Are EZ Curl Bars Bad?

ez bar
February 1, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “are EZ curl bars bad?”. EZ curl bars are found in every commercial gym and are very useful for certain exercises.

They are controversial as well and divide opinion on effectiveness for exercises like curls compared to straight bars. This article will delve deep into this topic and give you a good insight into EZ curl bars and their utility. 

Are EZ Curl Bars Bad?

EZ curl bars are not inherently bad. They are very useful for biceps and triceps exercises, in particular tricep overhead extensions and skullcrushers. This is because the EZ curl bar puts less stress on the forearms and wrists.

On exercises such as barbell curls, some people experience forearm and wrist pain using a straight bar. The EZ curl bar allows you to get similar benefits of a standard straight bar curl, but with less risk of injury.

The EZ curl bar is easier to control as well which further reduces the risks of injuries. It weighs less than a standard straight barbell and is also shorter.

Easier On The Wrists And Forearms

One of the big advantages with using EZ curl bars is that they put less stress on the wrists and forearms. This allows you to train your arms without putting undue stress on those areas.

The old school exercise that was used frequently to build bigger biceps was the standard olympic barbell curl. The standard 45lb olympic bar is a straight bar and is a lot heavier than an EZ bar. It is also a lot longer.

Because the EZ bar weighs less and is shorter, this allows you to have more control of the weight when performing exercises. The extra control that the EZ bar offers you reduces the chances of injuries. 

I have noticed myself when doing heavy straight bar curls that my forearms can get put under too much stress. This is especially true of straight bar cable curls. For this exercise the EZ bar cable attachment has huge utility.

You can get all the benefits of constant tension on the muscle that cables offer you, without the increased stress on the forearms that the straight bar attachment would place on you.
ez bar

Is It Best For All Exercises?

It goes without saying that the EZ curl bar is not a bar that you would use for all exercises. It is particularly suited to training your forearms and upper arms. 

The best exercises that suit this bar would be wrist curls and extensions, tricep work and bicep work. You can use the bar in a standing, seated or lying position. There are many variations of exercises that can be performed.

My personal favourite tricep exercise using the EZ bar would be the overhead tricep extension. This works the long head of the triceps very effectively and doesn’t place much stress on the elbow.

Personally I find skullcrushers too stressful on the elbows so I don’t do them. The bottom line is that the EZ bar is a specialist bar and it is not intended to be used on all exercises.

You should use it wisely to work your arms and hit the muscles from different angles. You can even do decline sit ups while holding on to an EZ bar to make the exercise harder. 

Daniel Figueroa Controversial Video

There is a controversial video from Daniel Figueroa which I thought I would bring attention to – you can view the video below.

In it he talks about why you shouldn’t use the EZ bar. He says that you should never use the EZ curl bar to train biceps. His reasoning is that Mike Mentzer says that you shouldn’t because it hits the brachialis too much.

There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that the straight bar is more effective at building bigger biceps than the EZ bar. However, you also have to weigh up the risks and rewards.

If someone is able to get in more volume with EZ bar curls than they can with straight bar curls, wouldn’t they see better results? I disagree that the EZ curl bar should never be used to train biceps.

There are specific use cases where it is highly effective. The preacher curl for instance with an EZ bar is incredibly effective and a lot less stressful on the forearms and wrists than a straight bar preacher curl.

If you are able to do standing straight barbell curls with no pain or stress on your wrists and forearms, then I do believe that they would be better for bicep growth than standing EZ bar curls.

However, the difference is not huge. You certainly can’t go as far as to say that the EZ bar has no utility for bicep training. This is false, the EZ bar can be very effective for working the biceps, triceps and forearms. 

Final Thoughts

Are EZ curl bars bad? The answer is a resounding no. Like most tools in the gym, they do have a specific purpose. The EZ curl bar is intended to be used to train your forearms, biceps and triceps.

They can also be used to add weight to other exercises. The main benefit of this barbell is the fact that it places less stress on your forearms and wrists. It is also lighter and smaller than a 45lb olympic straight barbell. 

Therefore, the EZ curl bar is easier to control and this further lowers the risks of injury when performing exercises. If you can perform straight bar curls pain free, then anecdotally it would be better to perform standing straight bar curls for better bicep activation.

However, this is a mute point and doesn’t take away from how effective the EZ curl bar is. If you have any comments on the EZ curl bar please leave them below.

As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

>> Are Drag Curls Better Than Regular Curls?

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