Bayesian cable curl Perhaps the best bicep exercise

Scroll this

Undoubtedly you want bigger biceps and undoubtedly you do biceps curls for that. But do you also know the Bayesian cable curl? A curl variation that is recommended by some coaches, including Menno Henselmans and Mike Matthews, as the best biceps exercise.


The Bayesian cable curl has a number of major advantages:

  • Exercises like dumbbell and barbell curls place relatively little tension on the biceps at the bottom and top of each repetition. Performing cable curls and turning away from the cable station creates consistent moment arm, which helps you maintain tension on your biceps throughout the entire range of motion;
  • Keeping each elbow slightly behind your torso as you perform the exercise also ensures that the biceps are fully stretched;
  • The Bayesian cable curl is also a unilateral exercise, which means that you can train one side of your body at a time. This may allow you to use more total weight than with some bilateral exercises. It also helps increase the mind-muscle connection, because you only have to focus on one side of your body at a time. Furthermore, one side cannot “take over” from the other.

All in all, the Bayesian cable curl is the perfect addition to compound pulling exercises (such as barbell rows) and other biceps isolation exercises.


The Bayesian cable curl is a cable biceps curl performed with your back facing the cable station. Set the pulley on the cable station to the lowest position and attach a single-handle attachment.

  • During the exercise, bend forward slightly while flexing your biceps to get a good full contraction. Then lean back again while lowering the weight to fully stretch the biceps;
  • Focus on a good stretch at the bottom and a good contraction at the top;
  • Make sure the cable doesn’t touch your forearm as you curl the weight up. This is a sign that you are not leaning forward enough during the curl. You want to avoid any position where your forearm is completely in line with the cable, as this reduces the tension on the biceps to almost zero.

See also this instructional video from the well-known coaches Henselmans and Nippard.


Doesn’t this exercise look a lot like the incline dumbbell curl? Yes, but with the Bayesian cable curl you train each arm independently using a cable machine and while standing, while with the incline curl you train both arms at the same time with dumbbells and while sitting.

In addition, we already saw that Bayesian curls put the most tension on the biceps throughout the entire range of motion due to the use of cables.

The difference with conventional dumbbell curls in both exercises is the position of your arms in relation to your upper body. This essentially disables your posterior shoulder heads and trapezius muscle, causing your biceps to work harder. The stricter execution, in particular, better trains the long, outer head of your biceps.

It is fine to do both exercises. As long as your biceps training consists of some compound pulling exercises and some isolating exercises.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *