If you’re chasing big arms, there’s actually a good chance that you want more than big arms. You want well-proportioned arms with definition. And you want that little baseball-sized portion of your biceps, too. You want to be able to flex your biceps and see it peak.
That biceps peak requires plenty of training, and yes, you can get it with standing curls and classic biceps moves. But you can also aid its development by building a strong mind-muscle connection and essentially teaching your muscles exactly what it feels like to really squeeze your guns. And that’s exactly what you’ll do with the Peak-Focused Half-Iso Spider Curl from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
“It’s a move that’s designed to challenge that max-level biceps squeeze,” says Samuel, “and that’s thanks to the angle of the spider curl setup.”
Very often, when you do a standard standing biceps curl, you lose the slightest bit of tension at the top of the curl, because your elbow shifts slightly forward. Your front shoulder assists this process, and it helps make even the best curls ever-so-slightly easier.
The spider curl generally combats that, creating a situation where front shoulders can’t truly help you rock forward in the curl, since, essentially, you start from that position. Add in the pause at the top in Samuel’s curl, and you have a recipe for biceps hell.
And that’s not it, either, says Samuel. “You’re also getting a strong slow eccentric,” says Samuel, “making your biceps work that much harder.”
- Start in spider curl position, chest on an incline bench, core tight, upper arms perpendicular to the ground.
- Curl both dumbbells upwards, squeezing your biceps.
- Maintain that squeeze on the right arm as you lower the left arm slowly.
- Lower the right arm.
- That’s 1 rep; repeat for 10 to 12 reps. Do 3 sets. Alternate the arm you squeeze and hold on every rep.
The Peak-Focused Half-Iso Spider Curl is a perfect last exercise in almost any workout, says Samuel. Use it as a second or third biceps exercise on arm day, after you’ve done heavier standing biceps curls or hammer curls. Or throw it into a pull-day or upper-body workout, near the end of the session, says Samuel. “It’s a move that’s all about pump and focus,” says Samuel, “and it has great payoff for your biceps peaks.”
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts.
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