What Is The Preacher Curl?

Published by PowerQuad Fitness on June 19, 2023. 

The Preacher Curl: An Arm Day Essential

When it comes to arm day, one exercise stands out as a true bicep builder: the Preacher Curl. This classic movement targets the biceps like no other, allowing you to sculpt those guns and unleash your inner beast mode. So grab a seat, strap yourself in, and let's dive into the world of the Preacher Curl!

Form and Execution: Mastering the Preacher Curl

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's talk form. To perform the Preacher Curl, you'll need a preacher bench and an EZ-curl bar or dumbbells. Sit on the bench, adjust the seat height so that your armpits are comfortably resting on the pad, and grip the bar or dumbbells with an underhand grip. Keep your upper arms and elbows firmly pressed against the pad, maintaining a slight bend at the elbow.

Now comes the fun part. Slowly curl the weight up while contracting your biceps, focusing on the mind-muscle connection. Squeeze those peaks at the top of the movement and then lower the weight in a controlled manner, feeling the stretch in your biceps. Repeat for the desired number of reps!

Benefits of the Preacher Curl

Why choose the Preacher Curl, you ask? Well, this exercise offers some serious advantages when it comes to bicep gains. Firstly, the preacher bench ensures strict form and eliminates any swinging or momentum, isolating the biceps and reducing the involvement of other muscles. This means your biceps bear the brunt of the workload, resulting in better muscle activation and growth.

Secondly, the preacher bench supports your arms and removes any stress on the lower back, making it a safer exercise for those with lower back issues. It allows you to go heavy without compromising your form or risking injury.

Variations and Alternatives: Switching It Up

Now, if you're looking to spice things up or add some variety to your arm day routine, fear not! The Preacher Curl offers a few variations and alternatives to keep those gains coming.

  • Dumbbell Preacher Curl: Instead of using an EZ-curl bar, grab a pair of dumbbells. This variation helps with individual arm strength and can further challenge your stabilizing muscles.
  • Reverse Grip Preacher Curl: Flip your grip to an overhand position on the EZ-curl bar or dumbbells. This variation shifts the emphasis to the brachialis muscle, adding thickness and depth to your biceps.
  • Hammer Curl on Preacher Bench: Place your arms on the preacher bench with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) while holding dumbbells. This variation targets not only the biceps but also the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles for a well-rounded arm pump.

Incorporating Preacher Curls into Your Routine

To truly maximize your bicep gains, it's important to incorporate Preacher Curls strategically into your arm day routine. Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, focusing on maintaining strict form and feeling that deep bicep burn with each repetition.

Start your workout with compound exercises like barbell curls or chin-ups to engage the entire arm and recruit supporting muscles. Then, finish strong with Preacher Curls to specifically target the biceps and take them to the next level.

Remember: Safety First!

While we always strive for gains and push ourselves to the limit, safety should never be compromised. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when performing Preacher Curls:

  • Warm Up: Prior to diving into heavy Preacher Curls, make sure to warm up your biceps and surrounding muscles. Engage in some light cardio and dynamic stretching to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for the intense workout ahead.
  • Start Light: When beginning your Preacher Curl session, start with lighter weights to focus on perfecting your form and establishing a mind-muscle connection. Gradually increase the weight as you gain confidence and strength.
  • Maintain Proper Posture: Remember to keep your back straight and firmly pressed against the preacher bench. Avoid excessive leaning or arching, as this can strain your lower back and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Control the Weight: Control is key! Avoid using momentum to lift the weight. Instead, focus on a slow and controlled movement, emphasizing the squeeze and contraction of your biceps during the curl.
  • Don't Neglect Eccentric Movements: The eccentric, or lowering, portion of the exercise is just as important as the concentric, or lifting, phase. Lower the weight in a controlled manner, feeling the stretch and maintaining tension in your biceps. This will maximize muscle engagement and promote overall growth.
  • Breathe Properly: It's easy to forget about breathing when you're deep into your set, but oxygen is essential for performance and muscle recovery. Inhale during the eccentric phase and exhale during the concentric phase to maintain a steady flow of oxygen to your muscles.
  • Listen to Your Body: If you experience any sharp pain or discomfort during Preacher Curls, stop immediately. Assess your form, adjust the weight, or consult a fitness professional to ensure you're performing the exercise correctly and avoiding potential injuries.

Consistency and Progression

The secret to success lies in consistency and progression. Make Preacher Curls a regular part of your arm day routine, aiming for at least one session per week. Track your progress, gradually increasing the weight or reps over time to challenge your muscles and stimulate continuous growth.

Remember, gains take time, and there are no shortcuts. Stay committed, work hard, and trust the process. With the Preacher Curl as your weapon, you'll be well on your way to achieving those sleeve-busting biceps. 

So there you have it—your guide to mastering the Preacher Curl. From form and variations to safety tips and incorporating it into your routine, you're armed with the knowledge to crush those bicep gains and take your arm day to the next level. Stay dedicated, stay focused, and keep those curls coming. You've got this!

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