How to Do the Preacher Curl for Building Bigger Biceps

Legendary bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman earned loads of reward and Mr. Olympia {hardware} by establishing hulking physiques that included sculpted shoulders, killer quads, and bulging biceps. Whereas most individuals don’t have plans to pose on stage sometime, many lifters do have aspirations to stroll round with muscular arms that look good in a tank high.

Though the normal biceps curl will provide help to inch nearer to rising the weapons of your goals, there’s one other nice biceps train that belongs in your coaching program: the preacher curl. With this no-nonsense biceps builder that makes one muscle group the star of the present, you possibly can stay up for filling out the sleeves of your t-shirt even higher.

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Under, you’ll be taught every thing from the correct kind to programming tricks to distinctive variations so you possibly can obtain a unbelievable pump and long-term outcomes from the almighty preacher curl.

Find out how to Do the Preacher Curl

When carried out with correct kind, the preacher curl will put your biceps and forearms by a grueling take a look at of muscular power and endurance. You may carry out the motion with varied free weights, together with dumbbells, a barbell, or an EZ curl bar. No matter piece of apparatus you select, additionally, you will want a preacher curl bench to assist your higher physique throughout this isolation train.

Right here’s a step-by-step information that may put you in the proper place to get probably the most out of this biceps curl variation utilizing an EZ curl bar.

Step 1 — Set Up

Sit down on the preacher curl machine and regulate the seat top so your higher arms and chest relaxation on the bench pad. Or, if there isn’t any seat, stand behind the preacher curl bench so your arms and chest are within the right place. It is best to have a slight ahead lean in order that the pad touches your armpits. Then, use an underhand grip to seize the curl bar.

Step 2 — Curl the Weight

Together with your chin tucked, wrists impartial, and elbows prolonged absolutely, contract your biceps and curl the bar towards your shoulders. Squeeze on the high of the motion and maintain for one to 2 seconds.

Step 3 — Decrease to Beginning Place

Execute the eccentric portion of this curl train by slowly straightening your elbows. Keep full management in the course of the descent, fastidiously decreasing the curl bar again to the beginning place earlier than repeating the complete sequence for the specified variety of reps.

[Related: How to Do the Reverse Biceps Curl for Complete Arm Development]

Preacher Curl Errors to Keep away from

Wish to get one of the best return in your funding in constructing larger biceps? Listed below are a number of widespread mishaps individuals make when performing preacher curls that may forestall you from reaping the rewards of your coaching program.

Taking the Energy Coaching Method

Working with intense masses for a restricted variety of reps is not going to yield one of the best outcomes when you’re centered on most biceps development. Whereas that fashion of coaching works effectively for compound actions just like the again squat, bench press, and deadlift, you shouldn’t deal with the preacher curl like a strength-building train.

As a substitute of going ultra-heavy, use a manageable weight which you could carry out for units of 10-12 repetitions with good kind. This may present a greater stimulus for hypertrophy than a low-rep, high-intensity protocol extra suited to powerlifting.

Incorrect Setup

Woman performs a preacher curl with her elbows on top of the pad.
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Getting within the correct place must be the precedence while you’re getting ready to carry out the preacher curl. Which means your chest and higher arms ought to keep in touch with the pad always. Having the bench set too low or too excessive will make it tough (if not inconceivable) to execute the motion appropriately, inflicting you to depart features on the desk by shifting the main target away out of your biceps.

Failing to Use Full Vary of Movement

The purpose of the preacher curl is to completely lengthen and flex your elbows by a full vary of movement. Nevertheless, failing to increase your elbows previous 90 levels means you’re leaving potential features on the desk. Whereas partial reps might be an efficient solution to end off a set, specializing in absolutely stretching and contracting your biceps can maximize your muscle-building efforts.

[Related: Jon Call “Jujimufu” Absolutely Crushes a 161-Pound Preacher Curl PR]

Advantages of the Preacher Curl

What makes the preacher curl such a preferred alternative for lifters of all sizes and shapes? Let’s check out among the methods it pays off to pencil this biceps train into your exercise routine.

Direct Biceps Growth

A real isolation train, the preacher curl offers a direct path to rising your biceps by eradicating your capability to make use of your decrease half for any help. The angle of the bench pad lets you utterly stretch the muscle and maximize time underneath rigidity — a key think about hypertrophy coaching.

After all, squeezing on the high of the motion is important for getting probably the most muscle-building returns. Total, the preacher curl challenges your biceps in the course of the concentric and eccentric elements of the train to create a unbelievable stimulus for sculpting well-developed arms. 

Assists with Pulling Workout routines

Man performs a conventional barbell deadlift.
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If you wish to be extra profitable at chin-ups or different pulling workouts, the preacher curl can help with these efforts. Having robust biceps will will let you transfer the burden extra effectively and keep away from overtaxing different muscle teams as you carry out pull-based workouts. 

Plus, creating stronger biceps through the preacher curl may also help with different compound actions. For instance, you need to see an enchancment in your deadlift as you progress together with your biceps coaching. And whether or not you select the chest-supported or bent-over row, you need to carry out higher at these back-day staples with stronger bi’s. 

Eliminates the Dishonest Aspect

Chances are high you’ve in all probability seen at the very least a number of gymgoers contorting their our bodies to swing out some poorly executed curls earlier than lastly admitting defeat. Nevertheless, sacrificing kind to execute any train makes little sense — particularly when you’re involved about maximizing muscle development. 

Fortunately, although, the preacher curl curtails your capability to cheat by conserving you grounded and eliminating the thought of utilizing your legs for a lift. When you arrange correctly on the machine and seize your free weight of alternative, your biceps will rapidly be taught what it means to be remoted. Extra importantly, you’ll perceive the worth of performing sluggish, managed reps utilizing a full vary of movement — and 0 dishonest. 

[Related: Jay Cutler Breaks Down His Workout to Build 20-Inch Arms]

Muscle mass Labored by the Preacher Curl

Undoubtedly top-of-the-line isolation workouts for rising your biceps, the preacher curl engages a number of different arm muscle tissues, too. Right here’s what you possibly can anticipate to hit when you’re arrange on the bench.

Biceps Brachii

Close shot of a man flexing his biceps from behind.
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This two-headed muscle is the first mover for the preacher curl. You may particularly goal the lengthy or quick head through your hand placement when you’re utilizing an EZ curl bar or a barbell. A slender grip will result in higher engagement of the lengthy head. In the meantime, the broader you go, the extra you’ll recruit the quick head of your biceps brachii.

Brachialis

A flexor muscle of the forearm, the brachialis helps with elbow flexion and can also be closely concerned as a result of angle of a preacher curl. Coaching this muscle persistently will provide help to develop stronger, thicker forearms.

Brachioradialis

One other flexor muscle positioned close to the elbow, the brachioradialis not solely helps with flexion but in addition with supination or pronation relying on the rotation of the forearm. (1) Through the preacher curl, it helps stabilize the elbow joint.

Who Ought to Do the Preacher Curl

Irrespective of when you’re coaching for a bodybuilding present, seeking to enhance your different lifts, or simply making an attempt to achieve power and measurement in your arms, you shouldn’t hesitate to name upon the preacher curl for assist.

Energy Athletes

Powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters can benefit from preacher curls to arrange them to dominate in pulling workouts like deadlifts, cleans, and snatches. Rising larger, stronger biceps ought to repay when it comes time to carry out — and the aesthetic advantages don’t harm, both.

Bodybuilders and Physique-Centered People

Male bodybuilder performs a preacher curl.
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No bodybuilder needs to disappoint on the again double biceps pose. Isolating this two-headed muscle through the preacher curl will assist your arms pop on stage, particularly when you pair it with different biceps-centric actions like close-grip lat pulldowns and chin-ups. And even when you’re centered on establishing a physique for non-competitive causes, you possibly can’t go unsuitable with a curl train that isolates your biceps and forearms.

Leisure Lifters

Novices and basic lifters can use the preacher curl to develop power and endurance of their biceps with out having to fret about dishonest reps by going too rapidly or not utilizing the complete vary of movement. This curl variation isn’t overly sophisticated to grasp, nevertheless it does provide loads of muscle-building upside.

[Related: Hammer Curls vs. Biceps Curls: The Battle for Bigger Arms]

Find out how to Program the Preacher Curl

Whether or not you’re new to lifting or wanting so as to add one other biceps train to your basic bodybuilding cut up, you shouldn’t hesitate to include the preacher curl into your train program. Figuring out the variety of units and reps (in addition to the best load) relies on your targets, as there are completely different strategies to realize each.

For Novices: Carry out a warm-up set of eight to 12 reps with a lightweight weight to make sure you’re utilizing correct kind. Utilizing a reasonable weight, full two to a few working units of eight to 12 reps.

For Muscle Development: Full three to 4 units of eight to 12 reps with a reasonably heavy weight. For much more features, lower the burden and carry out a drop set till failure.

For Muscular Endurance: Choose a light-to-moderate weight which you could curl for 15 to twenty reps. After you end your first set, relaxation briefly for 20 to 60 seconds earlier than repeating for 2 extra units.

[Related: Try These Biceps Workouts Without Weights for Muscle, Strength, and Fat Loss]

Preacher Curl Variations

From altering your grip to swapping out the EZ bar preacher curl for a dumbbell-based model, some easy tweaks can shift this train in a distinct path. Listed below are some variations you possibly can think about implementing to maintain issues contemporary within the health club:

Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Man performs single-arm dumbbell preacher curls.
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Leaving the barbell behind for a pair of dumbbells will open the door to new bicep-building prospects. Not solely can you’re employed on any imbalances by coaching unilaterally, however you may also experiment with completely different grips to vary the stimulus. For instance, hammer-style preacher curls with a impartial grip will contain your forearm muscle tissues extra.

Shut-Grip Preacher Curl

Utilizing the identical setup as the normal preacher curl, this model targets the lengthy head of the biceps by having you place your fingers nearer collectively.

Vast-Grip Preacher Curl

You may make use of the other technique to hit the quick head by utilizing a large grip. For one of the best outcomes, incorporate each grip variations into your biceps coaching program.

Reverse Preacher Curl

Whether or not you employ a barbell, EZ curl bar, or dumbbells, a reverse preacher curl will drive your brachioradialis to rise to the event. Greedy the bar with a pronated (palms-down) grip and conserving your arms in a hard and fast place to twist the burden makes this biceps train significantly helpful for creating stronger forearms.

[Related: The Best Arm Workouts for Beginners, With Dumbbells, and More]

Preacher Curl Alternate options

Don’t have entry to a preacher curl bench? You may nonetheless prepare your biceps with these muscle-building alternate options.

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Arguably probably the most difficult biceps train, the incline dumbbell curl swaps out the preacher curl bench for an adjustable weight bench. Sitting on a bench within the incline place offers a bigger vary of movement by placing your biceps into an excellent deeper stretch. Plus, stabilizing your physique towards the bench minimizes your capability to make use of momentum.

Focus Curl

Man performs concentration curls in the gym while sitting on a weight bench.
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Much like the preacher curl, the focus curl retains your higher arm in a hard and fast place that stabilizes your shoulder. This isolation train is a superb instance of the advantages of unilateral coaching, as you get to assault all sides independently whereas your triceps stay anchored to the within of your knee to make your biceps do all of the work.

Standing Barbell Curl

An possibility that doesn’t contain sitting down, the standing barbell curl has withstood the take a look at of time as one of the vital fundamental, but efficient biceps workouts. Not like among the different alternate options and variations, this motion forces you to interact your glutes and core as you curl the burden. As well as, it additionally prompts your anterior deltoid when the barbell is within the absolutely curled place.

Spider Curl

Reap the benefits of gravity and leverage to boost your muscle-building expertise by incorporating spider curls into your coaching program. Additionally known as the reverse incline curl, this train has the same set-up because the chest-supported row. However as a substitute of pulling your elbows again to focus on your lats, rhomboids, traps, and rear delts, you’ll contract your biceps to twist a barbell (or dumbbells) towards you.

Let Your Positive factors Preach for Themselves

Constructing bulging biceps requires loads of high-quality reps that recruit the two-headed muscle to completely stretch and contract. Whereas there are ample curl variations that may provide help to obtain that rounded look, the preacher curl deserves to be close to the highest of your biceps train listing as a result of it makes you keep strict together with your kind and removes momentum from the equation. Earmark it for pull day or everytime you work in your arms and prepare to point out off the fruits of your labor while you flex.

FAQs

What are preacher curls good for?

Preacher curls are nice for selling biceps development and improvement. As an isolation train, it targets your biceps muscle with out letting you employ your decrease half for help with squeezing out additional reps.

How do you do a correct preacher curl?

To carry out a preacher curl with correct kind, you could arrange a preacher curl bench in order that your higher arms and chest are in touch with the pad. Utilizing an EZ curl bar, barbell, or dumbbells, contract your biceps and carry the burden towards your shoulders. Squeeze on the high, then slowly decrease the burden again to the beginning place.

What angle ought to a preacher curl be?

The best angle for a preacher curl bench ranges between 45 to 55 levels. This provides you ample room to stretch and contract your biceps absolutely for max muscle development and total improvement.

References

  1. Lung BE, Ekblad J, Bisogno M. Anatomy, Shoulder and Higher Limb, Forearm Brachioradialis Muscle. [Updated 2023 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Accessible from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526110/

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