What is an EZ Curl Bar?

D. Messmer

An EZ curl bar is a piece of exercise equipment that an athlete can use to perform a variety of upper body exercises, primarily arm curls and triceps extensions. An EZ curl bar is very similar to a regular curl bar in that it consists of a single bar that is much wider than shoulder width but not as wide as a barbell. Each end of the bar is designed to hold weights. What sets apart an EZ curl bar is that rather than being straight it has a few bends or "zig-zags" in its shape.

The biceps brachii is a muscle located in the upper arm that flexes the elbow joint during a various types of arm curls.
The biceps brachii is a muscle located in the upper arm that flexes the elbow joint during a various types of arm curls.

The bends in the shape of the EZ curl bar provide its greatest advantage over traditional curling bars. The bends allow an athlete to grip the EZ curl bar with the wrists at a slightly different angle than he or should would grip a normal curling bar. This shift in the grip takes a lot of strain off the wrist during the lift. This not only reduces discomfort, it also enables the athlete to sometimes lift more weight, because he or she is limited only by what the arms are capable of lifting rather than what the wrists are capable of supporting.

EZ curl bars are versatile pieces of exercise equipment that allow an athlete to perform a variety of arm exercises. They are very effective for use in standing EZ bar curls. In order to perform these exercises, the athlete first loads the desired weight on the bar, then stands straight while holding the bar with both hands in front of the body with a supinated grip, in which the thumbs face outward and the palms face upward. The athlete then uses the biceps to bend the arm at the elbow and slowly raise the weight to the chest before relaxing the biceps to lower the weight back down. It is crucial that the athlete use his or her muscles to create the motion rather than rocking the body to create momentum.

A similar exercise that uses the EZ curl bar is the seated preacher curl. This exercise is identical to the standing EZ bar curl except that the athlete sits on a bench with his or her arms on a preacher bench. The hands and perhaps part of the forearms should dangle off the edge of the bench. Then, the athlete performs arm curls. The benefit of the preacher bench is that it will not allow the body to rock back and forth at all and thus ensures that the athlete is using only the biceps to perform the lift.

EZ curl bars also are effective for performing lying triceps extensions. To perform this exercise, the athlete lies face-up on a weight bench while holding the EZ curl bar above his or her body with a pronated grip, with the thumbs facing inward and the palms facing the feet, as if he or she was about to perform a bench press. The athlete then bends his or her arms while keeping the elbows in, so that rather than lowering directly toward the chest, the weight will lower toward the athlete's head. The athlete then straightens his or her arms to complete the lift.

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