Everyone wants bigger arms, right? Arnold had biceps that looked like mountain peaks, and the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott had huge arms.
Larry Scott using a spider curl bench
If you want a greater peak to your bicep, add spider curls to your arm work out. The biceps consists of two muscle heads; one long and one short (this is why they are called BI-ceps).
The brachialis runs in parallel and underneath the bicep muscles. The Spider Curl hits your brachialis hard, and when you make the brachialis bigger it pushes the bicep muscles up, creating a higher peak. Here's an anatomy chart showing the position of the brachialis.
Spider curls are very similar to preacher curls except that when you do curls on a preacher bench as you reach the top of the movement the load lessens; you are almost balancing the weight. With the homemade spider curl bench the tension is all the way through the complete range of motion. The exercise becomes more difficult near the top of the motion.
If you have a preacher curl attachment for your bench, simple turn around 180 degrees and set the barbell on the seat and do spider curls this way.
I don't have the preacher curl attachment for my Ironmaster super bench, and I sold my Body Solid GFID 31 bench with the preacher curl attachment because I need the space. I needed to figure out a way to do spider curls without buying another bench or attachment.
I started looking around at the equipment I already have and one of my homemade attachments for a hyperextension bench would work for an elbow support for the homemade spider curl bench.
All I needed to do was drill one more hole (for the bench locking pin) and turn it 180 degrees:
I also added one layer of duct tape to the 1.25" x 7" PVC piece to make it a snug fit. To use this set up, set the Ironmaster bench at a twenty degree angle and lie face down and rest your elbows on the homemade PVC support. Reach down and grab the barbell or EZ curl bar and do your reps. A straight bar works the best.
This is a humbling exercise because you have to drop the weight that you normally do with regular barbell curls because this exercise truly minimizes the contribution of the front deltoids and isolates the bicep.
Spider curls allow you to lower the bar all the way to the bottom of the movement, giving you a stretch that will equate to more productive reps, and since you are lying face down on the bench, you can’t cheat by swinging the barbell up.
As you train the brachialis and it becomes bigger, it will push your bicep up - creating more of a peak and a more impressive and larger arm. This homemade spider curl bench works great, although I might eventually replace the PVC with steel pipe fittings for additional support.
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