Overhead cable curl

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Brachialis
  • Synergists: Biceps Brachii (especially the short head), Brachioradialis
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand between two overhead pulleys and grasp a stirrup in each hand.
  2. Raise your arms so that they are parallel to the floor.
  3. Supinate your forearms (turn your palms upward).


  1. Keeping your upper arms still, exhale as you flex your elbows and curl the stirrups toward your ears.
  2. Hold the contracted position and squeeze your biceps.
  3. Inhale as you return the stirrups to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Use one cable at a time to get your core more involved.
  • The overhead cable curl targets your brachialis, not your biceps brachii. The curling movement is initiated by your brachialis, which is assisted by your brachioradialis. Your biceps brachii, especially the short (inner) head, gets involved once the flexion of your elbow reaches approximately 45 degrees.
  • Also known as the high cable curl.
  • See also the dumbbell preacher curl.

Overhead cable curl video

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