Specific Cable Biceps Bar Work Outs

There are many ways to work the biceps, and a cable machine is perfect for this. It allows you to isolate the muscle in a very safe way while also keeping constant tension on it. Cable exercises are a great way to blast your arms because they force more of an eccentric (negative) movement, which causes more micro-tears in your muscles, leading to faster repair and growth. If you want bigger arms that stand out, then the following routines will help you achieve the look you want.

Cable Curl

A classic biceps exercise, the cable curl is great for beginners and those who want to start with a lighter weight. Holding a handle with both hands, stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart. Make sure your elbows are bent at 90 degrees and your palms are facing in towards your body. As you exhale, curl the cable towards your shoulder. Make sure your elbows stay close to your body and that your forearms stay perpendicular to the ground throughout the movement. This will help to isolate the biceps and prevent other muscle groups from taking over.

Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a classic bicep exercise that can be performed with either a barbell or a dumbbell. The difference is that with a barbell you perform both the concentric and eccentric motion at the same time, whereas with a dumbbell you perform one action at a time. Holding a barbell or dumbbell in both hands, with your arms bent at 90 degrees, the hammer curl is performed by lowering the weight to your thighs and then curling it back up towards your shoulders. This exercise is great for beginners who want to build up their biceps. For more advanced lifters, the hammer curl can be performed as a part of a superset or a drop set, meaning you perform multiple exercises back to back without rest, or you perform a compound exercise followed by an isolation exercise with reduced weight.

Reverse Grip Cable Curl

A variation on the regular cable curl, the reverse grip cable curl is performed with an overhand reverse grip. This means that you grab the handle with your palms facing behind you rather than in front of you, as you do with a regular grip. Stand with feet at shoulder-width apart, grab the handle with both hands, and make sure your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. As you exhale, curl the cable towards your shoulder. Make sure your elbows stay close to your body and that your palms are facing behind you throughout the movement. This will help isolate the biceps and prevent other muscles from taking over. Reverse-grip cable exercises are usually performed for low reps and with heavier weight due to the added resistance the cable has due to the increased distance from the body to the weight.

Straight-Arm Pulldown with Biceps Extension

This is a great exercise for targeting both your biceps and your back, as well as your core. You can perform this with either a seated or standing machine. Start by selecting a weight that’s challenging for you, then sit down or stand up straight with your knees slightly bent. Arms should be bent at 90 degrees and hands gripping the bar with your palms facing towards you. As you exhale, pull the bar down towards your thighs, squeezing your muscles. Once you’ve brought the bar to the top of your knees, slowly release the weight back up again. This exercise can be performed with either a single-arm or double-arm setting, depending on what your goals are. If you have lower-back pain or you find that this exercise causes your back to feel sore, you can replace it with an exercise that targets your back as well and is less challenging to your core, the lying bent-over row.

Inverted Row with Biceps Hold

A triceps and biceps exercise, the inverted row is an effective compound movement that works the muscles in your back and core. It can be done with a TRX suspension trainer or with a bar attached to a high cable pulley. Grab the handles or loops with both hands and make sure your torso is parallel to the ground, arms fully extended and knees slightly bent. As you exhale, pull your torso up towards the bar, squeezing your muscles. When you’ve pulled your torso as high as you can, pause for a second before slowly releasing the weight back down.

Bottom Line

Working your biceps is important for any fitness program, but it can be challenging to find exercises that isolate the biceps without also recruiting other muscles. Cable exercises allow you to focus on your biceps and get a great workout, no matter your level of experience. The exercises above are a few examples of how you can work your biceps with a cable machine. By challenging yourself with heavier weights and new exercises, you can help achieve your fitness goals and build bigger, stronger muscles.