Muscles Targeted: EZ bar curls are a great biceps exercise to consider adding to your workout routine. They are basically the exact same as the regular barbell curl with one very important difference. This difference is that this exercise is performed with an EZ curl bar as opposed to a traditional barbell. The exercise targets multiple muscles located in your arms such as the biceps and forearms, as well as the front deltoids (shoulders) as stabilizers. A good thing about this exercise is that the EZ bar takes a great amount of strain off of the wrists, while still stimulating the arm muscles very well.
Exercise Instructions: This is just like a normal barbell curl, but you will be using an EZ curl bar. Position your hands so they are on the curve that allows your palms to face inward toward one another. As always, perform this exercise in a slow and controlled fashion, flexing both biceps at the peak of the movement for a one-count. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Why This Exercise is Important: This exercise is important because it targets the arms helping you gain upper body strength. This can be beneficial if you play sports like football, baseball and basketball. EZ bar curls help you gain muscle in your biceps and forearms for normal daily activities like doing household chores, moving furniture, landscaping outside and picking up the kids. Using the EZ bar is much easier on your wrists due to the angle of the curved bar and your hand position. Regular standing barbell bicep curls can cause pain and discomfort if you have wrist issues so that is something you might want to take into consideration before starting your arm workouts.
Things To Avoid: Be sure that when performing this exercise that it is comfortable or it may cause injury and discomfort in the wrists and hands. Find a position that works for you and never try to overwork your arms with too many sets or too much weight. Do not feel like your hands have to be a certain distance apart or close together, just find the spot that works for you and feels natural. It should not put any excess tension or strain on your hands, wrists, or arms. Make sure to use a proper underhand grip on the EZ bar also which means your thumbs should be wrapped over the top of the bar. You might see some people in the gym with their thumbs under the bar (directly next to the index finger) but you really should avoid this technique due to safety issues. The last thing you need is to accidentally drop the weight and break your foot!
Reps and Sets: Just like any exercise, doing too much of these can cause overtraining issues and halt your progress. The biceps muscle is very small when compared to larger muscles like the back or legs so avoid doing tons of sets and exercises when you train them. As a beginner, focus on doing 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps (after warming up with lighter weights). You should try to build up to a certain number of reps and weight overtime with a goal of 6-8 reps per set for mass building and 10-12 for normal training. Only train each muscle group once per week for optimal results. Hit the muscle hard and then get out of the gym and let your body recover fully.
Other Exercises To Use: Consider combining EZ bar curls with some other exercises in order to create a full workout for your biceps. These can include, but are not limited to, chin ups, incline dumbbell curls, and hammer dumbbell curls. This will allow you to get the look you want and gain the upper body strength desired in a shorter amount of time. If you feel like doing all of these exercises is too much for a single workout then space them out and only do 1 exercise per workout for 1 week and then add another exercise the next week. If combining all 3 exercises into a single workout, shoot for a total of 6-8 sets for your biceps. Anything more than this and you will be flirting with overtraining. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps.