Bodybuilding Exercises: Standing EZ-Bar Curl
Standing EZ-bar curls are exactly like straight bar curls but using the cambered EZ bar. The EZ-bar grip is anatomically more correct, although it requires a little more work from the brachioradialis and the long head of the biceps. This hand position is less strenuous on the wrist joint. The main disadvantage is that the exercise is subject to the design of the bar you are using, since you cannot easily change the width of your grip.
How to Perform Standing EZ-Bar Curls?
STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grasp an EZ-bar with a hip-width, underhand grip (palms-up). Your palms should angle inward.
MOVE (EXERCISE TECHNIQUE): Initiate the movement with both arms fully extended and your elbows tight against your body. Flex your elbows to raise the bar in an arc toward your shoulders. As you lift the weight, focus on keeping your elbows near your sides, resisting the urge to flare them out or shift them too far forward or back. After a two-second squeeze at the top, slowly lower the bar to the start position, straightening your arms completely at the bottom.
Sanding EZ-Bar Curl Tips & Tricks
- Don’t try to impress people by lifting huge amounts of weight. Pick a weight you can handle and control it.
- Be sensible when loading the bar: if the weight is too heavy, you will inevitably start to lean back, using your body momentum rather than your biceps to move the weight. This could damage your spine.
- Keep your upper arms pressed against your torso during the exercise. Make sure your elbows remain at your sides during the entire range of motion. When your elbows veer out to the side during many biceps and triceps exercises, you’re able to lift more weight. However, this is only because you have more leverage; your arms aren’t getting any stronger.
- EZ-bar was originally designed to mimic barbell curls but be easier on the wrists. The standard grip is not as effective for biceps as straight bar curls but is easier on the wrists.
Muscles Involved in Standing EZ-Bar Curl
This biceps exercise targets your biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. Your upper back and rear (posterior) shoulder muscles also come into play, since they keep your shoulders stable as you curl a weight in front of your body.
- Main muscles: biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis
- Secondary muscles: pronator teres, extensor carpi radialis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor carpi radialis
- Antagonists: triceps, anconeus
- Straight bar biceps curl. You can use regular barbell to perform this exercise. But many people find that EZ-bar takes pressure off the wrists by putting them in a slightly more neutral position.
- Close-grip standing EZ-bar curl. Hold the var with a narrow underhand grip, your hands about six inches apart.
- Wide grip standing EZ-bar curl. Hold the bar with an underhand grip that’s about 1,5 times shoulder width.
- Straight Bar Standing Bicep Curl
- Standing cable curls
- Supinating Dumbbell Biceps Curl
- Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curls
- Standing Hammer Dumbbell Curl
- Dumbbell Concentration Curl
- High-Pulley Curl
- Dumbbell Curl Over Incline Bench
Arm curls can be performed using an EZ-bar instead of a straight bar. Performing the curl with an EZ-bar changes the grip. The hands switch from the fully supinated (palms up) grip to a less supinated, nearly neutral grip (palms facing in). This hand position emphasizes the outer (long) head of the biceps and the brachialis, and is less strenuous on the wrist joint. Unfortunately, this type of grip also puts the biceps in a biomechanically weaker position so they receive less stimulation.
The EZ-bar curl is an anomaly among exercises in that you can lift more weight while using poor form. So in our advanced program, if you’re so inclined, you can add a slight backward lean on your final repetitions in your heaviest sets, provided you do the majority of your repetitions with strict form.
Because there may be some injury risk associated with using less-than-perfect form, you have to earn the right to cheat. While you’re a beginner or even an intermediate, you need to restrict yourself to strict form until it feels like the only way to do the exercise.