What is a Preacher Curl Bench?

Dan Cavallari

A preacher curl bench is a specially designed piece of exercise equipment that allows the user to perform a preacher curl, which is a weight training exercise. The preacher curl bench features a padded seat mounted on metal framing, and a forward chest and arm deck on which the user can rest his or her arms while executing the preacher curl. Users sit at the preacher curl bench to prevent injury when performing biceps exercises and to stabilize the body to more effectively build muscle and tone. Gyms and fitness centers commonly have a preacher curl bench on hand, and such versions are often made from sturdy frame materials and sufficient padding in order to accommodate a variety of users.

Preacher curls are able to isolat and strengthen muscles in the bicep.
Preacher curls are able to isolat and strengthen muscles in the bicep.

Adjustability is an important feature of the preacher curl bench, as different users come in different sizes. The chest and arm deck slides up and down so the user can find the right height for his body, and it is locked into place using a cotter pin or similar locking system. The user sits on the bench and leans forward, pressing his or her chest against the back end of the chest and arms deck. The arms can be draped over the far end of the deck, and the user can perform bicep curls with the support of the preacher curl bench.

An added benefit of the preacher curl bench is its ability to isolate biceps muscles when performing the curl. The angled chest and arm deck prevents any unnecessary movement that may take the focus off the biceps, and encourages the user to keep his back straight, his body engaged, and his arms moving comfortably and efficiently. Most versions of the preacher curl bench feature a chest and arm deck that positions the arm at a 45 degree angle, but some higher end benches allow the user to adjust the angle up to 90 degrees. This works different parts of the bicep muscles at different intensities, but a new user should stick with the 45 degree position until he is comfortable moving on to a more challenging position.

Some benches are more comfortable than others. A preacher curl bench is only as good as its padding and support; a bench with too little cushioning can cause pinching in the arms, and one with too much cushioning can cause unnecessary movement and poor form during the exercise.

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