standing single arm cable curl

Although effective bicep training is relatively straightforward in the big picture, employing the proper tweaks to your bicep curl form and exercise selection can still help you speed up the process and build your upper arms in the most efficient way possible.

Today I’ll be touching on the exercise selection side of things by going over one of the very best bicep curl variations available, that being the standing single arm cable curl.

Although free weight curls with barbells and dumbbells are still great exercises overall, they do pose one slight disadvantage in that they don’t place the biceps under maximum tension throughout the entire range of motion from bottom to top.

This is because the exercise is performed in a circular motion, while the force of gravity is always pulling the weight in a straight line toward the ground.

As a result, the biceps will be subjected to a very high degree of stress at the top of the curl and down to the middle portion of the range, but will increasingly lose tension as the weight is lowered past halfway and down into the bottom position.

The significance of this is nothing too serious, and free weight curls are still great exercises to include in your plan, but if you want a bicep curl variation that provides an optimal resistance curve and keeps your biceps under non-stop stress without any rest at all, the single arm cable curl is perhaps the best way to accomplish that.

Here’s how to perform these properly…

Best Bicep Curl Variations: Proper Single Arm Cable Curl Form

1) Using a single-hand attachment, place the pulley at the very bottom of the cable machine.

2) Stand facing away from the machine, grab the handle and take a small step forward so that the resistance is pulling slightly back on your arm in the starting position.

3) Place your opposite hand on your waist for balance, and with your knees slightly bent, arm fully straightened and elbow tucked at your side, curl the cable up while keeping your wrist in a neutral or slightly extended position.

4) Make sure to keep your shoulder positioned down and back, and aside from some very slight movement, don’t allow your shoulder or elbow to drift forward or your back to sway as you curl the weight up.

5) Continue the motion until you feel a strong contraction in your biceps, pause briefly at the top, and then lower the weight back down following the same path.

The reason this specific bicep curl variation offers an advantage over regular free weight curls is because the resistance not only pulls your bicep downward, but backward as well.

As a result, you end up with full bicep activation not only in the top half of the range of motion, but in the entire bottom half as well since the bicep is constantly working to hold your arm forward.

bicep curl variations

You can either perform your single arm cable curls as the primary bicep exercise in your routine, or you can just mix them into your overall plan alongside your other free weight lifts.

When executed properly these are an incredibly effective means of really hammering your biceps in a way that most other lifts don’t provide, and I’d highly recommend giving them a try and seeing what you think.

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