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October 09, 2021 7 min read

For many lifters, barbell bicep curls, tricep dips, bench presses, push-ups, are go-to exercises for arm development, and that's because they work. 

But if your arms have stopped growing, it may be time to change up your routine.

An incredible tool to stimulate new growth

An EZ-bar is a variant of the barbell that has an undulating handle that helps activate more muscles than dumbbells or barbells as well as expand your range of motion. 

What Is An EZ Curl Bar?

An EZ curl bar is similar to a standard straight barbell but it has a zig-zag shape that allows more variability in the grip allowing a more comfortable, joint-friendly grip. They come in a variety of sizes and angles to fit all needs.

Portrait of handsome bodybuilder performing the biceps curl with EZ curl bar at gym

It also wasn't named "EZ" by accident. EZ bars are easier on your wrists making it better for targeting different muscle groups through curls, tricep extensions, upright rows, and the list goes on.

Reasons You Should Use An EZ Bar

An EZ curl bar allows you to grab ahold of the bar without placing your forearms in a full supinated position, which may seem discouraging, but it is a great alternative for individuals who lack wrist mobility and/or experience pain during straight bar curls.

  • Better Grip: EZ bars allow you to grip the bar in a way that avoids the external rotation that is required on a straight bar which is ideal for individuals who have had previous injuries.
  • Better Balance: EZ bars allow you to have better balance when you load the bar with weight. Instead of focusing on balancing the barbell, you have more control of the motion and you are able to focus on moving the weight up and down to maximize muscle engagement and growth.
  • Increased Muscle Activation: EZ-bars activate more muscles. Due to the fact that the shape of the bar allows you to incorporate more variety in your exercise, it also allows you to target specific muscles to build strength, tone, and size. 

One study took the time to compare the concentric and eccentric phases of dumbbell curls and barbell curls using either a straight bar or an EZ bar. They found that individuals who used the EZ bar experienced more activation in both their biceps brachii and brachioradialis.

Different Ways To Handle An E-Z Bar

Before executing any exercise, it's important to be comfortable with the equipment you are using in order to prevent injury and maximize your training. Similar to a straight bar, there are three different hand placements on the bar - wide, medium, and close. 

Once you figure out your hand placement depending on the exercise, there are also two different types of grips - overhand and underhand. For beginners, it might be intimidating as you might not know where to start, but it's extremely helpful to educate yourself on the impact of different grips as they can alter the targetted muscles.

Something you always want to make sure of is that your wrists should be kept straight at all times to avoid injury. Your wrist should be straight in alignment with your hands and if you find your wrists bending up or down, it might be a sign you need to lighten the weight you are using in order to strengthen your grip and forearm strength.

Now, if you're ready to learn some new exercises, go grab some Pumped-AF and keep reading.

10 Best EZ Curl Bar Exercises for Arm Strength & Size

The great thing about E-Z curl bar exercises is you will probably be quite familiar with them. The only difference is you'll be using a E-Z bar instead of a traditional straight bar.

These are the best exercises that use a variety of grips and hand placements to focus on different muscles but they all have the end goal to build muscle and give you bigger arms. 

1. E-Z Bar Standard Bicep Curl

Muscles Worked:

  • Biceps brachii 
  • Biceps brachialis
  • Short head of biceps

How To:

  1. Stand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Hold the curl bar at your choice of grip but just bear in mind the grip you select will alter the target muscle groups.* 
  3. Contract your biceps and curl at your elbow in order to bring the E-Z bar up in line wiht your chest. Make sure your elbows are pinned to your sides. 
  4. Slowly lower the bar to guarantee muscle engagement and return to the starting position. Check your form to make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your wrists are straight. 
  1. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps.

Using a wide grip places more emphasis on the long and short head of your bicep brachii. An overhand grip places more emphasis on forearm muscles.

2. E-Z Bar Lying Tricep Extension

Also known as skull crushers, this exercise guarantees you will feel your triceps working. It targets all three heads of your triceps including the long head and short head to encourage musle growth. 

Muscles Worked:

  • Long head of triceps 
  • Lateral head of triceps 
  • Medial head of triceps

How To:

  1. Lay back on a bench with the E-Z bar at a close overhand grip. 
  2. Place your feet on the floor and keep your shoulders retracted. 
  3. Press the E-Z bar straight up and lower your upper arm until the bar is at your forehead or right behind your head (hence the name, skull crushers). 
  4. Extend at your elbow until your arms are just about locked out and squeeze your triceps to encourage engagement. 
  5. Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps.

3. E-Z Bar Preacher Curl

Muscle Worked:

  • Brachioradialis

How To:

  1. Place the preacher pad in a place where it is right below your underarms. 
  2. Place your elbows on the pad and hold the E-Z bar at your desired grip (close or medium underhand grip). 
  3. Focus on keeping your back straight and your arms extended downwards. Curl the bar up until you reach shoulder height. 
  4. Slowly lower the bar to increase tension on your brachioradialis muscle to increase muscle growth.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps.

4. E-Z Bar Close Grip Curl

Muscle worked:

  • Long head of bicep brachii

How To:

  1. Stand up straight with a slight bend in your knees. 
  2. Hold the curl bar with an underhand grip and place your hands in line with your shoulders.
  3. Contract your biceps and curl at your elbow to bring the bar up in line iwth your chest.
  4. Slowly lower the bar down to your starting position. 
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps.

5. E-Z Bar Close Grip Bench Press

One of the greatest chest exercises to exist, this E-Z bar alternatives is a great way for individuals who are seeking to further engage their pecs. 

Muscles Worked:

  • Triceps 
  • Upper chest

How To:

  1. Lay on a bench with your back flat. 
  2. Place your hands on the curl bar with a close overhand grip. 
  3. Focus on placing your hands narrowe than your shoulders. 
  4. Keep your elbows close to your body and begin to push the bar up to extend your arms. Keep a slight bend in your elbows to avoid locking them out. 
  5. Slowly lower the E-Z bar to your chest to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for your desired number of reps.

6. E-Z Bar Upright Row

Muscles Worked:

  • Upper traps
  • Anterior deltoids 
  • Lateral deltoids

How To:

  1. Hold the bar at your waist with your hands placed at a medium overhand grip. 
  2. Your hands should be aligned with your shoulders while maintaing a slight bend in your knees. Keep a bend in your elbow and slowly raise the bar up. 
  3. Bring the bar up to either your chest or if you can, bring it up to your neck. 
  4. Slowly lower the bar down in a controlled manner.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps.

7. E-Z Bar Push Press

Muscles Worked: 

  • Upper chest
  • Biceps 
  • Lats
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps 

How To:

  1. Stand up straight maintaing good posture with your knees slightly bent. 
  2. Place the E-Z bar  across your upper chest and shoulders and hold it with your preferred grip. 
  3. Begin to extend your arms in order to push the bar above your head. 
  4. Slowly lower the bar back to starting position.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps.

8. E-Z Bar Lying Pull Over

This exercise has a multi-faceted approach that mainly focuses on your lats and upper chest but still uses your tricep and deltoid muscles. 

Muscles Worked:

  • Upper chest 
  • Lats 
  • Triceps 
  • Deltoids

How To:

  1. Lay back on a bench and keep your feet grounded. 
  2. Hold the E-Z bar with a medium overhand grip above your chest with a slight bend in the elbows. 
  3. Move the bar over your head and lower it untilit reaches beyond the bench level. 
  4. Slowly pull the bar back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps.

9. E-Z Bar Incline Front Raise

Muscled Worked:

  • Lats 
  • Trapezius
  • Deltoids

How To:

  1. Alter the bench so it is at a 45-degree angle. 
  2. Lay against the bench with your chest and keep your feet touching the ground.
  3. Hold the bar with a medium overhand grip and lift the bar without a bend at the arms.
  4. Lift up until it is at shoulder0level. 
  5. Slowly lower the E-Z bar to your starting position.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for your desired number of reps.

If you've mastered this one, a great alternative is an E-Z bar front raise with a twist. This adds a rotation at the top which makes it a lot more difficult.

10. E-Z Bar Reverse Grip Curl

Muscles Worked:

  • Forearms
  • Short head of bicep brachii 
  • Long head of bicep brachii

How To:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet pladed hip-width distance apart. 
  2. Hold your E-Z bar with your arms placed at your preferred width but at overhand grip. 
  3. Begin to bend your elbows and lift the bar up. 
  4. Lift as high as you possibly can while keeping your upper arms straight as well as your elbows close to the sides of your body. 
  5. Slowly begin to lower the bar.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for your desired number of repititions.

In Conclusion

Anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey or are seeking to change things up, making the decision to incorporate E-Z bar exercises into your strength training routine is a decision you will not regret.

You can start at a lower weight and slowly up your weight while you are getting adjusted to the new equipment but I guarantee you one thing: you will get a killer arm workout with these exercises.

Muscle imbalances can be a huge inconvenience that stall your fitness goals.

So if you find yourself performing upper body exercises like the ones mentioned above but struggle with having one side stronger than the other, it might be time you check out this article that addresses what to do if one arm is bigger than the other.