The spider curl exercise is one of the possible variations for the bicep.
The spider curl exercise is one of the many curl variations possible for strengthening the brachial biceps muscle in the gym.
Let’s find out how to do this exercise while avoiding common mistakes!
What Muscles Are Activated During Spider Curl?
Unlike the classic seated or standing curl and the incline bench curl this exercise modality features an elbow flexion performed on the stomach on a slightly inclined bench.
In this position, the shoulder is in flexion with the arms “falling” forward. This initial position causes the biceps to be stimulated starting from a pre-shortening position a characteristic that differentiates this exercise from the other curl modalities.
The brachialis muscle is also definitely the protagonist during the exercise particularly in the second part of the lift when the elbow flexes to the maximum degrees. It can be performed with dumbbells or with a barbell.
Spider Curl and Scott Bench
Spider curls by their nature are very similar to the curl performed on the Scott bench. In fact, even in this last exercise, the biceps contracts and are stimulated in pre-shortening.
We can say that both exercises from a muscular point of view are quite overlapping and interchangeable. From an articulate point of view, however, things change.
The spider curl in fact allows a movement in which the elbows are completely free and without forcing.
The constraint of the elbow during the execution of the Scott instead creates joint strains and potentially stressful forces on the elbow.
If you have suffered in the past from elbow pain or if you feel discomfort and pressure in the elbow during the Scott bench the advice is to prefer the spider curl to the Scott bench as a training variant for the pre-shortening bicep.
Spider Curl: Execution And Mistakes
In conclusion, we identify the key points for correct execution.
The positioning on the stomach must take place on an inclined bench just enough to allow the arms to stretch out without touching the ground and requires keeping the shoulder blades in a neutral position that can prevent excessive dorsal kyphosis.
In this initial position, the elbows are flexed with the shoulder fixed and held at approximately 90 degrees of flexion with the elbow remaining in line with the shoulder.
In the variant with dumbbells, it is recommended to supinate the forearm during lifting. Beware of the classic mistake.
During the movement, it is not recommended to bring the elbows back so as not to transform the exercise into growing with a dumbbell and thus reduce the effectiveness of muscle stimulation on the biceps.
A fundamental prerogative during the spider curl is to never move the shoulders and to perform the exercise with the elbows always stationary.