EZ bar spider curls are excellent for developing size and strength in the arms. This is a biceps exercise that involves a piece of equipment called a standing preacher bench along with an EZ bar which is basically an angled bar. The EZ bar equipment is similar to a traditional barbell but instead of a straight bar, the EZ bar has slightly curved handles on it where you place your hands. This design was made specifically to relieve pressure off of the forearms and wrists during different exercises by placing your hands in a much more natural state. This is a single joint (only the elbows moves) isolation type of exercise that is great for adding mass to your biceps.
Exercise Instructions: Spider curls are very similar to preacher curls except that they allow you a much greater range of motion throughout the exercise due to the angle of your arms hanging straight down. Using a standing preacher bench, grab an EZ curl bar and rest your elbows on the opposite side of the preacher pad allowing your arms to hang straight down from the back of the machine. Execute the movement just like you would a regular preacher curl and slowly curl the EZ bar up to the top, pause for a moment to get a full peak contraction and then slowly lower the weight back down to the bottom. Since there is no support for your elbows, avoid swinging the weight at the bottom of the exercise during the repetitions. Always use a slow and controlled tempo during the entire range of motion.
Muscles Targeted: EZ bar spider curls is an exercise that was designed specifically to have the elbows ahead of the abdomen and your arms hanging straight down which allows for an excellent stretch in the biceps. The primary muscles involved with this exercise include the biceps brachii (2 heads of the biceps) and the brachialis. The secondary muscle that’s targeted in this exercise is the brachioradialis (forearms). The wrist flexors, finger flexors and the front deltoids function as stabilizers.
Why This Exercise is Important: EZ bar spider curls are significant in a variety of ways, including:
- Increases the strength, definition, mass and power of the biceps and brachialis muscles. During the spider curl exercise the biceps are highly isolated and stimulated by resistance which helps to make the muscles stronger and more muscular.
- Provides some nice variety to traditional bicep exercises and allows you to really feel the muscle working due to the angle of the arms hanging straight down.
- Very beneficial to athletes who need strength and power in their biceps. Strength in the upper arms is important in sports like football, tennis, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, swimming and many more.
Things To Avoid:
- The upper arms should remain stationary and flat against the bench pad throughout the exercise while the forearms moves up and down at the elbow joint. Focus on keeping the elbows in a fixed and stable position and avoid moving them around during the movement.
- Avoid using fast and jerky movements or using your upper body’s momentum to curl the weight up to the top. Do each repetition very slowly and controlled in order to create the needed resistance to build bigger and stronger muscles.
- Avoid rounding or arching your back or hunching your shoulders too far over throughout the exercise. Maintain good posture with your chest out and always keep your back straight when you’re positioned on the preacher bench.
- Do not raise your feet off the ground. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground to provide stability and support.
Reps and Sets: A good fitness program should involve exercising for 3-5 days per week. Each day should integrate at least thirty minutes of general exercise for overall wellness. Beginners should only do 1-2 sets of 12-15 repetitions when first starting out to make sure their technique is spot-on in order to target the correct muscles and avoid injuries. Only perform around 7-8 total sets for your entire biceps workout. It’s a small muscle so you don’t need to blast it out with 20 sets or you will overtrain your arms. During each set you should strive to go heavy enough that you really feel the muscle working along with a nice burn in the biceps. Make sure to take rest breaks of around 90-120 seconds between sets to allow the muscles to relax and recover. Focus on training your biceps only once per week for optimal results.
Other Exercises To Use: If you wish to develop strength and size then it is imperative to add variety to your workouts and avoid doing the same routine with the same exercises week in and week out. Together with EZ bar spider curls, you can also include a few sets of standing barbell curls and one or two of the different variations of the preacher curl (preacher curls over bench, machine preacher curls, one arm dumbbell preacher curls, preacher hammer dumbbell curls). All of these exercises are quite similar except for the different positions they place the arms in which is important for stimulating your muscles with new and unique movements to spur growth. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps.