When it comes to arm workouts, spider curls are one of the most effective exercises for building muscle.
What Are Spider Curls?
The spider curl is an isolation exercise that targets your arm muscles—specifically your biceps. Practice spider curls by resting your torso against an incline bench set to a 45-degree angle or a spider curl bench designed for this type of biceps exercise. Similar to concentration curls, spider curls require a slow, controlled movement from start to finish.
Once you’ve mastered the dumbbell spider curl, consider using a different kind of free weight, like a barbell or an EZ bar with angled grips. With practice, spider curls can be a useful biceps workout to add to your bodybuilding routine. Perform spider curls as warm-ups for other exercises that activate your biceps, like deadlifts and bench presses.
3 Benefits of Doing Spider Curls
Consider these benefits of regularly practicing spider curls.
- 1. Spider curls isolate muscle groups in your arms. You can build bigger biceps by performing spider curls, which target both the long head and short head of the biceps brachii muscles. Secondarily, spider curls activate your triceps and brachialis, an important elbow flexor muscle.
- 2. Spider curls allow for a full range of motion. With your arms hanging forward, you have a greater range of motion during a spider curl than a traditional dumbbell curl or barbell curl.
- 3. Spider curls keep your muscles under constant tension. The upper-body movement pattern and posture of a spider curl keeps your arm muscles activated during the full range of motion.
How to Do Spider Curls With Proper Form
For spider curls, begin by using a weight that you can control for 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions. Choose a weight that allows you to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.
- 1. Adjust a flat bench to a 45-degree angle.
- 2. Place your chest against the bench, and rest your feet on the floor. Your legs should be long with a slight bend in your knees. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet.
- 3. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing away from your body.
- 4. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats, and allow your arms to hang while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
- 5. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. Engage your core. All repetitions should begin from this position.
- 6. While keeping your upper arms still, squeeze your biceps, and bend your elbows until your lower arms contact your upper arms. The dumbbells should finish close to your shoulders without contacting your shoulders.
- 7. Squeeze your biceps, and pause at the top of the movement.
- 8. Slowly straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. Come to a complete stop at the bottom before beginning another repetition.
How to Work out Safely and Avoid Injury
If you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.
In order to see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.