Spider Curls – The Best Exercise to Build Big Bicep Muscles

Do you want to know more about spider curls? You can use this exercise to build bigger bicep muscles. Spider curls are the most straightforward way to grow the bicep. However, there are many variations to choose from. For example, we can select from the humble dumbbell curl to the preacher curl.

Each curl performed correctly grows the biceps larger. The bicep is a minor muscle. Thus, it shares the characteristics of other smaller muscle groups. Smaller muscle groups burn out quickly. Also, they are more sensitive to pain.

But they recover quickly from workouts. These muscles also play a supportive role in compound exercises. However, if you can isolate them, you can see significant gains. Thus, the spider curl is a great exercise to build the bicep muscle.

The spider curl is one of the most effective curls. It has a surprising history. We know that not all exercises are equal. While some activities belong to your workout, others require consideration. Some exercises you should only perform on special occasions (see a periodization plan). In this article, we will discuss the bicep curl in depth. Let’s get started!

What is the Spider Curl?

The spider curl is a recent adaptation of a classic innovation. At the same time, no one knows who exactly invented it. However, we do know it came from the preacher’s curl. A genius created the preacher curl in the 1960s.

The creator of the preacher curl was Vince Gironda, the legendary “Iron Expert.” Thus, a new curl was born by inventing a unique at-the-time bench. The bench would later be called the preacher curl bench. Using a preacher curl bench with an EZ bar proved to be a great way of isolating the bicep.

Evolution –

Over the years, the bench and the unique type of curl developed. The modern incarnation of the preacher curl is the spider curl. However, it uses an altered variation of the preacher bench. Instead of forcing the arms into a rigid position, it uses a spider curl bench that works the arms at 45°.

Thus, this position allows for more increased tension on the bicep. In addition, the spider curl prevents the body from assisting the bicep with the movement. Also, this results in more work for the bicep and more gains for you.

Spider Curl Exercise –

Muscles Worked:

  • The short head of the biceps

Equipment Needed:

  • 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 weight back down to a resting position.


  • Keep your arms perpendicular (90 degrees) to the ground and straight.
  • Only move your forearm.
  • Don’t drop the weight down.
  • Control the movement as you lower the weight.

Isolation Lift –

Should you add the spider curl exercise to your workout? The spider curl is a detailed exercise that explicitly works the short head of the bicep. The standard curls often miss or neglect this part of the bicep. Also, with this in mind, we recommend adding the spider curl to the end of your routine.

The main difference between the spider curl and other curls is the degree to which the bicep moves the weight. Different angles create different pressure on the muscles. Because the bicep is more diminutive, you can use three sets of 10-15 reps with a 30 to 60-second rest time for optimal muscle gains. A

Finally, it is essential to state that the tricep is the most significant muscle of the arm. It is two times larger than the bicep. Therefore, you must perform compound lifts like the bench press and dip to get bigger arms. Also, you can use compound exercises like pull-ups and chin-ups to work the bicep even more.

Adopt a good workout program. One you might consider is a post-exhaustion workout program. The workout program will help you work the spider curl into your workouts without disrupting your overall fitness goal. Besides your training, you need a diet, progressive overload, periodization, and a rest and recovery plan to get better results.

The Last Word on Using the Spider Curls to Grow Bigger Arms

The Last Word on Using the Spider Curl to Grow Bigger Arms

So why is the spider curl so effective at building larger arms? The simple truth is it forces the bicep to perform most of the work. In short, the spider curl prevents you from cheating. This curl removes gravity from the equation. Thus, the spider curl stops the rest of the body from helping the bicep perform the lift. Only the biceps can move the bar by sitting on a bench in a relaxed state.

The science of bodybuilding clearly states muscle hypertrophy happens when a muscle gets worked and broken down. Thus, this forces the bicep to respond to the workout. The spider curl is a great bicep exercise for bodybuilders. It’s like the basic bicep curl, but it targets the bicep in your arm. Thus, it forces you to use better form.

Also, if you do spider curl correctly, you can get bigger, more powerful bicep muscles with fewer reps. The only reps that count are the ones you do with the correct form. Try it! Let us know what you think in the comments. What has been your experience?

Q&A – Maximizing Bicep Growth with Spider Curls

Q1: What are spider curls, and how are they different from regular bicep curls?

A: Spider curls are a variation of bicep curls where you lie face down on an incline bench, allowing your arms to hang straight down towards the floor. This position isolates the biceps more effectively than standard curls by minimizing the involvement of other muscles and preventing momentum from aiding the lift, thus providing a more targeted workout for the biceps.

Q2: What are the main benefits of incorporating spider curls into my workout routine?

A: Spider curls offer several benefits, including increased bicep isolation, which leads to more focused muscle growth and strength. They also help improve the bicep peak by targeting the long head of the bicep muscle. Additionally, the angle of the exercise helps maintain constant tension on the biceps throughout the movement.

Q3: Are spider curls suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, spider curls can be suitable for beginners, but proper form is crucial to avoid injury. Beginners should start with light weights to master the technique before progressing to heavier loads. It’s also advisable for beginners to perform the exercise under the guidance of a fitness professional.

Q4: What equipment do I need to perform spider curls?

A: The essential equipment for spider curls includes an incline bench and a set of dumbbells or barbells. Some gyms also have a spider curl machine specifically designed for this exercise.

Q5: How do I perform spider curls with proper form?

A: To perform spider curls:

  1. Set an incline bench to around 45 degrees.
  2. Lie face down on the bench with your torso and stomach pressed against it.
  3. Hold a barbell or dumbbell with an underhand grip (palms facing up); arms extended towards the floor.
  4. Curl the weights towards your shoulders, keeping your upper arms stationary.
  5. Squeeze your biceps at the movement’s top, then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  6. Ensure your elbows and shoulders remain still throughout the exercise.

Q6: How can I incorporate spider curls into my existing workout regimen?

A: Spider curls are typically included in an arm or bicep-focused workout. They can be paired with other bicep and tricep exercises. It’s often effective to perform them towards the middle or end of your workout, after compound movements like pull-ups or rows.

Q7: What are some common mistakes to avoid when doing spider curls?

A: Common mistakes include using too much weight, leading to poor form, swinging the weights using momentum instead of controlled muscle contraction, and not keeping the upper arms and elbows stationary. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure you get the most out of the exercise while reducing the risk of injury.

Q8: Can spider curls be effective for both muscle building and toning?

A: Yes, spider curls are effective for building muscle size and improving muscle tone. Adjusting the weight and number of repetitions can help you focus on either hypertrophy (muscle building) or muscular endurance (toning).

Q9: How many sets and reps of spider curls should I do?

A: A common approach is to perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions. However, this can vary depending on your fitness goals and overall workout plan. For muscle growth, focus on heavier weights with fewer reps; for toning, use lighter weights with higher reps.

Q10: Is there any specific group of people who should avoid spider curls?

A: Individuals with elbow or shoulder injuries should be cautious with spider curls, as the exercise stresses these joints significantly. It’s always recommended to consult a healthcare provider or a fitness professional if you have any pre-existing conditions or concerns before adding a new exercise to your routine.

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