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Cable Bicep Curl [Exercise Guide]

Cable Bicep Curl

What Is A Cable Bicep Curl

Bicep curls are one of the best bicep exercises that one can do. The technique is simple and available for all fitness levels. Usually, athletes perform the movement with dumbbells, but a cable machine can give you even more benefits. Read on to find out the most critical aspects of the exercise and learn how to master its technique.

What Muscles Does Cable Bicep Curl Work

Cable bicep curls work the following muscles:

  • biceps brachii
  • anterior deltoid
  • trapezius
  • levator scapulae

The exercise focuses mainly on the biceps brachii muscle. This particular muscle is responsible for flexing the elbow and is the one that links the scapula to the radius of the forearm.

The brachialis and brachioradialis are two complementary muscles trained during the cable curl. These are the same muscles that are utilized while bending the elbow. The anterior deltoid, the trapezius, and the levator scapulae work as stabilizers. Additionally, the muscles that flex the wrist are worked too.

How to Perform Cable Bicep Curl

To execute this technique, you will need to use a cable machine. When you are ready, proceed with the following steps.

Step 1. Set up

Connect a straight bar attachment to the pulley, and then place it on the lowest rung and closest to the ground.

Step 2. Get into the starting position

Take hold of the bar with your underhand and stretch your arms while moving your feet away from the pulley. Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your legs and the bar below your thighs.

Step 3. Make a curl 

While keeping your arms bent at the elbows, lift the bar up toward your shoulders, feeling the tension in your biceps muscles. Throughout the exercise, ensure your elbows are tucked in close to your body.

Step 4. Go back

After pausing at the top, lower the bar back down to the starting position.

Advantages of Cable Bicep Curl

Bigger biceps

Biceps curls are deservedly considered the most effective movement for growing biceps muscles. Besides size increase, it also helps to gain strength. Strong biceps brachii enhances your sportive performance. Also, having strong biceps makes the day-to-day tasks more manageable.

Constant tension

Even if you intend to relax at some part of the movement, the cable machine will prevent you from doing so. Using cables ensures that your muscles will work at their optimum capacity throughout the whole range of motion.

Attractive looks

Well-toned biceps make the upper arm look sportive and attractive. Exercise may assist in improving the look of sagging skin after weight loss or as a result of growing older since it regulates skin metabolism.

5 Cable Bicep Curl Alternatives 

1. Standing Dumbbell Curl

Bicep curls are a popular exercise among bodybuilders since they are an excellent isolation exercise for the biceps. The forearms and wrists are the secondary areas that are loaded throughout the workout. Besides the positive influence on the biceps, the movement also improves elbows’ flexion and mobility. The only equipment you need is a pair of dumbbells.

How to do a standing dumbbell curl:

  • Grab the dumbbells with a standard grip on each hand.
  • Start the exercise by standing tall with your feet around hip-distance apart from one another. 
  • To prevent damage, ensure that your elbows are not locked out and instead maintain them relaxed.
  • Exhale, then curl the weight up to your chest.
  • Turn your hands clockwise to return them to the starting position while you are controlling the backdown action.

2. Standing Barbell Curl

When performed correctly, this particular exercise for the biceps has the potential to enhance both muscle growth and strength significantly. The barbell curl enables you to raise a greater weight with each repetition since it requires you to lift a single barbell with both hands. 

How to do a barbell curl:

  • Grab the barbell with your hands.
  • Lift the weight up while maintaining a position where your elbows are in front of your torso. Keep your wrists wholly straight and your spine in a neutral position.
  • Make your way down while maintaining a calm and controlled pace. Keep a strain on your biceps, and don’t allow your arms to fall to your sides.
  • Make sure you’re using a straight barbell to get the most out of every repetition, including a complete flex at the top and supination of the forearm.

3. Chin-up

You can strengthen both your biceps and your back using just a pull-up bar and your own body weight as resistance. How? The correct movement is a chin-up. Biceps are number one on the list of the targeted muscles. A stronger grip is one more beneficial consequence of practicing chin-ups.

How to do a chin-up:

  • Take a hold of the bar with your underhand palm. Contract your abdominal muscles and the muscles in your legs to stop your body from swinging.
  • Pull up, aiming for a straight line trajectory. Pause for a while when your chip is above the bar.
  • Move downward while maintaining as much muscular stiffness as possible.

4. Resistance Band Curl

A resistance band bicep curl keeps your muscles engaged at all times. With a resistance band instead of weights, you may exercise in a wider range of motion. Also, bands are safe cause they make it difficult to overextend your joints. The imbalance increases strain, and shifting resistance encourages your muscles to work harder and develop to the maximum.

How to do resistance band curl:

  • Place the band on the floor. Step into it with your feet approximately hip-width apart.
  • Stand tall and adjust your feet to equal resistance on both sides.
  • Bend your arms so that your palms face forward and your hands are at the bottom of your chest.
  • Come down, keeping your elbow slightly bent.
  • Throughout the exercise, try to maintain your elbows motionless.

5. Spider Curl

Because of how this exercise is designed, none of the muscles in the surrounding area will be able to assist you in curling the weight. Put it another way; it forces your biceps to perform most of the effort. Because spider curls require you to stretch your arms beyond their natural range of motion, you can maintain the effort longer. You need special equipment called a preacher curl station to perform this exercise.

How to do spider curl:

  • Bend over at the preacher curl station, so position yourself on the front side of it. Utilize the side of the pad that is oriented vertically to maintain a consistent level of tension in your biceps.
  • Take hold of the curl bar, and position your elbows to rest on the pad. Keep your body low enough so that you can keep your shoulders neutral.
  • Do a curl. Keep your shoulders neutral, and don’t allow them to drift forward.


What is the benefit of bicep curls?

The move’s technique provides isolation and hypertrophy to the targeted muscles. The exercise makes your biceps stronger and bigger.

How do you do a bicep curl?

Each hand holds a handle of a cable machine. Your elbows should be at your sides, and your forearms should be out. Bend your elbows to raise the weight to your shoulders. Repeat the curl.

Which bicep curl is most effective?

The cable bicep curl is considered the most effective move alternative because of the constant tension on targeted muscles. 


Compared to other biceps exercises, the cable bicep curls provide the best possible results for strengthening your biceps. Include cable curls in your workout program if you want your biceps to grow in size while also gaining strength. The technique is pretty simple, but you need a cable machine to practice the movement. If you haven’t access to such equipment, there are many alternatives you might try in your home gym.