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Do Preacher Curls Work Forearms? (Forearm Pain Causes)

If you’re wondering whether preacher curls work forearms, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I explain why you’re feeling preacher curls in forearms and why preacher curls cause forearm pain.

man doing preacher curls in a gym

Do Preacher Curls Work Forearms?

Preacher curls mainly focus on your biceps but your forearms definitely come into play throughout the movement.

During flexion of your elbow, your biceps and forearms work together to make the movement happen.

As preacher curls rely on elbow flexion, both your biceps and forearms are being worked during the exercise.

How To Target Your Forearms More During Preacher Curls

Change To A Pronated Grip (Reverse Preacher Curls)

A supinated grip (palms-up) tends to put more focus on your biceps during curling exercises.

Switching to a pronated grip (palms-down) is a great way of putting more emphasis on your forearms.

Reverse preacher curls can feel odd to begin with as the grip feels counter-intuitive when trying to flex and extend your elbow while your arms are resting on a preacher bench.

However, once you’ve mastered the technique, reverse preacher curls are a great way of targeting your forearms more during preacher curls.

Use Dumbbells For Preacher Hammer Curls

While hammer curls are great at building your biceps, the neutral grip (palms facing your body) does a good job of activating your forearm muscles too.

Grip strength tends to improve when doing hammer curls which is usually a result of stronger forearms.

Both preacher curls and hammer curls are good for forearms as individual exercises.

Combining the two can be very beneficial for not only building bigger and stronger biceps, but also for building your forearms.

Why Do Preacher Curls Cause Forearm Pain During The Exercise?

Tight Or Tense Forearms

If you’re feeling pain in your forearms during preacher curls, it could be a sign that you have overly tight forearms or you’re holding some tension in the area.

Tight muscles can trigger pain receptors in your brain, which can make your forearms feel sore or uncomfortable.

This is effectively your body’s way of telling you there’s an issue that needs resolving. In this case, reducing the tightness or tension in your forearms.

Not Warming Up Properly (Or At All)

Warming up before any physical activity or exercise is more important than you may think.

A good warm-up prepares your body for the effort it’s about to exert by increasing blood flow, increasing heart rate, and reducing tension in your muscles (among other things).

If you don’t thoroughly warm up before preacher curls, you may feel some soreness in your forearms during the exercise.

You Are Lifting Too Much Weight

One of the most common mistakes people make in the gym is trying to lift too much weight before their body is ready for it.

Pain in your forearms during preacher curls can be a sign that the weight you’re lifting is too much and you might want to consider lifting less until your strength has reached a suitable level.

Why Do Preacher Curls Cause Forearm Pain After The Exercise?

Incorrect Technique

The preacher curl technique is usually fairly simple to master, as you have the support of the preacher bench which limits your movements somewhat.

That being said, if your positioning or any part of the technique is incorrect, you could very well have sore forearms after preacher curls.

(Watch below to see how to do preacher curls correctly!)


Pain or discomfort in your forearms after preacher curls could be a sign of injury.

It’s worth bearing in mind that some mild discomfort is normal after any exercise, but any pain that limits movement or prevents you from being able to complete your daily tasks might be a sign of something more serious.

If you’re concerned that the soreness you’re feeling is not normal, it’s always worth getting a medical professional to take a look to either confirm or rule out an injury.

Are Reverse Preacher Curls Good For Forearms?

The pronated grip used for reverse preacher curls is very beneficial for helping engage your forearms during the exercise.

A supinated grip tends to work your biceps more whereas a pronated grip moves a good amount of the focus to your forearms.

This is why reverse preacher curls are awesome for forearms.


In summary:

  • While preacher curls mainly target your biceps, they work your forearms too.
  • If preacher curls hurt your forearms, it’s likely because you haven’t warmed up properly and you’re using too much weight.
  • If you want to target your forearms more effectively, reverse preacher curls are a great alternative.

That’s all for preacher curls and forearms, but why does the preacher curl cause elbow pain? Or perhaps you’re interested in concentration curl vs preacher curl?

Thanks for reading!


.Preacher Curls Muscles Worked