Every athlete wants bigger biceps. Who doesn’t want “take-notice arms” long after the “pump” from working out is gone?
With numerous arm curl workouts available, choosing the right one can be confusing and even frustrating. Since most gyms carry the necessary equipment, Preacher Curls can be a great choice for any athlete as long as his or her form is correct, with a few tweaks specific to the athlete’s training routine.
Preacher Curls can be done with dumbbells, a barbell or even a machine. They engage your brachialis, the muscle that assists in flexing the elbow joint. They also hit other arm muscles: the biceps brachii, brachioradialis and wrist flexors. And they’re ideal for building the inner region of the biceps.
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Preacher Curls were originally thought to build the peak of the biceps. However, due to the short head of the biceps creating more of the lift during this exercise, they actually aren’t a great choice if you’re looking to add peak.
Keep in mind that because of the lack of stability in this exercise, your form has to be incredibly strict. If your form is incorrect, Preacher Curls are not worth performing.
Depending on which variation of the Preacher Curl you perform, watch out for these common mistakes:
- Do not elevate your upper trapezius muscles.
- Do not round your upper back while keeping a slight arch to your lower back.
- Keep your body and shoulders stable throughout.
- Use a weight you can control; lifting too much weight or having incorrect form could cause an injury to your biceps tendon or shoulder joint.
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Preacher Curl Workout
For each Preacher Curl exercise, position yourself the same. Sit on the preacher bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor shoulder-width apart. Grip the dumbbells, barbell or machine in a supinated (underhand) grip. Your underarms should be positioned at the top of the pad.
Lower the dumbbells, barbell or machine in a controlled manner until both of your elbows are fully extended. Then curl upward, keeping your shoulders and body stable throughout.
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Traditional Preacher Curl with Barbell
Sets/Reps: Beginners, 3×10 using your 10-rep max, with two minutes rest between sets; more advanced athletes, 3×8-12 using 75 percent of your one rep max, with 90 seconds rest between sets.
Eccentric Preacher Curl with Dumbbells
Sets/Reps: Beginners, 3×10 using your 10-rep max, slowly lowering the dumbbells for 2-3 seconds and holding for a second at the top, with two minutes rest between sets; more advanced athletes, 3×8-12 using 75 percent of your one rep max, slowly lowering the dumbbells for 2-3 seconds and holding for a second at the top, with 90 seconds rest between sets.
Machine Preacher Curl with Isometric Holds
Sets/Reps: Beginners, 3×10 using your 10-rep max, holding for 4-5 seconds at the bottom, with two minutes rest between sets; more advanced athletes, 3×8-12 using 75 percent of your one rep max, holding for 4 -5 seconds at the bottom, with 90 seconds rest between sets.