Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, hammers, and concentration curls normally rank among the top exercises that we include in our programs for big biceps. They are all classics for a reason – because they work. However, we can always use something different and I submit this exercise for you to try the next time you are looking for a biceps challenge.
Cable Rope Preacher Curls
Set up a preacher bench or an adjustable bench next to a low pulley cable station. Attach a rope to the cable. Now grab the rope and set yourself up at the bench as you would for preacher curls with a barbell or dumbbells or if you have a partner, get into position and have your partner hand you the rope. Make sure your underarms are flush against the top of the bench, your feet are firmly planted on the floor, you keep a straight spine, and your upper arms are pressed against the angled bench.
Grab the rope so your palms are facing each other like they would be for hammer curls. Using force from the biceps, pull the rope up in a curling motion and begin turning your wrists so when you are at the top of the curl, your palms are now facing straight up. Also separate the ends of the rope as far as you can. Once you’re at the top of the movement, squeeze and hold the position for a count of two. Next, slowly lower the rope back to your starting position. Hold that position for a count of two and repeat the next rep. Perform the desired number of reps in your program. This movement will feel like a hammer curl in the beginning of the rep and a two arm concentration curl at the end.
Points to Keep in Mind
Until you feel comfortable with the movement and you feel it in your biceps like you should, stay with light weight. There will never be a “cable rope preacher curl” round at a powerlifting meet. The weight you use is irrelevant compared to proper form and feeling the muscles working. Master the movement before you start placing the pin lower on the stack.
There also won’t be any world records establish for the fastest reps. You should take your time throughout the movement. A slower tempo will make the set last longer but it will also be safer and you will have a much better chance to understand and feel the movement properly as opposed to using momentum and speed to get through the set.
You can either choose this exercise as the first movement to warm up for your big lifts or you can include it at the end of your session to finish off the biceps properly. Either way works well.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.