12 Best EZ Curl Bar Exercises For Muscle And Strength In Your Upper Body

EZ curl bars are great for targeting different muscle groups without stressing your wrists and forearms. Add some of these curl bar exercises into your training regimes to achieve your fitness goals.

ez curl bar exercises

The EZ curl bar, or the easy curl bar, is one of the most common pieces of equipment in many home gyms, and for a good reason. EZ curl bars are great for targeting different muscle groups.

The range of fitness training bars available may be overwhelming and in many cases, very confusing. But if you want to gain size in your biceps without putting too much stress on your muscles, incorporating EZ curl bar exercises should be on your list.

ez curl bar exercises

The EZ curl bar is a barbell variation with a distinguishable zig-zag across the bar. The curvature in the bar is excellent for an enhanced and more comfortable grip, allowing your hands and wrists to remain in more natural positions while holding the bar.

Most EZ curl bar exercises primarily target your biceps and triceps and will help you build bigger, more muscular arms. However, before we get into the best different exercises using an EZ curl bar, let’s go over what makes curl bars unique.

What is the main difference between EZ Curl bars and straight barbells?

One of the most notable differences between the 2 bars is that EZ curl bars place minimal pressure on your forearms and wrist. That makes curl bar exercises more user-friendly to many.

The EZ curl bar has a smooth and wavy rod which allows for a semi-supinated grip. The semi-supinated grip provides a joint-friendly grip while effectively isolating your biceps.

Although EZ curl bars can’t save users from lousy form, they can help to keep the wrists in a natural position, and the natural stance will assist in preventing wrist injuries.

Benefits of the EZ Curl Bar

Curl Bars Have Ergonomic Grips
As previously mentioned, the curl bar has an undulating handle, and the semi-supinated grip prevents the external rotation of the wrist. The avoidance of external rotations prevents injuries to the wrist, forearm, and shoulder during curl bar exercises.

Although the grip the EZ curl bar provides is more natural and relaxed, it’s not entirely neutral. That makes it ideal for those who experience wrist and forearm pain when doing curl bar exercises.

EZ Bars Provide Better Balance
Do you struggle with stability when performing dumbbell or barbell curls? If you do, then using an EZ bar instead of a straight bar could be the perfect solution for you

The Olympic barbells in many commercial gyms are very long, which can quickly exhaust the arm muscles due to the micro balancing required to lift the bar.

On the other hand, many curl bars are shorter, which brings the weight closer to our natural centers of gravity. In doing so, your body doesn’t need to over-compensate for the lack of stability. Thus, you can perform curl bar exercises efficiently and get better results.

Best EZ Curl Bar exercises that can help build and tone your arm and upper body muscles

Below are some of the best curl bar exercises that will help elevate your arm workouts. As the name implies, you will need an EZ curl bar for all the curl bar exercises discussed here.

Take a look at our recommended EZ curl bars if you have not yet got one in your home gym. Many of them come at budget-friendly prices. They are very easy to store and will hardly take any room in your home gym. They will be a worthy addition to any home gym setup.

Standard Bicep Curl

 biceps curl bar exercises with ez curl bar

The bicep curl is an exercise you have seen many times. The bicep curl exercises with an EZ bar allow your biceps to activate while decreasing the chance of pain and injury

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with some knee bending for stability.
  • Hold the curl bar with an underhand grip, keeping your hands in line with your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows stable and squeeze at the biceps as you bring the bar up. Stop when you’ve brought the bar to your chest.
  • Maintain control as you slowly lower the bar to the starting position, then repeat [1].

Preacher Curl

curl bar exercises with preacher bench

Preacher curls are an effective way of using the EZ curl bar as they target the main muscles in your bicep, thanks to the restrictive position of the bench pad. You will need a preacher curl bench for these curl bar exercises.

The curl bar exercises on a preacher bench isolate your biceps by taking away any room available for you to swing your arms when lifting the weight, in this case, the EZ bar, making it possible for you to feel the burn.

Additional Equipment: Preacher curl bench

Steps to follow

  • Set up the preacher bench, so your underarms rest on top when you lean over it. Then, hold the curl bar with a standard grip keeping your palms up, and arms extended out, resting your arms on the bench.
  • Maintain a straight and engaged back while lifting the bar to avoid straining. Then, curl the bar toward your upper chest, hinging at the elbows to maintain isolation of the biceps.
  • Stop the movement when the curl bar reaches your upper chest and your hands land around your shoulder height.
  • While you maintain tension in your arms, slowly lower them to the starting position and repeat.

Overhead Triceps Extension

ez bar overhead extension - curl bar exercises

The overhead triceps extension EZ curl bar exercises are excellent for targeting your biceps and triceps for an overall arm workout.

Steps to follow

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back engaged and with a neutral spine.
  • Lift the bar behind your head as you hold the bar with a close overhand grip.
  • Extend your arms over your head until your arms are straight, but not to the point where your elbows lock out.
  • To lower the bar, bend at the elbows while supporting the weight behind your head, then repeat.

Reverse Grip Curl

You can rely on these curl bar exercises if you’re looking to target and grow the muscles in your forearms. While you can use a barbell for the reverse grip curl, using an EZ bar will make it easy to grip the bar without putting much stress on your wrists.

Steps to follow

  • Keep a stance with your feet shoulder-width apart as you hold the bar with an overhand grip. Ensure your hands stay aligned with your shoulders and elbows pinned to your sides. The bar should fall around your waist.
  • Keep a firm grip, focusing on the muscle engagement of the forearms as you bend your arms at the elbows and lift the bar toward your upper chest. The goal is to raise the bar as high as you can vertically without engaging your biceps.
  • When you’ve reached the top, hold the position for a few seconds, slowly lower the weight to the starting position, and repeat.

Close Grip Bench Press

These easy curl bar exercises will engage your shoulders, chest, and triceps for a well-rounded workout.

Additional equipment: weight bench.

Steps to follow

  • Lay down on a bench with a slight spine curve, so your lower back does not touch the bench. For stability, your feet should remain firmly planted on the ground.
  • Use an overhand grip to hold the bar; your hands should be closer together than your shoulders’ width but not touch.
  • Keep your elbows at your sides while pushing the bar up to prevent unnecessary movement. As you focus on your stability, continue to push up until your arms have extended but have not locked out.
  • Lower the curl bar to the starting position while maintaining control and tension for muscle engagement. Repeat.

Close Grip Curl

ez bar biceps curl - close grip

Try the close grip curl if you’ve already tried the previous movements and want a more challenging curl bar exercises. Your biceps will have to compensate for the close grip and, as a result, will provide an opportunity for growth.

The close grip is one of the best EZ curl bar exercises for those looking to take their training to the next level.

Steps to follow

  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart as you stand, holding the curl bar with a close underhand grip.
  • Pinch your elbows to your sides to restrict unnecessary movement. Squeeze your biceps and bend at the elbows as you bring the bar to your chest. Hold before releasing.
  • With controlled form, slowly lower the bar down and repeat.

Upright Row

upright row with ez bar

The upright row with the curl bar targets your shoulders in addition to your triceps. It’s an excellent movement for those beginning their training in curl bar exercises. It is a good starting point for growth in your upper body muscles.

Steps to follow

  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, have a slight bend in your knees. Then, hold the curl bar at your waist’s height with an overhand grip, keeping your hands in line with your shoulders.
  • Bend at the elbows, pushing them out and raising them higher than your shoulders while keeping the bar close to your body. Then, lift the bar close to your chin while pausing at the top.
  • Slowly lower the bar down to the starting position and repeat.

Push Press

Push presses are some of the best EZ curl bar exercises for the shoulders. They are some of the most effective upper body exercises to include in your training regimen.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with the curl bar resting in line with your shoulders and upper chest.
  • Hold the bar with the grip of your choice; however, overhand is the most common.
  • With your knees slightly bent, extend your arms as you push the curl bar above your head. Keep your wrists and forearms straight and taut as you follow through the range of motion to prevent strain or injury.
  • Lower the bar back down to shoulder height, then repeat [3].

Bent Over Row

Bent over rows is a fantastic exercise for strengthening your back and lats. If you’re looking to elevate this classic moment, try it with an EZ curl bar.

Steps to follow

  • Stand with your feet at hip-width, hinge at the hips and grab the curl bar as you maintain a slight bend at the knees.
  • As you hold the bar with an overhand grip, firmly plant your feet on the floor and raise it to just below your knees with extended arms.
  • Pull the bar toward your waist as you pull your elbows far back. Be sure not to let your elbows shoot outward and pinch your shoulder blades together for further muscle activation.
  • Lower the bar to just past the knees and repeat the process, maintaining control throughout the entire movement [4].

Skull Crushers

skull crushers with EZ Curl Bar- alternatives to dips

If you’re looking to build your triceps with curl bar exercises that you can do in your home gym, then this is a great movement I recommend you try. The triceps operate almost independently for this movement, making it a great isolation or burnout exercise.

Additional equipment: weight bench.

How to Perform Skull Crushers

  • Lay flat on a bench, holding the curl bar above your body while in line with your shoulders. Your arms should remain straight and firm with a narrow overhand grip.
  • Next, bend your arms at the elbows, keeping them in line with your body as you slowly lower the bar toward your forehead.
  • Stop just before your arms reach your forehead, then straighten your arms at the elbows to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat.


21s are a proven excellent burnout movement when you need that extra push to finish a great workout. These curl bar exercises extend your arm’s time under tension while targeting different areas of your biceps.

Steps to follow

  • Start by holding the bar with an overhand grip with your hands positioned hip-width apart. Throughout all the movements, keep your torso still as you lift and lower the weight.
  • Curl the bar upward but only until your arms form a 90-degree angle and are parallel to the floor.
  • Lower the curl bar to the starting position and repeat this movement for seven reps.
  • When you’ve reached the eighth rep, fully curl the curl bar to your chest. When you lower the bar, stop when your arms are parallel to the floor. Then, repeat the movement, lifting the bar to your chest and lowering it halfway. Repeat this movement seven times.
  • Again, on the eighth rep, fully lower the bar to the starting point and perform seven full bicep curls, following through the full range of motion.
  • All of this is one set.

Romanian Deadlift

If you want to incorporate an exercise with the curl bar that targets your lower and upper body, consider adding Romanian deadlifts to your regimen.

Romanian deadlifts with an EZ bar are curl bar exercises that are great at targeting your glutes, hamstrings, and posterior chain.

Steps to follow

  • Start by holding the curl bar at your waist using an overhand grip.
  • Keep a slight knee bend as you slowly lower your upper body. To do this, hinge at the hips, imagining them getting pulled backward.
  • Keep your arms extended just to the point before they lock out and only lower to the point where the curl bar just passes your knees, and you can still feel the movement in your hamstrings.
  • Throughout the entire movement, maintain a straight back. If you begin to feel the tension in your lower back, check your form and remember to lift using your glutes and hamstrings.
  • As you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings, pull your hips forward and return to the starting position.

Final Words from LiveLIfe

Easy curl bar exercises are some of the best exercises that allow you to build your biceps and other muscles without putting much strain on your wrist and forearms. The unique shape of the EZ curl bar makes it possible for you to lift more weight than you can with a straight barbell. That opens the door for you to push your training to higher levels.

Incorporate some of these curl bar exercises into your training regimes to help you achieve your fitness and muscle-building goals.


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