Barbell Vs. EZ Bar Curl
Target your biceps.
The barbell curl and EZ bar curl are strength exercises that target your biceps, the muscles in the front of your upper arm. The movement pattern is the same for both exercises, and neither one is inherently a better exercise than the other. However, one may be better for you depending on your form and biomechanics.
A barbell is a long, straight bar used for strength training. You load the ends up with weight plates to perform a variety of exercises. A standard barbell is typically between 5 and 6 feet long and 1-inch thick. Use standard, 1-inch weight plates on a standard barbell. An Olympic barbell is 7 feet long and weighs 45 lbs. It is about 1.25 inches thick in the center and 2 inches thick on the ends. Use 2-inch Olympic plates with an Olympic barbell.
An EZ bar is shorter than a barbell. The size can vary among brands, but typically an EZ bar is between 4 and 5 feet long. EZ bars are available as a standard bar with 1-inch plate sleeves or as an Olympic bar with 2-inch plate sleeves. The biggest distinction between an EZ bar and a barbell is that an EZ bar has angled hand grips. The bar is bent in several places, which creates differently angled grips.
Load up an EZ bar or a barbell with weight plates. Take an underhand grip on the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Start with your arms hanging straight down in front of your thighs. Lock your upper arms next to your sides and do not move them throughout the exercise. Lift the weight by bending your elbows. Continue until the bar is in front, but not resting on, your shoulders. Pause for a count then slowly lower.
A straight barbell locks your hands into one position. Your palms face directly up. Some lifters experience wrist and elbow pain in this position. An EZ bar allows you to place your hands on the angled bends in the bar. This turns your wrists so your palms are facing inward a little. The National Strength and Conditioning Association states that this wrist position may be more comfortable for some users. Since an EZ bar is shorter than a barbell, it is easier to control for small lifts, such as a barbell curl.