You've seen them before. Those massive, barrel-like biceps just scream power and strength. The arms make you want to hit the gym and start working on your biceps immediately. And why not?
Big, strong biceps are impressive, they can make your upper body look amazing, and they're something that you can show off to your friends. But how do you get those kinds of biceps? One way is by doing preacher curls.
Preacher curls are an excellent exercise for building big, strong biceps. They're effective because they allow you to focus on working your biceps without using other muscles. This isolation makes preacher curls ideal for building up your biceps size and strength.
Additionally, preacher curls place your biceps in a position of mechanical advantage, meaning that you can lift heavier weights than you would be able to with other exercises. So, preacher curls should be part of your workout routine to build serious biceps power.
Related Article: 10 Biceps Curl Variations for Big Arms and Healthy Shoulders
Preacher Curl Muscles Worked
This particular variation is a terrific biceps isolation exercise, thanks to the preacher curl bench and setup. The stability of sitting down and fixing your upper body and arms to the preacher bench increases participation at the gun show, which is where you need it most.
Biceps & Brachialis
The brachialis and biceps primarily power the preacher curl. Your elbow is lifted due to the preacher bench pad's tilt, which flexes your shoulder. It will stretch the long head from its initial position since it crosses the shoulder joint.
As a result, this variation activates the long head of the biceps slightly more, though you may still change up your grip to slightly change this.
In any event, neither biceps muscle head will have a noticeable activation increase; both heads will still be adequately worked. A regular to wide supinated (underhand) grip is beneficial if you want to target the bicep's short head more.
You'll concentrate more on the long head if you narrow your grip or use a neutral or reverse grip.
The forearms serve two purposes in most biceps exercises, including the preacher curl. The ability to hold the wrist in neutral while curling up comes first. Second, the forearm flexors are engaged when you extend and flex your biceps.
Preacher Curl Benefits
If you're looking for a workout to help you achieve amazing arms, look no further than the preacher curl. This exercise is perfect for targeting the biceps, and with regular practice, you'll notice a big difference in the definition and strength of your arms. Here are just a few of the benefits of preacher curls:
There is no place for swinging when your arms are resting on a solid surface. The weight does not gain momentum as it curls upward. The preacher curl gives you the best chance to have total control over the motion.
Some of this control is lost during a standard standing curl due to hip and torso mobility. In a normal curl, you will therefore lift more. But if control is sacrificed, does that matter?
The preacher curl puts additional strain on your biceps and forearms because it gives you more control. You cannot use other muscles to assist in this exercise because of how your arms are held. Your biceps operate independently.
It is an excellent preacher curl feature for people whose main objective is building strength. Because of this, is it "harder" than a standard bicep curl? Simply said, yes!
Negative Movement Focus
The emphasis on negative movement is one of its most notable advantages. The term "negative movement" refers to muscles extending while being loaded. It can be seen during this exercise's eccentric phase.
You can accentuate the eccentric phase of the workout due to the preacher bench's stability. It is possible and recommended to release out of the curl slowly. Your biceps expand and become stronger.
It's easy to perform the preacher curl workout. You cannot ignore that reality. Nothing is worse than engaging in a workout that hurts and seems forced (and not the good kind).
Exercise like this seems natural. The fact that you get to sit down is always a win! Additionally, as each arm rests on a cushioned and solid platform while carrying the burden, you can settle properly during the exercise.
Preacher Curls Vs. Barbell Curls: Differences
When it comes to working out your biceps, you have a few options. Two of the most popular exercises are preacher curls and barbell curls. So, what's the difference between the two?
In preacher curls, you sit at a preacher bench with your arms extended and your palms facing upward. From there, you simply curl your arms up towards your shoulders. Because you're using a bench for support, this exercise is ideal for isolation work.
Barbell curls, on the other hand, are a compound exercise. It means that they work multiple muscle groups at the same time. To do a barbell curl, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell in front of you with your palms facing down.
From there, you simply curl the barbell up towards your shoulders and then lower it back down. Because this exercise works multiple muscle groups, it's great for building overall strength.
So, which exercise is right for you? Preaching curls are a great option if you're looking to isolate your biceps and work them hard. If you want to build overall strength, barbell curls are a better choice. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference and your goals.
How to Do Preacher Curls With Perfect Form
Note: This preacher curl version includes an EZ-curl bar with an underhand grip (supinated grip). There are other variations too.
- Set the preacher bench's seat height such that your upper arms and chest touch the pad as you sit down.
- Leaning forward, grasp the EZ bar with an underhanded grip approximately shoulder-width apart and set it on the front bar rest.
- Your arms should be extended, and your wrists should remain neutral. Tuck your chin in.
- Squeeze your biceps and bend your elbows while lifting the bar until it is at shoulder level.
- Throughout the entire workout, be careful to maintain contact between the upper arms and the pad.
- Reset and repeat after slowly lowering your arms to the beginning position.
How challenging may a bicep curl be? Even if this is the case, there are a few considerations to make to benefit the most from this activity.
Treating It Like a Strength Exercise
Many newbies mistake isolation exercises like the preacher curl for strength exercises that use a one-rep maximum (1RM). Sorry, but this is not that kind of activity. Going too heavy will damage your form and increase your chance of injury. Having stated that, you will eventually be able to preacher curl more.
Reducing Range of Motion
Performing this variation with a full range of motion can help you develop your biceps more effectively and maintain the health of your elbows. Some exercises can be done to reduce the ROM of the biceps. However, this is NOT one of them.
Pay Attention to Your Setup
Keep your chest and upper arms firmly planted on the pad to gain the most benefit from this exercise. Therefore, give the pads some time to adjust to achieve this. Maintaining your body against the pad will be challenging if you are too low or too high.
Not Maintaining Straight Wrists
Avoid bending your wrists; doing so can place undue strain on them.
1. What part of the bicep does the preacher curl work?
The preacher curl works the biceps brachii muscle.
2. How can I make my preacher curls stronger?
Either increase the amount of weight used, number of reps, or number of sets from week to week or month to month.
3. What do preacher curls activate?
The preacher curl activates the biceps muscles.
4. Why are preacher curls called that?
Preacher curls are so-called because they can be done with a preacher bench, a bench with a pad that sits in front of the preacher's station and allows the user to rest their forearms on it while curling. This position helps isolate the biceps muscles more than if the curl were done with the arms at shoulder height.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to preacher curls, there is one surefire way to get the results you want: keep pushing yourself. The key is gradually increasing your weight, so your muscles are always challenged. And as they adapt and grow stronger, so will your biceps.
With preacher curls, as with anything else, success comes down to perseverance and dedication. So don't be discouraged if you don't see results immediately — keep at it, and eventually, you'll achieve the strong and inspiring biceps you've always wanted.