7 Best Cable Curl Alternatives [For Arm Strength and Definition]

Do you find yourself growing weary of the repetitive nature of performing cable curls during your arm workout routine? If so, then search no further!

In this composition, we will investigate the 7 best cable curl alternatives. The movements that provide both versatility and challenge to your training regimen, all while enhancing strength and definition in your arms.

Best of all, these exercises can conveniently be accomplished at home or in the gym without necessitating access to a cable machine.

Why It Is Important To Consider These Alternatives?

Before exploring the diverse options available, let us pause for a while to comprehend the rationale behind integrating variations into your fitness regimen.

By consistently providing your muscles with novel movements, you can evade stagnant progress and maintain success in your desired goals.

Furthermore, diverse exercises stimulate various muscle fibers resulting in enhanced overall development and improved functional strength.

Related List: Isolate your biceps with these exercises

11 Top Cable Curl Alternatives (No Cable Machines)

1. Dumbbell Bicep Curls

When it comes to finding a good alternative exercise for cable curls, there are multiple options available. However, the standing dumbbell bicep curl stands out as a potentially effective alternative that does not require specialized equipment.

How to do it:

  1. To perform this arm exercise, make sure to first stand up straight with your arms on either side of you.
  2. Take each dumbbell and hold it with a supinated grip so that your palms are facing forward at the starting position.
  3. Then, start folding your arms at the elbows slowly until you can’t go any further while keeping your upper arms in the same place.
  4. Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position using a controlled movement.

2. Barbell Bicep Curls

To execute a successful barbell curl, begin by assuming a strong and right posture:

  1. Stand upright with your back straight and head held high, while firmly feet shoulders’ width apart.
  2. Grasp the barbell using an underhand grip (also known as a supinated grip), ensuring that it is resting against the tops of your thighs
  3. Curl the bar up towards your shoulders while keeping your upper elbows close to your body until you reach full contraction. 
  4. Return the bar back to its initial position
  5. Keep repeating this motion until all repetitions required for the workout have been adequately performed.

3. EZ Bar Curls

To bypass cable curls, you can employ the EZ bar, a great alternative.

What makes it stand out is its novel shape that lessens the pressure on your elbows and wrists, rendering it comfortable for many gym-goers.

How to perform:

  1. Grasp the bar utilizing an underhand grip formation while keeping your hands spaced apart at shoulder width.
  2. Begin by raising the bar upwards towards your chest area, holding steady with your elbows fixed in place.
  3. Upon reaching the peak of this motion, contract your biceps before slowly bringing down the weight in a controlled manner.

4. Dumbbell Hammer Curls

This is also a good alternative to cable curls, Dumbbell Hammer Curls are an excellent option to consider.

The neutral grip with palms facing inward toward your body makes them effective when trying to focus on strengthening the Brachioradialis muscle.

Overall, Dumbbell Hammer Curls prove themselves as a great curl movement that will help spice up and strengthen one’s routine

How to do:

  1. Start by holding a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing toward your body and let them hang by your sides.
  2. Curl the weights up slowly towards your shoulders without allowing any swinging or jerky movements while keeping a neutral grip throughout.
  3. Make sure to control their descent as well before repeating the steps.

5. Dumbbell Concentration Curls

Concentration Curls is an excellent alternative for curls using cables whereby swinging can be eliminated.

This is because, with this exercise, you can brace your thigh against it to leverage more weight effectively. Also, keeping the upper arm is easy. Hence, eliminating the likelihood of lacking control and swinging the weight uncontrollably at the bottom.

How to do:

  1. To begin, take a seat on the bench’s edge with your knees slightly bent and feet planted firmly on the ground at shoulder-width apart.
  2. Pick up a dumbbell with your right hand and lean forward, putting your right elbow onto your right thigh.
  3. Beginning from that position, flex your biceps to raise the weight of the dumbbell on your right-hand side until it reaches shoulder level.
  4. While performing the curl motion, have your palm facing upwards towards your shoulder so that you get maximum results.
  5. Complete this motion for as many repetitions as desired and then switch to work on the other arm.

6. Band Bicep Curls

Resistant band curl is a form of a strength training exercise that focuses on the bicep muscles.

The resistance band, which is stretchable and made of durable latex or rubber, serves as the main tool for creating resistance against muscle contraction.


  1. After grabbing one, make sure to place the foot inside it and stand on it for stability.
  2. Slide your hands into the opposite end and grip the resistance band shoulder-width apart with supinated palms facing up.
  3. The next step is curling up by flexing your biceps while keeping your elbows tucked close to your sides.
  4. At the peak of each repetition, exert maximum effort by clenching and holding that muscle contraction for a moment before gradually lowering back down to the initial position.
  5. While going through each set, one key factor is sustaining continuous stretching of the resistance band

7. Barbell Preacher Curls

The barbell preacher curl is an effective exercise for building your biceps muscles. By following these five steps, you can perform the barbell preacher curls with proper form and technique:


  1. Set up the machine by adjusting the seat and preacher pad to fit your height.
  2. Load the desired weight onto the barbell, making sure it is securely fastened with collars on each side.
  3. Grab onto the bar using an underhand grip
  4. Sit down on the bench, angling your elbows and triceps against the pad.
  5. Slowly curl the barbell towards your shoulders, keeping your upper arms firmly pressed against the pad.
  6. Lower the barbell in a controlled manner and repeat.


If you’re looking to make continual progress and avoid plateaus in your arm workouts, incorporating at least some of these cable curl alternatives is essential.

Whether you prefer working out at home or hitting the gym, there’s always an alternative that can suit your needs and preferences.

Hassane Sghir
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