We all know the traditional bicep curls with dumbbells, a barbell, etc. But have you ever used cables in your bicep training?
If not, that’s a big mistake because cables offer unique benefits that lead to better muscle activation and more growth.
Today, we’ll go over one fantastic movement you can start doing in your training: the reverse cable curl. Let’s dive in to examine the exercise, variations, and more.
How to Perform Reverse Cable Curls (Step-by-Step)
- Position the cable pulley in a low position and attach a straight bar.
- Set the weight at the appropriate amount. Always go lighter than you think, and you can always adjust up. This is one of the very best ways to avoid injury.
- Bend forward and grab the bar with an even, overhand grip (palms facing the floor). Your hands should be approximately shoulder width.
- Stand up, extend your arms, bring your shoulders back, and squeeze your abs.
- You can stagger your stance if that helps you stay upright during the movement. Alternatively, keep your feet in line and in a comfortable stance with the toes pointing slightly out.
- Take a breath and curl the weight until your wrists are slightly higher than your elbows.
- Hold the top position for a moment, squeezing your biceps as you do.
- Lower the weight slowly, ensuring that your biceps control the load on the way down. Extend your elbows fully and exhale near the bottom.
- Take another breath and repeat.
Cable Curl Variations You Can Include In Your Training
1. Standing Cable Curl
The standing cable curl is almost the same as reverse curls. But, instead of holding the bar with an overhand grip, your palms face you at the top of each repetition. Doing so is beneficial for engaging your biceps more effectively.
2. Single-Arm Cable Curl
Single-arm cable curls are a variation you perform by attaching a handle to the pulley, stepping back, and training one bicep at a time. You can perform these with the pulley in any position from low to high.
3. Crucifix Curl
Crucifix curls are a variation you perform on two cable stations. You must position the pulleys in a high position and attach a handle to each, similar to how you would for high cable flyes. From there, grab both handles, stand in the middle, and curl repeatedly.
4. Incline Bench Cable Curl
The incline bench cable curl is a great variation that stretches your biceps more at the bottom position. To perform these, you must place an adjustable bench facing away from a low cable pulley. Attach a handle and set the back support at 60 to 70 degrees (nearly upright). Grab the handle, sit on the bench, allow your arm to drop to your side, and curl the cable repeatedly. (1)
What Benefits Does Cable Bicep Training Offer?
A huge benefit of doing reverse cable curls is the constant tension you place on your muscles. Unlike free weights that get influenced by gravity, the cable machine offers the same resistance level from start to finish, making your muscles work extra hard. (2)
Another benefit of cable training is the excellent overloading potential. You can adjust the resistance to fit your strength level and increase it as your biceps grow and strengthen.
The third notable benefit of cable bicep training is exercise selection. You can pick from numerous great movements to train your biceps from several angles, forcing them to grow and get stronger.
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- Muscle & Strength. (2011, December 20). Two arm cable curl on incline bench: Video exercise guide & tips. Muscle & Strength. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/two-arm-cable-curl-on-incline-bench.html
- Davis, N. (2021, July 5). Cable curl: Benefits, muscles worked, and common mistakes. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/cable-curl