Preacher Curls not so effective?

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Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Dtlv74 on Tue May 26, 2009 4:36 pm

EFFECT OF THE SHOULDER POSITION ON THE BICEPS BRACHII EMG IN DIFFERENT DUMBBELL CURLS

Liliam F. Oliveira1, Thiago T. Matta1, Daniel S. Alves1, Marco A.C. Garcia1 and Taian M.M. Vieira1,2

1Biomechanics Laboratory, Bioscience Department, Physical Education and Sports School, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 2Laboratory for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System, Polytechnic of Turin, Turin, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Incline Dumbbell Curl (IDC) and Dumbbell Preacher Curl (DPC) are two variations of the standard Dumbbell Biceps Curl (DBC), generally applied to optimize biceps brachii contribution for elbow flexion by fixing shoulder at a specific angle. The aim of this study is to identify changes in the neuromuscular activity of biceps brachii long head for IDC, DPC and DBC exercises, by taking into account the changes in load moment arm and muscle length elicited by each dumbbell curl protocol. A single cycle (concentric-eccentric) of DBC, IDC and DPC, was applied to 22 subjects using a submaximal load of 40% estimated from an isometric MVC test. The neuromuscular activity of biceps brachii long head was compared by further partitioning each contraction into three phases, according to individual elbow joint range of motion. Although all protocols elicited a considerable level of activation of the biceps brachii muscle (at least 50% of maximum RMS), the contribution of this muscle for elbow flexion/extension varied among exercises. The submaximal elbow flexion (concentric) elicited neuro muscular activity up to 95% of the maximum RMS value during the final phase of IDC and DBC and 80% for DPC at the beginning of the movement. All exercises showed significant less muscle activity for the elbow extension (eccentric). The Incline Dumbbell Curl and the classical Dumbbell Biceps Curl resulted in similar patterns of biceps brachii activation for the whole range of motion, whereas Dumbbell Preacher Curl elicited high muscle activation only for a short range of elbow joint angle.

full study
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Alex on Tue May 26, 2009 4:41 pm

I've always believed this which is why I'd only use the reverse side and do Spider Curls if using a Preacher Bench.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby kp1512 on Tue May 26, 2009 4:45 pm

Interesting , however on seeing your muscle work and feel - the angled preacher does illicit more of a "pull" on the long head of the bicep and would say it is greater than that of a regular dumbell curl - at least for me anyway.

I would also suspect that if you took a lower seat position whereby the shoulders cant be used as leverage - this may change the results ?

Spider curls are a bitch from hell though -
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Bison on Tue May 26, 2009 4:56 pm

kp1512 wrote:I would also suspect that if you took a lower seat position whereby the shoulders cant be used as leverage - this may change the results ?

That's a big point I think. Everytime I got on the preacher station the seat is always, always too high up. I think this is because it makes the exercise easier as you can use the delts more... which kind of negates the whole point of preacher curls??

I always do them with the seat right down and the pad right under my armpit, this isolates the biceps much better I feel. Also I only use the preachers with the steep angle so it's either vertical or as near as. Those 45 degree ones are a bit rubbish.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Dtlv74 on Tue May 26, 2009 5:02 pm

Agree with you guys - preacher curls in the normal position don't do much for me other than give me soreness around the elbow, but an angle closer to vertical works much better. Much prefer incline curls as a second biceps exercise though.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Alex on Tue May 26, 2009 5:16 pm

I think it's more simple than that. Once the lower arm is close to being vertical then you lose any effectiveness of the movement. The shallower the Preacher, the less effective it becomes as gravity will assist and take over sooner.

KP, you should try curls leaning against a wall for gooda long head pull, wrists inside elbows.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby kp1512 on Tue May 26, 2009 5:35 pm

Yeh there good - I used to use the Arm Blaster - that thing aint a bad bit of kit I tell ya.

What is worse with spider curls is when you get near failure - no amount of pulling gets the bastard bar up and your arms just act like a pair of raggy dolls' knickers!
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby simon m on Tue May 26, 2009 5:58 pm

I like DB preacher curls, but only after inclines as this feels more intense, but I go failry light and don't cheat these.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby health4ni on Tue May 26, 2009 7:36 pm

Alex wrote:I've always believed this which is why I'd only use the reverse side and do Spider Curls if using a Preacher Bench.
This is a good tip. But only works with certain preacher equipment where the seat goes low enough or comes off.

And as has already been mentioned, Spider Curls are great.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Wardie on Wed May 27, 2009 12:08 pm

I used really quite like preacher curls but they decline does need to be fairly steep.

These days my favourite curl movement is probably cable related with really strict form, elbows right at the side.

After that, Zottman Curls!
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Dtlv74 on Wed May 27, 2009 12:22 pm

Love zottman curls... great for the brachialis as well as the biceps, a great arm thickener.
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Rab on Wed May 27, 2009 12:56 pm

Alex wrote:I think it's more simple than that. Once the lower arm is close to being vertical then you lose any effectiveness of the movement. The shallower the Preacher, the less effective it becomes as gravity will assist and take over sooner.

KP, you should try curls leaning against a wall for gooda long head pull, wrists inside elbows.



Agree witht he leaning against a wall/frame of a bit of kit. Really knocks the shit out of them and shows you how much a tiny amount of swing aids the lift standign free

On a preacher, a rope seems to feel like the most full way of hittign the biceps to me. you are starting off hammer with a slight twist at the top and have tension on all of the lift
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Re: Preacher Curls not so effective?

Postby Bison on Wed May 27, 2009 2:35 pm

I got to say I love the Drag Curls since I discovered them along with chins they're serious mass builders. Try doing some heavy, perfect form Drag Curls and then going on a preacher station and you'll see what I mean.... my strength drops dramatically after just one set as the biceps are pretty much fried. I think they work in a simialr to standing against a wall as pulling the elbows back eliminates any shoulder work or cheating, it's pure bicep power.

Zottmans are good too.
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