DB Spider Curls:
- Set an adjustable incline bench to ~45º. Grab a DB in each hand and lie prone with your upper chest against the top/end of the bench.
- Get a stable base with your feet. Pronate your scaps and think about slightly rounding your Tspine over the end of the bench. Allow your arms to hang with elbows extended. Fully supinate your wrists and press the DBs together. You should feel your pecs slightly contract with this static adduction.
- Begin the concentric by flexing the elbows while maintaining the orientation of the upper arms.
- Continue to curl towards your forehead. Add in some shoulder flexion if desired to further shorten the biceps. Keep pressing the DBs together and do not allow them to separate.
- Once you have exhausted elbow flexion, pause briefly in contraction before transitioning into the eccentric and mirroring the execution until arms are once again in full extension.
Incline DB Curls:
- Set an adjustable incline bench to ~60º. Grab a DB in each hand and lie supine.
- Get a stable base with your feet. Arch your low back and retract your scaps to pull your chest up. Allow your arms to hang with elbows extended. Rotate your wrists to the desired degree of supination (we will assume a neutral grip here)
- Begin the concentric by flexing the elbows while maintaining the orientation of the upper arms. Rotate from neutral to supinated slowly through the concentric. Maintain your trunk and scapular position.
- Continue to curl and rotate towards supination. Add in some shoulder flexion if desired to further shorten the biceps.
- Once you have exhausted elbow flexion, slowly transition into the eccentric and mirroring the execution until arms are once again in full extension.
- Isolated biceps movement
- Use the same modality and equipment
- Each can be used for metabolite work
- Both cater well towards use in supersets, giant sets and circuits
- Low risk of injury
- Spider curls are targeting the shortened range of the biceps while Incline curls are more mid-lenthened range.
- Incline curls are better suited for lower to moderate rep ranges (i.e. 6-15) while Spider curls are primarily beneficial in moderate to high ranges (i.e. 10-30)
- Each movement has very different resistance curves which accounts for the difference in fiber length biases.
- Incline curls cater more towards overloading while Spider curls tend to be better for metabolite and mind-muscle-connection work
- Spider curls (done with DBs pressed together) fix the movement and act much more like a barbell versus a traditional DB exercise. Conversely, each arm with Incline curls will move independently and experience weakness/failure points that are harder to compensate for.
- Due to the above, Spider curls will place more demands on prerequisite wrist mobility and may be contraindicated for those will poor supination. Incline curls are more forgiving.
- Ideal tempos for these are going to be different; Spider curls will benefit more from time in contraction while Incline curls will get more out of time in the stretch.
- Though each will have a low impact on systemic fatigue, Incline curls will generate much more local fatigue due to the loaded stretching component.
- Spider curls will have a bit more innate stability because of the affects of pressing the DBs together.
Primary Use Case for DB Spider Curls:
- Hypertrophy of the Biceps (primarily the shortened range)
Primary Use Case for Incline DB Curls:
- Hypertrophy of the Biceps (primarily the lengthened range)