Cable Curls

Cable curls are an excellent way to build bigger biceps. Because you can change what's attached to the cable you're using, this exercise can be performed with a:

Straight Bar

Straight bar cable curls will allow you to fully exhaust your biceps. While you will use the same motion you'd perform standing preacher curls or barbell curls with, the advantage of using a cable attachment is you don't have to worry about dropping the bar. Using a cable machine also makes it easier to keep your balance and avoid cheating on your form. To begin this exercise, attach a straight bar to a cable at the bottom of a machine. If you're not sure how much weight to use, start light. Once you know what you're capable of lifting, try to select a weight that allows you to complete 2 sets of 8 reps, but prevents you from finishing all 8 reps of the last set.

Before you begin curling, you want to reach down and pick up the bar with an underhand grip. The starting position for this exercise is to hold the bar with your arms extended straight down. This should cause the bar to be around the middle of your thighs. Start your first rep by curling the bar towards your chest. As you do, you want to keep your elbows against your sides. You also want to avoid pulling with your back or any muscles besides your biceps. If you catch yourself cheating, it means you need to use less weight. When you bring the bar all the way up against your chest, briefly pause and then start lowering the bar down. As you lower it, you will notice that you're able to keep a significant amount of tension on your biceps.


The benefit of doing cable curls with a rope attachment is because it will be a bit of a challenge for you to keep your grip on the rope, it will work your biceps in a different way. The same setup as straight bar cable curls applies to this variation. The difference is when you grab the rope, you want to do so by making a fist around each end of the rope. This will put your thumb on the top of each end of the rope. Although this variation may feel strange when you first curl it, you'll get a feel for how to focus its tension directly on your biceps.


If you want to work your biceps individually, putting a single handle on a cable is a great way to do it. As with straight bar cable curls, while the motion of handle cable curls is similar to dumbbell curls, the advantage is its easier to maintain your balance and avoid cheating on your form. And also like straight bar cable curls, as you work each bicep with this exercise, make sure you keep your elbow against your side and focus on only using your bicep to curl the weight.




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Cable Curls