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Methods to Do the Preacher Curl for Constructing Greater Biceps

Methods to Do the Preacher Curl for Constructing Greater Biceps

Legendary bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman earned loads of reward and Mr. Olympia {hardware} by developing 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 conventional biceps curl will allow you to inch nearer to rising the weapons of your desires, 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 sit up for filling out the sleeves of your t-shirt even higher.

Man wearing workout gloves performs a preacher curl.
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Under, you’ll study every part from the right type to programming tricks to distinctive variations so you possibly can obtain a incredible pump and long-term outcomes from the almighty preacher curl.

Methods to Do the Preacher Curl

When performed with correct type, the preacher curl will put your biceps and forearms by means of a grueling check of muscular power and endurance. You possibly can carry out the motion with numerous free weights, together with dumbbells, a barbell, or an EZ curl bar. No matter piece of kit 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 can put you in the proper place to get essentially 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 peak so your higher arms and chest relaxation on the bench pad. Or, if there isn’t a seat, stand behind the preacher curl bench so your arms and chest are within the appropriate 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

Along with your chin tucked, wrists impartial, and elbows prolonged totally, 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 throughout the descent, fastidiously decreasing the curl bar again to the beginning place earlier than repeating the complete sequence for the specified variety of reps.

(Associated: Methods to Do the Reverse Biceps Curl for Full Arm Growth)

Preacher Curl Errors to Keep away from

Wish to get the perfect return in your funding in constructing larger biceps? Listed here are just a few frequent mishaps individuals make when performing preacher curls that may stop you from reaping the rewards of your coaching program.

Taking the Power Coaching Strategy

Working with intense hundreds for a restricted variety of reps is not going to yield the perfect outcomes when you’re centered on most biceps development. Whereas that type of coaching works nicely 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 excellent type. This can 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.
Credit score: Ajan Alen / Shutterstock

Getting within the correct place must be the precedence whenever 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 troublesome (if not unimaginable) to execute the motion accurately, inflicting you to go away good points on the desk by shifting the main target away out of your biceps.

Failing to Use Full Vary of Movement

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

(Associated: Jon Name “Jujimufu” Completely Crushes a 161-Pound Preacher Curl PR)

Advantages of the Preacher Curl

What makes the preacher curl such a well-liked alternative for lifters of all sizes and styles? 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 capacity to make use of your decrease half for any help. The angle of the bench pad means that you can fully stretch the muscle and maximize time underneath rigidity — a key think about hypertrophy coaching.

In fact, squeezing on the high of the motion is vital for getting essentially the most muscle-building returns. Total, the preacher curl challenges your biceps throughout the concentric and eccentric elements of the train to create a incredible 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 workout routines, the preacher curl can help with these efforts. Having robust biceps will can help you transfer the burden extra effectively and keep away from overtaxing different muscle teams as you carry out pull-based workout routines. 

Plus, growing stronger biceps through the preacher curl might help with different compound actions. For instance, it is best 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, it is best to carry out higher at these back-day staples with stronger bi’s. 

Eliminates the Dishonest Ingredient

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

Fortunately, although, the preacher curl curtails your capacity to cheat by protecting you grounded and eliminating the concept 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 study 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. 

(Associated: Jay Cutler Breaks Down His Exercise to Construct 20-Inch Arms)

Muscle mass Labored by the Preacher Curl

Undoubtedly among the finest isolation workout routines for rising your biceps, the preacher curl engages just a few different arm muscle groups, too. Right here’s what you possibly can count on to hit when you’re arrange on the bench.

Biceps Brachii

Close shot of a man flexing his biceps from behind.
Credit score: Lordn / Shutterstock

This two-headed muscle is the first mover for the preacher curl. You possibly can particularly goal the lengthy or quick head through your hand placement when you’re utilizing an EZ curl bar or a barbell. A slim 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.


A flexor muscle of the forearm, the brachialis helps with elbow flexion and can also be closely concerned because of the angle of a preacher curl. Coaching this muscle constantly will allow you to develop stronger, thicker forearms.


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

Regardless of when you’re coaching for a bodybuilding present, trying to enhance your different lifts, or simply attempting to achieve power and dimension in your arms, you shouldn’t hesitate to name upon the preacher curl for assist.

Power Athletes

Powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters can benefit from preacher curls to organize them to dominate in pulling workout routines 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-Targeted People

Male bodybuilder performs a preacher curl.
Credit score: Jiri Miklo / Shutterstock

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 developing a physique for non-competitive causes, you possibly can’t go fallacious with a curl train that isolates your biceps and forearms.

Leisure Lifters

Newcomers 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 difficult to grasp, nevertheless it does supply loads of muscle-building upside.

(Associated: Hammer Curls vs. Biceps Curls: The Battle for Greater Arms)

Methods to Program the Preacher Curl

Whether or not you’re new to lifting or trying so as to add one other biceps train to your traditional bodybuilding break 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 objectives, as there are totally different strategies to realize each.

For Newcomers: Carry out a warm-up set of eight to 12 reps with a lightweight weight to make sure you’re utilizing correct type. 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 good points, 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.

(Associated: Strive These Biceps Exercises With out Weights for Muscle, Power, and Fats 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 special path. Listed here are some variations you possibly can take into account implementing to maintain issues contemporary within the health club:

Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Man performs single-arm dumbbell preacher curls.
Credit score: Dave Kotinsky / Shutterstock

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 can too experiment with totally different grips to alter the stimulus. For instance, hammer-style preacher curls with a impartial grip will contain your forearm muscle groups extra.

Shut-Grip Preacher Curl

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

Extensive-Grip Preacher Curl

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

Reverse Preacher Curl

Whether or not you utilize 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 protecting your arms in a hard and fast place to twist the burden makes this biceps train notably helpful for growing stronger forearms.

(Associated: The Greatest Arm Exercises for Newcomers, With Dumbbells, and Extra)

Preacher Curl Options

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

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Arguably essentially 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 a fair deeper stretch. Plus, stabilizing your physique towards the bench minimizes your capacity to make use of momentum.

Focus Curl

Man performs concentration curls in the gym while sitting on a weight bench.
Credit score: Zamrznuti Tonovi / Shutterstock

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 wonderful instance of the advantages of unilateral coaching, as you get to assault both 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 choice that doesn’t contain sitting down, the standing barbell curl has withstood the check of time as some of the fundamental, but efficient biceps workout routines. Not like among the different options and variations, this motion forces you to have interaction your glutes and core as you curl the burden. As well as, it additionally prompts your anterior deltoid when the barbell is within the totally curled place.

Spider Curl

Make the most 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 an identical set-up because the chest-supported row. However as an alternative 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 Good points 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 allow you 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 type and removes momentum from the equation. Earmark it for pull day or everytime you work in your arms and prepare to indicate off the fruits of your labor whenever you flex.


What are preacher curls good for?

Preacher curls are nice for selling biceps development and growth. As an isolation train, it targets your biceps muscle with out letting you utilize 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 type, you could arrange a preacher curl bench in order that your higher arms and chest are involved with the pad. Utilizing an EZ curl bar, barbell, or dumbbells, contract your biceps and raise 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 perfect angle for a preacher curl bench ranges between 45 to 55 levels. This offers you ample room to stretch and contract your biceps totally for optimum muscle development and total growth.


  1. Lung BE, Ekblad J, Bisogno M. Anatomy, Shoulder and Higher Limb, Forearm Brachioradialis Muscle. (Up to date 2023 Jul 25). In: StatPearls (Web). Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Out there from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526110/

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