Bicep curls are the most straightforward and effective means of building more prominent, muscular arms. From the humble dumbbell bicep curl to the preacher curl, cable curl, and Zottman curl, each different one approaches the end goal of growing bigger arms in a slightly different way. However, one of the most intensive and effective curls, with a surprising history, is the spider curl.
The History of the Spider Curl
The spider curl is a relatively recent adaptation of a classic powerlifting innovation. While no one knows who exactly invented the spider curl, we know it derives from the preacher curl. The preacher curl originated in the 1960s, created by Vince Gironda, the legendary “Iron Guru” through the invention of his unique at-the-time bench, later called the preacher curl bench. The bench was designed to be used with an EZ bar and created more tension on the arms during the curl by forcing proper form.
Over the years, the bench and the unique type of curl associated with it evolved. The modern incarnation of the preacher curl, the spider curl, uses an altered variation of the preacher Bench; instead of forcing the arms into a rigid position, it uses a standard bench (although a spider curl specific bench does exist, is it much less widely seen) at 45°. This position and altered bench allows for the same increased tension on the arm as the preacher curl Bench but now allows for a full range of motion, resulting in more muscles being worked and more gains being had.
Spider Curl Form
So, how do you do a proper spider curl?
What Muscles the Spider Curl Works:
- The short head of the biceps
- A bench set to 45°
- Dumbbells, a Barbell, or an EZ Bar
How to Perform:
- Lie face down on a standard bench set at 45° (or on a proper spider curl Bench)
- Hold the Dumbbells, Barbell, or Ez Bar at arm’s length below the bench; for your grip, make sure your arms are shoulder-width apart with your palms facing up.
- Lift slowly, flexing your biceps as you do.
- At the top of the curl, hold for a moment.
- Slowly lower the curl back down to a resting position.
- Keep your arms perpendicular to the ground and straight.
- Only move your forearm.
- Don’t drop the weight down; instead, control the movement as you lower them down.
Should you add the exercise to your routine?
The spider Curl is a detailed exercise that works the short head of the bicep explicitly; this part of the bicep is often missed or neglected by standard curls. With this in mind, we recommend adding the curl to the end of your routine, with three sets of 10-15 reps.
Here is the last word using the spider curl to build bigger powerful arms.
The spider curl is a great biceps exercise for bodybuilding. It s like the basic bicep curl, but it targets different muscles in your arm and requires more focus on form. If you do this correctly, you can get bigger powerful bicep muscles while doing fewer reps than usual. Try it! What has been your experience with this? Let us know in the comments below.