Comparing: Concentration Curls Vs Spider Curls

concentration curls vs spider curls

With a firm desire for well-developed biceps, fitness enthusiasts often seek the perfect exercises that target this prominent muscle group. Among the several choices, concentration curls and spider curls have emerged as highly effective techniques for sculpting and strengthening the biceps. 

In this informative article, we will dive into the fascinating realm of concentration curls vs spider curls, examining their limitations, benefits, and more.

When it comes to maximizing bicep development, selecting the right exercise is essential. The careful selection of concentration curls or spider curls can make a substantial difference in achieving your desired results. 

So, what exactly are concentration curls? This exercise involves the meticulous isolation of the biceps through precise body positioning and a focused mind-muscle connection. Conversely, spider curls offer a tantalizing stretch and extended range of motion, specifically targeting not only the biceps brachii but also the brachialis. 

Through an exploration of their benefits, differences, and target muscle engagement, here you will uncover the secret to maximizing your bicep gains. Get ready to unlock the mysteries of concentration curls and spider curls and embark on a journey toward bicep greatness.

What is Concentration Curls?

As the name suggests concentration curls focus on building the mind-muscle connection through a concentrated and focused approach. These curls require a meticulous approach and precise form, ensuring maximum muscle activation and targeted growth.

Video Guide

To perform concentration curls: 

  1. Begin by sitting on a bench making sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground. 
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and rest your upper arm against the inner thigh of the same side. This position provides a stable base, allowing you to isolate the biceps and minimize the involvement of other muscle groups.
  3. As you lift the dumbbell, focus on a controlled and deliberate movement, avoiding any swinging or cheating. 
  4. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the curl, emphasizing the contraction, before slowly lowering the weight back and extending your arm back to the starting position. 
  5. By maintaining strict form and emphasizing the mind-muscle connection, concentration curls optimize the engagement of the biceps and encourage substantial growth over time.

The benefits of concentration curls extend beyond their ability to isolate the biceps. We will learn more about the benefits in one of the upcoming sections.

So, if you seek a workout that hones in on your biceps with laser-like precision, concentration curls should undoubtedly find a place in your training routine. 

What are Spider Curls?

Enter the fascinating world of spider curls, a captivating exercise that promises to stretch and sculpt your biceps like never before. With their unique form and range of motion, spider curls provide an intriguing twist to your arm training routine, targeting not only the biceps brachii but also the elusive brachialis muscle.

Video Guide

To perform spider curls:

  1. First of all, you’ll need to adjust the flat bench at an angle of 45 degrees. 
  2. Begin by positioning yourself facedown on the bench, allowing your arms to hang freely in front of you. 
  3. Grasp a barbell or a pair of dumbbells with an underhand grip, ensuring that your arms are fully extended.
  4. Tuck in your neck and engage your core to maintain balance.
  5. As you curl the weight upwards, pay close attention to the elongated range of motion and the incredible stretch you experience in your biceps. This extended stretch plays a crucial role in activating the muscle fibers deeply, promoting optimal growth and development.
  6. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement and pause for a moment. 
  7. Then slowly and in a controlled manner return to your starting position.

Spider curls offer a distinct advantage in addressing any potential strength imbalances between the biceps and brachialis. The brachialis, often overshadowed by the biceps, lies beneath it and contributes to the overall aesthetics and functionality of the arm. 

With their emphasis on stretch, range of motion, and targeted brachialis engagement, spider curls present an intriguing alternative to traditional bicep exercises.

If you crave a challenge and desire to unlock new dimensions of bicep development, incorporating spider curls into your regimen may be the key to unveiling the full potential of your arm muscles. 

Concentration Curls vs Spider Curls Benefits

Here is a brief comparison of the benefits of concentration curls and spider curls.

Benefits of Concentration Curls

Concentration Curl

When comparing concentration curls to spider curls, it becomes evident that concentration curls offer unique advantages for bicep development. One of the primary benefits lies in the ability to isolate the biceps with precision. By resting the upper arm on the inner thigh, concentration curls create a supported position that minimizes the involvement of other muscle groups, allowing for a more focused and targeted workout.

This isolation leads to increased muscle activation and recruitment in the biceps, resulting in enhanced growth and strength development over time. Additionally, concentration curls contribute to the improvement of the mind-muscle connection, enabling you to feel better and engage your biceps during exercises, further amplifying their impact.

Benefits of Spider Curls

Spider curl

On the other hand, spider curls provide some of their own set of benefits that set them apart from concentration curls.

The extended arm position on the bench allows for a greater stretch and an extended range of motion in the biceps. This heightened stretch stimulates the muscle fibers more intensely, promoting enhanced muscle activation and development.

Moreover, spider curls place additional emphasis on the brachialis muscle, which lies beneath the biceps. This focus helps address any potential imbalances between the two muscles, fostering symmetrical growth and aesthetic appeal in the arms.

It is important to note that while concentration curls excel in isolation and mind-muscle connection, spider curls shine in the stretch, range of motion, and addressing brachialis development. 

Both exercises offer valuable benefits and can be effective in their own right. Choosing between them depends on individual goals, preferences, and the specific needs of your bicep training regimen.

Concentration Curls vs Spider Curls Muscles Worked

Both concentration curls and spider curls mainly target the bicep muscles but the main difference here stays in the isolation of the sub or smaller muscle groups.

Concentration Curls Muscles Worked

When it comes to targeting the muscles in the arms, both concentration curls and spider curls have their contributions. Concentration curls primarily engage the biceps brachii, the prominent muscle group responsible for the iconic bulge in the upper arm. 

It can also help in the isolation of the long head of the bicep helping you get a better peak of the bicep. Additionally, secondary activation of the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles occurs during concentration curls, further enhancing overall arm development.

Spider Curls Muscles Worked

On the other hand, spider curls also target the biceps brachii but with a pronounced emphasis on the brachialis.

This emphasis arises from the extended range of motion and the intensified stretch experienced during spider curls. By addressing the brachialis, spider curls ensure a comprehensive approach to bicep training, promoting balanced muscle development and improved aesthetics.

It is worth mentioning that the brachialis plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall appearance of the arms. By focusing on its development, spider curls contribute to a more well-rounded and visually appealing bicep profile. 

Therefore, individuals seeking to achieve optimal bicep aesthetics and address any potential muscle imbalances may find spider and concentration curls to be particularly advantageous. Concentration curls also help in the betterment of the mind-muscle connection.

Related: Top 10 Medial Head Tricep Exercises (That actually work)

Are Spider Curls Better Than Concentration Curls?

The age-old question arises: are spider curls better than concentration curls? The answer, as with many fitness-related inquiries, is not a definitive one. The superiority of one exercise over the other depends on individual goals, preferences, and specific circumstances.

For those seeking maximum isolation and a heightened mind-muscle connection, concentration curls may hold the key to success.

The supported position of the upper arm on the inner thigh ensures focused engagement of the biceps, leading to targeted growth and strength development. Concentration curls excel in their ability to fine-tune the biceps, making them an ideal choice for those aiming for precise muscle development.

Conversely, as mentioned spider curls offer a distinct advantage in terms of stretch, range of motion, and brachialis activation.

The extended arm position on the specialized bench enables an intense stretch, triggering more muscle fiber breakdown, muscle activation, and growth. Furthermore, spider curls address potential imbalances between the biceps and brachialis, promoting balanced development and aesthetic appeal.

In practice, individuals may find that a combination of both exercises yields optimal results. By incorporating both concentration curls and spider curls into their training routine, individuals can benefit from the advantages each exercise brings to the table. 

It is crucial to listen to your body, experiment with different techniques, and assess which exercise aligns best with your goals and yields the desired results.

Remember, the key to success lies in proper form, progression, and consistency. Regardless of whether you choose concentration curls or spider curls, prioritize technique, and stay dedicated to your bicep training regimen. 

Limitations of Both Exercises

While concentration curls and spider curls offer valuable benefits, it is important to consider their limitations and potential challenges associated with each exercise.

When it comes to concentration curls, one limitation lies in the potential strain on the wrists. It is crucial to maintain proper form and wrist alignment throughout the movement to avoid discomfort or injury.

Additionally, concentration curls require a focused and mindful approach to prevent cheating movements, such as using momentum to lift the weight rather than relying solely on the biceps.

On the other hand, spider curls come with their own set of considerations. One primary limitation is the requirement for a bench or equipment designed specifically for the exercise. This may not be readily available for everyone, as not all workout in the gym, limiting the accessibility of spider curls. 

Furthermore, improper form or excessive weight can place unnecessary stress on the shoulder or elbow joints, potentially leading to discomfort or injury.

To mitigate these limitations, it is crucial to prioritize proper form, technique, and progression in both concentration curls and spider curls. Begin with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as your strength and proficiency improve. 

By understanding and addressing these limitations, you can maximize the effectiveness of concentration curls or spider curls while minimizing potential drawbacks, creating a safer and more rewarding bicep training experience.


The choice between concentration curls and spider curls should be based on individual needs, goals, and preferences. Both exercises offer unique benefits and can play a valuable role in your bicep training routine. Let’s summarize the key points discussed:

  • Concentration curls excel in isolating the biceps, especially the long head, and promoting a strong mind-muscle connection.
  • Spider curls provide an extended range of motion, intense stretch, and focus on the brachialis muscle.
  • Concentration curls primarily target the biceps brachii, with secondary activation of the brachialis and brachioradialis.
  • Spider curls also target the biceps brachii but emphasize the brachialis due to the extended range of motion.
  • The choice between the two exercises depends on individual goals, preferences, and specific circumstances. Both exercises are extremely effective and may complement each other when incorporated into a well-rounded training program.
  • Considerations such as wrist strain and form maintenance apply to concentration curls, while spider curls require specialized equipment and proper joint alignment.

Ultimately, listening to your body, experimenting with different exercises, and assessing which ones align best with your goals and yield the desired results is important. By prioritizing proper form, progression, and consistency, you can sculpt strong, defined biceps and achieve the arm aesthetics you desire.

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