EZ bar preacher curls do not take it easy on your biceps! It’s one of the best mass building exercises you can include in your arm workout. This variation puts all of the stress directly on the biceps and eliminates any swinging or help with momentum that you might get from a ground based movement like standing barbell curls. When you lift this curved bar using a preacher curl bench, it’s all biceps and nothing else. Many lifters use this exercise to develop the peak in their biceps and it’s also great for getting an amazing stretch in the muscle at the bottom of the movement.
Muscles Targeted: The EZ bar preacher curl is an exercise that is used strictly for isolating the muscles of the upper arm. This is not a compound exercise that works many muscle groups across multiple joints. This exercise strictly targets your biceps and your forearms along with improving wrist and grip strength. You can increase the stress on your forearms by grabbing the inner bar with an overhand grip (palms down) for a reverse EZ bar preacher curl. The stabilizing muscles include the anterior deltoids (front shoulders).
Exercise Instructions: Using a regular preacher bench, grab an EZ Curl bar with both hands using an underhand grip (palms facing upwards). Slowly curl the bar up to the top and bring it a few inches from your chin. Return the weight back down with a slow and controlled tempo to the starting position allowing some resistance (negative) on the way back down. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
Why This Exercise is Important: Using the EZ bar for curls instead of a straight barbell can help put your wrists in a more natural position and place more tension directly on the biceps. Anyone who has had any issues with forearm pain from straight bar curls can usually transition to the EZ bar right away and start curling pain-free. Using the EZ bar on the preacher bench forces you to use correct form when curling. This movement puts all of the stress on your biceps and does not allow for swinging or jerking the weight up. EZ bar preacher curls are great to do with a reverse grip to target the forearms.
Things To Avoid: Here are a few things to watch out for when performing EZ bar preacher curls. Make sure you don’t overextend your elbows at the bottom portion of the lift. Don’t lift the bar too fast as this can put too much strain on the elbow joints. Always use a very slow and controlled tempo throughout the entire range of motion. Don’t let your wrists bend backward or forward when using the EZ bar and keep a firm and stable wrist position when curling the weight up and down. Use a weight that is manageable and don’t go too heavy which might force you to get sloppy with your technique. Smoothly lift the weight and don’t allow any part of your upper arms or elbows to come off the bench. Keep your back as flat as possible and avoid rounding or arching it while you perform the exercise.
Reps and Sets: EZ bar preacher curls are a very effective exercise and can be used with several repetition and set ranges. If you’re looking for maximum mass and strength in your biceps then use 2-3 sets of 6-8 repetitions per set. If you’re a beginner, choose a lighter weight to make sure your technique is spot-on for 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps. Rest for 90-120 seconds in between sets to allow for proper recovery. Only train your biceps once per week for the best results.
Other Exercises To Use: EZ bar preacher curls are best used in conjunction with other exercises to build size and strength in the biceps. Try throwing in two arm dumbbell curls to mix it up. Or you can always rotate out the standard barbell curls which will give you extra mileage for your forearms if you have any pain when you do them. Another excellent addition is the use of cable curls. These give your arms a little more controlled and stable platform for training the biceps and provides tension on both the concentric and eccentric portions of the movement. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps.