Having large, defined arms is one of the most popular goals among young and old gym goers alike. There are few things better than wearing sleeve hugging t-shirts to show off the guns.
I mean who can honestly say they don’t want big arms?
What’s the one exercise most people first learn for building strong arms? The bicep curl immediately comes to mind as a common answer.
Although dumbbells and barbells come in handy for building large arms, one tool you may be unfamiliar with is the EZ curl bar.
Like other pieces of gym equipment, there’s a plethora of options available on the market. With so many choices it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. Three of the most popular choices currently are:
Each of these bars provide different versions of the same piece of equipment. But which one should you choose? Let’s take a look at each of the variations in more detail to find out.
What is an EZ Curl Bar?
If you have ever set foot in a gym, you’re no stranger to the straight bar. It’s versatile and can be used for an endless amount of exercises. The EZ curl bar on the other hand is less commonplace.
You might be wondering what makes the EZ curl bar different from a traditional bar?
The EZ curl bar is similar to the straight bar, but contains a zig-zag shaped area where your hands are placed. The small difference allows you activate unique muscle groups compared to the traditional bar.
The EZ curl bar also places significantly less tension on the wrists decreasing the likelihood of injuries or tendonitis.
The EZ curl bar can be a useful tool in any person’s gym arsenal when utilized properly.
EZ Curl Bar Specs
EZ curl bars come in various sizes and weights. Typically an EZ curl bar can weigh as little as fifteen pounds and as much as thirty-three pounds.
In terms of length, EZ curl bars can range between forty-seven inches up to seventy-two inches long.
The weight load can vary tremendously from bar to bar as some will hold 100 pounds while others may hold up to 400 pounds.
You should take an individual assessment and determine your budget and goals. Pick a bar that will work best for you.
Benefits of an EZ Curl Bar
The EZ curl bar may appear to be similar to a straight bar but with an added twist (pun intended). Since the hand placement portion of the bar is Z shaped, there are some added benefits you may be unaware of.
1. Less chance of injury
the straight bar is versatile and can be used for exercises ranging from bench presses to deadlifts. However, straight bars can put the hands in a compromised position leading to injury.
If you are lifting a fairly heavy weight, this can place unnecessary tension on the wrists.
Over time, this potentially may lead to wrist tendonitis, sprains, or even bone fractures. With an EZ curl bar, you won’t have to worry about this.
2. Shock to the system
over the years your body has likely become accustomed to the structure of the straight bar. Small adjustments in workout equipment can provide a new way to shock the system.
It may not seem like a tremendous difference, but simply performing curls with an EZ bar will provide a never before seen stimuli to your body.
3. Ability to lift heavier
Since less tension is placed on the wrists (wrist wraps can help also) with the EZ bar, you will be able to lift heavier amounts of weight. More focus will be placed on the muscles being used rather than unnecessary tension being placed on the joints and tendons.
The benefits of the EZ curl bar make it a great piece of equipment for any gym goer. Try switching up your workouts with an EZ curl bar.
EZ Curl Bar vs. Straight Bar
The EZ curl bar and the traditional straight bar have a lot in common. They are tools used to provide the stimuli needed to grow our muscles. Both pieces of equipment have their proper place in our workouts, but each have a specific focus.
The straight bar can be used for almost any exercise including: squats, deadlifts, bench press, bicep curls, skull-crushers, and more.
The EZ curl bar is generally lighter and best reserved for bicep curls, skull-crushers, and other arm exercises.
EZ curl bars are generally lighter than straight bars making them a less likely option for compound movements (e.g. deadlifts, squats, bench press).
Considerations Before Buying
So now you’ve decided the EZ curl might be the next big addition to your home gym. Now comes the difficult part. Deciding which bar is right for you.
There’s many factors you should take into account before whipping out that credit card.
When looking at different bars on the market, be sure to check out sleeve options. The sleeve is the end portion of the bar that holds the weight plates.
The sleeves generally come in one and two inch variations. Two factors to consider when looking at sleeve sizes are:
- Are you using olympic size weights or regular size weights?The two-inch sleeves are generally used for Olympic weights while the one-inch sleeves are used for regular size weights.
- How much weight will you be lifting?The one-inch sleeves generally hold 100-200 pounds while the two-inch sleeves hold significantly more weight.
- What’s your budget? Sleeves that are one-inch tend to be significantly cheaper than their two-inch counterparts.
Be sure to choose the sleeve that’s right for your own individual workout needs.
One of the main reasons people buy the EZ curl bar is due to the angles and positioning of the hand portion. Each company will produce bars with slightly different angles. If possible, be sure to try out each bar to see which one works best for you.
The more bend in the bar, the less tension will be placed on your wrists. A small change in the positioning of the bar can give you a completely different workout. Pick the angle you are most comfortable with.
The knurling can play a key role in determining the right bar for you. Stronger knurling will result in a better grip strength.
If you plan on doing heavier movements, this will help keep a tight grip throughout the entire exercise.
More knurling also means less forearm activation and more direct tension placed on the biceps or triceps.
Knurling doesn’t have to be limited to small segments of the bar. If you choose a bar covered in knurling, you will be able to perform almost any exercise.
Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, the finish of the bar is important to many people. An ugly bar could be a deal-breaker in the eyes of many people.
Most bars have a chrome or gun-metal type finish. However, some companies are starting to make EZ bars in black or other colors.
The bars may look aesthetically pleasing when they are new, but the shiny finish will quickly dissipate (if you are actually using the bar).
Although a bright colored bar may look good initially, chances are it will fade sooner or later. Choose a bar to reach your goals, not to look cool on Instagram.
The Top EZ Curl Bars Reviewed
Now you know what to look for in an EZ curl bar, but you’re probably wondering which one is right for you?
There are numerous options available at different retailers, but we have decided to focus on three of the most popular choices
1. XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar
At first glance, there’s no denying the appeal of this bar. Coming in at 22 lbs with a 400 lb weight capacity, this bad boy is beastly.
The solid chrome finish and black manganese phosphate on the shaft protect the bar from corrosion and abrasions.
The bar is a solid 48 inches long and rings in at just under $70.
Consumer reviews are extremely favorable for this piece of equipment as it boasts a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Amazon with 167 reviews to date.
The bar is described as “Solid,” “Tight,” and “able to last a lifetime. XMark’s customer service also gets strong ratings in customer reviews.
Based on all these factors, it’s clear to see why XMark’s the spot (pun not intended). If you’re searching for a sharp looking bar at a reasonable price, the XMark Olympic EZ curl bar is for you.
Get The XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar on Amazon.com
2. XMark 6’ Rackable EZ Curl Bar
The first thing standing out about this bar is it’s physical size. Coming in at six feet long, it is one of the longer EZ curl bars on the market.
It’s dynamic length gives it a wealth of exercises at its disposal. In addition to bicep curls and tricep skull-crushers you could also use this bar for deadlifts or squats.
Customer reviews on this bar are generally favorable as it has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. At $119, it is slightly more expensive than other bars but definitely worth it.
If you are looking for a dynamic, versatile bar you should consider the XMark Rackable EZ curl bar.
Get The XMark 6’ Rackable EZ Curl Bar on Amazon.com
3. Marcy Solid Curl Bar
The Marcy Solid Curl bar is a more economic choice coming in at under $50. With its high-quality design and durable finish, it can hold up to 100 pounds.
It’s the shortest of the bars at 47 inches and designed mainly for arm exercises.
It also contains two weight plate collars so ensure weight plates stay exactly where they should – on the bar.
With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon among nearly 250 reviewers, it’s safe to say this bar is perfect for those on a budget.
If you’re looking for the economically friendly choice, check out the Marcy solid curl bar.
Get The Marcy Solid Curl Bar on Amazon.com
The EZ curl bar is a great way to mix up your workout routine. By just inserting the bar in place of the standard straight bar, you will immediately notice the effects of a new workout change.
You will also be less likely to sustain joint and tendon damage. Pick the bar best suited to your own individual goals. This summer it will be suns out guns out all season long.