Machine Preacher Curls - Biceps Exercise Guide
Muscles Targeted: Machine preacher curls target the biceps
brachii (2 heads of the biceps), brachialis (located beneath the
biceps muscle on the outside of the arm) and the brachioradialis
(forearms). This exercise is also excellent for improving strength
in your wrists and overall grip.
Exercise Instructions: Using a machine
preacher curl machine that has a weight stack, adjust the
weight to an appropriate level for your strength. Grab the
bar securely with both hands using an underhand grip (palms
facing upwards). Keep your back straight with your feet planted
firmly on the floor and maintain proper posture throughout
the movement. Slowly curl the bar upward as if you are trying
to touch the handles of the bar to your chin (but don't actually
touch it). Return the bar back down very slowly to the starting
position allowing some level of resistance to take advantage
of the "negative" (eccentric) portion of the exercise
when the muscle is elongating or lengthening.
Why This Exercise is Important: There's a reason why biceps
are called "guns" and that's because well defined arms
look like menacing weapons. It's also the reason why most bodybuilders
covet Schwarzenegger's massive and shredded arms that catapulted
him to stardom. Well developed arms are not only impressive, they
also have been traditionally associated with masculinity.
Aesthetics aside, developing your biceps bring many real life benefits.
If you have weak arms, your larger upper body muscles cannot function
fully. You may have trouble carrying your groceries, doing housework,
and playing most sports. And because machine preacher curls extend
all the way to your wrists, doing this exercise will help you perform
daily work activities that require a lot of wrist action such as
writing, typing and moving a computer mouse (if you have an office
At the same time, strong arms will protect your joints, particularly
your elbows. This lets you carry your bag or briefcase longer without
experiencing pain and minimize any inflammation in the joints. And
when you workout, your strong elbows will lessen the chance of soreness
from lifting weights. It will also help to prevent carpal tunnel
Finally, the best reason why you should not forget to do the machine
preacher curls is that this exercise totally isolates the muscles
at the front of the upper arms. And because your arms are resting
on a machine, shoulder flexion is removed from the lift. The movement
is therefore totally concentrated on the muscles you want to develop.
Things To Avoid: Position yourself correctly on the machine.
Avoid hunching your shoulders over or rounding your back. Be careful
when choosing the weight you will lift. Because the machine can
isolate the movement and concentrate it directly on the biceps,
most people miscalculate their strength and choose a heavier weight
than they can actually lift. If this happens, you are likely to
injure yourself. Position your armpits on top of the pad, sit squarely
on the seat and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Keep your back
flat and use a secure underhand grip on the handles of the machine.
Raise the bar slowly towards your shoulders, drawing power from
the biceps. Do not jerk the bar or move too fast through the exercise.
You should avoid using momentum to power the movement. Breathe out
and exhale as you curl the bar up (exerting force) and inhale (breathe
in) when you release the bar back down to the bottom. Always control
the up and down motion with a slow and steady tempo. This is the
reason why you need to always choose the correct weight for your
current strength level. Pick a weight that you can lift comfortably,
but not too easy. Do not perform this exercise if you have severe
elbow problems or back issues.
Reps and Sets: Many of the other upper body exercises target
the biceps as a secondary muscle group (barbell rows, deadlifts,
etc). It is also a smaller muscle group so there is no need to spend
more time training them with tons of sets and different exercises.
The number of reps and sets that you perform should depend on your
fitness goals. If you only want to strengthen and tone your muscles,
12-15 reps for 1-2 sets is more than enough. But for massive arms
and maximum strength, do 6-8 reps for 2-3 sets of machine preacher
Other Exercises To Use: Train your triceps and biceps equally
to ensure your arms will be symmetrical without having any underdeveloped
muscles. Aside from machine preacher curls, you can also perform
barbell curls and two arm dumbbell curls to create an effective
muscle building workout routine for your biceps. View our extensive
database of exercise
guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the