Bicep Cable Workouts

Bicep Cable Workouts for Variation and Strength

Looking for fun and super effective bicep cable workouts? You’re in the right place. 

Today, we’ll discuss the advantages of cable exercises for bicep training, what movements you should include in your cable workouts for biceps, some safety tips, and more. We’ll also cover the Top 5 bicep cable exercises to build both heads of the bicep, and show you a video demo of what these look like.

Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Using Cables for Bicep Training

  • Angles: train your biceps from several angles to promote balanced growth
  • Exercises: pick from numerous effective activities to keep your bicep cable workouts fun and engaging
  • Loading: cables provide constant tension, forcing the biceps to work harder and improving muscle activation
  • Overload: cable machines make it easy to gradually increase the difficulty as you build strength and muscle

5 Exercises For Effective Bicep Cable Workouts

1. Standing Cable Curls (Straight Bar)

  1. Set the pulley to the lowest position and attach a straight bar.
  2. Lean forward and grab the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up).
  3. Stand up, bring your chest out, and position your elbows to your sides.
  4. Curl the bar up and squeeze your biceps.
  5. Lower the bar and exhale.

Bicep Cable Workouts - Standing Cable Curls

2. Rope Hammer Curls

  1. Set the pulley to the lowest position and attach a rope.
  2. Lean forward and grab both ends of the rope.
  3. Stand up, retract your shoulders, and have your elbows at your sides.
  4. With your hands facing one another, curl the rope and squeeze your biceps.
  5. Pause briefly and extend your arms as you exhale.

Cable Hammer Curls

3. Crucifix Curls

  1. Set the pulleys of a double cable machine in a high position and attach handles.
  2. Grab both handles one by one and stand in the middle.
  3. Raise your arms to your sides and engage your abs.
  4. Inhale and curl both handles toward your head, squeezing your biceps.
  5. Slowly extend your arms and exhale.

Crucifix Curls

4. Reverse Cable Curls

  1. Set the pulley to the lowest position and attach a straight bar.
  2. Lean forward and grab the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing down).
  3. Stand up, bring your chest out, and position your elbows to your sides.
  4. Curl the bar up and squeeze your biceps.
  5. Lower the bar and exhale.
Bicep Cable Workouts - Reverse Cable Curls

5. Bent Over Concentration Curls

  1. Set the pulley to the lower position and attach a handle.
  2. Stand with your right side to the pulley.
  3. Lean forward and grab the handle with your right hand.
  4. Push your buttocks back to straighten your back.
  5. Inhale and curl the handle toward your chest, squeezing your bicep.
  6. Lower the handle and exhale.
  7. Once finished, rotate 180 degrees and do the same number of reps for your left arm.

A Brief Look at Bicep Anatomy and Function

Bicep Structure and FunctionThe bicep is a muscle consisting of two heads: a long and a short. The two heads run parallel and work together to produce elbow flexion (arm bending) and wrist supination (outward hand rotation). (1)

While it’s impossible to isolate the short or long bicep head, you can emphasize one over the other by:

  • Manipulating your grip width
  • Positioning your arms in front or behind your body
  • Wrist position (neutral, pronated, or supinated)

Safety & Final Tips

Bicep cable workouts are beginner-friendly and less intimidating than free weights, but good preparation is still vital for safe and effective training.

Most importantly, always take the time to warm up before training. Do some light cardio and dynamic stretching (e.g., arm swings, elbow rotations, and wrist twists) to prepare and follow up with some light curls to activate your biceps. (2)

Also, use weights you can lift for at least 10-12 slow and controlled reps. Doing so will reduce the risk of pulling a muscle while optimizing muscle activation.

And if you’re looking to work your shoulders with cable exercises, check our post on a great shoulder pull exercise with cables

Here are some more cable workouts:

Click to return to cable workouts, and also check our video library of cable workouts.

Philip Stefanov

Philip Stefanov

Philip is a fitness writer, blogger, certified personal trainer, and the founder of ThinkingLifter.com. He has spent the last nine years writing fitness content and training men and women in the gym, as well as online. His passion is fitness and exercise, and helping others improve their fitness and wellness.

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References

  1. Biceps brachii. Physiopedia. (n.d.).
    https://www.physio-pedia.com/Biceps_Brachii
  2. Elizabeth Quinn, M. S. (2020, March 13). Prevent injuries. Verywell Fit.
    https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-warm-up-before-exercise-3119266 

Click to see our medical disclosure.