The Power of Scott Bench Barbell Curl Exercise

In the world of fitness and bodybuilding, the Scott Bench Barbell Curl, also widely known as the Preacher Curl, is one of the most effective exercises for developing upper arm strength and muscle definition. This single-joint exercise primarily targets the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles, contributing to enhanced arm size and strength.

Understanding the Scott Bench Barbell Curl

The Scott Bench Barbell Curl is a concentrated bicep exercise that isolates the muscles to ensure optimal muscle activation. By limiting the involvement of other muscle groups, it allows for a more focused and efficient workout for the biceps. This exercise is named after the legendary bodybuilder Larry Scott who popularized it due to its effectiveness in building well-defined and muscular arms.

Execution of the Scott Bench Barbell Curl

Performing the Scott Bench Barbell Curl involves a specific set of movements to ensure optimal muscle activation and minimize the risk of injury. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to execute this exercise:

  1. Starting Position: Stand with your knees slightly bent, your feet hip-width apart, and one foot slightly ahead of the other. Your shoulders should be flexed so that when your arms rest on the bench, your armpits align with the upper edge of the bench. Your elbows should be extended, and your hands should grip the barbell at shoulder width with a supine (underhand) grip. Ensure your wrists are straight or flexed, but never extended.
  2. Execution: Flex your elbows to lift the barbell, keeping your body stationary to isolate the bicep muscles. The movement should end just before the barbell is directly above your elbows. Lifting your arms off the bench during the exercise is considered improper form and can lead to reduced effectiveness and potential injury.
Animated image showing the execution of the Preacher Curl

For a varied workout, you can perform this exercise with dumbbells or use a wave barbell with a supine/neutral grip. These variations can increase the involvement of the brachioradialis muscle and reduce tension on certain forearm muscles.

Muscles Engaged in the Scott Bench Barbell Curl

The Scott Bench Barbell Curl is an excellent exercise for targeting the muscles in your upper arms. The primary muscles involved include:

  1. Biceps Brachii: This muscle is responsible for elbow flexion and forearm supination and is the muscle most people associate with arm workouts.
  2. Brachioradialis: Located in your forearm, this muscle assists in elbow flexion and becomes more engaged when using a wave barbell and a supine/neutral grip.
  3. Brachialis: This muscle lies underneath the biceps brachii and contributes significantly to elbow flexion.
Anatomical image of the muscles involved in the exercise

The primary action involved in this exercise is elbow flexion. However, several other muscles act as stabilizers during the workout, providing stability to various body parts such as the shoulder, scapula, elbow, grip, torso, hip, knee, ankle, and foot.


The Scott Bench Barbell Curl is a powerful exercise that offers numerous benefits for individuals looking to build arm strength and muscular definition. By understanding the correct execution and the muscles involved, you can incorporate this exercise into your routine for optimal results. Remember, proper form and technique are crucial to prevent injuries and maximize the effectiveness of the workout.

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