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Cambered (EZ) Bar Curls
How to Perform Them for Bigger Arms

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 15, 2021

Ever seen those funny-looking curl bars at the gym?

Besides appearing as though they’ve been bent out of shape, their main purposes is in helping gym-goers perform cambered bar curls.

If you’re looking to build big biceps and work those arms, here’s a quick guide to  implementing cambered bar curls into your next workout routine.

What Is A Cambered Bar?

A cambered bar - also known as an EZ bar -- bends at certain areas to create angles, compared to traditional weightlifting bars that are straight in design.

These angles make it easier for weightlifters to hold the bar when performing exercises.

What Are Cambered Bar Curls?

man lifting a ez curl barbell

Cambered bar curls are nearly identical to regular bicep curls. The difference is that instead of using a traditional straight bar, the curls are performed with a cambered bar.

Besides being easier to grip, this type of bar forces the individual to bend their wrists toward one another.

Additionally, this degree angle helps people to target the biceps when performing curls for maximum fatigue and maximum results.

Also, if you’ve ever tried performing curls using dumbbells, you might notice some repetitions becoming sloppy.

Performing cambered bar curls prevents you from ‘cheating’ reps as compared to using dumbbells.

When using both hands to perform curls, your arms get locked into a certain position.

This forces you to have perfect form while doing curls, and ensures your form doesn't get sloppy once fatigue sets in.

No pain, no gain.

How To Perform Cambered Bar Curls

man in a gym working out

Performing curls with an EZ bar is actually pretty darn easy. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it:

  • Step 1: Place your hands just adjacent to the centre of the bar.
  • Step 2: Make sure you’ve got a good firm grip.
  • Step 3: Get your pump on!

We’re pretty confident that once you’ve tried cambered bar curls, you won’t want to go back to regular bar curls anymore.

It also goes without saying that a cambered bar is great for other arm workouts as well.

Try using one when performing preacher curls or hammer curls for real gains and results.

The Difference Between Cambered And Straight Bar Curls

man using a cambered bar and a woman using a straight bar

Due to the unique design of a cambered bar, it eases the amount of stress that is applied to the lifter’s joints and wrists.

By creating a small bend in the bar, it specifically targets certain muscles and makes it easier to grasp.

Comparatively, a straight bar places much of its weight on the individual’s forearms, shoulders, and back. This can lead to complications such as elbow pain or wrist strain.

As a result, other muscle groups become involved when performing straight bar curls, which is the opposite of what you should be aiming for.

Close Vs. Wide Grip

men in gym doing barbell curls

It’s time to settle the most asked questions in the gym: is it better to lift with a close grip or a wide one?

The answer is; it depends entirely on what you’re after.

For those that are unaware, your bicep is made up of two sections - the inner head (closest to your body) and the outer head (furthest).

Wide grip cambered bar curls are great for building the inside of your bicep head.

This is the part you’ll most likely notice when you’re flexing in a mirror to see just how well you’ve been making progress.

On the other hand, close grip cambered bar curls focus on the outside head of your biceps, which is what everyone else sees.

That means when you’re strutting around on the beach, you’ll have looks of admiration from everyone who recognizes your hard work and commitment.

So which grip should you use?

If we’re being completely honest, the number one reason you probably lift is because you want BIG arms.

As a result, lifting with a close grip is the better choice. Doing so builds the outer muscles of the bicep and makes your progress much easier to notice.

After all, there’s no shame in proudly showing off what you’ve worked hard to attain.

FAQs

Why Is a Curl Bar Curved?

A curl bar or EZ bar’s distinct curve allows it to relieve tension on the lifter’s joints and wrists. The shape also takes stress off the back muscles and focuses the weight onto the biceps.

What Are the Benefits of a Curl Bar?

The benefits of a curl bar include better form, less stress on your body, and improves grip strength.

How Is a Curl Bar Different From a Straight Bar?

A curl bar bends at a certain degree angle which makes it easier to grip. Comparatively, a straight bar puts unnecessary stress on your wrists and joints, making it less efficient in terms of building muscle when compared to a curl bar.

What Muscles Does a Curl Bar Work?

A curl bar primarily works the bicep, as well as the shoulder and forearm to a lesser degree.

Incorporate Cambered Bar Curls Into Your Routine Today

There are many benefits to doing cambered bar curls as opposed to regular bar curls.

The unique shape of a cambered bar relieves stress on your joints and wrists, which helps to prevent injuries and nerve damage.

Additionally, the angles provided by a cambered bar forces you to adopt a certain posture when lifting.

If you tend to cheat repetitions during your workouts and manage to get away with it, you’ll certainly find it more difficult to do so when doing curls with a cambered bar.

Utilize one for all types of curling exercises - whether it’s hammer curls or preacher curls, and you’ll develop anaconda arms in no time.

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