An EZ (pronounced easy) curl bar is shorter than an ordinary barbell. Unlike a regular bar, EZ bars are bent to allow for different hand positions. Working out with an EZ curl bar is often more comfortable than using a straight bar, especially for biceps curls.
EZ curl bars are generally lighter than regular bars. This is because they’re a) shorter and b) not as thick. This makes them useful for beginners who may not be strong enough to lift a regular barbell.
Some EZ curl bars are made to use with Olympic plates, while others have thinner ends and only work with standard weight plates. Most EZ curl bars weigh between 5-10kg (11-22lbs). The angle of the bends can vary between bars, with some having very pronounced bends while others are much shallower.
There are also EZ curl bars made especially for use with cable machines.
EZ curl bars are mainly used for biceps and triceps exercises, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for training other muscle groups. For example, there is nothing to stop you from using an EZ curl bar for squats or bent-over rows. However, the EZ curl bar is most commonly associated with arm training.
In this article, we reveal ten of the best EZ curl bar biceps and triceps exercises. There’s also an arm workout for you to try at the end.
The Best EZ Curl Bar Arm Exercises
Not sure how to use an EZ curl bar for your arm workouts? Here are six of the best biceps and four of the best triceps exercises you can do with an EZ curl bar.
1. EZ curl bar biceps curls – wide grip & close grip
While EZ curls work your entire biceps muscle, using a wide or close grip allows you to emphasize each of the two different biceps heads.
Wide grip EZ bar curls work more of the the short head of your biceps, which is located on the inside of your upper arm. Working on the short head of your biceps will make your arms thicker.
In contrast, using a close grip hits the long head of your biceps more, and developing it will give your arms a higher peak.
Most EZ curl bars have both a narrow and a wide position, so you can vary your grip to emphasize different parts of your biceps.
Learn how to do EX bar biceps curls here.
2. EZ curl bar preacher curls
Preacher curls were one of the favorite biceps exercises of first-ever Mr. Olympia winner Larry Scott. In fact, Scott used this exercise so much that it earned the nickname of Scott curls. Preacher curls stop you from moving your upper arms, allowing you to isolate your biceps. Doing preacher curls with a straight bar can be hard on your wrists, which is why some lifters prefer to use an EZ curl bar instead.
Read more about preacher curls here.
3. EZ curl bar spider curls
Also known as prone incline curls, spider curls involve lying face down on an angled bench. This minimizes upper body engagement, making this exercise all-but cheat-proof. It also places your arms at a unique angle, which will stimulate your biceps in an entirely new way. Using an EZ curl bar makes this exercise much easier on your elbows and wrists than using a standard barbell.
Find out how to do spider curls in our detailed guide.
4. EZ curl bar reverse curls
Like all curling exercises, reverse curls work your biceps. However, by using a pronated or palms down grip, this exercise increases brachialis activation, which is another elbow flexor. Brachialis is located beneath your biceps, and developing it helps push your biceps up to make your arm look bigger. In addition, reverse curls are an excellent forearm exercise.
Learn how to do EZ bar reverse curls here.
5. EZ curl bar cable curls
Cable curls are an outstanding biceps exercise because they keep your muscles under constant tension. In addition, they’re perfect for intensity-boosting drop sets. Using an EZ bar means less elbow and wrist stress, leaving you free to focus on working your biceps to the max. You can use a wide or narrow grip as preferred.
Learn more about cable curls here.
6. EZ curl bar supine cable curls
If standing biceps exercises have a disadvantage, it is that it’s easy to cheat and use your legs and back to lift the weight. Lying flat on the floor stops almost all cheating, so your biceps end up doing all of the work. This is also a good exercise for anyone with lower back pain.
How to do it:
- Attach an EZ curl bar to a low pulley machine. Sit on the floor with the pulley between your feet, legs straight.
- Grab the handle using an underhand wide or narrow grip and lie down. Brace your abs, pull your shoulders down and back, and tuck your upper arms into your sides.
- Bend your elbows and curl the bar up to your shoulders.
- Extend your arms and repeat.
7. EZ curl bar skull crushers
Training your triceps, skull crushers are so-called because if you lower the weight too fast or cannot complete a rep, that’s precisely what can happen! Needless to say, we want you to avoid any such injuries, so always have a spotter on hand when you do this exercise.
Straight bar skull crushers can be hard on your elbows and wrists, and most people find using an EZ curl bar much more joint-friendly. You can also take stress off your elbows while getting a deep stretch in the long head of your triceps by lowering the bar behind your head instead of your forehead.
Learn how to do skull crushers here.
8. EZ curl bar overhead triceps extensions
Although we don’t know why, overhead triceps extensions are sometimes known as French presses. Whatever you call it, this is an effective triceps exercise, although it does require good shoulder mobility to do it correctly. You can do overhead triceps extensions using a single dumbbell or a regular barbell, but for comfort, an EZ curl bar is hard to beat.
Learn how to do EZ curl bar overhead triceps extensions here.
9. EZ curl bar close grip bench press
The close grip bench press is a great triceps exercise, but you probably won’t win many friends if you tie up the bench press station at your gym doing it. That’s especially true if it’s World Chest Training Day (AKA Monday!).
The good news is that you can do close grip bench presses using an EZ curl bar, and many people find them more comfortable than using a straight bar. Pump up your triceps to the max with supersets of skull crushers (#7) and close grip bench presses.
Learn more about close grip bench presses here.
10. EZ curl bar triceps pushdown
Triceps pushdowns are one of the most widely performed triceps exercises. Easy to learn but very effective, like cable curls, they’re perfect for drop sets. You can do triceps pushdowns with a straight bar, V-bar, or rope handle, but you can add even more variety to your workouts by using an EZ curl bar.
Find out how to do triceps pushdowns here.
EZ Bar Arm Workout
Build more muscular arms with this EZ bar biceps and triceps workout. It uses supersets to save time and produce a massive pump. Do the first exercise, designated 1a, and then do exercise 1b immediately after.
Rest for the specified time and then repeat the pairing. Move onto the next pair of exercises when you’ve done all the prescribed sets.
Do this workout 1-2 times a week as part of your split routine.
EZ Bar Arm Workout
|1a||EZ bar preacher curl||4||8||90 seconds|
|1b||EZ bar skull crusher||4||8|
|2a||EZ close grip curls||3||10||75 seconds|
|2b||EZ close grip bench press||3||10|
|3a||EZ bar cable curl||2||12||60 seconds|
|3b||EZ bar triceps pushdown||2||12|
EZ curl bars are just one of the many tools you can use to build muscle mass and strength. They’re not necessarily better than regular barbells or dumbbells, but some lifters do find that they’re more comfortable for some exercises. EZ curl bars are also helpful for adding variety to your arm workouts, and, in some instances, just switching from a barbell to an EZ curl bar could be enough to stimulate new muscle growth.
While there is no need to use an EZ curl bar for all your arm workouts, doing at least some of your biceps and triceps training with one could be very beneficial.