The bicep cable curl is an excellent way to work the biceps in a standard or lengthened position, plus the tension can be maintained throughout the whole range of the movement when done correctly. Without proper form or technique however, the bicep cable curl is often done with assistance from the shoulders and little range of motion, reducing its effectiveness and giving poorer results.
What Is A Bicep Cable Curl
The bicep cable curl is an isolation exercise which works the bicep brachii. The purpose of the biceps is flexion of the elbow, which basically means bending the arm. The shortest position of the muscle is with your arm above your head and your elbow bent, with the longest position being your arm extended straight behind you.
The bicep cable curl is done using a cable machine as this is one of the best ways to work the muscle in its lengthened position, which makes the exercise harder without having to add more resistance. It is also easier to maintain tension for the whole set with a cable machine, rather than using barbells or dumbbells, which does not allow the muscle to rest or recover between repetitions.
How To Do A Bicep Cable Curl
1. To get into position first attach a handle on each side of the cable machine and put them in their lowest setting (closest to the floor). Face away from the machine and hold the handles so that your arms are by your side with palms facing front, then take a couple of steps forward so that your arms are now straight out behind you.
2. To help with your balance and to keep a nice straight back, engage your core muscles and have one leg forward which you lean onto as you work.
3. Keeping your arms in line with your body, bend them as much as you can until in a fully flexed position. There should be no movement above the elbow.
4. For the second half of the exercise, straighten your arms with control to get the most from the eccentric contraction.
5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Bicep Cable Curl Notes
1. As the bicep is fully lengthened at the start it does make injury slightly more likely if you use too much weight, so when you first try this exercise use only light resistance and increase it incrementally until you find the correct amount. This will be less than you are capable of lifting in a more standard position.
2. Because you are leaning slightly forward there will be a temptation to lower your head and look at the floor. Instead keep your head up in line with your body.
3. Bend your elbow as much as possible and squeeze it for a second to make sure before you continue with the repetition.
4. At the end of each rep your arm should be straight out behind you so that the biceps are at their most lengthened state. Do not start the next one until they are.
5. Keep your arms still above your elbow. Don’t let them move as this allows your shoulders to assist. Also do not rock back and forth with each rep as this momentum will also take the effort off your biceps.
6. Contract your biceps explosively to activate fast twitch muscle when bending your arm, then take 3-7 seconds to straighten it to make the most of the eccentric phase.
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