EZ Bar Curls are one of the best biceps exercises for building mass and strength. The angles of the EZ Curl Bar allow the lifter to choose the most comfortable position for them and for this reason many lifters find EZ Bar Curls to be better on their wrists than Barbell Curls.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do EZ Bar Curls along with muscles worked and a few alternatives if you’re unable to do them.
How To Do EZ Bar Curls
- EZ Curl Bar
- Stand tall*, back straight, head up, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the EZ Curl Bar with both hands, palms up (supinated grip).
- Start with the bar at arm’s length against the upper thighs.
- Curl the bar up towards the shoulders until the forearms touch the biceps.
- Keep upper elbows close to the side.
- Lower the bar back to starting position using the same path.
- Continue until all reps are completed.
*Instead of standing, using a Preacher Curl Rack is a very popular variation to use with an EZ Curl Bar. For more details, check out the variations listed below.
By far the most common mistake with any curl exercise, but perhaps even more so with EZ Bar Curls is swinging and rocking in an attempt to lift more weight. If you need to swing the bar, use momentum or generally contort your body to move the weight, it’s too heavy. Lower the weight and use proper form.
Don’t allow the wrists to bow back when holding and curling the bar. Keep the wrist neutral by keeping the forearms engaged. This will take pressure off the wrist that could otherwise lead to them being very uncomfortable on the wrists.
Some potential benefits of EZ bar curls include:
- Reduced strain on the wrists: The angled grip of the EZ bar allows for a more natural wrist position, which can make the exercise more comfortable to perform and reduce the risk of wrist strain or injury.
- Improved grip strength: The angled grip of the EZ bar can help to engage the muscles in the forearms, which can improve grip strength and overall hand function.
- Targeted muscle development: The angled grip of the EZ bar allows for a slightly different range of motion than a straight barbell, which can help to target the biceps muscles in a unique way and promote balanced muscle development.
- Increased strength and size: Like other bicep and forearm exercises, EZ bar curls can help to increase strength and size in the biceps and forearms, which can improve upper body strength and function.
Overall, EZ bar curls can be a valuable addition to any workout routine, and they offer a range of potential benefits for both beginners and experienced lifters.
How Many Reps?
EZ Bar Curls are a supplemental strength exercise that is usually programmed toward the end of a workout. 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
EZ Bar Curls primarily work both heads of the Biceps Brachii – the long head and short head. The Brachialis and Brachioradialis are also very involved in EZ Bar Curls.
Pro Tip: Use a wider grip to emphasize the biceps short head and use a narrower grip to emphasize the biceps long head. The best practice is to vary your grip occasionally to hit the biceps in different ways.
EZ Bar Curl Variations
Add a little variety to your workout with this variation.
On a Preacher Curl Rack
If you have access to a Preacher Curl Rack it can combo perfectly with EZ Bar Curls.
Raise the rack until it fits comfortably under your armpits. Grab the bar, keep your triceps against the pad and curl. Lower back down just short of lockout (locking out fully can be a lot of strain on the elbows) and repeat.
EZ Bar Curl Alternatives
If you’re unable to do barbell curls (or maybe you just want to change up your workout a bit), here are a few EZ Bar Curl alternatives.
Want more options? Here are 11 of my favorite alternatives for EZ Bar Curls.
Seated DB Curls
If you don’t have an EZ Bar, but you do have dumbbells – Seated DB Curls are a great alternative to EZ Bar Curls. They can also be a good choice if you can only work one arm due to a limitation and/or injury.
Band Curls are another good EZ Bar Curl alternative if you don’t have access to an EZ Curl Bar. If you have a resistance band, simply stand on the band and curl. One of the easiest exercises to pick up for a beginner.
More Links and Info
Looking for more biceps and triceps exercises? Check out the Arm Farm section of the Horton Barbell Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of arm movements to build bigger, stronger arms.