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Spider curl is one of the popular exercises for your biceps. You can see many bodybuilders doing spider curls on the bench. It is one of the great isolation exercises for your biceps.

Spider curl requires you to have a bench. If you are at home or you don’t go quite often to the gym, then what can you do instead of spider curls? What are the other options you have if you don’t want to do spider curl?

In this article, you will get answers to all of these questions. Here I have shared with you some of the best spider curl alternatives. Some of these exercises can be done easily at home with basic home gym equipment.

So if you want to work out at home or if you are looking for some other alternative options to add to your workout program, then this article is for you!

However, before starting with the alternatives, it is important to know which muscles are targeted when you do spider curls and what is the movement patterns and body position during the exercise.

Muscles Worked During Spider Curl

Spider curl primarily targets the bicep brachii which is the major part of your biceps. Here, as you keep your elbows in front to perform the curls, you will get extra tension on the long head of the bicep.

Brachialis and anterior deltoid also get activated and it acts as a secondary muscle. Overall it puts your biceps in continuous tension.

Spider Curl Alternatives

1. Single Dumbbell Curls

Single Dumbbell Bicep Curl

This is a great exercise to hit the long head! you can do this anywhere with just a dumbbell and you do not require any additional equipment for this. So if you don’t have a bench and looking for a better alternative to the spider curl, then this exercise is a good option for you.

So if you are at home, stuck at lockdown, then grab a dumbbell and start this exercise instead of looking for a bench!

Equipment Required- dumbbell

How to do

1. Hold a dumbbell with both hands by placing your palm beneath the dumbbell and standing at about hip-width apart.

2. Keep your chest up and shoulder back and stand straight. This will be your starting position.

3. Start the exercise by curling the dumbbell up by keeping your hands forward and stopping at shoulder level.

4. Slowly bring your hands down to the starting position and then repeat.

Recommended Reps – 10-12

Make sure that you move at a full range of motion instead of partial reps. Also, keep your back straight during the entire movement

2. Concentration Curls

This is another awesome exercise to train the long head of the biceps. Concentration curls can be done easily at the home with a dumbbell. This exercise will help you to build that amazing peak.

Spider curl targets the long head and concentration curl is also a great exercise to bring out those peaks of the biceps.

Equipment Required- dumbbells

How to do

1. Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in one hand. Place an elbow on the mid part of your thigh and place the other hand on the other leg.

2. Start the exercise by curling up the dumbbell and squeezing your biceps at the top. Don’t bend or roll your back during the movement.

3. Slowly bring the dumbbell down to the starting position and then repeat the movement.

Recommended Reps – 12-15

Concentration curl is an isolation exercise and should be done with moderate weights. Don’t go heavy on this otherwise, it will become shoulder and trap exercise.

3. Cross Body Curl

This is another perfect alternative to spider curl. Here, you will be bringing the dumbbell across the midline of your body. This is another variation to hit the brachialis and the long head. You just need to hold a neutral grip and then lift the dumbbell by bringing it towards the midline of the body.

Equipment Required- dumbbells

How to do

1. Hold a dumbbell in your hands and stand straight with both feet at about shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest up and back straight. This will be your starting position.

2. Start the exercise by lifting the dumbbell from one arm, towards the midline of the body. Curl the weights up and bring the dumbbell to the mid-chest.

3. Stop at the top and squeeze your biceps hard. Then slowly bring the dumbbell back to the starting position.

4. Do the same from the other hand and then repeat.

Recommended Reps – 10-12

Make sure that you do this slowly with proper form rather than going too heavy and just swinging weights without letting your biceps do the work. You won’t be able to build muscle if those targeted muscles are not working. So always do the exercise with proper form.

So always focus on the muscle you are targeting rather than looking at how many pounds you are lifting.

4. Single Arm Preacher Curl

The preacher curl is one of the best alternatives to spider curl. You can either do it with a single arm or both arms. If you want to do this at home, you can use a couch where you can place your arms and can perform the movement.

With a single-arm preacher curl, you can focus on each part of your biceps separately. So if you have a muscular imbalance or unequal strength in each side, then you should do these unilateral movements.

How to do

1. Sit on the bench and place your arm on the preacher curl bench while holding a dumbbell. Sit straight and keep your chest up. This is the starting position.

2. Start the exercise by curling the weight up while squeezing your biceps.

3. Stop at the top when your arms are at a 10° angle. Then slowly move your hands back to the starting position.

Recommended reps- 10-12

Make sure that you don’t go heavy on this. You might just need 8-2 lbs dumbbells to perform the exercise.

Other Option!

If you want to put your biceps in constant tension throughout the range of motion, then you can combine the use of a resistance band with dumbbells.

You just need to fix a resistance band somewhere in front and then hold a band along with a dumbbell. Then perform the exercise and it will be a next-level pump. You can watch the below video to see how to do this exercise.

5. Close-grip EZ Bar Curls

If you want to target your outer biceps, then this is a great exercise for you. Here, you can focus on the long head as your hands are close to each other during the movement which targets the outer head of the bicep. This is another great exercise you can replace with spider curls.

How to do

1. Hold the close grip curve of the EZ bar and stand straight with your chest up and shoulders retracted.

2. Keep your elbows in front of the hips and arms straight down. This will be your starting position.

3. Now start lifting the bar while breathing out and bring it at about shoulder height.

4. Squeeze your biceps at the top and then slowly bring the bar back to the starting position.

Recommended Reps- 10-12 reps

You can also perform this exercise with a straight barbell if you have good wrist mobility. However, most people have bad wrist mobility and can’t balance the barbell during curls. So that’s why it is advisable to start with the EZ bar and then move to the straight bar curls.

6. Chin Ups

This is another great alternative exercise, which will help you in building bigger biceps. You can do this at home if you have a pull-up bar. Chin up is a bodyweight exercise that requires a good amount of strength to execute the movement.

If you are a beginner, then this might not be an exercise for you. Pull-ups are difficult to perform as you are pulling your own body up. So you should instead do dumbbell and barbell curls with moderate weights. Once you gain enough strength and build a good foundation, then you can start doing chin-ups.

Or else, you can also use someone else as a supporter who can support you from the bottom to push you while doing chin-ups. Another option is to use assisted pull-up machine where you can do pull-ups with the assistance received from the machine.

Equipment Required- Pull up bar

How to do

1. Grab a pull-up bar with an underhand grip. Your grip should be just under shoulder-width apart.

2. Hang on to the bar and keep your core tight. Look straight and then pull yourself up with the help of your arms. Kee the tension on the biceps as you go up.

3. Stop at the top when the bar is just below your neck and then slowly go down to the starting position.

Recommended Reps- 10-12 reps

You can make this exercise difficult by using plates and dumbbells. You can use a belt for this. Tie a plate with the belt and hook it on your waist. This will allow you to increase the intensity and difficulty of the exercise.

Also, make sure that you don’t just swing and use a lot of momentum. This will engage other muscles like lats and rhomboids and your biceps will not get a maximum contraction. So make sure that your form is good.

7. Resistance Band Lying Bicep Curl

This exercise can be done easily at home. You just need a resistance band and a floor to do this. So if you are stuck at home and don’t have enough time for a workout, then do 3-4 sets of lying curls with a resistance band and your bicep will be looking much bigger and stronger.

This is another great alternative to spider curl that can be done at home!

How to do

1. Lay down on the floor and roll a resistance band over your feet. Hold the band with both hands at about shoulder-width apart.

2. Kee your arms straight down with a slight bending of the elbow. Keep your elbows in, your head should stay slightly up. This will be your starting position.

3. Start the exercise by curling up with your arms. Stop at the top when your bicep is maximally contracted. You can lift or move your elbows slightly up at the part of the movement.

4. Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat.

Recommended Reps- 10-12 reps

Here, as you contract and stretch the resistance band, more will be the resistance. So during the second half of the movement, this exercise becomes harder. So this is another variation you can include in your workout program.

8. Resistance Band Preacher Curl

You can do preacher curls at home with a resistance band. It is one of the easiest ways to do preacher curls at home. This will be another spider curl alternative you should consider.

How to do

1. Attach a resistance band to the legs of the table. Hold the band and sit a few steps back on the floor.

2. Place both feet on the floor. Place the lower part of your triceps on the knees for support. Keep your chest up and back straight.

3. Start the exercise by curling your arms while squeezing your biceps.

4. Pause at the top when your bicep is maximally contracted and then slowly return to the starting position while extending your elbow.

Recommended reps – 12-15

You can do this exercise at the end of your workout as a burning exercise that pumps up the entire arm.

Many types of a resistance band come with different resistance levels. So choose a resistance band according to your level of fitness.

9. TRX Bicep Curl

TRX bicep curl is a great exercise to target the bicep muscle. You can do this just like any bicep exercise. You will curl with the help of your body weight here. This exercise is good for those who are at home and don’t have any other equipment except TRX suspension.

Level – Beginner to intermediate

How to do

1. Hook a TRX suspension at the top corner of the ceiling. Hold the handles of TRX and keep both hands straight parallel to the TRX

2. Now start leaning backward while keeping your hands straight. This will be your starting position.

3. Start the exercise by curling with your forearms and flexing the elbows without moving your bicep.

4. Stop until your bicep is fully contracted and then slowly return to the starting position.

Recommended reps – 10-12

One of the best parts about TRX exercises is that it requires balance and core strength. Almost all TRX exercises will help you in improving stability and balance. So here you will not only target the biceps but will also improve core strength and muscle coordination.

10. TRX Criss Cross Curl

Criss-cross curl is another best way to train your biceps. Here you can focus on the long head and the brachialis muscles which gives you that amazing bicep peak. So if you are looking to add some size to your arm, then consider this exercise.

Level – Beginner to intermediate

1. Hook the TRX on the top and stand straight while holding the handles. Lean back and keep both arms straight and away from each other. This will be your starting position.

2. Start the exercise by flexing your elbows and moving both hands across the chest. Keep your chest up and look straight as you move.

3. Stop at the point when your hand touches the shoulder and then slowly return to the starting position.

Recommended reps- 10-12

Make sure that you focus on your bicep. You should keep your core tight and your body straight as you move. Along with this, there are many other TRX arm exercises that you can do at home.

11. Cross Body Cable Curl

Single Arm Cross Body Cable Curl

This is a great cable exercise you can do instead of spider curls. Here, you can focus on each side separately which is good for those who cannot feel their one side working while performing any bicep curl movements.

Cable exercises can build a better mind and muscle connection which will make your concentration curls better, as now you can feel your biceps better.

How to do

1. Attach a handle on a low cable pulley and grab the handle with the opposite hand. This will be your starting position.

2. Stand straight while holding the handle and then start moving the arms up without moving your elbows.

3. Curl up and bring your wrist towards your mid-chest and squeeze your biceps at the top. Breath out on the way up.

4. Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat the movement. Do the same exercise from the other side as well.

If you have a muscular imbalance or if one arm is bigger or stronger than the other, then adding these unilateral movements will help you in reducing those imbalances which occur due to a lack of muscle activation.

These single-arm movements will also help you in creating a better mind and muscle connection. So if you have a complaint that you cannot feel on your left biceps, then start doing these movements to create a better mind-muscle connection and to eliminate such problems.

12. Cable Concentration Curl

This is a different way of doing the concentration curls. Here, you don’t have to lean forward with your back, rather you can do this exercise in a standing position with your back straight.

How to do

1. Attach a handle to a pulley placed at a lower or higher position.

2. Now hold the handle with one hand and take a few steps back. Keep your hands straight and your elbows extended. This will be your starting position.

3. Without moving your elbows, start pulling the handle while breathing out and bring your hand close to your body until the bicep is fully contracted.

4. Control the weights and bring your arms back to the starting position on the way down. Fully stretch your biceps at the end while breathing in and then repeat the same with the other side.

You can do this exercise in either a high pulley attachment or a low pulley attachment. Both are a great way to train your bicep so try both and choose the one which works best for you.

13. Behind the head Cable Curls

This is a great finisher exercise for your biceps! You can do this at the end of the workout to get that amazing pump. After doing this exercise, you will find that your bicep has already gained 1 more inch!

How to do

1. Attach a zig-zag bar at the pulley placed at the upper part of the cable machine.

2. Place a bench in front of the cables and set it at about 60° angle.

3. Sit on the bench while holding the bar and lean back slightly. Your arms should be straight and should face up. This will be your starting position.

4. Start curling the bar up and bring the bar above your head at the end to get that peak contraction.

5. Slowly return to the starting position without dropping your elbow. Your elbow should be extended at the end.

This is an awesome exercise to get that amazing peak to your biceps. Make sure that your hands are parallel to the cables when you curl. You can also use the straight bar for this exercise.

One major benefit of a cable machine is that you can target each muscle with different angles and body positions. You can do many other bicep exercises with cables apart from those mentioned in this article.

How to add Alternative Exercises In Workout Program

We have discussed the alternatives but is very important to know how to add these exercises effectively in a workout program. Whenever you add or replace any exercise, you must not choose all of the alternatives discussed above. Select either 1 or two of those and replace it with a spider curl.

So for example, if you were doing spider curl for many months and now you want to replace it with an alternative, then you can add maybe a concentration curl or single dumbbell curl. You can do that for 3-4 weeks and then after 3-4 weeks, you can replace those with other alternative exercises or can make changes in the workout if required.

The reason behind not making too many changes too frequently is that the body needs some time to adapt to a certain stimulus. Once you start noticing that your body is not producing results or is not changing then you should consider making changes in your workout.

Final Words

So these were some of the best alternatives to spider curl. Some of these exercises discussed above require just basic home gym equipment. So if you are stuck at home and can’t access the gym, then some of these exercises will help.

Make sure that you gain enough knowledge before designing your workout program because training is a very complex process and you can easily make mistakes if you don’t have a professional trainer with you. So always choose the right professional trainer who can guide you in the right way.

If you found this blog helpful, then do share it with your friends or share it on social media so that we can reach more people and can grow our website. Also, if you know of any other alternative exercises, then do mention that in the comment section below.

Also Read

  1. 11 Best Incline Dumbbell Row Alternatives (Without Bench)
  2. 6 Best Hammer Curl Alternatives You Must Try
  3. 10 Best Incline Dumbbell Curl Alternatives ( Without Bench)

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