12 Best Cable Machine Exercises For Bigger Biceps And Workout

Updated on  February 26, 2023
William Toro

William Toro ‧ CPT & Nutritionist

William is a certified personal trainer from NASM, he has also been a rehab physiologist for sports persons. He has more than 15 years of experience training people. And has featured in multiple publications like FoxNews, CNBC, Bustle, and other. 

Ever looked at gym trainers and wondered whether you can ever have such stronger muscles and biceps? The trick is simple: you must incorporate exercises that work out your biceps and triceps.

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on bicep exercises that make use of specialized machines. The rope attachments help enhance muscle and core engagement and strengthen your biceps. So if you want to learn more cable machine exercises to build your biceps, you’re at the right place.

Here are some of the best cable exercises for you to choose from:

Cable Biceps Curl

Steps To Follow

Start with adjusting the machine and the rope attachment, so the cable is attached at the bottom with the sliding adjustment. Make sure that you can grasp the metal grip comfortably in your hands.

Now, bend your knees slightly, keep your feet firmly on the floor and stand tall. Embrace your core muscles and brace your abdominal muscles.

Hold the grip, exhale and bring the cable weight upward and towards your chest. Make sure that only your forearms move and reach up to your elbow. Hold this position for a second or two and then lower your arms and bring them back to the starting position. Inhale while you do this.

Moreover, make sure that you stop before the weights return to their stack. This will ensure constant tension in your arms.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

Both brachialis and brachioradialis are used when you flex the elbow. Moreover, some stabilizing muscles, including anterior deltoid and levator scapulae, are also targeted. This boosts the brachii size and strength. [1]

Overhead Biceps Curl

Steps To Follow

For the starting position, sit on the chair in front of the machine. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Your arms should face outwards. Extend your arms to hold the rope attachment.

Next, bend your arms until your hands touch your shoulders. Make sure your elbows are touching your sides during this step. Hold this position for a second.

Now, push your arms over your head or in a full extension to activate your core and back muscles. Make sure your shoulders are away from your ears.

Repeat this a few times or until you complete your reps.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

This helps build more muscular and well-defined biceps.

Cable Hammer Curl

Steps To Follow

Choose a machine with a rope attachment or attach one to a low pulley. Stand at least 12 inches away from the machine.

Hold the rope with a neutral grip and ensure your palms face inwards. Extend the rope until your back is straight. Keep your torso stationary. This is your starting position.

Exhale and use your biceps to pull your arms up. Do this until your biceps touch the forearms. Moreover, avoid using the upper arms. Keep your elbows in and hold this position for a second. After you are done with the contraction, bring the rope back to its original position. For full core engagement, make sure you do this slowly.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

It helps work your brachialis, biceps, and brachioradialis. [2]

Cable Spider Curl

Steps To Follow

Before you take the starting position, bring an adjustable bench near your cable machine. Increase the incline of the bench to at least 60 degrees and lower the cable pulley to the bottom.

Next, connect the rope attachment to the cable machine. Lie down on the bench with your back facing the ceiling. Extend your arms and hold the rope attachment.

Keep your wrists straight, flex your biceps forcefully, and try curling the bar towards your front delts. They will automatically push against your forearms and bring the rope towards your body.

Hold this contraction for a second, and then extend your arms to bring the weight down to its original position. Repeat this for 3-4 sets of at least 20 reps.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

It provides constant tension in the arms, thereby enhancing the bicep muscle.

Cable Reverse Curl

Steps To Follow

Connect a rope attachment or a straight bar to the bottom of your cable machine. Stand straight, now bend down and hold the bar or rope with an overhand grip. Next, bring the rope up and let it rest on your thighs.

Keep your elbows pinned to the sides of your body, your wrists straight, curl your arms towards your shoulders, and bring the rope up. Stop when your forearms touch your biceps. Hold the contraction and then lower the bar down. Make sure it rests against your thighs and doesn't go all the way down.

Repeat this for at least 8-12 reps.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

Including this in your daily routine helps you increase your weight-lifting capacity.

Cable Preacher Curl

Steps To Follow

Attach a rope or a bar to a cable pulley or choose a cable machine. Place a preacher curl bench in front of it and adjust it to accommodate your height.

Extend your body, grab the rope attachment and bring it backward. Keep your chest under the preacher curl bench padding and rest your upper arms flat on the bench.

Exhale, keep your wrists straight, contract your biceps and bring the bar to your face. Hold this for a couple of seconds, and then release slowly.

Lower the bar back down by extending your arms. Ensure the weights do not touch the bottom and avoid straightening your arms completely. This can result in an injury.

Repeat the cable preacher curl for 20 reps.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

This exercise helps isolate your bicep and allows for a comfortable arm position during workouts.

Cable Concentration Curl

Steps To Follow

Place a bench in front of your cable machine. Adjust the bench and set the backrest to a flat position. Connect a rope attachment to the lower pulley of the machine and adjust the weights to your fitness level.

Sit opposite the bench and place your elbows on the corners of the bench. Extend your arms and hold the bar attachment with an underhand grip.

Keep your back straight, curl the bar towards your front delts and flex your biceps as much as possible. Keep curling until you bring the bar attachment to your face. Hold this contraction for a second and then bring it downwards.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine

It helps tone down your muscles and helps you increase the capacity of your arms.

Single Arm Curl

Steps To Follow

Stand with your knees slightly bent, your feet slightly apart, and your abs tight. Lock your elbows into the side of your torso. This is your starting position.

Now, inhale as you curl one side of the bar or rope attachment and bring it towards your shoulder. Hold the position for a second, and then, with your arms fully extended, lower the arm cable back to the starting position.

While doing a single-arm curl, make sure you tighten your abs. This prevents lower back injury. Moreover, keep your elbows pressed firmly onto the sides to support the biceps.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

Isolates your biceps and trains your arms individually for better concentration and connectivity with the rest of the body. [3]

Supine Cable Curl

Steps To Follow

Place a flat bench below a cable machine. Adjust the weights according to your fitness level. Next, lie down on the bench with your face towards the ceiling and your feet locked in the bench pad. This is your starting position.

Now, with your arms fully extended and an underhand grip and palms facing upwards, hold the bar and bring the rope attachment forward. Maintain a shoulder-width grip and hold this contraction.

Slowly straighten your arms and bring the weight stack down again. This will complete your supine cable biceps curl.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

Supine cable curls primarily target your biceps. It helps provide constant muscle tension, which in turn helps build strength in the biceps.

Supine Overhead Cable Curl

Steps To Follow

To do supine cable curls, start with choosing your free weights and lie on your back. You can either lie on the ground or the bench. Make sure your feet face towards the cable machine.

Keep your wrist straight and your shoulder joint firm; bring the cable straight down. With your elbows bent, hold the contraction. Return to the original position.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

This upper arm exercise allows for a diverse range of motion. [4] They are also preferred over single-arm cable curls, making for a more effective arm workout. You can also do supine tricep extensions to add diversity to your arm workout.

Standing Overhead Curl

Steps To Follow

Set up the cable machine by adjusting pulleys on both sides at a suitable height. It should ideally be set higher than your shoulders. Stand in the middle of the cable machine and keep your feet flat on the ground. This is your starting position.

Extend your arms and, using an underhand grip, grab the handle on both sides. Next, contract your biceps and bring the pulley towards your body. Bend your elbows until your forearms touch your biceps.

After a second or two of holding the contraction, reverse the movement by slowly lowering the weights.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

Single Arm Hammer Curl

Steps To Follow

Stand straight with your feet flat on the floor. With your back facing the machine and your wrist straight, hold the rope extension with your left hand and bring it towards your biceps. Keep your left elbow bent and your opposite shoulder firmly in place. This helps engage your core.

Hold this position for a few moments and then return to the original position. Repeat the steps with the right hand. Alternatively, you can do dumbbell hammer curls if you don't have the proper equipment at home.

Benefits Of This Cable Machine Exercise

These rope hammer curls make for a tremendous single-arm cable workout. Apart from engaging your biceps, it also helps strengthen your upper legs.

Tips For An Effective Cable Arm Exercise

  • Keep your arms fully extended when returning to the original position. Keeping your arms straight engages your core. Fully extended arms also increase tension in your upper arm.
  • While releasing the contraction, slowly lower the weights.
  • Keep your shoulder joint firm and your wrists straight (unless suggested otherwise).
  • If you use a weight bench, an incline bench, or a preacher bench, make sure you adjust it to fit your fitness level.
  • If you are exercising standing, make sure your back is straight. This engages your core.
  • If the exercise requires your elbows to be bent, make sure you make a 90-degree angle with your shoulder.
  • Choose a weight stack according to your fitness level.
  • If you have to push your weight forward while doing any exercises for arms, make sure you don't bend your back.
  • Maintain a shoulder-width grip throughout your biceps exercises and an overall good posture. [5]


How Can You Build Biceps With Cable Exercises?

Cable exercises help build tension in your biceps. [6] When you lift against resistance in curling motions, your biceps will start squeezing. This helps build strength in your chest. Moreover, cable exercises also help improve your posture.

Cable machines are usually available in gyms and help you enhance your range of motion. A single pulley cable machine is also suitable for an upper-body workout. [7]

Can Bicep Cable Workout Be Done At Home?

Whether you are doing cable biceps curls, a rope hammer curl, or any other cable machine exercise, you will need a machine with a bar attached. You can opt for a simple barbell curl, a straight bar tricep pushdowns, or dumbbell hammer curls if you want alternatives to cable machine exercises.

Are Straight Bar Cable Curls Good?

Whether you want to do single-arm exercises or double exercises for arms, the straight bar helps you target your biceps brachii. Cable bicep curls help create tension in your upper body and assist in muscle growth. All in all, they guarantee improved bicep muscles and added benefits.[8]

Can You Enhance Your Biceps With A Split Stance?

You can still do a split stance even if you don't have an arm cable. It is the perfect alternative to cable biceps curls and cable rope curls. Step forward to stagger your feet and achieve a split stance.

Curl the weights towards your shoulders. Now, with your elbows bent, tighten your biceps. Next, extend your arms. This will allow you to lower the weights down.


Stronger and well-trained biceps help with muscle metabolism and muscle growth. But more importantly, it helps increase your muscle endurance and strength.

Although there are some great biceps workouts that you can do at home, we suggest you try out cable exercises. They are more effective and help you achieve consistency in your routine.

You may also like

Read More
Read More
Read More
Read More