Primary Muscle Group: Biceps
Secondary Muscle Group: Forearms
Equipment Needed: Cable Machine
The Benefits of Cable Bicep Curls
The cable bicep curls is an isolation exercise for the biceps muscle. It’s a standard bicep curl movement performed with a cable machine and is suitable for beginners. This exercise can be used as part of an upper body strengthening program or muscle building program.
The primary target of the cable bicep curls is the biceps brachii muscle. This is the muscle that flexes the elbow, which is why it is worked when you curl the arm. While doing the cable curl, other stabilizing muscles come into play in the shoulder and upper back—the anterior deltoid, trapezius and the levator scapulae. Your wrist flexors are also used.
The exercise provides an alternative to the dumbbell or barbell curl because it offers a little more instability during the lift, which should bring a few more regional muscles into play. The cables give a constant tension that dumbbells don't provide.
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The Risks of doing Cable Bicep Curls
At the end of each rep the weights should still be suspended rather than dropping them into the stack. This can be a sudden movement that can massively increase the risk of muscle tears or straining. Keeping the cable (and therefore your muscles) under tension will enhance the effectiveness of the exercise.
How To Do Cable Bicep Curls
1. Stand comfortably with feet firmly placed on the floor.
2. Brace the abdominal muscles, straighten the back, keep the head steady & Inhale.
3. Curl the cable weight upward toward the chest, breathing out. Only your forearms should move, rising up from the elbow.
4. Hold at the top of the contraction for one second.
5. Inhale and unbend the arms at the elbow to let the cable weight return the arms to the lower resting position. Stop before the weights return to the stack, keeping the cable under tension.
For Perfect Technique
Your forearm should be the only body part moving during this exercise. If you find yourself swaying, rounding or hollowing the back, jerking the shoulders, or moving the hips you are not stabilizing yourself well. This is a common sign that you are lifting too heavy of a weight and cheating by using momentum rather than steady contraction.
If you're attempting quite a heavy weight, it's OK to position yourself with the leg on the same side forward for stability. You can even bend over in the leg forward position as long as you keep the back straight and allow all motion to come from your forearm.
Once you have mastered the Cable Bicep Curls exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Single Arm Preacher Curl
1. Firstly, adjust the height of the seat on the preacher bench so that when you sit on it, the back of your upper arms sit comfortably flat on the padding.
2. Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and sit on the preacher bench.
3. The back of your left arm should be rest flat on the padding with your arm fully extended.
4. Place your right forearm on the padding for support.
5. Execute the exercise by slowly raising the dumbbell up and squeezing the bicep at the top of the movement.
6. Slowly lower the dumbbell until your arm is fully extended.
How To Do Close Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curl
1. Stand holding an EZ-curl bar using a close supinated grip (hands closer than shoulder width apart and palms facing upward). Your elbows should be almost fully extended, and the bar should be resting against your thighs.
2. Keeping your elbows fixed to your sides, exhale as you curl the EZ-curl bar up toward your shoulders.
3. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps.
4. Inhale as you lower the EZ-curl bar to the starting position.
5. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.