Build Sleeve-Popping Biceps With This Spider Curl
Because baseball-shaped biceps are about more than size
By Ebenezer Samuel
There’s more to building your biceps than just chasing size. Well-developed biceps can look just as impressive as plain old big arms, exploding from your T-shirt and separating your arms from an average Joe.
And that’s the beauty of the EZ-Bar Spider Curl. This isn’t a move that will pack raw size onto your arms, but it gives you an opportunity to isolate your biceps and add the details and definition that will make your guns stand out this summer. Don’t use it at the beginning of a workout; instead, do it near the tail end, as a super-focused finisher.
You need an incline bench and an EZ-Bar. Set up with your chest on the incline bench, and keep your chest high. Tighten your upper and lower back and abs as well. You don’t want to cave over the incline bench, and you don’t want your shoulders slumping too far forward when you’re curling. That’s a recipe for a shoulder injury. Try to get somebody to hand you the bar; it’s much easier to get in proper position if you do that rather than trying to pick up the bar yourself and align yourself on the bench.
Once you’re ready to go, curl the bar straight upwards, and try to keep your upper arms perpendicular with the ground. If you let your elbows get out in front of your shoulders, you’re taking stress off your biceps and placing it on your shoulders.
Curl until your elbows start to go in front of your shoulders. If you can’t get your forearms past parallel with the ground, then you’re using too much weight. Once you’re up at the very top, squeeze your biceps hard and hold for a second or two, then slowly descend back to starting position.
The move can also be done with dumbbells, offering another great chance to really smoke your bis. The dumbbell spider curl allows for even greater focus and isolation. If you do these, let your wrist face your opposite shoulder and try to curl to your opposite pec. As you approach peak contraction, try to turn your pinky (and that side of the dumbbell) upwards as hard as possible, focusing even more on creating baseball-shaped biceps.
Either way, the beauty of the move is how effectively it isolates your biceps. Because you’re leaning forward on the bench, it’s harder to get that upper-body, backwards “rock” that people succumb to when they cheat their standing biceps curls. If you’re cheating and bringing your shoulders into the motion, you’ll know it. The end result is a chance to put your biceps through pure pump-inducing hell.
Aim to do this as your second or third biceps exercise in an arm workout. Depending on how hard and heavy you’ve worked already, 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps should get the job done.
Originally published on menshealth.com