8 EZ Curl Bar Exercises (By A Certified PT)

ez curl bar

An EZ Curl Bar is a cambered bar that allows you to grab it with a slightly pronated grip. These bars come in a range of lengths and camber angles. While mainly used to work the bicep and triceps, they can also be used to train the chest and trapezius muscles.

As a certified personal trainer, I have been programming EZ Curl bar exercises for decades to help my clients achieve their strength and hypertrophy goals. In this article, I’ll lay out my 10 favorite EZ Curl bar exercises. I’ll also spell out the benefits of using an EZ Curl bar and explain how best to hold an EZ Curl bar. 

EZ Curl Bar Benefits

You may wonder if it’s better to use a straight or a curl bar. Using a curl bar is better for you if you lack mobility in your wrists.

The EZ Curl bar is cambered so that your hands are turned from full supination to a more natural angled position. The slight pronation of the wrist places less stress on your wrists. 

While this positioning makes the exercise easier on the wrists, it doesn’t follow that the exercise overall is easier than a standard barbell curl. The target muscle will work just as hard as with a straight bar.

When doing curls with an EZ Curl bar you are able to achieve a greater degree of contraction in the long head of the biceps. The long head makes up the bulk of the biceps when flexed. While it is not possible to isolate different heads of the biceps muscle, you can put slightly more focus on different areas. So, if your goal is to create biceps peak and mass, curling with an EZ Curl bar will help you do that. 

Looking for a bar to have at home? Check out the best EZ Curl Bars on the market.

How to Hold an EZ Curl Bar

There are three gripping options on an EZ Curl bar:

  • Close
  • Medium
  • Wide

With a close grip, you hold the bar on the inner angle of the cambered bar that has your pinkies a few inches apart. 

For a medium grip, hold the outer angle of the camber. 

A wide grip will see you holding the bar at the furthest extent of the bar so that the sides of your palms are touching the inner plates.

Depending on the exercise you’re doing, you will grip the bar with either an underhand or an overhand grip. 

Regardless of the grip you are using, you should always keep your wrists straight when using an EZ Curl bar. If you find yourself having to bend your wrist, you should lower the weight. 

3 EZ Curl Bar Biceps Exercises

There are many biceps curl variations. Using an EZ Curl bar provides a wrist friendly way to target the long head of the biceps. 

EZ Bar Curls

How To Do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding an EZ Curl bar with a medium underhand grip so that your hands are slightly pronated.
  2. Keeping your elbows in at the sides of your body, curl the bar from full arm extension up to your shoulders. Squeeze your biceps tightly in the top position.
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

PT Tip:

  • Do not use momentum by swinging the hips or back. To make the exercise stricter, stand with your back against a wall. 

EZ Bar Drag Curls

How To Do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding an EZ Curl bar with a medium underhand grip so that your hands are slightly pronated.
  2. Allowing your elbows to track back, drag the bar up your body as you curl it to your shoulder level. You will not be able to come up as high as on a standard curl but you will feel a tighter contraction. 
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

PT Tip:

  • If you want to get a fuller contraction, bring your elbows forward slightly and bring the bar all the way up to the shoulders. 

EZ Bar Spider Curls

How To Do It:

  1. Set the angle on an incline bench to 45 degrees. Lie face down on the bench with an EZ Curl bar in your hands, held with an underhand close grip. Your arms should be hanging over the edge of the bench. Set your feet firmly on the floor.
  2. Maintain a static position with your shoulders and arms as you curl the bar up to full biceps contraction. 
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

PT Tip:

  • Hold the top contracted position for 2 seconds as you squeeze the life out of your biceps!

3 EZ Curl Bar Triceps Exercises

EZ Curl Bar Overhead Triceps Extension

How To Do It:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and an EZ Curl bar held with an overhand close grip. 
  2. Bring the bar overhead to full arm extension, with your elbows close to the sides of your head. Maintain a neutral spine with a slight arch in the lower back.
  3. Lower the bar behind your head to full extension.
  4. Push through the triceps to return the bar to full arm extension.

PT Tip:

  • Stop short of lockout to keep constant tension on the triceps. 

EZ Curl Bar Lying Triceps Extension

How To Do It:

  1. Lie on a flat bench with an EZ Curl bar held with an overhand close grip. 
  2. Bring the bar above your chest to full arm extension, keeping your elbows in at the sides of your body.
  3. Lower the bar to your forehead.
  4. Push through the triceps to return the bar to full arm extension.

PT Tip:

  • For an enhanced activation of the long head of the triceps, bring the bar down behind your head. 

EZ Curl Bar JM Press

How To Do It:

  1. Lie on a flat bench with an EZ Curl bar held with an overhand close grip. 
  2. Bring the bar above your chest to full arm extension, keeping your elbows in at the sides of your body.
  3. Lower the bar to your throat, going down all the way to make contact.
  4. Push through the triceps to return the bar to full arm extension.

PT Tip:

  • The JM Press is a blend between a close-grip bench press and a lying triceps extension. Don’t go too heavy on this one, or you might end up suffocating yourself!

3 EZ Curl Bar Shoulder Exercises

Standing Reverse Grip Overhead Press

How To Do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and an EZ Curl Bar held with an overhand medium-width grip. 
  2. From a starting position with the bar held in a mid-curl position at the level of your navel, press upward to just short of a fully extended arm position.
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

PT Tip:

  • The reverse grip makes this exercise harder than a standard shoulder press. Use a relatively light weight and work up gradually.

EZ Curl Bar Front Raise

How To Do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and an EZ Curl Bar held with an overhand medium-width grip. 
  2. From a starting position with your arms fully extended and elbows locked bring the bar directly up to shoulder level.
  3. Hold the top position for a second and then lower under control.

PT Tip:

  • Keep your core tight and do not use hip momentum to lift the bar. 

EZ Curl Bar Upright Row

How To Do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and an EZ Curl Bar held with an overhand close-width grip. 
  2. From a starting position with your arms fully extended and elbows locked, bring the bar directly up to your chin. Your elbows should come up above your ears. 
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

PT Tip:

  • Do not swing the bar up. 

2 EZ Curl Bar Chest Exercises

EZ Curl Bar Bench Press

  1. Load an EZ Curl Bar Olympic bar on a bench press rack. Load the appropriate weight.
  2. Lie on the bench and plant your feet on the floor. Grab the bar with a medium overhand grip.
  3. Unrack the bar and bring it over your chest. 
  4. Lower the bat to touch your chest at the nipple line.
  5. Push the bar back to the start position.

PT Tip:

  • This version of the bench press takes quite some getting used to. Start off with a considerably lighter weight that you’d use on your standard bench press. Make sure that you maintain straight wrists throughout the exercise, even if this means lowering the weight. 

EZ Curl Bar Pullover

  1. Lie on a flat bench with an EZ Curl bar held with a close overhand grip.
  2. In the starting position the bar should be about two inches above your sternum, with your elbows locked at slightly less than 90 degrees. 
  3. Pivot from the shoulder joint to bring the bar back over your head and down as far as you can. Do not straighten your elbows.
  4. Reverse the action to bring the bar back to the starting position just above the sternum. 

PT Tip:

  • Do not lift your hips off the bench.

Wrap Up

The EZ Curl Bar provides you with a way to inject versatility into your workout while also protecting your wrists. On chest and shoulder pressing exercises using an EZ Curl Bar makes an exercise more challenging. To accommodate for this, start with a moderate weight until you get used to the movement pattern. Make sure, too, that you use the correct technique with a cambered curl bar.

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