Workouts have become part of the daily lives of many people, especially fitness freaks. The strengthening of muscles and having muscular arms is an indispensable part of almost every bodybuilding program.
Our biceps help us to bend our arms at the elbow. There are specific workouts that help us strengthen our biceps and keep them in proper size and shape.
These workouts have many variations and can be done using equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, cable machines, barbells, and kettle balls. In this article, we will primarily discuss concentration and preacher curls, how to do them, the pros of cons of these workouts, and the advantages of each.
Both preacher and concentration curls tone and strengthen the same muscle groups, including forearm flexors, brachialis, biceps, and brachioradialis. The short and long heads of the biceps are affected by Concentration curls and Preacher curls.
What Are Concentration Curls? Which Is More Effective?
Concentration curls are a type of bicep curls. They are also called dumbbell concentration curls. You need a bench to sit on to perform concentration curls.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Concentration Curls
If you practice concentration curls regularly, it offers the following benefits.
- Toning of biceps: Concentration curls help tone the biceps by activating both the short and long heads of the biceps brachii. Concentration curls help strengthen the biceps when it is in the shortened position.
- Building of arms’ muscle groups: The Concentration curls are highly effective in building various muscles of your arm. When you go through the full motion range during the concentration curls, the brachialis muscle (helps in flexing the elbow), triceps (muscle on the back portion of the arm), and forearm’s brachioradialis muscle, are built.
- Improves your focus for arm lifting: When you do concentration curls, you have to maintain the posture in such a way that it reduces distractions and body momentum because you have to concentrate on the lifting of weight.
Drawbacks Of Concentration Curls
- Limitation of weight: One of the drawbacks of concentration curls is that there is a limitation of weight that can be lifted. So, it may limit the progress of the person and have negative effects on motivation.
- Difficult to overload: Your progress in concentration curls may become stagnant because it becomes difficult to select the suitable weight as your weight lifting capacity improves.
- Higher chances of errors: Unless you have a proper understanding of the method of doing Concentration curls, the chances of mistakes are more. To do Concentration curls effectively, you have to appropriately keep your elbow against your inner thigh. By doing it wrongly, you may get hurt and may not be able to get the optimum results.
What Are Preacher Curls?
Preacher curls are dumbbell curls that you can perform using equipment called preacher benches. It is an effective workout for building biceps muscles.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Preacher Curls
Benefits of Preacher curl
- You can lift up heavier weights by performing Preacher curls.
- The barbell used in Preacher curls can increase the weight by 2.5 pounds, unlike the dumbbell in Concentration curls that incremented weight by 5 pounds, you can easily progress and improve your biceps strength.
- The presence of a preacher bench helps in maintaining proper posture.
- Helps in building strength while your bicep is in the stretched position.
Drawbacks of Preacher curl
- The chances of wrist straining are more.
- More chances of forearm strains.
- You have to use both arms together in Preacher curl, so it may be difficult to improve the balance of the weaker arm.
How To Perform Concentration Curls And Preacher Curls?
Performing Preacher curls
Put the barbell in the preacher curl machine’s rack and the seat behind the preacher pad.
Bend forward and keep your triceps against the preacher pad. Your armpits must be on the top of the preacher pad.
Now bend down and hold the barbell and keep your hands shoulder-width apart.
Hold the barbell firmly and take out the slack from the bar. Squeeze the biceps and curl the barbell towards the shoulder.
You have to curl the barbell until your biceps, and your forearms make contact with each other.
Remain in the position of the maximum contraction for one or two seconds, and then lower the barbell to its initial position.
You have to repeat the entire process.
Performing Concentration Curl
Hold the dumbbell with your hand. You must start with your weaker arm.
Sit on a bench and keep your knees apart and keep your legs on the floor.
Bend forward at the waist and place the triceps of the working arm against the inner thigh.
Hold the opposite leg with the non-working arm for better support.
Keep your hand holding the dumbbell in the forward direction and squeeze your biceps to bring the weight near your body.
Keep squeezing until our bicep has the maximum contraction.
Hold for one or two seconds, breathe in, and slowly release the dumbbell back to the initial position.
Repeat the process.
Common mistakes In Concentration And Preacher Curls
While doing Concentration curls and Preacher curls, you should avoid making the mistakes given below.
Concentration Curl Mistakes
The elbow is getting overextended and chances of injuries and joint strain are increased because the weight is released too quickly. You must lift and lower the dumbbell slowly.
The activation of muscles happens when you are at the top of the life and your hand is closest to your shoulder. If you do not move your hand through a full range of motion, your muscles will not get activated the way they should.
You fail to maintain constant tension by hanging the weight at the bottom of each repetition. You may feel tempted to relax between each repetition, which you must consciously avoid.
Preacher Curl Mistakes
Failing to move through the full range of motion may not give you desired results. The biceps get activated the most when it is in the stretched position. So, you must fully lower the weight for each repetition so that muscles get stimulated.
More extending of elbows may happen in Preacher curl because you get the false sense of security due to the preacher pad. Overextending of the elbows increases the chances of injuries and strains.
Your triceps may lose contact with the preacher pad, which must be avoided. If you move your arm, the emphasis will be on the shoulder and not on the biceps. So, you may not get the optimum result of doing Preacher curl.
Having strong biceps is not a matter of vanity but it is more than that. Bicep curls are weight training exercises to strengthen and tone up our biceps.
Often people are not sure whether to include both concentration and preacher curls in their workout routine or stick to anyone. You cannot expect to strengthen and tone your biceps in a few days.
You have to continue doing the bicep workouts to get results. But, if you have a time constraint and cannot include both preacher and concentration curls in your workout routine, it is better to stick to concentration curls.
These are easier to do because you can do it at your home with a dumbbell and seat. But many prefer preacher curls because you have to lift more weight in preacher curls. If you have a preacher bench, then you may include preacher curls in your workout routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are bicep curls?
Bicep curls are exercises that aim to strengthen our biceps muscles. These exercises also help tone our arm muscles. There are various modifications of bicep curls that can be done using kettle balls, resistance bands, barbells, dumbbells, etc.
What are concentration curls?
Concentration curls are a type of bicep curls. They are also called dumbbell concentration curls. They are effective in strengthening and toning a group of muscles in your arm.
What are preacher curls?
Preacher curls are the bicep curls that require a preacher bench. . It is an effective workout for building biceps muscles.
Which is the best? Concentration curl or Preacher Curl?
Both concentration and preacher curls are very effective exercises for building biceps. The techniques used in preacher curls are easier and you need a preacher bench to perform the exercise. Concentration curls need a dumbbell and a place to sit.
What are common mistakes to avoid while doing bicep curl?
Often people try getting quicker results from bicep curls. If you aim at strengthening your biceps and giving them proper shape, you have to do it slowly and with proper guidance.
If you are doing workouts for the first time, you must do it under the guidance of a qualified and certified trainer so that you know the correct techniques. This will help you avoid errors and prevent injuries. When you lift and lower the weights, you should do it slowly.
James specializes in providing individuals with the fundamental knowledge and tools they need to maximize their health. As a public health practitioner and registered dietician certified in integrative and community diseases, he focuses on providing informative content for the website.