Master Class – One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl
The EZ bar preacher curl isolates the biceps to a huge degree for maximal muscle fiber stimulation. But use a dumbbell and the isolation is increased because you are singling out each arm individually instead of letting them work in conjunction. Placing your full attention on one side will help you squeeze out every last bit of growth there is to be had.
Lesson Learned: Assemble max biceps with unilateral moves
Muscles Emphasized: Biceps and brachialis
Mechanics: Sit on the seat of a preacher curl bench or use the seatback of an adjustable bench, and hold a dumbbell in one hand, with your other hand holding onto the pad or seatback for stabilization. Begin with the back of your upper arm (the working arm) flat against the pad and your elbow bent so your forearm is perpendicular to the floor.
Extend your working arms to slowly lower the dumbbell. Just before reaching full elbow extension, curl the weight up, keeping the back of your upper arm flat against the pad throughout. Squeeze the contraction for a count at the top, and then slowly reverse the motion to go into the next rep. do all reps with that arm, and then switch arms.
Do: Turn your palm out and pinkie up at the top of each rep to achieve full contraction of the biceps via supination of the wrist.
Don’t: Shift your weight or raise your body as you lower the dumbbell. Your torso and legs should not move at all during the set.
Next Level: Provide a new shock to your biceps by doing negative on one-arm dumbbell preacher curls. Select a dumbbell that’s considerably heavier than you would normally use for this exercise. Starting at the top of the rep, lower the weight very slowly, to a count of five to 10 seconds, then use your other hand to help return it to the up position. Repeat in this manner for three to six negative reps total.
Options: Dumbbell preacher curls do not have to be performed one arm at a time. Feel free to curl up two dumbbells with every rep. To target the brachialis muscles, mix in hammer preacher curls, keeping your palms facing inward (rather than up) the entire time.
Training Tenets: One arm dumbbell preacher curls can be placed early in the biceps workout – after standing barbell curls, for example – or as a finishing move. Mix things up by doing two sets of EZ bar preacher curls followed by two sets of dumbbells.