Incline Bench Preacher Curls

Isolation exercise, Free weights

This article is verified by 1 study/publication.




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Biceps: Arm flexor
    (Musculus biceps brachii)
  • Upper arm: Coracobrachialis muscle
    (Musculus coracobrachialis)

Training plans

Here you can find example plans for incline bench preacher curls training:

Incline Bench Preacher Curls: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Incline Bench Preacher Curls

Involved main muscle groups:
Incline Bench Preacher Curls

If you want to focus on your biceps, give Incline Bench Preacher Curls a try. Similar to Machine Scottcurls, you’ll rest your upper arm on a cushion and move the weight like you would in a regular bicep curl, bending at the elbow. The main difference is that you’ll work one arm at a time, making the exercise a bit longer.

A 2009 study found that Scottcurls activated the long head of the biceps more than regular bicep curls or incline bicep curls. However, this increased activation wasn’t consistent throughout the entire movement, and sometimes it was even weaker [1]. This means relying only on Scottcurls for biceps training might not be the best approach.

Correct Execution

Incline Bench Preacher Curls are pretty simple. Start by pressing your shoulder into the edge of the cushion. It’s best to position yourself so that your armpit touches the cushion. This keeps your shoulder and upper arm stable, helping to isolate and activate your biceps.

There’s no specific rule for the incline angle, but make sure it suits your body type – not too steep or too flat. Most Scottcurl machines have a 45-degree angle, so use that as a guide when adjusting the incline bench.

Video Tutorial

Preacher Curls Are What Your Bicep Workouts Have Been Missing!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Grab a dumbbell.

Stand behind the incline bench.

Place your arm with the dumbbell on the bench from behind. Your arm should be slightly bent at the elbow, holding the dumbbell with an underhand grip (palm up). Ensure you have a stable stance.

Press your armpit towards the cushion, eliminating any gap between your upper body and the bench. Lay your upper arm flat on the bench, and you’re now in the starting position.

Lift the dumbbell towards your face by bending your elbow. Pause for a moment, then lower the weight back to the starting position. Keep your elbow slightly bent and don’t fully extend it.

Common Mistakes

When doing Incline Bench Preacher Curls, there’s no need to keep your elbow in a specific position. Instead, firmly secure your shoulder on the incline bench by pressing your armpit into the edge of the cushion. During the exercise, make sure to keep your shoulder in place and avoid lifting your upper arm.

Also, it’s important not to fully straighten your elbow at the end of each curl. Maintain a slight bend in your elbow and keep tension in your biceps. This will reduce stress on your joints and increase muscle stimulation.


  1. Effect of the shoulder position on the biceps brachii emg in different dumbbell curls. Liliam F. Oliveira et al. J Sports Sci Med. 2009 Mar; 8(1): 24–29. PMID: 24150552., retrieved on 15.04.2020