To build the bigger and impressive biceps first, we needed to understand the anatomy of the biceps muscle, which help to perform the cable biceps workout at the best level.
For building bigger and impressive biceps involves more than doing the same bicep exercises over and over. Biceps are small muscles, to grow them takes time, knowledge, and intellect.
In this article, we are going to tackle the best cable machine exercises of the bicep, which is often underestimated by those who lack a complete understanding of this.
It’s time to develop some huge bicep peaks! Learn different strategies, the best cable machine exercises, supporting muscle group exercises, and lifestyle changes that promote bigger & stronger biceps.
- Bicep Muscle Anatomy
- What is Cable Machine Bicep Workout?
- How To Train Bicep With Cable Machine
- Cable Bicep Workout Benefits
- Best Cable Bicep Exercises & Workout For Bigger and Massive Peak Biceps
- 1. One Arm High Cable Curl
- 2. Cable Hammer Curl
- 3. Behind The Back Cable Curl (Bayesian Curl)
- 4. Cable Rope Hammer Preacher Curl
- 5. Close Grip Cable Curl
- 6. Cable Reverse Curl
- 7. Cable Drag Curl
- 8. Cable One Arm Curl
- 9. Cable Squatting Curl
- 10. Lying Cable Curl
- Are cables good for biceps?
- Are cable workouts better than dumbbell?
- Can Bicep cable exercises build muscle?
- Why are bicep cables Workouts better?
- Are cables better for hypertrophy?
- Can you build biceps with cables?
- Related Blogs
- References & resources
- 7 best cable bicep exercises to build mass and strength.
Bicep Muscle Anatomy
The Bicep Muscle consists of the following parts:
- Biceps brachii
Biceps brachii muscle (biceps) is a large, thick muscle of the upper arm.
The Biceps Brachii is attached to the forearm bone called the radius and originates at the scapula in two heads (the Bicep gets its name from the two heads).
Brachialis lies on the outer side of the arm.
The brachioradialis muscle group is firmly attached to the bicep and is also activated when tracking back and biceps.
What is Cable Machine Bicep Workout?
The cable machines, an exercise that trains the biceps in isolation, and places the muscles under constant tension throughout both the concentric and eccentric phases. This is one of the biggest cable bicep training benefits over other methods.
It is popular with strength training beginners thanks to the simplicity of the exercise, and the fact that the cable itself assists the user in lifting the weight.
How To Train Bicep With Cable Machine
Bicep exercises with dumbbells and barbells aren’t for everyone. You might have an injury that limits your range of motion, or simply find that free weights are cumbersome. You can still get bigger and stronger biceps by working out with the cable machine.
Using the cable machine, you’ll be able to hit all the head of biceps from different angles and through a range of motions.
The cable machine will provide smooth constant tension on your muscles, which leads to more time under tension and in turn more potential for muscle growth.
You can also change body positioning, weight load and attachments used, which can alter your grip thus targeting your muscles differently.
A cable machine can come in various shapes and sizes. You can use various attachments with the cable that can hit pretty much every muscle group one way or another.
Cable Bicep Workout Benefits
The cable bicep workout offer an effective way to train the biceps, let’s have a look at some other benefits of bicep exercises with a cable machine.
- Bicep cable exercises are more evenly distributed.
- The bicep cable machine exercises offer almost unmatched versatility because you can change up the load, angle, grip positioning and body positioning easily.
- The cable setup gives your muscles almost uninterrupted time under tension, and a massive pump — each of which can help optimize muscle growth.
- Cable machines isolate specific muscles and help to control the movement of the joints, making injury less likely.
- Depending on the pulley attachment, cable bicep workout build grip strength as you can maintain an overhand grip or a neutral grip.
- The Cable bicep training is an ideal exercise for all beginner, athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone attempting to build arm strength.
Best Cable Bicep Exercises & Workout For Bigger and Massive Peak Biceps
There are best cable bicep exercises for the biceps. Use these moves to get your biceps pumped up and improve the overall function of your upper arms.
1. One Arm High Cable Curl
The High Cable Curl exercise is a great option that will help you to target the biceps and builds width and thickness in the muscle.
There are two main versions of the high cable curl: one-arm and two-arm. Both variations are effective, but the one-arm version allows you to use more relative weight for potentially greater gains in biceps size and strength.
- Begin by standing sideways next to a high pulley machine, arm extended out at about shoulder height, and gripping the handle with one of your hands.
- Slowly curl the cable towards your head, isolating the bicep until you feel tension, and hold for a count.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
- Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.
- Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps brachii.
- Inhale as you extend your elbow, exhale while squeeze.
2. Cable Hammer Curl
The cable rope hammer curl workout is a popular arm-focused exercise performed with a rope handle attached by a cable to a weight stack.
It uses a neutral (palms facing one another) grip, which targets the forearms and brachialis muscles in addition to the biceps.
- Attach a rope attachment to a low pulley and stand facing the machine.
- Grasp the rope with a neutral (palms-in) grip. Put your elbows in by your side and keep them there stationary during the entire movement.
- Pull your arms until your biceps touch your forearms. Hold for a second.
- Slowly start to bring the weight back to the original position.
- Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.
- Stand straight up, keeping the natural arch of the back and your torso stationary.
- Remember to keep the elbows in and your upper arms stationary.
- Do the exercise in a controlled way so that your momentum does not contribute to the movement.
3. Behind The Back Cable Curl (Bayesian Curl)
The Behind The Back Cable Curl aka Bayesian curl is the same concept as the incline dumbbell curl. Your arms will be curling with your elbows behind you, which emphasizes the long head.
Doing cable curls behind the body shifts the emphasis of the exercise onto the outer biceps and minimizes the chance of you developing unsightly muscular imbalances. Must try this cable bicep workout.
- Connect a single cable handle to the bottom of a cable pulley.
- Grab the handle with an underhand grip and then face away from the machine.
- Take a step out from the cable station and let your arm travel behind your torso until you feel a good biceps stretch.
- Curl the handle toward your shoulder by squeezing your biceps as hard as you can.
- Lower the weight back down under control until your elbow is fully extended.
- Repeat for the ideal number of reps to complete the set. Now, switch arms to complete the exercise on your right side, and then alternate between arms for sets.
- The arm is positioned and maintained behind the body throughout the whole range of motion.
- The elbows are bent and the biceps flexed as the upper arm is kept in position and the forearm is moved in the forward and upward direction.
- It is important to keep in mind that the elbow should be pointing backwards at the end of the movement as it was at the start.
4. Cable Rope Hammer Preacher Curl
If you’re looking for one more effective cable bicep exercise, try the cable hammer preacher curl.
It is a single-joint arm exercise that builds strength and size in the biceps using a cable stack, a preacher bench, and a rope grip.
The neutral or “hammer” grip amplifies activation of both the grip and the brachialis muscles, building arm thickness. The angle of the bench also effectively removes the shoulders from the movement, largely isolating the biceps.
- Start by setting up a rope extension attachment to a low pulley cable machine and placing a preacher bench in front of the machine.
- Grab onto the rope with a neutral hammer grip, then sit down on the bench with your forearms rested over the padding.
- Slowly curl the bar up towards your chest, isolating your bicep, and squeeze.
- Hold for a count, then return back to the starting position.
- Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
- Only the forearms should move; not your upper arms.
- Choose a weight that’ll allow you to perform the exercise using a full range of motion.
- Do the exercise in a controlled way so that your momentum does not contribute to the movement.
5. Close Grip Cable Curl
Unlike barbell or dumbbell curls, where the resistance varies during the lift, the cable pulley provides a uniform resistance throughout the movement. The Close grip bicep cable curl is one of the best isolation exercises for the long head of bicep. It’s a pulling action performed with a cable machine and is suitable for beginners.
The cable curl workout is performed in a standing position by facing one end of a cable machine with the cable fixed at the bottom of the machine and set with an appropriate weight.
- Set up for the cable curl by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable.
- Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up), and your hands about shoulder-width apart.
- Curl the bar up toward your shoulders by bending at the elbows.
- Lower the weight down to the arms extended position.
- Stand upright with the spine straight.
- Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight as you lower it.
- Fixing the elbows against your sides prevents movement at the shoulder and is an excellent way to isolate the biceps.
6. Cable Reverse Curl
Reverse cable curl is an exercise machine exercise that primarily targets the biceps.
The only reverse cable curl equipment that you really need is the following: cable machine. There are, however, many reverse cable curl variations that you can try out that may require different types of reverse cable curl equipment. Must add this cable bicep exercise in your workout regime.
- Stand up with your torso upright while holding a bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley using a pronated (palms down) and shoulder width grip
- Keeping your elbows in, bring the bar up to your chest by flexing the elbow.
- Contract the muscle and hold for a moment.
- Slowly lower the bar back down to the arms’ extended position.
- Repeat for desired reps.
- Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
- Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
- Ensure that your elbows are kept close to your sides with your knees slightly bent, and your hands gripped tightly to the bar
7. Cable Drag Curl
The Cable drag curl workout is a unique bicep curl variation in which you don’t completely bring the weight in front of your body. Thus, you have a more difficult time swinging and using momentum to get the weight up.
As for the long head of the bicep, it is emphasized the most due to the elbow positioning. As you curl up, your elbows pull back behind you, which stretches the long head, activating it to a very high degree.
For this exercise, you can use a barbell, dumbbell, or EZ bar all to the same effect.
- Set up for the cable drag curl by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable machine.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your abs are drawn in.
- Grab the bar with a double underhand (supinated) grip, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Bring your elbows and shoulders back slightly as you curl the bar upwards. It should feel like you are “dragging” the dumbbell up to your body.
- Squeeze your biceps hard at the top and slowly return to the starting position.
- Try to use a lighter to moderate weight
- Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
8. Cable One Arm Curl
When doing a bicep workout with a cable machine, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.
The cable standing one arm bicep curl exercise is a single arm version of the bicep cable curl workout that targets and isolates the bicep muscle.
- Start off by attaching a stirrup bar to a low cable pulley and standing on the side of the weight stack with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Grasp the stirrup in one hand with an underhand grip (palms facing up).
- Keeping your elbows still, curl the stirrup up towards your chest, squeezing and isolating the bicep muscle.
- Slowly lower the stirrup to the starting position.
- Repeat for as much reps as desired. Switch arms while performing this exercise.
- Your non lifting arm should be grabbing your waist. This will allow you to keep your balance.
- Perform this exercise in a slow controlled manner for best results.
9. Cable Squatting Curl
The squatting cable curl is a great exercise that allows you to isolate the biceps. Set up for the exercise by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable and selecting the weight you want to use on the stack.
- Set up for the cable squatting curl by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable machine.
- Squat straight down, so your buttocks are touching your heels.
- Rest the back of your arms (just behind the elbows) on your knees. Your knees will act as padding to really isolate the biceps.
- Grab the bar with a double underhand (supinated) grip, slowly curl the bar up towards your body as far as possible.
- Squeeze the biceps, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
- You don’t need to use as much weight as normal because you’re really isolating the bicep and the movement is much harder than a cable curl.
- Focus on the stretch and contraction of the muscle.
10. Lying Cable Curl
If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your biceps curls, why not try lying (supine) cable curls?
The point of lying on your back for the lying cable curl is to eliminate all body momentum and therefore prevent cheating and better isolate your elbow flexors.
It is performed lying on the back, either on a bench or the ground, with the feet facing toward a cable stack. This movement is usually performed for moderate to high reps for a burn and pump as part of an arm-focused workout.
- Grab a straight bar or E-Z bar attachment that is attached to the low pulley with both hands, using an underhand (palms facing up) shoulder-width grip.
- Lie supine (on your back) on the bench in front of the weight stack with your feet flat against the frame of the pulley machine
- While keeping your upper arms stationary and the elbows close to your body, curl the bar up to your chest.
- Slowly return to the start position.
- Do not allow your body to come off of the floor or bench.
- Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight as you lower it.
- Keep your elbows stationary and tucked at your sides.
Are cables good for biceps?
Yes, Cable exercises strengthen your biceps almost better as other biceps exercise. If you’re looking to increase the size or strength of your biceps muscles, consider adding cable exercises to your routine.
Are cable curls better than dumbbell?
Are cable workouts better than dumbbell?
Cable exercises elicit a more powerful muscle pump than dumbbells because they provide your biceps with constant tension.
Can Bicep cable exercises build muscle?
Including cable exercises in your bicep workout routine is an excellent way to add variety to your workout, while building strength and training your muscles from different angles.
Why are bicep cables Workouts better?
“Cables are a lot more fluid and smooth than free weights. “Using a series of pulleys means you’re less likely to get hurt as you don’t directly push or pull against the force of gravity”. This puts less stress on your joints for safer sets and reps.
Are cables better for hypertrophy?
Yes, anything from your body weight to dumbbells to cables will help you to build muscle. This means any media can yield fast results provided your muscles endure a high enough stimulus to promote hypertrophy.
Can you build biceps with cables?
Yes, it is possible to build biceps with cable exercises. Cable exercises such as cable curls and cable hammer curls can effectively target the biceps.
There are lots of cable bicep exercises that you can add in your bicep workout regime that help to build massive arm and strength.
References & resources
Muscle and Strength: Cable Only Bicep and Tricep Workout
American Council on Exercise: “6 Benefits of Using Weightlifting Machines