Muscles Targeted: The cable rope curls target the biceps as the primary muscle but also hits the forearms and the brachialis muscles very well. The reason for this is because of the hand and wrist position throughout the exercise. Since your wrists will be in a fixed position with your palms facing in, you will be working more of your forearms and brachialis muscles. On a traditional bicep exercise, your wrists will be supinating (twisting, curling) like in the dumbbell curls or your palms will facing up like in the barbell curl. With your wrists in a neutral position with your palms facing in, this puts stress on different muscles and allows you to hit those areas which are important for building impressive arms.
Exercise Advice: Using a machine, attach a rope attachment to the cable and secure it firmly. Adjust the weight on the machine and make sure the pin is securely locked into the weight stack. This is important, since you don’t want to have the weights crash down during your set and make a big scene! With everything secure, grab the rope and stand with your feet at about shoulder width and your knees slightly bent. Position your hands on the rope so that your palms are facing in. At the start of the exercise, the cable will be at about waist height. Slowly lift the weight up to the top position and really try to flex the biceps to get a peak contraction in the muscles. Slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position and repeat. During the exercise, try to focus on keeping your elbows in close to your sides and don’t allow them to flare out or swing up. Keeping your elbows tucked in will allow you to focus more tension on your biceps muscles.
Things To Avoid: You want to avoid slouching or arching your back on this exercise. Since you’re using the cable machine, the tension in the cable will have the tendency to pull your body forward. Keep your back straight, eyes looking forward and your shoulders back. Also, avoid swinging with your elbows and letting your elbows move up and down. You want to keep your elbows in a fixed position during the exercise and curl with your biceps. If available, try to position yourself so that you’re in front of a mirror in order to visually see your technique as you perform the exercise. Try to keep your arms close into your sides while you curl the weight up and down. Don’t let your elbows and arms flare out to the sides. By keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, you can focus more of the tension on your biceps muscles.
Reps and Sets: For overall muscle building, focus on 8-12 reps per set. Total sets for this exercise will be in the range of 2-3 and your total overall sets for your entire biceps workout will be in the range of 4-6 sets per workout. You only want to do a small amount of sets for your biceps since they are a smaller muscle group and they don’t need a bunch of sets in order to grow. If you do too many sets, you run the risk of overtraining your biceps which will lead to a plateau and your results will stop! So, make sure to hit your biceps with short, intense workouts and only train them once per week for optimal results.
Other Exercises To Use: A few other exercises to use along with the cable rope curls are the Standing Dumbbell Curls and the Seated Dumbbell Hammer Bicep Curls for a great overall biceps workout. The advantage of combining different exercises into your biceps workout is to hit the muscle from a variety of different movements and angles in order to shock the muscles into growth.