How To Do High Pulley Biceps Curl Properly

A high pulley cable curl is a resistance exercise that works the brachialis and biceps brachii, which are the main muscles that bend the elbow.For this exercise, you’ll need a cable crossover station with a high pulley curl that can be adjusted for height on each side, as well as two D-handles.At a cable crossover station, the exercise is done while standing in between the two pulleys.With the high pulley biceps curl, the arms are raised and angled outwards as the biceps flex, rather than forwards and together, as in the more common biceps curl.Curls done with cable give consistent resistance across the whole range of motion of the exercise.Related: Cable Concentration Curls – FULL Beginners Guide

Exercise Details

    • Also known as: Standing cable curl
    • Exercise type: Strength workout
    • Body type:  Arms
    • Level:  Intermediate
    • Main targets: biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis
    • Secondary targets:  extensor carpi radialis longus, pronator teres, flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi radialis digitorum superficialis.
    • Compound/Isolated: Isolated
    • Force type: Pull
  • Required equipment: Cable machine

What Is High Pulley Biceps Curls

The high pulley cable curl is an exercise that is used to strengthen the biceps while also encouraging hypertrophy, which is an increase in the size of the biceps.The flexion of the elbow, during which the actual lifting of the weight takes place, is considered to be the concentric component of the movement.The eccentric part of the movement is the elbow extension, which is followed by the lowering of the weight.

How To Do High Pulley Cable Curl

Set the machine’s sliding adjustment so that the cable is connected at the top. The cable metal grip should reach far enough so that it can be grasped easily with arms extended and palms facing up.
  1. Stand with your arms out to the sides squarely between the two high pulleys.
  2. Keep your knees slightly bent while you stand upright with your feet at shoulder-width apart.
  3. Raise your arms to shoulder height, equally flex both biceps, and lift both D-handles up to your head to approximate the classic biceps-flexing stance.
  4. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement.
  5. Let the elbows return to the beginning position while maintaining an elevated arm posture
  6. When returning to the beginning position, maintain a tiny bend in the elbows (biceps tension) before executing the next rep.
  7. Repeat for the appropriate number of repetitions.
Exercise Tips:
  • It is critical that you maintain your body and elbows in a stable position all across the set. Keep your elbows still! Concentrate on solely moving your forearms.
  • Since this is an isolated workout, you should concentrate on muscle contraction and stretch rather than weight.
  • Light weights are recommended for this exercise so that the inner biceps brachii be targeted and strengthened.
  • The high-pulley curl can be done with each arm independently or both at once.
  • Raise your elbows to increase the workload on the brachialis muscle and reduce the load on the biceps as opposed to traditional (supinated) curls.

High Pulley Curl Muscles Worked

The biceps brachii and brachialis are worked from a different angle while doing high pulley cable curls, which results in increased strength and growth and biceps peak.In contrast to conventional biceps exercises, in which the arms are raised and extended to the sides, this exercise requires the arms to be in a posture that is entirely distinct.Also, the short head (inner section) of the biceps brachii is exposed under higher tension when the elbow is flexed against resistance.

High Pulley Cable Curls Alternative

1. Alternating curls

Alternating Curls ImageBy exercising each arm independently, you can guarantee that both of your biceps get equal effort with the cable alternating curl as opposed to the standard standing version.This not only makes your upper body more balanced, but it also helps you strengthen the connection between your mind and muscles because you only have to concentrate on extending and contracting one bicep at a time.Obviously, you may execute this exercise with dumbbells or resistance bands. I just like cables since their resistance is more constant.

2. Resistance band curls

Resistance Band Curls ImageBoth the way resistance bands look and how they are used are very similar to how cables are used. The main benefit is that bands can be carried around, while cables can’t.As a result, you may be more consistent with your exercises by bringing bands with you almost anywhere.If you have a door hook for your resistance bands, as I have, you may design your own cable pulley system from which you can execute curls and other bodybuilding workouts.In addition, research has shown that resistance bands induce the same muscle and strength improvements as traditional resistance training.The disadvantage of using bands as an alternative to cables for standing bicep cable curls is that the resistance is not as uniform as that generated by cables.This is due to the fact that the band grows heavier as it is stretched. In contrast, cables exert the entire weight of the specified resistance.

3. Resistance Bands Lying Bicep Curls

Resistance Band Lying Curl ImageA lying bicep curl with a resistance band is an excellent alternative to a high cable curl and is ideal for individuals who do not have any dumbbells or equipment at home.Using these resistance bands will benefit you by toning your arms and enhancing your mobility and stability, allowing you to do additional curls with more efficiency.This is a good alternative exercise for beginners since it should be possible for anybody to complete it.

Conclusion: Are high pulley cable curls good?

The high cable curl works the biceps at their shortest length. Because of this, it gives you a pump that is hard to get from more traditional curl different variants.Even though your biceps are normally weaker when they are fully extended or shortened, you might want to do the overhead cable curl at the start of your workout when you are the most energized.If you have any related questions, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.Wish you the best!Resources
  1. Chalmers, P. N., Cip, J., Trombley, R., Cole, B. J., Wimmer, M. A., Romeo, A. A., & Verma, N. N. (2014). Glenohumeral Function of the Long Head of the Biceps Muscle. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine2(2), 232596711452390.
  2.  Krzysztofik M, Wilk M, Wojdała G, Gołaś A. Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(24):4897. Published 2019 Dec 4. doi:10.3390/ijerph16244897
  3. Rudroff, T., Staudenmann, D., & Enoka, R. M. (2008). Electromyographic measures of muscle activation and changes in muscle architecture of human elbow flexors during fatiguing contractions. Journal of Applied Physiology104(6), 1720–1726.
Hassane Sghir
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