Video Demonstration

Build larger arms by adding the Reverse Cable Curl into your training routine.

This lift is classified as a pulling strength training isolation exercise with a primary focus on your forearms and the outer biceps.

If you are new to strength training, you should concentrate on using heavy compound lifts for at least a few months before adding this exercise into your routine.

This article will cover how to perform the Rotating Plank with video, image and a written step by step description on how you do the movement.

Its difficulty level, optional and required equipment, and the different muscles that get worked.

The Benefits you get from adding it to your training routine, and some training tips to make sure you get the most out of doing this exercise.

Reverse Cable Curl How to Guide

Image Example

man showing how to do the Reverse Cable Curl Exercise

Step by Step Description

Step 1: You first need to attach a bar to a low pulley system. Grab the bar using a pronated (overhand/palms facing down) grip with your hands approximately shoulder width apart. Stand straight with your torso in the upright position and put a slight bend in your knees. Tuck your elbows inward toward the sides of your body and keep them there as you are performing the lift.

You are now in the starting position for this lift.

Step 2: Exhale and curl the weight as you contract your biceps. Keep your upper arms stationary as you perform the movement. Only your forearms should be moving. Keep lifting the weight until the bar is near shoulder height and the biceps get fully contracted. When you reach the top position in the lift squeeze your biceps, hold this position for one to two seconds.

Step 3: Inhale as you use a slow and controlled movement to lower the bar back to the starting position.

You have now completed one repetition. Repeat for your selected number of reps and sets.

Difficulty Level

The reverse cable exercise is a basic strength training isolation (single joint movement) exercise and has a difficulty level of beginner. This makes it a useful exercise for people of all different fitness levels.

Equipment Required

To perform this variation of the reverse curl you will need a cable machine. The other piece of material required is a straight bar or EZ bar that you can connect to the cable machine.

Muscles Worked

The primary muscle worked when you perform this exercise is your Brachioradialis.

Multiple muscles work as a synergist when you do this lift. They are your Brachialis and the Biceps Brachii.

The stabilizing muscles activated by this lift are the Anterior Deltoid, Upper Trapezius, Middle Trapezius, Scapulae, and your Wrist Extensors.

Benefits of the Reverse Cable Curl

Many people have weak grip strength. Reverse Cable Curls are a useful exercise to target and increase your grip strength.

The improved grip strength you get from performing this exercise can help you to increase the weight used in many other compound lifts like Rowing and Pull-Ups.

Training Tips

To increase the contraction of your brachialis at the top of the movement you need to bring your elbows slightly together. As you curl the bar up imagine your arms are rotating inwards.

Another way you can increase the contraction of your brachialis muscles is to have your wrists slightly flex back as you get to the top of the curl.

Since this is an isolation exercise, it should be added at the end of your workout after you have completed all of your compound lifts.

Keep your torso in a fixed position during the set. Make sure you do not lean back when you curl the bar up or forwards when lowering it. Doing this will create a rocking motion taking stress off of your biceps and reducing the effectivness of this exercise.

  • Variations of the Reverse Cable Curl

  • Barbell Reverse Curl
  • Dumbell Reverse Curl
  • You can also use an EZ-bar to perform this exercise.


Over time heavy compound lifts will only take your forearm and bicep development so far.

To continue the grow and strengthen these muscles you will need to include some isolation exercises targeting these areas into your training routine.

If you are new to strength training you need to focus on heavy compound lifts like deadlifts, pull-ups and rowing before adding isolation exercises.

But if you have been lifting for awhile and feel your forearms or biceps could use some extra focus this is a great exercise to add.

Just make sure that you add it at the end of your routine so you do not exhaust your smaller muscles before doing your heavy compound lifts.

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