Preacher curls are one of the best bicep builders out there.
They’re a great exercise to isolate the biceps and are used by many gym-goers everywhere.
Like with any exercise, the technique you use is paramount to the results you get.
If you use improper technique, not only will you minimize gains, but you also increase the risk of injury.
In this article, we look deeper into the technique of preacher curls to see how to get best results.
Let’s get started.
How Far Down Should You Go On Preacher Curls?
This is very much a “how long is a piece of string” style of question.
It depends on many factors, such as how heavy the weight you’re lifting, your goals, and how experienced of a lifter you are.
But generally speaking, you should lower the weight so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. This will minimize the risk of injury while still putting plenty of tension on your biceps to maximize gains.
Why You Shouldn’t Fully Extend Your Arms
It’s believed that the eccentric (i.e. lowering) phase of the movement contributes to the most hypertrophy (i.e. muscle growth).
So, you’ll often hear many people saying you should fully extend your arms on curling exercises to get the most bang for your back.
While there’s some truth to this, it can actually be dangerous for preacher curls.
Well, your upper arms are fixed against a preacher bench.
If you’re lifting a heavy weight and you fully extend your arms, there’s a much higher chance of you straining your bicep, or injuring your elbow tendons.
Like with any exercise, there’s a trade-off of risk and reward here.
Is the potential for a little more gains worth the risk of getting injured?
You can answer that for yourself. For me, it’s a solid no.
Lowering the weight during preacher curls so that your forearms are parallel to the floor is sufficient for muscle growth, while minimizing the risk of injury.
Does It Matter What Equipment You Use?
Preacher curls can be done with various types of gym equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, and even kettlebells.
Regardless of the equipment used, the technique is still pretty much the same – your upper arms are pegged against the preacher bench regardless of the type of weight you use.
Therefore you should still only lower the weight to parallel regardless of the type of equipment used if you want to minimize the risk of injury.
What Happens If You Fully Lock Out On Preacher Curls?
By now, you should know that fully locking out on preacher curls is a terrible idea!
But accidents happen. It may happen to you unintentionally, especially when attempting a heavy weight.
If you do notice that your arms are locking out when doing preacher curls, then this is a good sign that you’re lifting a too heavy weight.
Preacher curls aren’t supposed to be lifted heavy – save that ego lifting for barbell curls where the risk of injury is minimal (when done properly).
In summary, it’s best to lower the bar down during preacher curls so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. This will be the safest and most effective way of doing preacher curls.
Hope this helped!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.