Muscles Targeted: Two arm dumbbell preacher curls are excellent if you’re looking for an effective mass building and isolation type of exercise that targets your biceps. The key muscles involved include the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis. The biceps brachii consists of two heads (short head and long head). The short head is located in the inner part of the arm and the long head is located on the outer part. The brachialis is the muscle in the middle area of the outer arm between the biceps and triceps. The brachioradialis muscle is located at the top of the forearm.
Exercise Instructions: Using a standing preacher bench (a regular preacher bench can also be used), grab a dumbbell with each hand using an underhand grip (palms facing upward). Carefully position your body onto the preacher bench with the tip of the bench pad tucked into your armpits. Plant both feet firmly on the ground for stability and balance. Let both arms hang over the preacher bench pad with the back of your upper arms lying flat on the pad. Simultaneously curl the dumbbells up to about chin level using a very slow and controlled tempo. Remember to really squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement for a peak contraction in the muscles. Return the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat.
Why This Exercise is Important: Having muscular and impressive arms are usually at the top of the list of any gym-goers physique goals. You can walk into practically any gym and you are bound to see guys (and maybe a few girls) flexing their arms in front of the mirror. Men with muscular, well toned arms are perceived as being more masculine to the opposite sex. While there is still no consensus when it comes to women and arms, most of them would love to showcase a pair of lean and defined arms in a cute short sleeve shirt of sports bra.
Aside from vanity, strong arms have many practical uses in everyday life activities. These muscles are the connection of your body to the world. You lift, move, push, pull, and throw objects using your arms. If you have weak biceps, you will have trouble carrying groceries, moving furniture around the house and even picking up children. When you’re training in the gym, many exercises are limited by the strength of your arms. For example, while the lat pulldown is for your back, you need strong arms to move the amount of weight needed to effectively build muscle mass and increase strength levels.
The advantage of two arm dumbbell preacher curls is that it’s an isolation exercise for the biceps which places all of the focus directly on the muscles with a limited ability to use momentum to “cheat” the weight up like someone could do with ground based movements like standing barbell curls or dumbbell curls (swinging the weight up with the body).
Things To Avoid: Before doing two arm dumbbell preacher curls, take your overall strength training program and fitness goals into consideration. You need to give equal attention to your biceps and triceps. If one muscle group is stronger than the other, you could be prone to elbow injuries. At the same time, while it’s the biceps that are put on display when you flex, it is the triceps that provide the foundation and they make up the bulk of the upper arms.
Always be aware of the weight of the dumbbells you choose to lift and don’t let your ego get the best of you. There might be some massive guys in the gym using 60-80 pound dumbbells for this exercise, but don’t make the mistake of trying to emulate them when you can barely lift 20 pounders! You could possible injure your joints, tendons, ligaments and even tear a bicep which is something you obviously want to avoid. Always use weights you can fully control and maintain throughout the entire range of motion.
Form and technique is extremely important when performing two arm dumbbell preacher curls. Position yourself properly on the machine. Make sure that your elbows and upper arms are on the bench at all times. The forearms are the only part of the arm that should be moving during this exercise. Lower the dumbbells to the bottom position using a very slow and controlled tempo. Curl the dumbbells up while keeping your palms facing up, lifting the weight up to about chin level. Stay at this peak position for a brief moment and then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position while maximizing the eccentric “negative” portion of the movement. Do not use momentum to move the weight, so keep your back and upper body stable throughout the exercise.
Reps and Sets: Make sure to do a warm-up set of around 15-20 reps with light weight to get your muscles warm before moving into your working sets. If you want to strengthen and tone your biceps, focus on doing 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps with two arm dumbbell preacher curls. To increase the size of the biceps and develop more strength, increase the weight and drop the reps down to about 6-8 per set. Make sure to avoid using too many sets when training your biceps and allow for proper recovery. 7-8 total sets are more than enough to get a killer biceps workout and only train them once per week, not 2-3 times!
Other Exercises To Use: You can include great mass building arm exercises like barbell curls and preacher curls in addition to two arm dumbbell preacher curls to create an effective workout routine for your biceps. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps and other muscle groups.