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Nautilus/MedX Biceps Curl Hand Position?

Hello Dr. Darden ,

I’ve admired your work for many years and you have always been my primary source when I have a training question. I have just about all of your books and refer to them often.

My question for you is what do you believe to be the most effective hand position for training for muscle size on the biceps curl movement, specifically using a Nautilus Multi Biceps, a Nautilus Next Gen Multi Biceps machine and a MedX Arm curl. Which of these machines are more efficient with respect to the hand position for recruiting the most amount of muscle fibers for hypertrophy? The 1st and 2nd gen Multi Biceps have the straight handle grip, the Next Gen nautilus went to more of an ez curl type grip, and the MedX seems to be even more aggressive EZ curl type hand position.

I think you mentioned on your old HIT message boards a few years ago , that when you were working with Arthur Jones, that he never quite was satisfied or resolved his opinion on the proper hand position. So I wanted to ask you if you have an opinion on this.

Thank you,


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I thought the original Nautilus Combination Biceps/Triceps machine supplied the best hand position. You had to be able to move your elbows close together, as opposed to keeping them apart. That way you could keep your hands almost touching and your palms up throughout the full range.

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That’s my primary challenge when I’m using the other machines, how hard it is for me to keep my elbows from spreading apart. When that occurs I feel like my lats start taking over some of the work from the biceps. I have never used that machine before but it seems that most of the early machines were better than the later versions.

Thank you Dr. Darden!


I have that machine ( plate loading bi-tri) and it’s my favorite machine although it works fine elbows close or farther apart.

Yes, and IMHO the plate loaded bi tri had the absolute best cam profile. You really had to work to keep the movement arm in the top position unlike later iterations especially the MedX curl