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The better way to perform preacher curls

This is an excerpt from Massive, Muscular Arms by David Barr.

There are few exercises that benefit you more from the addition of elastic accommodating resistance. Because this exercise has an extreme force delta, typically resulting in a rest period at maximal flexion, the band helps to reveal any weaknesses you’ve induced created by this instinct. The magnitude of the stress stimulus and resulting growth makes it worth the pain of the setup and execution.

Barbell and band(s)


  1. Loop one or two bands around or through a stable low anchor point, so that they will stretch maximally at your maximal elbow flexion.
  2. Loop the ends of the bands symmetrically onto the bar to provide balanced resistance.
  3. Grip the bar and sit back so that your arms are fully in contact with the pad (a). Note that this does not mean that you should sit down on a seat.


  1. Flex the elbow to curl the weight (b).
  2. Maintain shoulder and arm position throughout.

Banded Preacher Curl (a)

Banded Preacher Curl (b)

Coaching Tips

  • If it is not possible to perform the movement without developing slack in the bands at maximal extension (i.e., the bottom of the movement), simply end the ROM just prior to this point.
  • Focus your intent on contracting the muscle quickly. Although you might perform the concentric movement faster than normal on the first few reps, the bands will eliminate the momentum at the top of the movement.
  • The bands not only increase tension throughout the movement, but they might increase time under tension if you’ve been resting at the top. This will create a surprising degree of fatigue and subsequent stimulus, so be sure to start with the lightest bands and reduce your standard training weight.
  • If you’re experienced with standard preacher curls, the addition of the bands will completely change the feel of the exercise. This is especially true if you perform the traditional preacher rest at the top of the movement. The bands not only eliminate the undesirable rest, but they create maximal tension at this point.
More Excerpts From Massive