Achieving great biceps development is an ambition of anyone who trains with weights, and the biceps are indeed the first thing anyone looks at to gauge someone’s physical prowess. There are more types of biceps exercise than you can shake a stick at, all with varying effectiveness. One exercise which truly is outstanding for biceps is the preacher curl; so called because of the prayer like position one assumes when executing the exercise.
Preacher curls are a true biceps isolation exercise, which can be done with 2 handed with a barbell or singularly using dumbbells. What is special about preacher curls many claim is the extra tension placed on the lower biceps because of the positioning. Larry Scott – the first ever Mr. Olympia – attributes his awesomely shaped biceps not merely to genetics, but to the fact he made extensive use of preacher curls, which he is convinced helped to make the bottom of the biceps jump out from the arm, rather than appear in a shallow ramp.
Arnold Schwarzenegger also has his own thoughts on the usefulness of the preacher curl, stating that it may help to fill and shape the lower biceps area and mask the dreaded ‘biceps gap’ some people are cursed with.
I’ll describe how to perform a barbell preacher curl, as I feel this will make the dumbbell variety self explanatory.
How to perform the barbell preacher curl…
Take your position on the preacher bench, with your chest firmly against the padded top, and the backs of you arms lying over the top of the padding. Now, holding a barbell with a relatively close underhand grip, and maintaining this stable position – chest against the bench, armpits snug against it, curl the barbell up until the forearms are vertical. (Ensure your upper arms never leave the pad!) Lower the barbell slowly until arms are straight once more. Repeat for multiple reps.