Close Grip Cable Curls: Your Guide To This Outstanding Bicep Exercise

Are you tired of performing traditional bicep curls and seeing minimal results? Have you hit a plateau and can’t seem to break through it? Perhaps you need to switch up your routine and try close grip cable curls. Many individuals struggle with building noticeable bicep definition and size, especially if their routine only consists of isolation exercises such as bicep curls. But fear not, as a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, I understand the struggle and have a solution for you. In this post, I will dive into the benefits and proper form for close grip cable curls, providing a fresh addition to your arm day workouts and ultimately helping you to achieve your bicep goals.

Close Grip Cable Curls Summary

Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Close Grip Cable Curls Instructions

  • Start off by setting up a bar on a low cable pulley.
  • Grab the bar with your palms facing up using a narrow grip.
  • Curl the bar up, keeping your elbows in place.
  • Pause briefly at the top then allow the cable to pull your arms back straight down.
  • Repeat your curls to complete a set.

Video Tutorial

How To Do A Close Grip Cable Curl

Close Grip Cable Curls Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


  • None

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the close grip cable curls exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Close Grip Cable Curls

The Close Grip Cable Curl is a great exercise to help strengthen and develop the biceps brachii muscle. It is effective in targeting the inner head of the biceps, which helps build strength and definition in the biceps. This exercise also helps to improve grip strength and can be done with a variety of different weights and grips. Performing this exercise can also help to reduce shoulder and elbow pain, as it engages both muscles in the movement. In addition, the Close Grip Cable Curl can help to improve shoulder stability and core strength, making it an ideal exercise for those looking to increase their overall strength and muscle mass.

Tips for Performing Close Grip Cable Curls

You’ve landed at the right location if you desire to forge ahead your capability to perform close grip cable curls. Using these tips can allow you to take full advantage of this effective workout. In addition to strengthening your biceps muscles, increasing mobility, and even a reduced chance of injury can all be accomplished with this exercise. Let’s begin now and see what these tips may accomplish for you.

  • Focus on good form: Make sure you keep your elbows close to your sides, and your shoulders down and back. This will help activate the correct muscles, and prevent any unnecessary strain on your body.
  • Start with a light weight: It’s important to start off with a weight that you can manage, so that you can perfect your technique before increasing the weight. This will also help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Increase the weight gradually: Once you have mastered the form and are feeling comfortable with the light weight, gradually increase the amount of weight as you go. This will help you get the most out of the exercise and see results quickly.

Benefits and Tips Video

STOP Doing Bicep Curls Like This (5 Mistakes Slowing Your Gains)

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

Staying away from mistakes can be the distinction between a productive training session and an injury when performing close grip cable curls. Also, to maximize your benefits of the exercise, proper technique is critical. Through preventing these common errors, you may improve your performance and get the results you want. But relax, it’s not as challenging as it might appear. By knowing the mistakes to avoid and taking the appropriate actions, you can execute the activity securely and successfully. So it is time for you to optimize the impact of this exercise and enjoy the benefits of a successful workout.

  • Not keeping the elbows stationary: By keeping the elbows stationary, the biceps will be engaged more during the exercise, and the risk of injury is reduced.
  • Swinging the arms: Swinging the arms puts too much stress on the joints, and can lead to injury.
  • Not using a full range of motion: Not using a full range of motion limits the effectiveness of the exercise, and can lead to muscle imbalances.

Find More Cable Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

It is important to mix up your workout routine with different exercises to keep your muscles challenged. To supplement the Close Grip Cable Curls, the following exercises will target similar muscles:

Concentration Curls With Bands

Graphic image of Concentration Curls With Bands.

Concentration Curls With Bands are an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise is great for targeting the biceps, and it can be done with minimal equipment. It can be done using a resistance band looped around a sturdy object and held in one hand, with your arm bent at the elbow and your forearm against your inner thigh. By curling the arm up and keeping the upper arm still, you will feel the bicep working. Concentration Curls With Bands are a great way to add variety and intensity to your arm workouts, while also providing an effective isolation exercise for the biceps.

Dumbbell Concentration Curl

Graphic image of Dumbbell Concentration Curl.

Dumbbell Concentration Curls are an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise is performed by sitting on a flat bench with one dumbbell in hand, and curling the dumbbell towards your shoulder while keeping your elbow stationary. The benefit of performing this exercise is that it allows you to work one arm at a time, increasing the intensity and focus of the exercise. Additionally, the unilateral nature of the exercise helps to isolate the bicep, allowing for greater control and range of motion. As such, Dumbbell Concentration Curls provide an excellent alternative to Close Grip Cable Curls for those looking to target their biceps with an isolated movement.

Dumbbell Cross Body Hammer Curl

Graphic image of Dumbbell Cross Body Hammer Curl.

The Dumbbell Cross Body Hammer Curl is a great complementary or alternative exercise to Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise targets the same muscles as the Close Grip Cable Curl, but with a slightly different focus. While the Close Grip Cable Curl works the biceps and forearms, the Dumbbell Cross Body Hammer Curl works the shoulder and core muscles, as well as the biceps and forearms. It also requires more balance and stabilization, which helps to strengthen and tone those muscles even further. The Cross Body Hammer Curl is an excellent way to add variety to your routine and target different muscles.

Check Out These Top Cable Exercises

Dumbbell Curl

Graphic image of Dumbbell Curl.

The Dumbbell Curl is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Close Grip Cable Curl. It targets the same muscles while using different equipment. The Dumbbell Curl requires the user to use a pair of dumbbells, usually at a lower weight than what is used for the cable curl. This exercise also allows for greater range of motion, allowing for more activation of the biceps and forearms. Furthermore, this exercise can be performed with a variety of grips, such as palms facing up or down, to further target different muscle fibers. All of these factors make the Dumbbell Curl an excellent choice for those looking to supplement their Close Grip Cable Curls.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Graphic image of Dumbbell Hammer Curl.

The Dumbbell Hammer Curl is a great exercise to complement or replace the Close Grip Cable Curl. It targets the same muscles, but in a different way. Unlike the Close Grip Cable Curl, the Dumbbell Hammer Curl is an isolation exercise that works the biceps more efficiently and can be done with lighter weights, allowing for higher reps and more control. Additionally, the neutral grip of the dumbbells allows for a more natural range of motion and better activation of the biceps and forearms.

Dumbbell High Curl

Graphic image of Dumbbell High Curl.

Dumbbell High Curls are a great alternative or complementary exercise to Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise works the same muscles as the Close Grip Cable Curl, but with a different angle of resistance. To perform the exercise, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold two dumbbells in each hand. Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the dumbbells up to the chest. Lower them back down to the starting position and repeat. By using dumbbells instead of cables, you can focus on proper form and squeeze the biceps at the top of the motion for an added challenge.

Find More Arms Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

Opposing muscle groups can be worked in conjunction with the exercise Close Grip Cable Curls in order to create balance in the body and build strength in a more comprehensive manner. Below are a few exercises that are great complements to the Close Grip Cable Curls and will help build strength throughout your body:

Tricep Pushdown With Bands

Graphic image of Tricep Pushdown With Bands.

Tricep Pushdown with Bands is a great complementary exercise to Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise primarily works the triceps, which are the opposing muscle group to the biceps used in Close Grip Cable Curls. The exercise targets all three heads of the triceps and helps to build strength and size in the arms. It is done by looping a resistance band around a secure object such as a pole or door handle and gripping the band securely with both hands. Keeping your elbows tucked in close to your sides, you extend your arms downwards and return back to the starting position. This exercise can be done anywhere with minimal equipment and can be modified to increase difficulty by using heavier bands or decreasing rest periods.

Cable Tricep Kickbacks

Graphic image of Cable Tricep Kickbacks.

Cable Tricep Kickbacks are the perfect complementary exercise to Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise primarily works the triceps muscles, which are the opposing muscle group of the biceps. The triceps are responsible for straightening the arm at the elbow joint, while the biceps are responsible for flexing the arm at the elbow joint. Cable Tricep Kickbacks involve extending the arm back while keeping the upper arm stationary, and then slowly returning it to its original position. This exercise helps to strengthen the triceps while also adding definition to the back of the arms. By performing both Close Grip Cable Curls and Cable Tricep Kickbacks, you can work both muscle groups and achieve great results.

Dumbbell Kickback

Graphic image of Dumbbell Kickback.

The Dumbbell Kickback is a great exercise to pair with Close Grip Cable Curls to complete a comprehensive arm workout. The Kickback works the triceps muscles, which are the opposing muscle group to the biceps that are used when performing Close Grip Cable Curls. This exercise is done by holding a dumbbell in each hand and leaning forward while keeping your torso and back straight. From this position, you will extend the dumbbells backward until your arms are straight and then slowly return to the starting position. By performing both exercises, you will be able to effectively target both the biceps and triceps muscles for a complete arm workout.

Transform Your Arm Workouts with Close Grip Cable Curls.

If you’re looking to add some variety to your arm workouts, close grip cable curls may be just what you need. This exercise targets your biceps in a different way than traditional bicep curls, allowing you to work different areas of the muscle. Plus, using a cable machine provides constant tension throughout the movement, leading to a more effective workout. With proper form and a challenging weight, close grip cable curls can help you see big improvements in your arm strength and appearance.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Arms Cable Exercises

Pin image for close grip cable curls post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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