Looking for bicep gains? If so, the preacher curls exercise is one of your best friends.
No matter where you stand in your gym journey — whether you're a bodybuilder or just dipping your toes into the world of lifting — there's a tried and true method for beefing up those biceps: preacher curls. These classic curls are a tested and efficient way to pump up your arm muscles, regardless of your level of experience. So, whether you're a gym veteran or a newbie lifter, preacher curls could be your ticket to bigger, stronger biceps.
Proper form, targeted isolation and more control are the most well-known benefits of preacher curls, but there is more! Don't believe me? Let me show you.
Preacher Curl: 5 Benefits That Will Grow Your Biceps
1. Stronger Biceps
Let's start by stating the obvious – Introducing preacher curls to your arm routine will result in stronger biceps. Your biceps kick into high gear when you're seated for preacher curls.
Unlike other bicep curl variations, your upper body remains stable, making those arm muscles work extra hard throughout the movement. The key here? Stay honest with yourself. Avoid cheating by extending your elbows and resisting the urge to rock back and forth. This way, you can zero in on the weight and really feel the burn.
Aim for quality over quantity in your isolation workout for optimal bicep growth. Try slowing down those preacher curls, especially during the lowering phase, to give your forearms an extra boost. It's all about maximizing the effectiveness of each rep for stronger, more defined biceps.
2. Targeted & Isolated Bicep Exercise
With the help of a preacher bench pad, this curl variation locks your shoulders and elbows in position, ensuring your biceps take center stage without relying on support from your shoulders or back muscles.
By eliminating any chance of using momentum to lift the bar, the preacher curl hones in on those biceps, potentially boosting your strength gains. It's like giving your biceps a solo spotlight to shine and grow stronger with each controlled rep.
No swings, no cheating, no other muscles in motion – you can only rely on your biceps to do the work.
3. Eccentric Movement
Another standout aspect of this curl is its emphasis on the eccentric movement, also called negatives. During the eccentric phase, when the muscle lengthens, energy gets stored within our connective tissue to fuel the lifting power during the concentric phase.
Thanks to the stability the preacher bench provides, you can execute a deliberate, slow, eccentric phase, maintaining constant tension throughout. Next time you're on the preacher curl machine, try to lower the weight and focus on the negative. Lift up fast and move slowly down, this will give you an insane pump. Slow resistance training has plenty of research supporting my statement.
This method allows for the efficient transfer of stored energy, ultimately maximizing muscle growth and strength potential in the biceps. It's like unlocking a secret powerhouse within your workout routine, paving the way for stronger, more defined arms.
4. Safety & Precautions
I know that this one may sound a bit controversial, but hear me out. This classic exercise not only helps you build stronger biceps but also reduces the risk of injury if used properly. By providing support for your arms and shoulders, the preacher bench ensures proper form and stability throughout each rep. So, if safety is your top priority (and it should be!), adding preacher curls to your routine is a smart move for a stronger, healthier you.
None of my clients have ever experienced any types of injuries due to preacher curls because I'm always being frank about the risk if one tries to overload it with weights. Think about it, the bicep is a small (but strong) muscle. Overloading it will, of course, risk biceps tendon tears, but that does not make the preacher curls a dangerous or unsafe exercise.
5. Great Pump
Want to experience that satisfying pump in your arms? Preacher curls might be my favourite biceps exercise when I'm looking for a massive pump. With its precise and controlled targeting of the biceps, preacher curls pave the way for that coveted muscle definition and fullness you've been dreaming of.
Again, I will ask you to lower the weights and do more reps. Feel the burn. Want to take it to the next level? Try a preacher curl super set.
6. Comfort with Stability
One more perk of the preacher curl is its enhanced comfort and stability during the movement. Despite the workload on your biceps, the preacher curl bench lends a natural feel to the exercise. Plus, the slight ‘W' shape of the bar ensures your wrists are positioned at an optimal angle, reducing any potential pain or discomfort. It's all about making your workout as smooth and enjoyable as possible!
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How You Perform Preacher Curl – With Perfect Form
This is how you do preacher curls with best possible form:
- Set Up: Position yourself comfortably on the preacher bench, ensuring your armpits are snug against the top pad. Grip the EZ bar with an underhand grip, hands spaced slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Start with light weights and add accordingly.
- Engage: Keep your back straight and core engaged throughout the exercise to maintain stability. Your feet should be planted firmly on the ground for balance.
- Curl It Up: With controlled movements, curl the barbell towards your shoulders while keeping your upper arms firmly planted against the bench. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement for maximum contraction.
- Lower Slowly: Lower the barbell back down to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner, fully extending your arms without locking out your elbows.
- Repeat: Aim for 8-12 repetitions per set, focusing on maintaining proper form and control throughout each repetition.
Bicep Curls Or Preacher Curls?
Easy answer: Both should be added to your bicep routine!
Bicep curls, the classic go-to, involve lifting weights with a simple up-and-down motion, targeting the biceps directly. They're versatile and can be done with dumbbells, barbells, or even resistance bands.
On the other hand, preacher curls add a twist to the mix. With the support of a preacher bench, these curls isolate the biceps even more, reducing the chances of cheating with momentum and emphasizing controlled movements, as we spoke about in the overall benefits
So, which should you choose? I'd say both for a better pump. Bicep curls offer simplicity and flexibility, while preacher curls provide added stability and isolation.
There are even more great preacher curl alternatives that you can add to your arm day.