Dumbbell Spider Curl: Muscle Worked, Benefit Alternate

Spider curls are a remarkable exercise for building the biceps because they produce an intense muscle contraction on every single rep. Similarly, dumbbell spider curl is one of the most effective bodybuilding bicep exercises because the stability of the incline bench makes it difficult to cheat the weight up.

In this article, we are going to explains how to do the dumbbell spider curl with the proper form. We’ll then discuss the training tips that will help you to get the most from this movement, and an alternate of dumbbell spider curl that you can do for your biceps.

What Are Dumbbell Spider Curls?

Dumbbell spider curls are a bicep isolation exercise that you perform on an incline bench. The easiest way to do them is with dumbbells, that you can hold in your hands.

Set up with your chest on the incline bench, and keep your chest high. Tighten your back and abs as well. You don’t want your shoulders slumping too far forward when you’re curling, require an incline bench and a weight.

Once you’re ready to go, curl the bar straight upwards, and try to keep your upper arms perpendicular with the ground.

Curl until your elbows start to go in front of your shoulders. 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.

What are the Benefits of Dumbbell Spider Curls?

  • Lifters who perform the same exercises repeatedly will reach a plateau and cannot seem to get their biceps to get much larger. If this describes you, then alternative workouts may provide greater results. Exercises such as the dumbbell spider curl will help to fill up the biceps and increase muscular growth.
  • As you perform the exercise with dumbbells, you correct whatever strength imbalances you may have in one bicep against the other.
  • The main advantage of executing dumbbell spider curls is that having your arms stretched from the starting position allows for a longer duration under stress. This causes more metabolic stress, which in turn leads to an increase in the size of the biceps. 
  • Dumbbell Spider curl provides a broader range of motion, thus, increasing movement efficiency, injury avoidance, and a greater possibility of strength as well as size growth. 
  • While there is a lot of emphasis on building the bicep peak through workouts that focus on the long head, using exercises that exercise the short head like the spider curl will give the arm a more symmetrical look.

Spider Curl Form & Tips

It is difficult to cheat during the dumbbell spider curl, since you are working against gravity on the bench press. However, this does not rule out the possibility that you are making some errors.

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.

  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • The ideal bench angle for spider curls is between 45 and 60 degrees.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
  • A slow controlled descent will increase time under tension, leading to more effective sets, and less risk of injury.
  • Ensure that your elbows are kept close to your sides with your knees slightly bent, and your hands gripped tightly to the bar.
  • Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement.
  • Incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program.

Dumbbell Spider Curl

Dumbbell Spider curls are a remarkable exercise for building the biceps because they produce an intense muscle contraction on every single rep.

This is a nice exercise to switch things up, keeping your biceps guessing with new stress, especially the short head, which is going to take on the lion’s share of the work.

As for equipment, you can use a barbell, EZ bar or dumbbells.

Spider Curl

Muscle Worked During Dumbbell Spider Curl

The dumbbell spider curl primarily muscle worked are Biceps Brachii muscles, In addition to its target, the bicep. The spider curl has the involvement of several synergist muscles, these muscles include,

A handful of other muscles worked or play the role of stabilizer muscles, include your

How to Do DB Spider Curl

  1. Adjust the bench to an incline, level to a 60-degree angle. Grab two moderately light dumbbells with an underhand grip.
  2. Sit on the bench in a reverse position with your chest pressed into the backrest. Let your arms hang in front of your torso.
  3. Curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders and squeeze your biceps forcefully.
  4. Hold the contraction for a moment, and then lower the weights under control until your elbows are fully extended.

Best Alternate of Dumbbell Spider Curl

Before we deep dive into the best DB spider curl alternatives. We must remember, a good dumbbell spider curl alternative will be able to satisfy the following criteria:

1. Activate the bicep muscle groups, which is trained in the spider curl.

2. Isolate the muscle groups during execution.

3. Train the bicep muscle through a longer range of motion.

Standing Dumbbell Preacher Curl

The standing dumbbell preacher curl is an isolation exercise that targets the biceps, but the forearms, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles receive stimulation as secondary movers.

It is usually performed by using a regular bench and a dumbbell.

Standing Dumbbell Preacher Curl
Execution Technique
  1. Adjust the bench to an incline level so that you can comfortably rest your arm down the back of the headrest.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in one arm and extend it over the bench so that your forearm and tricep are rested upon the bench.
  3. Hold on to the top of the bench with the opposite arm to stabilize your body and to balance the weight.
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder, isolate the bicep and squeeze your muscle.

Zottman Curl

The dumbbell zottman curl is one of the best variations of the dumbbell spider Curl. The Zottman curl utilizes different hand positioning at different portions of the lift.

The first portion, the regular curl, focuses on bicep strength. You can perform it with both arms at the same time, or alternate the arm you lift with.

Zottman Curl
Execution Technique
  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells to your sides.
  2. Keep your palms facing up as you curl the weights up to your shoulders. Pause at the top of the movement.
  3. Slowly rotate your grip so your palms are facing downwards. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position using an overhand grip.
  4. When the dumbbells are close to your thighs, again turn your hands while returning to the starting position.


The Dumbbell spider curl is an excellent isolation exercise that targets the biceps’ short head. A simple grip modification brings the long head into play, turning this into a full-body bicep exercise.

If you’re going to include the dumbbell spider curl in your arm day, save it for the end. Additionally, if your bicep muscles aren’t even, use dumbbells. On the other hand, if you already have arm symmetry, use the barbell.

12 Most Effective LONG “OUTER” HEAD OF BICEP EXERCISES for Massive Peaks

12 Most Effective SHORT “INNER” HEAD OF BICEP EXERCISES For Bigger Arms

Leave a Comment