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EZ Curl Bar or Straight Bar, Which Is Better for Biceps Curl?

October 3rd, 2007 · 2 Comments ·

After the post of Barbell Curl for Biceps, you may wonder whether you should use EZ curl or straight bar in this workout.


This is an EZ curl bar. Without any weight, of course.

These are straight bars with prefixed weight. By the way, you do not have to be straight to use a straight bar.


Based on my experience, I find it easier to use EZ curl bar compared with a straight bar. In fact, the EZ curl bar was actually designed for this purpose. On the EZ curl bar, your hands are slightly pronated (thumb is higher than the last little finger), changing the pattern of activation of the muscles on the upper arms. In this case, your palms are angled in slightly so they face each other. Because of that, your biceps are getting a little less work whereas your muscle which lies under the lower portion of the biceps is getting slightly more work.


With a straight bar, the palm is facing up and the biceps are working more. In fact, according to a scientific study done by Truman State University, judging the muscle activation using electromyography (EMG), straight bar curls are found to be better than EZ bar curls when comes to biceps activation. Source


The most effective position for your biceps is the straight bar with a narrow grip. This means gripping the bar on the rougher surface exactly where the center smooth part ends (should be just inside shoulder-width).

Having said that, EZ bar does work other muscles well, such as the forearms and side of the upper arm. However, for maximum growth of the biceps, straight barbell curl is highly recommended. Though straight bar is better, you should still try EZ curl car occasionally for variation purpose so that the biceps will be stimulated in different conditions.




Category: Biceps

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2 responses so far ↓
  • aw // Oct 3, 2007 at 9:18 AM

    I love the EZ bar when doing lying-down tricep presses with the upper arms at a 45 degree angle to the bench. I really feel a different, better kind of pump compared to other tricep exercises!

    BTW, speaking of straight and movies, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” was very well written.. several hilarious twists at the end! :D And Jessica Biel.. man I bet she uses some straight bar exercises as well. Check out the muscle tone on that bodacious bod!! (Yes, she appears in skimpy lingerie.. And I mean skimpy, you can see her whole butt cheek and amazing cleavage :D)

  • Mun // Oct 5, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    Hi aw, I am using EZ bar too for triceps extension (skull crasher, some call it). I haven’t tried doing it on decline bench, but will give it a try in my next trip to the gym.

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