Bicep Training – Preacher Curls

Preacher curls are a good supplemental isolation exercise that focuses directly on your bicep muscles. This bicep curl technique eliminates some “cheating” and can increase the effectiveness of the bicep curl exercises in your training program.

Purpose of this Exercise

The preacher curl is an isolation exercise for your biceps. The goal of this exercise is to focus exclusively on your biceps.

Exercise Technique

  • The preacher curl uses a bench created specifically for this exercise. It is designed to isolate the bicep muscles during the lift. A typical preacher curl bench has a seat, a pad to support your upper arms during the lift, and a rack for a barbell or EZ-curl bar.
  • Adjust the seat of the bench so that when you are seated you can brace your feet firmly on the floor. Adjust the pad somewhat below your armpits so that you can comfortably rest your triceps against it, leaving you free to perform a full range of motion for the curl.
  • You may have to stand to pick up the curl bar, or have a spotter hand it to you. Begin the exercise with the bar at the top, and your biceps fully contracted holding the bar up.
  • Lower the bar in a controlled manner until your arms are fully extended, keeping tension on your biceps as you lower the bar
  • Contract your biceps, forcefully pulling the bar back to the top of the lift
  • Remain seated in the bench with your upper arms motionless on the pad throughout the lift. This will help to isolate your biceps as you lift.
  • Select a weight that you can perform all of your repetitions using proper technique. On your last 1-2 sets, your last repetitions should be very difficult.

Additional bicep exercise:

Although effective isolation exercises, bicep curls, including preacher curls, are not what builds muscle mass or strength in your biceps. They should be used as any isolation exercise is – after completing your heavy compound exercises. I recommend performing your bicep curls after you complete your back and rowing exercises, such as:

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