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 c 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. 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 Watchpoints during the preacher curl
- Never hyperextend your elbows at the bottom of the lift. If you do this, you could end up damaging this delicate joint.
- 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. If you go too heavy too soon, you run the risk of seriously damaging your body and having to put your training on hold while you recover
- Keep your arms and elbows securely on the bench.
- Keep your back flat and avoid any arching during your repetitions.
Why women should do preacher curls
Gone are the days of women avoiding the weights section at the gym as they thought that this type of exercise would make them big and bulky – just like a man. Women across the globe know that training with weights has loads of benefits such as building lean muscle – which burns tonnes of calories at rest – as well as promoting longevity.
However, what we’ve seen is a trend of women avoiding a certain number of weight-lifting exercises because they think that this will shape their bodies just like a man’s. One of these exercises in the preacher curl. This is famed for building a ‘peak’ on the biceps – something which men aspire to but women want to avoid for themselves.
Just remember that a woman’s and a man’s body are built differently. They have different types of hormones flowing through their systems which make their bodies respond in different ways to various exercises. So, no matter how hard the average woman tries, when she does a preacher curl, her biceps won’t start bulging like a male bodybuilders’ would!
So, ladies, next time you’re at the gym, don’t bypass the preacher bench just because you may feel intimidated about all the muscular guys around it. Get stuck into preacher curls and reap the benefits that they have for you!
Do you have a passion for exercise? Do you dream of spending hours and hours at the gym, and never want to leave? If you answered ‘yes!’ to these questions then you are probably a personal trainer in the making… If you think you could make a successful career out of your passion for exercise and become a personal trainer, sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Certification. Follow this link for more information.