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Preacher Curl – Benefits and How to Do It Correctly


Preacher Curls – Grow Your Biceps

Preacher curls are done on an angled bench and focus on the biceps and forearms. They promote proper form, build strength, and enhance bicep definition. However, while they are one of the many types of bicep curls, they do offer more control and targeted isolation due to their seated position.

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Importance | Preacher Curls Muscles Worked | What is a Preacher Curl | How To Do A Preacher Curl | Benefits | Bicep Curls vs. Preacher Curls | Key Takeaways | FAQs

Hitting the gym, pumping out countless bicep curls, but still feel like your arms just aren’t bulking up?

It might not be about the quantity of your curls, but the quality of your workout! Perhaps you need to switch it up and try bicep exercises for mass building.

But to be specific, try the preacher curl – a game-changer for those serious about arm gains. Let’s unpack the magic behind this often-overlooked gym gem and discover how it can revolutionize your arm workouts.

Importance of the Curl Movement

The curling movement is essential for growing your arms, and here’s why:


The more straightforward the movement, the more effectively it targets the intended muscles. The curl is intuitive, making it a staple in arm exercises.

Tried and Tested

Nearly every gym-buff has incorporated curls into their routine at some point. The universal love this exercise receives speaks to its effectiveness.


The ability to execute curls with various equipment—cables, weight machines, barbells, and dumbbells—makes them the perfect to-do exercise for growing your arms.


The Science Behind the Preacher Curl – Muscles Worked

When you do a curl, you’re working out the muscles in your arm. Let’s break down these muscles and see how they help during the curl:

Biceps Brachii

  • Where It Is: The big muscle at the front of your upper arm.
  • What It Does: Helps bend your elbow and turn your palm up.
  • Role In the Curl: This is the main muscle you feel working when you curl a weight.


  • Where It Is: Underneath the biceps, connecting your upper arm to your forearm.
  • What It Does: Helps bend your elbow.
  • Role In the Curl: Supports the biceps, making your arm lift stronger.


  • Where It Is: A muscle in your forearm, close to your elbow.
  • What It Does: Helps bend your elbow, especially in different hand positions.
  • Role In the Curl: Helps out, especially when your grip changes, like holding a hammer.

In short, when you curl, these three muscles work collectively to help you lift the weight and give your arm its definition and strength.

What is a Preacher Curl?

Preacher curls take a unique approach on the traditional bicep curl. They focus on isolating the biceps, ensuring maximum muscle engagement. Whether using a free weight rack or a weight stack, the preacher curl remains a favorite in the weight lifting community.

How To Do a Preacher Curl

The essentials include a preacher bench and an E-Z bar. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Setup: Securely hold the E-Z curl bar at the close grip (inner handle). Your palms should be facing forward, slightly tilted inwards due to the bar’s design. This grip design reduces wrist strain and provides better bicep engagement.
  • Starting Position: With your upper arms and chest against the preacher bench pad, hold the E-Z Curl Bar at shoulder length. This eliminates momentum, ensuring a strict curling motion.
  • The Curl: Exhale and engage your biceps to curl the weight upwards. Once fully contracted, hold for a few seconds, emphasizing the contraction.
  • Returning: Inhale as you slowly lower the bar, fully stretching the biceps.
  • Repetitions: Continue for 10-15 reps or until failure.
  • Variations: For a change, you can use a low pulley with an E-Z Bar attachment. This offers a different resistance curve. It also introduces variety into your routine. If you don’t have a preacher curl setup, you can go for bicep twist curls.

Your Gym Clothes Matter

Executing bicep and preacher curls isn’t just about form – it’s also about choosing the right gym wear for men. Proper gym gear enhances your performance, offering flexibility and comfort. It’s the grip of your gloves during a preacher curl or the flex of your gym stringer during a bicep curl that can make the difference. Always wear gear that elevates your gym session.


Benefits of Preacher Curls

Beyond just muscle-building, preacher curls:

  • Improve Negative Movement: This exercise focuses on the negative or eccentric move, helping you grow muscle and build strength.
  • Maximize Muscle Engagement: The design of the preacher curl makes cheating difficult, ensuring maximum muscle engagement with every rep.
  • Safety and Precautions: With its focus on form, the preacher curl reduces the risk of injury. However, you need to consult with a physician if you have any medical condition or injury. Incorporate proper warm-ups for mobility during your workout.
  • Build Forearm Strength: With preacher curls, you also build strength in your forearms, helping you get overall sculpted, bodybuilder arms

If you’re a beginner, you can also go for bicep plate curls.


Bicep Curls vs. Preacher Curls

At a glance, both exercises seem similar. However, they’re executed in a different way – and that makes all the difference.

  • Beginners vs. Pros: Those just starting out their fitness journey may feel more comfortable with bicep curls while pro gym-goers can incorporate preacher curls
  • Isolation: Preacher curls are an isolated exercise. This makes them perfect for focused bicep work and strength building.
  • Equipment: While bicep curls are easy to do, preacher curls require a specific setup. While this setup guarantees zero-momentum, it can be a little difficult for beginners or non-gym goers to find the perfect setup.

Preacher curls are the foundation of a strong pull day (back and biceps) at the gym!


Key takeaway

To maintain a good form preacher curl are your go-to exercise. Bicep curls can work just as well but it is necessary to keep a good form and avoid cheating while performing them.

If you are already well-versed in the art of curl movements, click here to find more exercises and workouts.

Also try: How to Do Reverse Curls Correctly?


Should I go heavy on preacher curls?

Going heavy on preacher curls can be effective for muscle growth and strength, but it’s essential to prioritize form over weight. Preacher curls target the biceps and forearm muscles. Using heavy weights can increase the risk of injury. It’s important to start with a weight you lift easily without compromising your form. Increase the weights gradually as your strength and technique improve. While preacher curls are designed to enhance bicep growth and definition, proper technique ensures safety and optimal results.

Should I do preacher curls sitting or standing?

Preacher curls are performed in a seated position on an angled bench. The seated position offers more control and isolates your bicep and forearm muscles. The bench offers stability, allowing proper form. This also reduces momentum. In addition, since it’s an isolated movement, it eliminates the use of other muscles to help you in the lift. You can perform this while standing as well but it doesn’t offer the same stability as the seated position does. If you want maximum bicep engagement and minimal momentum then the seated preacher curl is your go-to.

Will preacher curls make my biceps bigger?

Yes, if you incorporate preacher curls into your arm workout routine, then your biceps will get bigger. This exercise isolates the biceps and forearms. It incorporates strict technique and zero-momentum. This targeted isolation engages your muscles effectively, promoting muscle hypertrophy or growth. As with any exercise, the key to seeing results is combining proper technique, progressive overload, and recovery. Remember, while preacher curls are an excellent tool for bicep development, they should be a part of a well-rounded arm training program for bicep growth.

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