Preacher Curl

  • Alternative Names: Barbell preacher curl, EZ bar preacher curl, bicep preacher curl, seated preacher curl
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Preacher bench, barbell/EZ bar
  • Muscles Targeted: Biceps
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 8-12 reps each
  • Variations: Machine, dumbbell, cable, reverse, standing, and hammer preacher curls
  • Alternative: Barbell curls lying against an incline

The preacher curl, named so because of the angled bench on which it is done, is a common gym-exercise used for strengthening the biceps. Unlike most bicep curls, the preacher curl is done with lighter weights so that you can perform the movements through a larger range of motion in a controlled way. It is usually performed by those looking to add a little variety to their arm workout routine. You may also do it at home by resting your arms on top of a sofa instead.

Preacher Curl Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Barbell preacher curl, EZ bar preacher curl, bicep preacher curl, seated preacher curl
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Preacher bench, barbell/EZ bar
  • Muscles Targeted: Biceps
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 8-12 reps each
  • Variations: Machine, dumbbell, cable, reverse, standing, and hammer preacher curls
  • Alternative: Barbell curls lying against an incline

Benefits

  • When performed alongside the standard curl, it helps in increasing the strength and size of your biceps.
  • It allows you to work on perfecting the form and helps build a strong mind-muscle connection so that you can activate a muscle mentally.

How to do Barbell/EZ Bar Preacher Curls

Set up for the preacher curl by loading a barbell or EZ curl bar with the desired weights (about 20-50 lbs) and adjusting the preacher bench so that your upper arms rest comfortably on the padding. Sit on the preacher bench and grab the bar using a supinated (underhand) grip with your hands kept at shoulder width. Slowly lower the weight until your biceps are stretched and the upper arm is extended. Use your biceps to curl the bar up until you achieve full contraction and the weight is at your shoulder level. Squeeze your biceps hard and pause for one to two seconds before repeating the steps.

Bicep Preacher Curl Tips

  • Do the exercise at a slow pace, controlling the movement throughout the set.
  • Hold the bar with a closer grip to work your outer biceps and a wider grip to engage the inner biceps.
  • Avoid pausing for an extended period so that you do not end up resting your arms at the top.

Variations

  1. Machine Preacher Curl: Is similar to the basic preacher curl except that you do it by sitting on a preacher curl machine.
  2. Dumbbell Preacher Curl: Is performed by curling one or two dumbbells up.
  3. Cable Preacher Curl: Involves sitting on a preacher bench and curling a low cable attached to a pulley machine.
  4. Reverse Preacher Curl: Performed by holding the EZ bar or barbell using a pronated (palms down) grip.
  5. Standing Preacher Curl: Done by standing with one foot forward and holding the weight using a shoulder-width, underhand grip.
  6. Hammer Preacher Curl: Involves holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and then curling them up.

Alternative Exercise

Barbell Curls Lying Against an Incline

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