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What are Preacher Curls?

The preacher curl is an exercise to build muscular biceps. It’s a variation of biceps curls that offers you more biceps isolation than average curls. When you perform this exercise on the preacher curl bench, your body does not create momentum as you curl the load. I’m here to tell you some essential points of “What are Preacher curls?”

What are Preacher Curls - Woman doing Preacher Curls

Let’s establish what makes Preacher Curls so great, and that warrants a whole article just for itself!

Preacher Curls

If you’re a bodybuilder whose aim is to gain big biceps with increased strength, then Preacher curls might help you reach your goal. This is the most effective and famous biceps-builder or arm muscle growing workout routine. When you do this exercise, the targeted muscles are isolated to maximize the hypertrophy of the biceps and strengthen the brachialis and brachioradialis.

An isolation bicep exercise will enable you to practice lifting with a controlled movement supported by a preacher curls bench. Just sit on a preacher curl bench with your armpits resting on top of the arm pad and start doing the exercise. This slanted surface will support your arms when lifting an EZ bar, dumbbell, or barbell.

Of course, I am not asking you to replace it with your standard bicep curl. I’ll never recommend you ditch your workout routine altogether to keep on doing the preacher curl.  

Simply, this might be an excellent choice to implement this exercise alongside the arm above workout. It is meant to provide a whole lot of variation to your upper body split days. You might consider it light, but when you add this exercise to your gym routine, you’ll experience muscular fatigue for little time. 

Here is a short video that demonstrates how to do Preacher Curls perfectly:

Preacher Curls steps with Perfect Form

You can start the exercise by performing 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. It is based on your ability to maintain good technique entirely.

  1. Sit down on the preacher curl bench and adjust the seat to allow your upper arms and chest to contact the arm pad.
  2. Crouch down slightly and make sure that your armpits are placed upon the top of the pad.
  3. Now, advance your arms flat on the pad, leanly forwarding.
  4. Grab the EZ bar with an underhand grip to avoid too much stress placed upon your biceps tendons, your elbows, or wrists. 
  5. Straighten your arms and curl up. Make sure to keep your elbows tucked in the whole time to isolate the bicep heads.
  6. Ensure the good stretch completely the bottom but not over a hyperextend. Keep the tension placed upon your biceps even at the bottom of the movements.
  7. Before returning to the beginning, breathe out on the way up and then down. Keep your upper body still, and don’t swing.
  8. Lastly, slowly straighten your elbows to lower the barbell or EZ curl to the starting position.

Preacher Curl Benefits

Preacher curls help you grow the three primary elbow flexors: your biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis. It provides you with a unique stimulus for biceps hypertrophy. When you go to the gym to build muscles and lose fat, you should also try this exercise to get big biceps.


It makes your body more comfortable in a resting position as you can’t perform this exercise while standing. You have to be seated on a preacher curls bench.

The ability to Control

First off, the most significant benefit the preacher curls can give you is simply the ability to CONTROL—this exercise challenges the end range of motion, which no other curls do.


This exercise keeps your arms in a set position, and your core biceps are strictly targeted while doing it. It requires all your mental focus and muscular force output. It focuses more on form and function because of its strict movement pattern.

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Preacher Curl Downsides

There is a downside of Preacher Curls, and that’s simply the fact too. You can’t perform this exercise without equipment. Equipment might be the machine, pad, actual load, or ledge. But there is no need to worry as most gyms have the equipment as a standard, so looking for one won’t be that difficult.

How to Work Out Safely to Avoid Injury

  1. If you have any health problems, consult your doctor before joining/starting an exercise program.        
  2. The knowledge of exercise techniques is essential to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  3. The results are ultimately based on your ability to recover from work. 
  4. If you want to get optimal results based on your individual needs, you may need to modify each exercise.      
  5. Pay close attention to your body when you perform any exercise.
  6. Stop the exercise immediately if you note pain or discomfort.
  7. If you want sufficient recovery, rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups.
  8. Never choose a weight that doesn’t allow you to control your body throughout the movement entirely. 

Additional Tips to the Preacher Curl

When you are performing this exercise, make sure to keep your elbows stationary and in line with your shoulder joints. The movement should be all under control throughout your sets.  Lastly, when doing this exercise for the first time, start placing your arms on the pad. Ask someone to hand off the EZ bar to you. 

Don’t be shy to ask someone to help you if the bench doesn’t have a barbell/dumbbell rack. Most important, Safe execution is everything! 

Variations of Preacher Curls

Preacher curls might perform in five ways that include an EZ bar preacher curl, dumbbell Preacher Curl, kettlebell barbell Preacher Curl, and a resistance band Preacher Curl. When you are in the gym, you can perform this exercise multiple times by using different types of equipment. 

You can do this exercise with the piece of equipment you would like. Other preacher curl variations will also help keep your workouts exciting and provide variety. Each variation of the preacher curl involves the same general movement of isolating the upper arm at the elbow and curling the load towards the shoulder.

Here are several variations of it;

  1. EZ Bar Preacher Curl
  2. Dumbbell Preacher Curl
  3. Barbell Preacher Curl
  4. Resistance Band Preacher Curl
  5. Modification to the Preacher Curl
  6. Preacher Hammer Curl 
  7. Biceps Preacher Curl  
  8. Seated Preacher Curl 
  9. Standing Preacher Curl
  10. Preacher Curls Without Bench 
  11. Preacher Curl Bench
  12. Standing Preacher Curl Bench
  13. Preacher Curl Machine Exercise
  14. Preacher Curl Machine (Weight Stack)
  15. Preacher Curl Machine (Free Weight)
  16. Reverse Preacher Curl
  17. Single Arm Preacher Curl

Targeted Muscle

The preacher curls target the muscles of elbow flexors of the arm: Bicep Brachii, Brachialis, and Brachioradialis. These muscles help bend the arm, the general curling motion we see in most bicep exercises. Since the preacher curl is mainly performed with an overhand grip, this will primarily target the biceps’ largest elbow flexors. 

Here is our budging bicep motivation video of the day:

Preacher Curls Are Also for the Girls!

Yes, Ladies! You can also do this exercise. It may not look very easy, but practice will make it a piece of cake for you, and it is essential to get comfortable with it. You can start with a lighter load or weight. Set yourself up with the machine or any equipment and take your time. 

I know ladies love the appearance of toned and strong arms, so give it a go right now. If you doubt any step, you can ask your fitness professional on the floor there. Make your body and mind ready to understand the mechanics of this exercise and get willing to do this. When you’re comfortable with it, try a superset. 


  1. What are preacher curls suitable for?

Preacher curls are an impressive and effective exercise that you can do to grow your elbow flexors. It focuses on biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis, the three primary elbow flexors.

  1. How Much Does a Preacher Curl Bar Weight?

The weight of a preacher curl bar can vary from 18lbs to 22lbs. This is equivalent to 8kgs to 10kgs.

  1. What is the difference between bicep curls and preacher curls?

Preacher curls provide a better biceps stretch than standing curls. Standing curls also work the biceps more evenly; in contrast, preacher curls emphasize the biceps’ short (inner) head because of the exercise’s flexed shoulder position.

  1. Are preacher curls worth it?

The preacher curls bring several benefits that you might not find in conventional bicep curls. One of the most significant benefits of preacher curls is their ability to force you into negative movement. Negative movement improves muscle growth as well as enhances strength.

  1. Can I do preacher curls while standing?

You can’t perform this exercise if you are not sitting on a preacher curl bench. You have to be seated somewhere. It makes your body more comfortable in a resting position.

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Noble Woods III

My name is Noble, I have a passion for fitness and all things related to healthy living. My mission is to share my story and help those who wish to make a healthy change. Follow me on socials.

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