How to Do Preacher Curl: Variations, Proper Form, Techniques

One of the most effective exercises for targeting the biceps is the preacher curl. The preacher curl is a weight lifting exercise that works the biceps brachii muscle. It’s an isolation movement, meaning it only uses one joint and muscle group at once.

The preacher curl primarily targets the long head of the biceps brachii, which is located near the shoulder blade and not as much involved in other types of curls, like when using an EZ-bar. This type of curling motion also recruits more muscles including the brachialis, brachioradialis, and supinators.

When planning to master preacher curl techniques, work it into a biceps routine or as a stand-alone exercise. For best results, preacher curls should be done at the start of a workout since they require grip strength and all the muscles in the arms to be strong and stable. 

There are over six different ways to perform the preacher curl. Since some preacher curls are done standing up, it’s possible to do preacher curl variations with varying equipment, such as an adjustable preacher bench or preacher curl machine, barbells, and dumbbells. 

The preacher curl can be a compound lift. But it is also considered an isolation exercise which means one joint and muscle group is used. Preacher curls are a type of exercise used to target muscles in the biceps and forearms. 

This article will introduce preacher curls, their benefits, the importance of mistakes and injuries associated with preacher curls, and how to avoid them by using proper form. 

How to Perform Preacher Curl with Proper Form?

If done correctly, Preacher Curls are an effective workout to include in your biceps exercise routine. It’s performed with dumbbells, an E-Z bar, or a straight bar. It is crucial to maintain proper form to achieve the desired results when performing preacher curls. It involves using a weight that is challenging but not so heavy that it will cause failure towards the desired number of reps to be completed. Keep the back straight and avoid swinging the weight.

First, sit at the preacher’s bench with arms resting on the upper portion of the bench and palms facing up. Slowly lift the weight to the shoulder. And then exhale while curling the weight back down. Make sure to keep the chest pressed firmly against the bench.

In addition, make sure to curl the weight up towards the shoulder rather than swinging it up. It will help ensure that the intended targeted muscles are activating. Finally, make sure to squeeze those biceps at the top of the curl to fully engage the muscles.

Here are the steps for preacher curls on a bench and using an E-Z bar.

  1. Prepare a preacher bench and an E-Z bar.
  2. Point the palms front and slightly inward.
  3. Grip the E-Z Curl Bar at shoulder length.
  4. Place upper arms and chest against the preacher bench pad.
  5. Exhale while curling the weight up to shoulder height with biceps firmly tightened.
  6. Lower the bar steadily while inhaling.
  7. Extend the upper arm and biceps to a fully stretched position.

There are other methods if there is no access to a bench. They include using an E-Z bar or regular bar, on a preacher stool or standing preacher machine, or using a bench machine made for preacher curls. 

Remember to select the appropriate weight that will allow the completion of eight to twelve reps. Always place both hands with the knurling facing out. It will allow for a better grip on the bar, helping to minimize any chance of dropping it during the set.

What are the Benefits of Preacher Curl?

The preacher curl form is an isolation exercise that primarily targets the biceps brachii muscle. They can be done with a barbell or dumbbell, and it does have several benefits that make them worth considering. 

What are the Benefits of Preacher Curl
What are the Benefits of Preacher Curl?

Ready to dominate preacher curl? These are the benefits. 

  1. Increases the size of biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis, the three main elbow flexors. 
  2. Gives the ability to control where muscle will grow.
  3. Benefits of much stronger isolation, despite potentially not being able to curl heavier weights than the standard curl.
  4. Gives a more comfortable resting body.

What are the Mistakes for Preacher Curl?

Several mistakes can be made while doing DB preacher curls and their variations. Some of the most common preacher curl mistakes include.

  1. Not using proper form. It can lead to injuries and reduced effectiveness of the exercise. Make sure to keep the back straight, the core engaged, and shoulders down throughout the entire curl.
  2. Using too much weight. Doing this can lead to injuries, as well as poor form. Start with a weight that can be handled safely and correctly, and gradually increase the amount.
  3. Not using enough weight. Even when using proper form, the targeted results will not be achieved, if there is no challenging routine.
  4. Using the back – While doing DB preacher curls, some people will allow their back to “cheat” and help with the movement. Make sure to squeeze the shoulder blades together, and curl primarily with the forearms.

How to Determine Proper Weight for Preacher Curl?

The first step is to know how to do preacher curls. Then to determine the proper weight for a preacher curl, first find the maximum weight. A couple of warm-up sets are required to find this out. 

How to Determine Proper Weight for Preacher Curl
How to Determine Proper Weight for Preacher Curl?

On the first set, use a weight that is about 10% of your one-rep maximum and perform as many reps as possible. Rest for a minute or two, and then repeat the same weight and perform another set of reps. Repeat this same step, but with a weight that is 15% lighter than the previous warm-up sets. 

For the final warm-up set, use a weight that is about 20% lighter than your maximum. When this warm-up set is complete, finish off the set with only the bar to help gauge how much weight is manageable for the following maximal set.

Next, do a maximal set of preacher curls. For this maximal set, use the estimated weight as the maximum weight for preacher curls. Make sure to do as many reps as possible, taking breaks as needed. Try to beat the previous number of reps on each set until failure.

Finally, subtract 5% from the maximal weight to determine how much weight to use for future preacher curl workout routines.

Which Muscles are Involved while Performing Preacher Curl?

The preacher curl primarily works the biceps muscles. But it involves the shoulder muscles and the core muscles as well. 

The EZ bar preacher curl is a common form that uses an EZ bar and works the following muscles.

  1. Brachialis – This type of curl specifically targets the brachialis. The brachialis is a muscle in the upper arm that helps to flex the elbow. 
  2. Brachioradialis – This muscle is responsible for pronation of the forearm and helps to stabilize the elbow. The preacher curl allows the isolation of this muscle and works it to its fullest potential. 
  3. Biceps brachii – Preacher curls are a great way to isolate the biceps brachii muscles. Target and focus on these muscles by using an EZ bar on a preacher bench. The EZ bar preacher curl targets the biceps brachii and helps to build strength and size in this muscle.  

What are the Preacher Curl Variations?

Different equipment and variations are used for this workout. They include an EZ curl bar, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and Scott curls. There are other alternative ways to perform preacher curls, including variations in the angle of the bench, the use of different pieces of equipment, and the positioning of the arms.

What are the Preacher Curl Variations
What are the Preacher Curl Variations?

1. EZ Bar Preacher Curl

EZ bar preacher curls strengthen the biceps brachii, which is responsible for bicep flexion or bicep curl. Bicep preacher curls work the biceps brachialis because the biceps brachialis aids the biceps brachii in bicep flexion. 

2. Dumbbell Preacher Curl

The biceps curl with dumbbells is used primarily by bodybuilders to target the biceps brachii muscles.

3. Barbell Preacher Curl

Barbell bicep preacher curls are the classic bicep curl variation. It targets the biceps but can also target other arm muscles, including the brachialis and brachioradialis.

4. Kettlebell Preacher Curl

A bicep curl using a kettlebell instead of a straight bar is different. In this exercise, the biceps muscles must work harder to keep the kettlebell steady in its path.

5. Resistance Band Preacher Curl

The resistance band preacher curl is an isolation bicep exercise that targets the biceps muscles. It requires resistance bands to be looped through each end of a long barbell. 

6. Scott Curl

The Scott curls are bicep preacher curls that use a cable machine. This variation is more challenging than traditional preacher curls because it requires more stabilization from the biceps muscles.

7. Behind The Back Cable Curl

It’s a type of preacher curl that uses a cable machine to add resistance instead of using free weights.

8. Preacher Hammer Curl 

It is performed by sitting down on a preacher bench with a weight in each hand, then curling the weights towards the shoulders. It’s not uncommon to perform the exercise with one arm at a time.

9. Biceps Preacher Curl

The main features of bicep preacher curls are that it isolates the biceps muscles and it is a seated exercise. 

10. Seated Preacher Curl 

The seated preacher curl uses a machine to isolate the biceps muscle. It is a seated exercise that helps lift heavier weights than what would be possible with free weights. 

11. Standing Preacher Curl

The main features of the standing preacher curl are that it stabilizes the shoulder and elbow, isolates the biceps, and allows for a full range of motion.

12. Preacher Curls Without Bench 

The main features of the preacher curls without a bench are that they target the biceps muscles more effectively. They also help improve the range of motion and isolation of the muscles.

What is the Necessary Equipment for Preacher Curls?

The necessary equipment for EZ bar preacher curls includes an EZ barbell, a weight bench, and a preacher curl bench. 

Often the EZ bar is curved. But in some cases, they have been known to be more straight. Those are usually shorter than regular EZ bars.

  1. The EZ bar provides resistance during the curl.
  2. The weight bench is to curl the weight from a seated position. 
  3. The preacher curl bench helps to isolate the bicep muscles and ensure that only they are engaged during the exercise.

The preacher curl is an exercise for developing the peak of the biceps muscle.

  1. Preacher curl is a weightlifting exercise that primarily targets the biceps muscles.
  2. The preacher curl isolates the biceps muscles for targeted training.
  3. The preacher curl can be performed with various weights, depending on the level of difficulty desired.
  4. The preacher dumbbell curl can also be performed with different hand positions, depending on the muscle group targeted.

Does Preacher Curl Affect Hormones?

There is some evidence to suggest that preacher curls may affect hormones, particularly testosterone. One study found that doing preacher curls increased testosterone levels by 19%. It suggests that preacher curls could be a useful exercise for muscle growth. 

Next time someone asks, what is a preacher curl? Not only will the answer be known but also what it affects inside the body. 

Does Preacher Curl affect the mood?

There has been some research on the effects of preacher curl exercise on the mood. The results of the research are inconclusive. Some people have reported it has a positive effect on their mood. Others have reported a negative effect. More research is needed to determine the full effect.

Is Preacher Curl Practiced within CrossFit?

Yes, the seated EZ bar curl is an exercise practiced within CrossFit.

Is Preacher Curl a Military Movement?

The preacher curls workout is a military exercises because it helps to improve the strength and endurance of the arm muscles.

Is Preacher Curl Dangerous?

Yes, preacher curls are dangerous because they can easily lead to injuries such as rotator cuff tears and bicep ruptures. But are preacher curls effective? Absolutely! 

Is Preacher Curl Push or Pull?

The dumbbell preacher curl can be performed as a push or pull exercise. As a push exercise, the emphasis is on pushing the weight from the shoulder to the elbow. As a pull exercise, the emphasis is on pulling the weight from the elbow to the shoulder.

Is Preacher Curl Essential?

There is no definitive answer to this question as preacher curl is just one of many possible exercises used to target the biceps. However, preacher curl is a very effective exercise for developing the biceps, and it can be performed with a variety of different equipment, including a preacher curl pad. 

Therefore, preacher curl can be considered an essential exercise for anyone looking to build bigger and stronger biceps.

Is Preacher Curl an Olympic Lift?

No, the barbell preacher curls is not an Olympic lift. It is a weightlifting exercise in which a barbell is held with an underhand grip in front of the thighs and then lifted to shoulder height.

Is Preacher Curl a Compound Exercise?

The preacher curl is a compound exercise because it uses multiple joints and muscles. 

What can Replace Preacher Curl?

There are a few different exercises to do in place of a preacher curl. For example, try some standing curls or hammer curls.

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