What is preacher curl exercise?

If building biceps is your thing, chances are that you would have heard of preacher curl. 

For those who are new to workouts and wondering what is preacher curl and why to include it in your workout routine, read on to know more. 

A preacher curl exercise is a variation of the bicep curl exercise that targets the front of your upper arm and the lower arm muscles. In this, the person exercising sits on a preacher curl bench. This preacher curl bench, along with the seat, has an angled pad that helps in stabilising your feet. The preacher curl exercise is done using a barbell or an EZ curl bar with an underhand grip.

How is preacher curl exercise done?

Wondering how to do preacher curl and get those promised biceps? Follow these steps for getting the best form every time you do this dumbbell preacher curl:

  • Sit comfortably at the preacher curl bench with your spine straight and knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the floor.
  • Adjust your position to fit the angled preached pad under your armpit.
  • Hold dumbbells in each hand with an underhand grip.
  • Ensure keeping your upper arm in line with your forearm so that when you extend your elbows, your arms form a straight line from your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Remember, not to bring them all the way up. Stop when your forearm is almost perpendicular to the floor.
  • Squeeze your bicep.
  • Now lower to the starting position while keeping your elbows bent slightly.¬†
  • You can do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps of dumbbell preacher curl.

What are the different variations of preacher curls and how to do them?

Now that you know how to do preacher curls and have been practising them for a long time, it’s now time to crank up your routine with their variations. Here are some of the most effective ones worth including in your routine:

  1. Barbell preacher curl: In this preacher curl bar is used instead of dumbbells. It is an excellent preacher curl workout for growing your bicep muscles. To perform this exercise, you need to bend the preacher curl bar at an angle of 45-degrees while sitting on the bench. You need to keep your biceps engaged throughout the movement. 

  1. Reverse preacher curl: Reverse preacher curl is a variation where your palms are facing away from your body instead of facing it. This exercise, done with an overhand grip, focuses on your forearms more than the conventional preacher curl. 

  1. Standing preacher curl: One of the most effective isolation exercises to build your muscles, standing preacher curl adds a lot to your workout regime. To perform this exercise, you need to set a bench to a higher incline and stand behind the bench and rest your arms on it with dumbbells in your hands. Slowly curl up the weights and hold for a few seconds and lower your arms back down. 

  1. Single-arm preacher curl: As the name suggests, this preacher bicep curl is done using one arm. This variation is especially beneficial for correcting muscular imbalances between the arms.

  1. Preacher hammer curl: In this variation, the preacher bicep curl is done while holding a dumbbell vertically instead of horizontally. This is an excellent exercise for people who want to strengthen their forearms and wrists more. This also helps improve the strength of your grip.

What are the benefits of preacher curl exercise?

  • One of the most important preacher curl benefits is that they give you the promised ‚Äėbig arms‚Äô. This works in two ways. One, this exercise activates, strengthens, and challenges your biceps brachii including the neighbouring brachialis and brachioradialis. Secondly, this exercise focuses on negative movement. This means that it lengthens your bicep muscles under load, enhancing their growth and strength.

  • It is an excellent exercise to work on your forearms and wrists too.¬†

  • Preacher curls help stabilise your movement while working on your biceps. The use of a bench immobilises your body and controls swinging and the use of your back instead of your arms.

  • This exercise is pretty comfortable to perform, especially since you can sit and perform this. While you are working your biceps with weights, your arms get to rest on a stable and padded surface.

  • If you have the necessary equipment, this exercise can be easily incorporated into your regime of workout at home.

  • By cranking up the calories, this serves as an excellent weight loss exercise. When practised regularly, it prevents several obesity-related health issues such as kidney problems, diabetes, and cardiac diseases.

  • Like any other exercise, an important preacher curl benefit is that it helps regulate the production of cortisol, a stress hormone and promotes the production of endorphins. This helps elevate your mood and gives you a positive outlook.

How to do preacher curl exercises safely?

Here are some things that you need to keep in mind to do this exercise safely, especially when you are doing preacher curls at home:

  • While doing preacher curls you need to be mindful of your posture. Maintain a straight line from your shoulders to the wrists reducing the likelihood of muscular strains or injuries.

  • Never start doing preacher curls at home without learning their technique from an experienced trainer.¬†

  • Ensure that the pad is secured comfortably in your armpits. This helps to stabilise the motion and lets you gain the benefits of your preacher curl workout.

  • Don‚Äôt start lifting heavy weights at the outset. Start with weights according to your lifting capacity and gradually build up your practice.¬†

  • Try to sit as close to the bench pads. Keeping them far away from your body may cause lower back pain.


The preacher curl is an excellent exercise that gives you a stronger upper body. The key to gaining all its benefits is to keep yourself challenged and motivated. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the variations of the preacher curl. Also, remember to be consistent with your practice. That’s the only way to have bigger and stronger biceps.

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