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Spider Curls

What Is A Spider Curl

How To Do Spider Curls

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Spider curls are a dumbbell bicep curl variation where the torso is rested against an incline bench to isolate the biceps. Similar to concentration curls, the aim of the game is to perform this movement slowly and with control throughout.

Spider curls can be useful if you're having difficulty keeping your elbows in the correct place during other curl variations. Due to the chest support provided by the incline bench, the torso remains rigid which prevents other muscle groups from lifting the load and forces the biceps to work at their hardest.

The use of the incline bench also provides a greater range of motion to the spider curl which adds further challenge to the bicep than other curling variations. While more range is likely to be beneficial for muscle growth, it's likely performers will be unable to lift as greater load with the spider curl than with other variations. Implementing a variety of bicep curls is advantageous to ensure well rounded bicep training.

Check out some other bicep curl variations: zottman curls, incline bicep curls, pronated bicep curls, barbell bicep curls, dumbbell bicep curls

Commonly Asked Questions On Spider Curls

What Do Spider Curls Work?

Spider curls work the biceps and forearms. Compared to free standing bicep curls, there is less support from the surrounding muscle groups and core.

How To Do Spider Curls Without A Bench

To perform spider curls without a bench you’ll need to opt for a different set up.

To perform a standing spider curl, adopt a hip hinge position and allow your arms to extend down towards the floor, like you would when performing a barbell row. This will ensure that your arms are in front of the body in the same position as a standard spider curl. Due to the lack of bench for support, the biceps will not be as isolated in this variation.

Alternatively, you may opt to sit on a chair and hip hinge forwards to perform the movement. This offers a more stable alternative which should allow you to overload the biceps further.

Are Drag Curls As Effective As Spider Curls?

Drag curls and spider curls are different exercises and although both will still challenge the biceps, they will offer different benefits. The drag curl will likely enable you to load the biceps more but will provide less range of motion, while the spider curl will have more range but less ability to load.

Both exercises could be included in a well rounded bicep programme and should be used for both adherence and muscle growth purposes.

Spider Curls Tips

While the positioning of the spider curl makes it more difficult to cheat than standing dumbbell curls, there are still some mistakes to watch out for!

Choosing a manageable load to perform spider curls with is important to ensure you’re able to contract the biceps throughout and to work through the full range of motion. Another error to avoid is moving your upper body. Ensuring the shoulders, upper arms and torso remain locked in place is important to avoid cheating and getting the most out of the spider curl.

How To Do A Spider Curl

  1. Set a bench at a 45-degree angle and lie against it with your stomach and chest pressed against the support. Ensure your head is just above the bench.

  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand using a supinated grip so that your palms are facing upwards. Position your arms at either side of the bench, allowing your arms to extend down and in front of you.

  3. Keeping your torso against the bench, squeeze your biceps as you bend at the elbow to lift the dumbbells until they are in line with your shoulders.

  4. Slowly revert the movement by extending your elbows until your arms are straight.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.