How often have you found your mind wandering as you pump through reps in the weight room? Sure, there are a few moves that explicitly order you to concentrate in their names—but you should be applying that type of focus to all of your lifts, especially isolation exercises like curls.
You’ll be forced to keep track of your movements with the structure of this tough spider curl finisher from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., since you’re tasked with counting up the reps and emphasizing proper positioning to make the most of each and every squeeze.
“The finisher is attacking two things that can spark biceps growth,” Samuel says. “First, you’re spending plenty of time in that forearms-parallel-to-the-ground position, the most mechanically challenging moment of the curl. Secondly, you’re forcing a series of really good squeezes at the top of the biceps curl; this will help you emphasize the peaks of your biceps while also flushing your guns with blood.”
To perform the spider curl countup finisher, you’ll need an adjustable bench and an EZ bar. Make sure that you don’t load up too much weight for this, since maintaining the proper perpendicular position is tougher than you might expect. “If your elbows shift forward, you involve your front delts and take emphasis off your biceps,” says Samuel. “Go too heavy, and that’s bound to happen.”
- Set up an adjustable bench in an inclined position and sit with your chest resting on the back. Grab the EZ bar with an underhand grip.
- Curl the bar up until your forearms are parallel with the ground. Pause there.
- Squeeze your biceps to perform 1 top half curl, then lower the weight all the way down under control.
- Repeat the process, but perform 2 top half curl reps.
- Continue adding reps until you reach 5. That’s 1 set.
The best tip for the finisher is to take is slow. “You’re also accumulating time-under-tension; do it right and the set will take you 40 to 50 seconds, very little of which is spent with your biceps getting to relax,” Samuel says.
To add the spider curl countup to your workout, try to work your way through 3 sets.
By Brett Williams and Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.