EZ Bar Concentration Curls – Biceps Exercise Guide

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Muscles Targeted: EZ bar concentration curls target the bicep brachii (2 heads of the biceps), brachialis, and the brachioradialis (forearm). The forearm is only a secondary muscle worked however and the focus of this exercise is put squarely on the biceps brachii and the brachialis. These two muscles form the peak of your biceps and when worked thoroughly, they give you that full softball stuffed inside of your arm look that many people desire.

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Exercise Instructions: Grab an EZ Curl bar with both hands using an underhand grip and sit at the end of a flat bench with your elbows just inside your thighs. Rest your elbows on your inner thighs a few inches below your knees. Slowly curl the bar up and bring it a few inches away from your chin. Return the EZ bar back down to the starting position in a slow and controlled fashion and repeat. Be sure to keep your elbows locked in place against your thighs and really try to focus on using your biceps to execute the movement and a peak contraction at the top of the exercise.

Why This Exercise is Important: This exercise can be a substitute for those who want to mix up regular dumbbell concentration curls. Whether you have weak wrists or just don’t want to injure your forearms, the EZ bar puts much less of a strain on your bones and joints than a regular barbell does. Aside from the more natural grip the EZ bar provides, the exercise itself is a great isolation and finishing movement. When performed correctly, it really gets the peak of your biceps working and those veins popping. It also helps to add muscle to the lower part of the biceps just above your forearm.

Things To Avoid: It’s very important that you avoid using too much weight. When you use weight that you can’t properly control, your technique will suffer and you won’t be getting anything out of the exercise. Use a weight that you can completely control and don’t perform the movement too quickly. Don’t rush the exercise, otherwise you won’t be fully targeting your biceps and you might be tempted to use momentum to get the weight up. Instead, go very slow and take a few seconds to get the weight up, and another several seconds to lower the weight back down. Also try to keep an eye out for any muscle discrepancies that you see between your biceps. Since you are using a bar, instead of dumbbells, you will be able to tell if one of your arms is doing more work than the other. If you notice this happening you should switch to dumbbell concentration curls for both of your biceps in order to ensure they will be under the same amount of stress which will help you build symmetry between your arms.

Reps and Sets: For beginners, shoot for 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps. You want to make sure your technique is spot-on, so go with lighter weights and higher reps. For advanced trainees, do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps. Since this is an isolation type of exercise and you’re putting your back into a unique position, you don’t want to go super heavy with low reps on this movement. Rest for 90-120 seconds between sets and only train your biceps once per week to allow for adequate recovery.

Other Exercises To Use: The EZ bar concentration curl is a great finishing exercise to include at the end of your biceps workout. For this reason, it is best paired up with the Zottman curl, and the traditional barbell bicep curl. The Zottman curl is a great warm-up exercise to get the blood pumping and it’s a perfect introduction to a bicep workout. Do 3 sets of 20 reps with these and then move onto barbell bicep curls which is the true mass builder for the biceps because it gets your muscle fibers tearing like nothing else can. Do 3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps and make sure that you’re not swinging the weight during the range of motion. The EZ bar concentration curls come last in this workout routine and you must remember to do each repetition very slowly with complete control. When these 3 exercises are performed in the correct order they create an effective workout all the way from the beginning, middle, and to the end of your arm training session. Building up the peak of your biceps can be tough but when used correctly, the EZ bar concentration curl can be a very useful tool to use in your workout arsenal for your arms. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the biceps.

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2 Comments

  1. Great exercise! Does it work the same way as spider curls? That is a great finisher for the biceps also as you cannot cheat while doing them.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Rohan – They are very similar to spider curls but even more difficult since you are using the small area at the end of a bench so you have a little less support and your technique needs to be spot-on.

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