EZ Curl Bar: What Is It and Do I Need One?

EZ Curl Bars are those curiously-shaped wiggly barbells that some bodybuilders like to use for various curling exercises, mostly involving the biceps.

EZ curl bar and preacher bench

This weight lifter is using an EZ Curl Bar

How much does an EZ Bar weigh?

EZ Curl bars come in two variations:

  1. Standard EZ Curl bar
  2. Olympic EZ Curl bar (which some people call a revolving curl bar)
  • Standard EZ Curl bar weight is 10 pounds (which is 5 pounds less than a standard straight barbell). Typically, the length of an ez curl bar is 47 inches.
  • Olympic EZ Curl bar weight is generally a bit more (around 25 pounds), thanks to the additional length and the bearing assembly and sleeve, but they don’t weigh 35 or 45 pounds like a straight Olympic barbell.

Unless you’re strong enough to curl 100 pounds or so, it’s probably not worth the added expense to get an olympic curl bar unless you alread have olympic-sized weight plates.

Check out the best standard EZ Curl Bar at Amazon, click here.

Curves in all the right places

Various angles are built into EZ Curl barbells. This makes it “easy” to use different grips.

  • Standard grip

    Using the EZ curl bar with a standard grip

    Using the EZ curl bar with a standard grip

    Sometimes called the ‘supinated’ grip, this underhand grip is commonly used with a straight barbell, but it’s more comfortable with an EZ Curl bar since the hands remain at a more natural angle.

    Bodybuilders can handle more weight during bicep curls if they use an EZ Curl bar instead of a barbell.

    The image at the top of this article shows curls using a standard grip and a preacher bench for added isolation of the biceps.

  • Pronated grip (reverse grip)

    Holding the curl bar with a reverse grip

    Reverse grip (pronated grip) on the EZ curl bar

    This overhand or reverse grip is useful during reverse curls that target the brachioradialis muscles of the forearms.

    It’s also useful for the various flavors of wrist curls that work the wrist and forearm flexors.

    You won’t be able to use anywhere near as much weight during reverse grip curls as you can with a standard grip.

    Grip positions on the Ez curl bar

    Don't know how to hold it? These are the grip positions on the EZ curl bar

    This is the sort of exercise you should do at the end of your workouts because otherwise it will fatigue your forearms and your grip and make it impossible for you to give 100% effort on your heavier, more important lifts. If you worry about skinny forearms, read my advice about forearm curls.
  • Behind the head

    Some bodybuilders perform triceps extensions while holding the EZ Curl bar behind their heads. This can be hard on the joints using a straight bar.

    Many folks like to do behind the head triceps moves while lying on a flat or incline bench. Using a curl bar lets you move more weight than you can with two dumbbells.

To buy a good ez curl bar, or just to check out additional specs and reviews at Amazon, click here: Standard EZ Curl Bar

EZ Curl Bar Exercises – A new twist on old moves

The EZ Curl bar is useful for any exercise that puts excessive pressure on the wrists or elbows. Some popular strength-training exercises that work especially well with an EZ Curl bar are:

  • Close-grip bench press

    This movement is perfect for emphasizing triceps development; it’s used as an assistance exercise by trainees who feel that their triceps are the weak spot that’s holding back progress in the bench press.

    Unfortunately, close-grip presses are very hard on the wrists; they put a lot of lateral shear force on the wrist joints.

    The EZ Curl bar makes close-grip bench presses easier and safer by keeping the wrists properly aligned. However, most EZ Curl bars are too short to fit the uprights on a standard bench press; trainees need the bar handed off to them.

  • Triceps Extensions

    This standard triceps-building isolation exercise has several variations:

    • The standing triceps extension performed behind the head, occasionally called a French press
    • The lying triceps extension performed on a flat or inclined bench.

    Close Grip presses and lying triceps extensions are much easier and safer with an EZ Curl Bar.Both variations put a lot of pressure on the wrists. The EZ Curl bar takes pressure off the wrists and puts it back on the triceps, where it belongs.

    Also available are dedicated triceps bars, but they don’t offer much advantage over an EZ Bar, and they cost more since there is more welding involved in their manufacture. If you have an interest, check out my article about triceps bars and other types of barbells.

  • Preacher Curls

    This elbow-wrecking isolation exercise targets the biceps while they’re fully stretched. It puts maximum pressure on the biceps tendon at the elbow. Most bodybuilders who use a preacher bench do EZ Bar preacher curls to avoid elbow problems.  Some folks call the ez-bar a “preacher bar”, for this very reason.

  • Upright Rows

    This shoulder and upper back exercise has a well-deserved reputation for being hard on the shoulder joints. But it’s also rough on the wrists. By using an EZ Curl bar during upright rows, trainees can handle more weight.

Is an EZ Curl bar really necessary?

Do you really need an EZ Curl bar? In a word: no.

But for folks who can’t handle as much weight as they’d like because of wrist problems, EZ Curl bars are a useful option to the wrist-wrecking straight barbells.

EZ Curl bars are perfect for advanced lifters who have finished bulking up and want to start incorporating some isolation exercises into their workouts.

They’re also used by weak or injured lifters who want to spare their wrists and elbows the pressure of a maximum-intensity workout.

What is a Super EZ Curl Bar?

Some manufacturers sell Super EZ Curl Bars. These are similar to traditional EZ Curl Bars, but they feature more acute curves.

EZ Curl Bar and Super EZ Curl Bar comparison

An EZ Curl Bar and a Super EZ Curl Bar

With a super curl bar, you can use a parallel grip, useful for hammer curls or triceps extensions behind the head.

While it’s nice to have both types, if you have to choose just one, stick to the tried and true regular curl bar.

Check out my recommendation for the best standard-sized EZ curl bars at Amazon: Standard EZ Curl Bar

Looking for a Super Curl Bar? Here’s the best one: Super Curl Bar

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