The secret to superheroic arms isn’t just overwhelming biceps size. It’s also definition and shape. And the baseball-sized biceps shape that most guys requires special attention.
A key to developing that size comes from how you finish each biceps curl rep. What you do at the top of a rep is critical, and that’s something that’s not lost on Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “Owning the top of the rep with a strong biceps squeeze will help you build the special, distinct biceps peaks that separate great arms from simply ‘big’ arms,” says Samuel. “Biceps peaks are all about how you finish your reps.” You’ll attack that with the double-pause spider curl dropset, which address a common problem at the top of the curl.
The problem: Most people take slight emphasis off their biceps at the top of the curl. It’s an opportunity to squeeze your guns if you do it right, says Samuel. “But what often happens is that people shift their elbows forward, in front of their shoulder, creating an easier lever for their biceps to manage,” says Samuel. “Our goal in this curl is to earn and own that squeeze without creating that lesser lever.”
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That allows you to maintain tension on your biceps, and in this double-pause curl, you have to squeeze that much harder with your biceps to even get to the top of the curl. Why? “By forcing you to restart the curl from forearms-parallel-with-the-ground,” says Samuel, “your biceps have to squeeze that much harder to beat a challenging position with no momentum.”
That equals major biceps gains, and plenty of time-under-tension — if done correctly. “The key is you can’t let your elbows shift forward too much,” says Samuel. “The spider curl position will help keep that from happening. You have to supplement that by focusing hard on your form, too.”
You’ll need an adjustable bench and a set of dumbbells to do the Double-Pause Spider Curl Finisher. If you don’t have one, check out this top option from Rep Fitness.
Use the Double-Pause Spider Curl Dropset as the final move in an aggressive biceps workout, or you can also use it by itself, too. “It works well if, let’s say you’re on a back day and you only have time for one biceps move? This is a good one to throw in,” says Samuel.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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