Preacher Curl Training Tips

The preacher curl maximizes biceps isolation, focusing on the short head by eliminating any involvement of the shoulder muscles to help raise the arms.

To Start:

Set a preacher bench so the top of the pad fits securely under your armpits. Take a shoulder-width, underhand grip on the bar and position your arms parallel to each other on the bench. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your head straight.

Flex your biceps to bring the bar as high as possible without allowing your elbows to flare out. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top before slowly returning to the start position. Stop just short of full arm extension. Repeat for reps.

Pair the preacher curl with exercises that hit the biceps from various angles, including incline curls, standing barbell/dumbbell curls, hammer curls and concentration curls. Do about 3-4 sets for 12-15 reps.

Quick tips:

Keep your upper arms in contact with the bench at all times. This produces a stronger bicep contraction.

Avoid completely straightening your arms in the bottom position to keep constant tension on the target muscle.

If the straight bar causes your discomfort, try using an EZ-bar.

Keep your head straight with your eyes focused forward.

Even though you’re leaning forward against the bench, keep your abs pulled in tight, with your chest up and back flat.

You can also perform this move one arm at a time with dumbbells. Use your nonworking arm to self-spot.

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