Reverse Cable Curl: Muscle Worked, How To Do, Tips

If you want to build a bigger and stronger bicep and forearm, you should add cable reverse curls to your arm workout routine.

Why are cable reverse curls so vital? The Reverse cable curl is a classic biceps curl exercise that has been used for decades by bodybuilders and strength athletes. They are a highly effective way to target the forearm and bicep muscles.

So if you are looking to build strong and defined forearms and biceps, be sure to read this blog post.

In this beginner guide, we will explore the following:

What Is Cable Reverse Bicep Curl?

Reverse bicep curls can be your secret weapon in your quest to build bigger arms. The cable reverse curl is a variation of the standard cable biceps curl, in which you hold the Bar with your palms facing down (overhead grip).

The reverse cable curl is great for building both your bicep and brachialis (upper arms), and your brachioradialis (lower arm) muscle.

The cable reverse curl provides a greater range of motion, providing constant tension on the biceps throughout the entire curl. The cable resistance challenges the biceps resulting in improved strength and definition. It can be done as part of a full-body workout or as a targeted arm workout. 

This exercise is commonly used to strengthen the forearms, improve grip strength, and contribute to a more balanced arm development.

There are many variations of reverse grip cable curl that you can add to your workout routine, and all have their own unique benefits.

Know More: Bicep Cable Workout To Build Mass And Strength

Cable Reverse Curl Muscle Worked

The cable reverse curl primarily targets the muscles in the forearm, specifically the brachioradialis.

Additionally, there are other muscles that come into play as secondary stabilizers during the reveres grip cable curl, Biceps Brachii, Brachialis,

A handful of other muscles worked or play the role of stabilizer muscles, including your

The deltoids and trapezius muscles are also active, but only for stabilization purposes.

Use Our Free Calculator To Know Your Calories Requirement To Gain Muscle Mass

How To Do Cable Reverse Curl

Cable Reverse Curl
  1. Stand facing a cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold a bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley using a pronated grip (palms down).
  3. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower, depending on your comfort.
  4. Keep your core engaged and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  5. Keep your elbows in close to your sides and slowly curl the weight up towards your chest.
  6. Pause at the top of the contraction
  7. Then slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position.
  8. Repeat 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions with proper form.

Reverse Cable Curl Proper Form And Technique

Proper exercise form and technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program.

  • Do not use jerking motions to lift the weight. This can lead to injury and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps and brachialis muscles.
  • A slow, controlled descent will increase the time under tension and improve the effectiveness of sets.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides and don’t move forward or outward.
  • Maintain a straight posture with your back, avoiding excessive leaning or arching.
  • Do a full range of motion and let your arms fully contract at the top and fully extend at the bottom.
  • Incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program.
  • Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.
  • Choose a weight that allows you to complete 8-12 reps with proper form.
  • Don’t go heavy. Choose a lighter weight and focus on perfecting your form.

Set, Reps And Frequency For Cable Reverse Curl

The number of reps you should do depends on your goals, whether they are to increase strength or build muscle mass and endurance.

  • For muscle growth, it is best to do for around 6–12 reps per set.
  • For strength, around 3–8 reps per set are recommended.
  • Muscle Endurance, do 15-20+ reps per set.
Beginner2-38-121-2 times per week
Intermediate3-48-122-3 times per week
Advanced4-58-152-3 times per week

Variations Of Reverse Grip Cable Curls

There are several variations of reverse curls that can target different areas of your biceps and forearms.

1. Single Arm Reverse Cable Curl

The single-arm reverse cable curl is a variation of the reverse cable curl exercise that focuses on one arm at a time. This variation provides a more concentrated and unilateral workout.

The unilateral nature of the exercise encourages more muscle activation in the targeted forearm and upper arm muscles.

Since you’re working one arm at a time, the single-arm reverse cable curl helps to identify and correct any strength or muscle imbalances between your arms.

2. Wide-Grip Reverse Cable Curl

In this version, you grip the handle or bar attachment wider than shoulder-width apart, which alters the angle and muscle engagement during the movement.

Adding a wide-grip reverse cable curl to your routine will give the muscles a different stimulus than standard-width grips.

And using a wide grip will emphasize the short head bicep and give your biceps more width.

3. Close Grip Reverse Cable Curl

Close-grip reverse cable curls are a variation of the reverse cable curl exercise that involves using a narrow grip on the cable attachment.

This variation modifies the muscle engagement and places more emphasis on certain parts of the forearm and upper arm muscles.

A narrow grip will emphasize the long head and build the peak of your biceps.

4. Reverse Grip Cable Preacher Curl

If you’re looking for one more effective reverse curl exercise, try the cable reverse grip preacher curl.

The preacher curl bench provides support, minimizing cheating and swinging, which can be common with other bicep exercises. This helps you keep your form tight and target your muscles effectively.

The reverse grip preacher curl can provide a unique stimulus. It is beneficial for breaking through plateaus and diversifying your training.

Cable Reverse Preacher Curl
Related Post: Cable Arm Exercises To Build Bigger Biceps And Triceps

Cable Reverse Curl Alternatives

If you want to keep your training varied, fun, and challenging, you might also want to include the following exercises.

Add Cable Reverse Curl Into Your Workout Routine

The reverse cable curls can be incorporated into your workout routine in a variety of ways. Here are some options:

  1. As a standalone exercise: Do on 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. As part of a bicep workout: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps along with other bicep exercises like them barbell bicep curl and hammer curl.
  3. As part of a full-body workout: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps along with other compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.

1. Bicep-Focused Workout Routine

Dumbbell Curl3-48-12
Hammer Curl310-12
Preacher Curl38-10
Cable Reverse Curl48-12
Cable Curl38-12

2. Pull Workout Routine

Barbell Upright Row38-12
Lats Pulldowns310-12
Barbell Curl38-12
Dumbbell Reverse Curl38-12


What muscles do reverse grip cable curls work?

Reverse grip cable curls work the brachialis, brachioradialis, Biceps and forearm muscles.

Is reverse cable curl good?

Yes, the reverse cable curl is an excellent biceps exercise. The primary benefits are:

  • Isolates biceps through a full range of motion
  • Keeps constant tension on the biceps due to cable resistance
  • Reduces strain on wrists compared to standard curls
  • It allows you to focus on bicep peak contraction.
  • It can be done unilaterally to correct muscle imbalances
  • Provides biceps shape and definition when done properly

Is reverse curl better than curl?

Reverse curls and regular curls are both good exercises for building muscle mass in your biceps and forearm. If you are looking to build muscle mass in your biceps, then regular curls are a good option. However, if you are specifically looking to target the brachialis and forearm muscle, then reverse curls are a better option.


The reverse cable curl is a great exercise for making your arms look stronger and more defined. They effectively target the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles, and enhance forearm strength and appearance.

Make sure you keep your form and technique while you exercise, increase the weight slowly as you get more comfortable, and avoid common mistakes that can slow you down.


  1. Oliveira LF, Matta TT, Alves DS, Garcia MAC, Vieira TMM. Effect of the shoulder position on the biceps brachii EMG in different dumbbell curls. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine.
  2. Barakat C, Barroso R, Alvarez M, Rauch J, Miller N, Bou-Sliman A, De Souza EO. The Effects of Varying Glenohumeral Joint Angle on Acute Volume Load, Muscle Activation, Swelling, and Echo-Intensity on the Biceps Brachii in Resistance-Trained Individuals. Sports (Basel). 2019 Sep 4;7(9):204. doi: 10.3390/sports7090204. PMID: 31487841; PMCID: PMC6783981.

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