the exercise and loading it onto the Smith Machine bar. Position yourself with a shoulder-width stance to establish a stable base.

  2. Employ a supinated grip, ensuring your palms are facing upwards. Inhale deeply as you prepare to initiate the curling motion.

  3. Execute the curl by pulling the barbell towards your shoulders, maintaining the supinated grip throughout. To optimize muscle engagement, keep the bar close to your torso, allowing your elbows to drift slightly behind your body during the upward movement.

  4. Once the biceps reach full contraction at the top of the movement, initiate a controlled descent, slowly lowering the weight back to the starting position.

  5. Repeat the entire sequence for the desired number of repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form and controlled movements throughout. Adjust the weight as needed to ensure a challenging yet manageable workout tailored to your individual fitness level. This exercise not only targets the biceps but also engages the forearms as secondary muscles, providing a comprehensive workout for arm development using the Smith Machine.


  1. Ensure a slight bend in the elbow at the bottom of the movement to sustain tension through the biceps, promoting optimal muscle engagement and preventing unnecessary strain.

  2. Incorporate a deliberate and controlled eccentric phase during the lowering portion of the exercise. This deliberate pace not only enhances tension but also fosters a stronger mind-muscle connection, emphasizing the importance of a focused and intentional workout.

  3. If discomfort arises in the forearms or wrists while utilizing a traditional barbell, consider alternatives such as an EZ curl bar or dumbbells. These variations can help alleviate stress on the wrists and provide a more comfortable grip, allowing for a smoother and safer execution of the Smith Machine Drag Curl. Adjusting equipment to suit individual comfort levels contributes to a more effective and injury-resistant training experience.

How Not to Perform