Cable Arm Exercises To Build Bigger Biceps and Triceps

Are you looking to pack size onto your bicep and tricep and maximize the development of your arms? Cable arm exercises are a great way to build your muscle mass and develop your biceps and triceps strength, as it activates more than one muscle group at a time.

Don’t think just biceps that make for bigger and more defined arms. When it comes to arms, the greatest portion of the upper arm is the triceps.

You might not be able to see them from the front, but the triceps actually make up around two-thirds of your upper arm! So, if you’re looking to fill out those sleeves, with well-developed arms, it’s important to activate all three tricep heads and all the head of biceps.

Bicep and triceps are small muscles, to grow them takes time, knowledge, and intellect. So to build the bigger and impressive arm first, we needed to understand the anatomy of the arm muscle, which help to perform the cable arm exercises at the best level.

In this article, we will discuss how to build arms with a cable machine, the best cable machine arm exercises, which are often undervalued by those who are lacking a complete understanding of this.

How to Build Arms With Cable Machine

Arm exercises with dumbbells and barbells aren’t for everyone. You might have an injury that limits your range of motion, or simply find that free weights are cumbersome or want some creative way to train.

You can still get a bigger and stronger arm by working out with the cable machine. Using the cable machine, you’ll be able to hit all the head of biceps and triceps from different angles and through a range of motions.

The cable machine will provide smooth constant tension on your muscles, which leads to more time under tension and in turn more potential for muscle growth.

You can also change body positioning, weight load and attachments used, which can alter your grip thus targeting your muscles differently.

A cable machine can come in various shapes and sizes. You can use various attachments with the cable that can hit pretty much every muscle group one way or another.

Muscles of The Arm

There are four muscles on the arm that are parallel to the long axis of the humerus, the biceps brachii, the brachialis, brachioradialis and the triceps brachii.

The biceps brachii muscle (biceps) is a large, thick muscle of the upper arm. The Biceps Brachii is attached to the forearm bone called the radius and originates at the scapula in two heads (short and Long Head).

The brachialis muscle is one of the primary muscles in the upper arm. It is responsible for flexing the arm at the elbow joint.

The forearms contain many muscles from the elbow down to the fingers. For training purposes, the brachioradialis is the primary muscle involved in forearm rotation and wrist control while bending or extending the elbow joint. 

Brachialis Muscles of the upper arm

Triceps brachii, or simply Triceps, is a three-headed muscle opposite of the biceps and is responsible for 2/3 of upper arm mass. It consists of 3 parts: the medial, the lateral, and the long head.

The Best Cable Arms Exercises For Bigger Biceps and Triceps

If you want to build big arms with a cable machine, then you’re going to need to workout your biceps, triceps and forearms, which is why we’ve selected exercises that hit all muscle groups.

You’ll get more benefits if you introduce some cable exercises into your routine that also work your biceps and triceps.

Here are 10 of the best Cable bicep and tricep exercises to build muscle mass and strength in the arms.

1. Triceps Push down

The triceps push down is the best cable triceps exercise for adding muscle mass to the upper back side of the arms.

The cable provides a uniform resistance throughout the movement, unlike barbell or dumbbell exercises, where the resistance varies during the lift.

Using the straight bar, a pronated grip (palms down) emphasizes the outer lateral head of the triceps, whereas a supinated grip (palms up) focuses effort on the inner long head.

An angled V-shaped bar switches the hands into a neutral grip (thumbs up), equally targeting all three triceps heads.

Triceps Pushdown

How To Do Triceps Push down

  1. Stand facing a high-pulley cable with a short straight bar attached to it. Slight bend your knees and feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grasp the Short bar with a pronated grip (palm down) and hold the bar at chest level with your elbows tight against your sides.
  3. Keeping your elbows stationary, straighten your arms until they are fully extended.
  4. Pause at full arm extension, flex your triceps, and slowly return the bar to the starting position.


  • You can do this exercise with a rope or EZ bar attachment.
  • Standing upright with the spine straight is the standard position.

2. Cable Curl

If you’re looking for straightforward cable machine bicep exercises to add to your routine, cable curls are a great staple exercise to get you started.

Unlike barbell or dumbbell curls, where the resistance varies during the lift, the cable pulley provides a uniform resistance throughout the movement.

The bicep cable curl is one of the best isolation exercises for the of bicep. It’s a pulling action performed with a cable machine and is suitable for beginners.

Cable Curl

How To Do Cable Curl

  1. Set up for the cable curl by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable.
  2. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up), and your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Curl the bar up toward your shoulders by bending at the elbows.
  4. Lower the weight down to the arms extended position.


  • Stand upright with the spine straight.
  • Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight as you lower it.
  • Fixing the elbows against your sides prevents movement at the shoulder and is an excellent way to isolate the biceps.

3. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

Cable tricep extensions are another great exercise for your cable arm workout.

Overhead tricep extension variations are especially good at targeting the long head of the triceps. The denser your long head muscle is, the overall larger the triceps appear. Must add this in your Cable Bicep and Tricep exercises arsenal.

Cable overhead triceps extension

How To Do Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

  1. Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the cable machine and face away from the pulley.
  2. Hold the rope with both hands with palms facing each other (neutral grip), extend your arms until your hands are directly above your head.
  3. Your elbows should be in close to your head and the arms should be perpendicular to the floor with the knuckles pointing to the ceiling.
  4. Slowly lower the rope behind your head as you hold the upper arms stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched.
  5. Slowly return to starting position and repeat the desired number of sets and reps.


  • Never load up to where you cannot maintain a stable body position. This is an isolation exercise that does not require maximum loads.
  • Keep your arms close to your head for maximum triceps engagement.
  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement from start to finish.

4. Cable Hammer Curl

The cable rope hammer curl workout is a popular arm-focused exercise performed with a rope handle attached by a cable to a weight stack.

It uses a neutral (palms facing one another) grip, which targets the forearms and brachialis muscles in addition to the biceps.

Cable Rope Hammer Curl

How To Do Cable Hammer Curl

  1. Attach a rope attachment to a low pulley and stand facing the machine.
  2. Grasp the rope with a neutral (palms-in) grip. Put your elbows in by your side and keep them there stationary during the entire movement.
  3. Pull your arms until your biceps touch your forearms. Hold for a second.
  4. Slowly start to bring the weight back to the original position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.


  • Stand straight up, keeping the natural arch of the back and your torso stationary.
  • Remember to keep the elbows in and your upper arms stationary.
  • Do the exercise in a controlled way so that your momentum does not contribute to the movement.

5. Cable One-Arm Reverse-Grip Triceps Push-down

The cable one-arm reverse-grip tricep push-down is an isolation exercise that builds muscle and strength in all three tricep heads. Now, push-downs are excellent regardless of the variation used, but the reverse grip may allow you to emphasize more of the outer tricep head.

Cable one-arm reverse-grip triceps push-down

How To Do Cable One-Arm Reverse-Grip Triceps Push-down

  1. Stand near the cable apparatus and grasp the single-grip attachment, with an underhand grip.
  2. Keeping your elbows at your body’s sides, press the weight downward, while exhaling throughout the movement. If desired, you may self-spot with your free hand.
  3. Slowly allow the weight to rise until your forearms are parallel to the ground, inhaling throughout the negative motion.
  4. Repeat steps 3-4 for as many sets as are desired.


  • Your elbow must remain fixed during the set. Keep your upper arm as still as possible, only allowing your forearm to move.
  • Squeeze the tricep hard at the top of the exercise to get that extra pump!

6. Cable One Arm Curl

When doing a bicep workout with a cable machine, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances. This cable machine exercise is another great option that will help you to target the biceps and grow your arms.

The cable standing one arm bicep curl exercise is a single arm version of the bicep cable curl workout that targets and isolates the bicep muscle.

Cable One Arm Curl

How To Do Cable One Arm Curl

  1. Start off by attaching a stirrup bar to a low cable pulley and standing on the side of the weight stack with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Grasp the stirrup in one hand with an underhand grip (palms facing up).
  3. Keeping your elbows still, curl the stirrup up towards your chest, squeezing and isolating the bicep muscle.
  4. Slowly lower the stirrup to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for as much reps as desired. Switch arms while performing this exercise.


  • Your non lifting arm should be grabbing your waist. This allows you to keep your balance.
  • Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.

7. Reverse-Grip Triceps Push down

The reverse-grip tricep push down is a variation of the straight bar tricep pushdown. A reverse underhand grip focuses effort on the inner long head of the triceps.

Taking an underhand grip can minimize the involvement of the forearms and help to place less stress on the elbows. Must add these triceps Cable exercises in your cable arm workout.

Reverse-Grip Triceps Pushdown

How To Do Reverse-Grip Triceps Push down

  1. Stand facing a high-pulley cable with a short straight bar attached to it. Slight bend your knees and feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grasp the short bar with a supinated grip (Palm up) and hold the bar at chest level with your elbows tight against your sides.
  3. Keeping your elbows stationary, straighten your arms until they are fully extended.
  4. Pause at full arm extension, flex your triceps, and slowly return the bar to the starting position.


  • If you want to keep more tension in the triceps, don’t lock the elbows entirely.
  • Prevent your elbows from flaring out to maintain proper form.
  • Focus on keeping your back straight and your chest high.

8. Cable Reverse Curl

Reverse cable curl is an exercise machine exercise that primarily targets the biceps.

The only reverse cable curl equipment that you really need is a cable machine. There are, however, many reverse cable curl variations that you can try out that may require different types of reverse cable curl equipment.

Cable Reverse Curl

How To Do Cable Reverse Curl

  1. Stand up with your torso upright while holding a bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley using a pronated (palms down) and shoulder width grip
  2. Keeping your elbows in, bring the bar up to your chest by flexing the elbow.
  3. Contract the muscle and hold for a moment.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back down to the arms’ extended position.
  5. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
  • Ensure that your elbows are kept close to your sides with your knees slightly bent, and your hands gripped tightly to the bar

9. Cable Triceps Kick Back

When doing an arm workout with a cable machine, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

The cable tricep kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles.

It is an isolation exercise that builds strength and muscle in all three heads which make up the tricep muscle.

Using cables aims to maintain constant tension on target muscles important for muscle hypertrophy.

Cable Triceps Kick Back

How To Do Cable Triceps Kick Back

  1. Attach a single grip rope handle to the lowest notch on the cable pulley system.
  2. Then, bend your knees, keep your back straight and grab the rope with your left hand.
  3. Now, with your upper arm parallel to the floor, extend at the elbow until your arm is straight back and fully extended.
  4. Flex the triceps hard for a second, then return to the starting position.
  5. Complete all reps on the left arm and then repeat on the right arm.


  • Make sure to warm up with lightweight before training heavy to protect your elbows from excessive stress.
  • Keep your body as still as possible, move only your forearms.  

10. One Arm High Cable Curl

Another good single-arm cable exercise is the high cable curl exercise that will help you to target the biceps and builds width and thickness in the muscle.

There are two main versions of the high cable curl: one-arm and two-arm. Both variations are effective, but the one-arm version allows you to use more relative weight for potentially greater gains in biceps size and strength.

One Arm High Cable Curl

How To Do One Arm High Cable Curl

  1. Begin by standing sideways next to a high pulley machine, arm extended out at about shoulder height, and gripping the handle with one of your hands.
  2. Slowly curl the cable towards your head, isolating the bicep until you feel tension, and hold for a count.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
  4. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.


  • Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps brachii.
  • Inhale as you extend your elbow, exhale while squeeze.

Cable Arms Workout Training Tips

When training your arms, it is important to remember that, exercises should target both your upper and lower portions of your arms. This will help give your arms the shape and definition you’re looking for— in addition to providing you strength for tasks of daily living like opening a jar or holding a heavy object.

The exercises listed will be performed with moderate loads and repetitions to emphasize both muscular hypertrophy (muscle growth) and muscular endurance. Load and volume (sets, reps) can be increased as your fitness and strength improve

Training Volume (Sets and Reps)

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:

When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress. 

Sets: Working sets per week

  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.

Reps: The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • 6-8 reps with heavy load
  • 8-15 reps with moderate load
  • 15-20+ with light load

The load should bring you to or near failure within the given rep ranges to be effective. 

Techniques: Supersets and drop sets for both biceps and triceps; peak contractions for triceps.

Cable Arm Exercises & Workout Samples

It will be important to perform each set to muscular fatigue. In other words, the last few repetitions should be difficult to perform, but you should be able to keep ideal form, posture, and technique throughout the entire set.

Cable Arms Workout plan #1

  1. Triceps Push down: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. Cable Curl: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  3. Triceps Kick Back: 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Arm Cable Workout plan #2

  1. Triceps Push down: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
    • Superset with Cable Curl: : 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    • Superset with Cable Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Cable Arm Workout plan #3:

  1. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  2. One Arm Curl: 4 sets of 6-8 reps.
  3. Reverse-Grip Triceps Push down: 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
  4. Cable Reverse Curl: 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

*On your last set, (Plan 3) do 2 drop sets after reaching failure with the starting weight.

Note: The Cable arm exercises provided are examples. Please don’t hesitate to substitute with your favorite moves and modalities such as machines, dumbbells, kettlebell, elastic tubing, or body weight suspension trainers.

Hit this routine two times a week if possible, with at least 48 hours between workouts, switching out exercises for the ones listed as desired.


For anyone, who is interested in building arm muscles and gaining strength, these cable bicep and tricep (arm) exercises are highly recommended.

It not only allows bicep and tricep muscle development, but also provides overall arm development. It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details. If done consistently, the results will speak by themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cable Good For Arm?

Yes, doing arms workouts with a cable are a good option for training the biceps brachii and tricep brachii muscle as well as the brachialis and brachioradialisWith regular practice, cable arm exercises can help you achieve greater development of the arm. 

The cable machine will provide smooth, constant tension on your muscles, which will lead to longer periods of time under tension and, in turn, greater potential for muscle growth.

Are cables better than weights?

Cable machines provide constant tension while you lift and lower the weight. Because muscle growth and strength increases are directly based on how much tension is placed on the muscle during the exercise, cable machines fatigue muscles faster and result in greater strength gains.

How do you get big arms on cable?

Above, we have mentioned some of the best cable arm workout plans and exercises that can help you build bigger and stronger arms. But for greater gain, It is crucial to progressively increase the stress placed on the muscles and train a wide variety of muscle fibers with different exercises.

Know More About Arm Workout

12 Most Effective CABLE BICEP AND TRICEP EXERCISES For Sleeve Busting Arms


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