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HomeExerciseThe best way to Do the Spider Curl for Higher Biceps

The best way to Do the Spider Curl for Higher Biceps

Large primary workouts just like the bench press, pull-up, and barbell row are nice for constructing your again, chest, and even shoulders, however they may not suffice to fill your sleeves and construct a formidable set of weapons.

grey-haired person outdoors flexing biceps muscle
Credit score: pixelheadphoto digitalskillet / Shutterstock

Coaching your biceps straight won’t solely contribute to particular muscle progress, but in addition joint well being and efficiency. Conventional workouts just like the barbell curl can often goal your biceps simply advantageous, however if you wish to take issues to the following degree and actually focus in your higher arms, take into account together with the spider curl in your coaching routine. (1)

Among the many many curl variations that exist, the spider curl takes benefit of gravity, leverage, and arm place to emphasise the quick head of the biceps and supply a novel stimulus, resulting in extra progress and greater arms. (2) Right here’s why and the way you need to use this particular train.

The best way to Do the Spider Curl

The spider curl, generally known as the reverse incline curl, will get its extra visible title as a result of the place during which you carry out the train resembles the arachnid dangling from its thread. Certainly, the load will probably be dangling out of your arms, and also you’ll use gravity and positioning to offer a novel biceps stimulus.

Step 1 — Set Your Bench and Get Into Place

person in gym on bench curling barbell
Credit score: Albert Solsona / YouTube

Set an adjustable bench at roughly 45-degrees, just like an incline bench press. Seize a barbell with a palms-up grip and lie chest-down on the bench. Have your head  and neck protrude excessive of bench and let your arms hold straight towards the bottom. 

Retract and depress your scapulae (pull your shoulder blades collectively and down) and preserve this place all through the elevate.

Type tip: Discover a safe foot place so that you just’re snug and steady on the bench, permitting you to completely deal with working your arms. This can rely barely in your peak, leg and torso size, and particular person bench mannequin. Chances are you’ll really feel extra balanced with a comparatively large stance or together with your ft shut collectively.

Step 2 — Curl the Weight Up

person in gym curling barbell
Credit score: Albert Solsona / YouTube

Hold your higher arms vertical as you curl the load up so far as attainable with out shifting at your shoulder. Within the high place, squeeze your biceps as exhausting as you may for a second. Hold your elbows pointing towards the bottom the entire time.

Hold your wrists straight or bent barely backward to keep up most rigidity in your biceps and stop your forearms from taking up the workload.

Type tip: In case your elbow shifts ahead, you’ll scale back rigidity from the biceps by utilizing help out of your entrance deltoids (shoulders). You’ll additionally diminish the efficient vary of movement. The mechanics of the train already make it a comparatively quick movement, as there may be restricted rigidity on the backside of the motion. In case you begin shifting your elbows, you’ll lose much more rigidity on the high.

Step 3 — Decrease With Management

person in gym on bench curling barbell
Credit score: Albert Solsona / YouTube

Slowly let the load come all the way down to the preliminary place. Controlling the eccentric (reducing) portion of the motion will stop you from bouncing or dishonest, which might make the train much less efficient.

By shifting with management, you’re preserving rigidity on the specified muscle, main to higher outcomes. Repeat for the specified quantity of repetitions to finish a set.

Type tip: In case your wrists or elbows are liable to tendonitis or ache, think about using an EZ-curl bar, as the marginally angled grip could be simpler on the joints.

Spider Curl Errors to Keep away from

Biceps workouts are sometimes butchered for the sake of ego, resulting in suboptimal outcomes. Isolation workouts are technically simpler than extra complicated multi-joint workouts, however that doesn’t imply you may simply wing it carelessly. Keep away from these frequent blunders if you would like the most important arms attainable. 

Going Too Heavy

There are massive compound (multi-joints) workouts recruiting a number of muscle teams to maneuver heavy weights. Then there are isolation (single-joint) workouts which deal with a single muscle group, sometimes with reasonable weights to keep up focused rigidity. Then, there are hyper-specific isolation workouts that target a specific “half” of a muscle group.

muscular person in gym doing biceps curl
Credit score: MAD_Production / Shutterstock

These laser-precision workouts are actually not meant for shifting heavy weight, however are as an alternative greatest used to convey up a really particular muscle half or emphasize a specific head of a muscle. The spider curl is certainly one of these detail-oriented workouts, because it focuses on the quick head of the biceps.

Utilizing heavy weights will defeat the aim of the train as a result of you’ll undoubtedly shift the workload to different physique elements and encourage dishonest.

Keep away from it: Hold the weights comparatively lighter and the units comparatively longer with extra reps and a better deal with squeezing your biceps. In case you really feel robust contractions someplace apart from your biceps, think about using a lighter load.

Utilizing Momentum

Due to your arms’ place relative to gravity, there’s little or no rigidity on the biceps within the backside portion of the elevate. The efficient vary of movement is already comparatively quick, primarily the higher half to three-quarters of the curl. In case you scale back the vary even additional by swinging the load, you lose quite a lot of time below rigidity and skip one of many key parts to muscle progress. (3)

person in gym curling barbel on bench
Credit score: Be Higher / YouTube

Furthermore, in case you swing your arms round to make use of extra weight, you exceed your biceps muscular power. Because of this the extra kilos being lifted are stressing your connective tissues and joints greater than your muscle tissue, and also you danger accidents only for the sake of ego. 

Keep away from it: Observe utilizing a managed tempo and, if obligatory, an particularly slower reducing velocity. In case you can’t carry out the specified quantity of repetitions with out resorting to momentum, scale back the load.

The best way to Progress the Spider Curl

The truth that your arms are hanging within the air through the spider curl would possibly show tough for inexperienced lifters to coordinate at first. Then again, some hardcore gym-goers will crave a harder problem for constructing their arms. Attempt these progressions workouts in case you belong in both class.

Preacher Curl

The preacher bench is particularly designed for remoted biceps coaching. It mimics the spider curl mechanics by setting your arm at an angle and it focuses on the quick head as nicely, however provide the benefit of a secured and supported place from the bench pad.

With this gear, there’s not a lot dishonest attainable. Use it to coach with good your type and construct a mind-muscle connection earlier than attempting the spider curl. Begin with the extra generally used 45-degree pad and progress to utilizing the vertical pad, identical to the unsupported spider curl.

Spider Focus Curl

In case you’ve already mastered the barbell spider curl, you may do this upgraded dumbbell development, additionally known as incline focus curl. For a nasty biceps pump, carry out it like a typical two-dumbbell spider curl, however press the pinky-side plates of the dumbbells collectively and squeeze them as exhausting as you may the entire length of the elevate.

The quick head of the biceps additionally contributes to bringing the arms collectively, so the isometric adduction (inward motion) will recruit this a part of your biceps even additional.

Spider Curl Advantages

You’ll be able to depend on arm-obsessed lifters to invent a myriad of biceps workouts, however they aren’t the product of vainness — every has distinct targets and advantages. The spider curl is particularly designed for aesthetic functions with a laser-like precision, however that doesn’t imply solely these with physique targets ought to embody this motion.

Pure Biceps Coaching

The distinctive shoulder and arm place induced by this train is very efficient for growing a mind-muscle connection and isolating the biceps for hypertrophy. (4) In case you recruit different muscle tissue, your arms will begin to sway and the mechanics will change. Additionally, you can’t cheat by swinging your physique as a lot as with another biceps workouts. 

person on bench curling barbell
Credit score: OPEX Health / YouTube

In case you have lagging higher arms, it is a wonderful means so that you can accumulate high quality quantity with out recruiting or fatiguing different muscle teams. (5) Isolation workouts are wonderful for growing symmetry and an aesthetic physique.

Focuses on the Quick Head of the Biceps

In case you really feel you’re missing within the interior a part of your biceps, give this train a go. Specializing in the quick head of the biceps will enhance the “width” of your arm and provides the looks of a fuller-looking muscle.

The spider curl will goal this head extra due to the arm’s place, in entrance of the shoulders. The quick head of the biceps attaches on the entrance of your shoulder joint and might carry out a stronger contraction when your shoulder is “relaxed” within the stretched place.

Joint Well being and Power

This train could be helpful for athletes competing in power sports activities, reminiscent of powerlifting or strongman/strongwoman by straight contributing to general pulling power. It might additionally assist with elbow and shoulder joint well being by lowering repetitive use pressure from performing a restricted variety of biceps workouts.

Switching to the spider curl will present selection and a distinct stimulus, leading to much less stress in your joints and environment friendly coaching with decrease general weight used. This could have restorative advantages, particularly when carried out for greater reps.

Muscle groups Labored by the Spider Curl

The spider curl has one main aim: to extend your arm measurement. Let’s see the way it contributes to this sought-after aim.

Biceps Brachii

The biceps is the most important and most seen anterior arm muscle. It flexes the arm, supinates the wrist (rotates the palm upwards), and barely contributes to varied shoulder actions and stability.

Bodybuilder flexing back, shoulders, and arms
Credit score: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

This muscle consists of two heads, each hooked up to the radius (forearm bone). The lengthy head runs on the outer facet of the arms and is hooked up to the shoulder blade. The quick head is on the interior facet of your arm and in addition attaches to the shoulder blade, however straight from the entrance of the shoulder. 

The spider curl emphasizes the quick head due to the hanging arm place. The lengthy head is in a “shortened” place and its involvement is proscribed within the stretched place.


This deeper muscle is positioned below the biceps brachii. It’s the main elbow flexor, being considerably stronger than the biceps itself and never concerned in supinating or rotating your wrists. As such, it’s recruited throughout any curl train. Rising its measurement will lead to a fuller arm and also will “push” your biceps upwards, making it seem even larger.


A number of forearm muscle tissue contribute to elbow flexion, notably the strongest of them — the brachioradialis. The spider curl may even make your forearms larger, which might visually assist to make up for a genetically “shorter” biceps with lengthy tendons close to the elbow. Coaching these muscle tissue may also enhance your elbow and wrist well being and efficiency.

The best way to Program the Spider Curl

This train isn’t suited to heavy weights, so programming is sort of simple. Get essentially the most out of the spider curl utilizing these repetition schemes.

Average Weight, Average Repetitions

This time-tested method will yield a ton of outcomes. It has been bodybuilders’ favourite for many years for a cause. Do three to 4 units of eight to 12 repetitions for maximal muscle good points. This can present coaching quantity in the best hypertrophy vary, driving muscle progress.

Mild Weight, Excessive Repetitions

Research have proven that so long as you’re utilizing 40% of your one-rep most and are taking muscle tissue near failure, you’ll reap efficient muscle good points, so don’t be afraid of going lighter generally. (6) Two to a few units of 15 to twenty repetitions will present an important stimulus, and an intense burn, very best for a finisher whereas additionally being simpler on the joints.

Spider Curl Variations

Selection is the spice of life, and that additionally applies to coaching. In case you don’t have a barbell or in case you want to present your biceps a distinct coaching stimulus, attempt these variations.

Dumbbell Spider Curl

Utilizing a pair of dumbbells as an alternative of a bar can handle imbalances between every arm. As a result of every arm is shifting independently, you may’t use your stronger facet to compensate on your weaker one.

That is the proper variation when you have a blatantly weaker facet or if you would like essentially the most symmetrical physique attainable. It’ll, nevertheless, take a however extra coordination and focus to maneuver the weights on the similar time.

Cable Spider Curl

The spider curl is a superb train to focus on the quick head of the biceps, however it’s doing a poor job of coaching the lengthened place of the muscle due to gravity’s restricted efficient within the backside place. Utilizing a cable pulley is the answer.

Arrange a bench at a low cable station to offer muscular rigidity all through the elevate. This boosts the muscle’s time below rigidity and will increase the necessity for a managed eccentric. It’s also possible to really feel a better stretch in your biceps.

Focus Curl

This old fashioned train makes use of the identical common mechanics because the spider curl, together with your working arm prolonged down, however you don’t want an angled bench. Seize a dumbbell and practice one arm at a time. Lean ahead and curl whereas being as strict as attainable — don’t begin swinging your torso.

It is a tougher variation as it’s a must to stabilize your physique and actually focus in your biceps. Some lifters declare it emphasizes the alleged biceps “peak,” however it is going to largely present good, targeted work whereas isolate your biceps as a lot as attainable.


The spider curl might be not the primary train that pops in your thoughts when you consider biceps coaching, in order that’s advantageous when you have some questions on this lesser recognized elevate.


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  2. Kassiano, Witalo1; Nunes, João Pedro1; Costa, Bruna1; Ribeiro, Alex S.1,2; Schoenfeld, Brad J.3; Cyrino, Edilson S.1. Does Various Resistance Workout routines Promote Superior Muscle Hypertrophy and Power Features? A Systematic Assessment. Journal of Power and Conditioning Analysis: June 2022 – Quantity 36 – Problem 6 – p 1753-1762 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004258
  3. Burd NA, Andrews RJ, West DW, Little JP, Cochran AJ, Hector AJ, Cashaback JG, Gibala MJ, Potvin JR, Baker SK, Phillips SM. Muscle time below rigidity throughout resistance train stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional artificial responses in males. J Physiol. 2012 Jan 15;590(2):351-62. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200. Epub 2011 Nov 21. PMID: 22106173; PMCID: PMC3285070.
  4. Calatayud J, Vinstrup J, Jakobsen MD, Sundstrup E, Brandt M, Jay Ok, Colado JC, Andersen LL. Significance of mind-muscle connection throughout progressive resistance coaching. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 Mar;116(3):527-33. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3305-7. Epub 2015 Dec 23. PMID: 26700744.
  5. Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, Krieger J, Grgic J, Delcastillo Ok, Belliard R, Alto A. Resistance Coaching Quantity Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy however Not Power in Educated Males. Med Sci Sports activities Exerc. 2019 Jan;51(1):94-103. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001764. PMID: 30153194; PMCID: PMC6303131.
  6. Thiago Lasevicius, Carlos Ugrinowitsch, Brad Jon Schoenfeld, Hamilton Roschel, Lucas Duarte Tavares, Eduardo Oliveira De Souza, Gilberto Laurentino & Valmor Tricoli (2018) Results of various intensities of resistance coaching with equated quantity load on muscle power and hypertrophy, European Journal of Sport Science, 18:6, 772-780, DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1450898

Featured Picture: Sean Nalewanyj / YouTube

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