The preacher curl – as all personal trainers know – is one of the best exercises that you can do that isolates the biceps. However, most people tend to perform these exercises incorrectly. One of the biggest problems that is encountered when doing a preacher curls is not the technique itself but rather the equipment (preacher bench). Here are some tips for performing the perfect preacher curl regardless of the equipment you have available at your gym.
Don’t rest the back of your arms completely flat against the pads
Rather keep your chest a bit higher and hold your elbows just over the edge of the bottom of the pad. This will allow you to get a bigger muscle contraction since you’ll be working through the full range of motion and with this your wrist and grip strength will improve. You’ll also be able to handle a lot more weight with this improved technique.
Use an underhand grip with your palms facing upwards
Slowly curl the bar up to the top and bring it a few inches away from your chin. Return the bar slowly down in a controlled way to the starting position. You can add some slight resistance on your way down (negative contraction). Repeat this movement for your desired amount of repetitions and sets. (Your personal trainer will be able to advise you on how many reps you should be doing.)
Remember: your breathing is just as important:
- Breathe out when you are contracting the muscle (or working against gravity), and
- Inhale when you are taking the bar down to the starting position. Keep your feet planted on the floor.
Try using an EZ bar with your next exercise routine
This variation puts all the stress on to the biceps and eliminates any swinging and momentum that could possibly have occurred from doing bicep curls when standing or seated. It also helps to put the wrist in a more neutral position. If you ever have pain in your forearms with preacher curls using a straight bar, just use the EZ bar to be pain free. Should you want to work your forearms you can use a reverse grip on the bar.
6 Watchp0ints during the preacher curl
- Never hyperextend your elbows at the bottom of the lift.
- Don’t not lift the bar to fast as this will also place strain on your elbows.
- Don’t allow your wrists to bend backwards. Keep these stable and firm.
- Always use weights that are manageable and don’t go too heavy too soon.
- Keep your arms and elbows securely on the bench.
- Keep your back flat and avoid any arching during your repetitions.
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