When you go to the gym, one piece of equipment you can be sure everyone is using is the curl bar. There are two reasons why this piece of equipment is always in use. First, it just looks cool when you are using it. Second, the guys who use it are going after large biceps, something that just about any man who takes the time to go to the gym wants to attain.
As popular as the curl bar is, most people have absolutely no idea how to use it. They think that if they are just lift it up a few times, their biceps are going to grow automatically. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Talk to anyone who has injured themselves using a curl bar and they will tell you emphatically that if you do not know how to use the curl bar, it is best not using it at all.
In this review, we are going to do two things. First, we are going to give you some tips on how to get the most out of using the curl bar. Then, we are going to give you our recommendations for the best curl bars that you can add to your home gym.
As in our other reviews, we are going to break down the products we discuss in to three categories. The first category is the best overall. The second category is the premium item. And, finally, we will discuss a good curl bar that you can use if you are on a budget.
- 1 XMark CHISEL Pro Olympic 2” E-Z Curl Bar
- 2 Our Premium Selection: Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar – Commercial Grade
- 3 Our Budget Selection: Champion Barbell E-Z Curl Bar, Chrome
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
XMark CHISEL Pro Olympic 2” E-Z Curl Bar
- Durable and has a chrome finish
- Maintenance free snaplock ring lock with long-lasting nylon bushings
- Alternating grips make it easy to change the intensity of your workout by changing your hand positions
- 400 pound weight capacity
- Manganese phosphate coatings provide anti-corrosion protection
- Smaller than average collars are too small for certain weight sets
XMark Fitness is a company that’s building a reputation for building quality equipment at a reasonable price. They are not going to be the cheapest products out there, but they are also not so expensive that we would classify them as a premium product.
We recommend the XMark Fitness curl bar as the best overall option because it is going to give you what you need for your workout without breaking the bank. Sure, there are a number of more expensive curl bars on the market that are capable of handling 1,500 pounds of weight or more. But there is almost no one who needs a bar that is able to handle more that they can deadlift.
When you look at the shaft of the chisel bar, you will see that it is dipped in black manganese phosphate. The purpose of this coating is to enhance corrosion resistance and resistance to abrasion. From what we have seen, this is a better coating than black oxide. Black oxide is what you normally see on general purpose barbells and curl bars.
The bar has an aggressive knurling when compared to some of the other bars on the market. This means that you will have sufficient grip to do whatever kind of workout you desire. You’ll notice that the curves on the bar are pretty standard when compared to other E-Z curl bars. For people with an average build, the curl is enough to take stress off of a person’s wrists and shoulders.
If there was something that we would say makes this bar stand out, it is the sleeves. They have bearings. Now, there is some controversy about this point, but it is generally believed that a curl bar does not need to have bearings. The only exception we would give to this is if you were doing Olympic size lifts. Then, bearings are essential for allowing you to do certain movements without breaking your wrists or without having the weights drop on your head.
The spin on this bar is better than what we have seen on some of the more expensive curl bars on the market. It is smooth and fast. You can do curls and skull crushers easily. This makes it one of the more comfortable bars that we have used.
Techniques for Preacher Curl with the XMark Fitness Curl Bar
You have likely seen the preacher curl bench at the gym. The purpose of this piece of equipment is to allow you to isolate your biceps. It prevents you from using your back muscles to assist with your curls. When you couple the preacher curl bench with the EZ bar, you have an effective way to attack your biceps.
Start by putting the curl bar on the bar support. You should use a lighter weight that you do when you do regular standing curls. Now, sit at the bench. Put your arms over the angle pads and grab the curls in the E-Z bar. You want your armpits to be resting on the top of the angle pad. Roll your shoulders backwards, allowing your arms to take the brunt of the weight.
Now, slowly lift the bar up to the top of the pad. Squeeze at the top of your lift. Return to the start position. Using proper technique during this exercise is key if it is going to be successful.
Our Premium Selection: Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar – Commercial Grade
Are you looking for a way to work your arm and shoulder muscles from different angles? Are you looking to stimulate new muscle growth? Sure, this can be done with dumbbells, but nothing works as good as using a bar. There is some benefits to doing curls with a straight bar, but when it comes to comfort and safety, the Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar – Commercial Grade is the choice for you.
This is not exactly an EZ curl bar. Instead, it is a multi-group bar. Made from commercial grade stainless steel, it is designed to support up to 1,000 pounds. This is the most heavy-duty bar of its type you’re going to find.
This Swiss Bar is designed to be the only Swiss bar you will ever need to purchase. It weighs 56 pounds. It has a level of durability that you are not going to find in a standard Olympic barbell. It’s thick, so you can use standard weight plates.
What makes the Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar unique is that it has eight handles that allow you to position the bar in four different ways. You are able to extend your curling movements in ways that other bars do not allow. The multiple grips are designed to take the stress off of your shoulders. You are in a better position to lift and curl.
The different grips allow you to completely take your shoulder muscles out of the equation and allow you to isolate your biceps or your triceps.When you get through with your workout using this equipment you’re going to need to find ways to safely replenish your body after weight cut because this workout is going to have you looking fit in no time.
- Sturdy build
- Fits perfectly on a power rack
- Knurling is not too jagged
- Balanced during exercise
- Non revolving sleeve
Techniques for Drop Sets
The Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar can be used to perform drop sets. These are a great way to extend your workout to the point of failure. Load the Swiss Bar with the maximum amount of weight that you can do for six reps.
You want to make sure that your form for every rep is perfect. You want to use small plates that are between five to 10 pounds each. Perform a set of curls until you fail. By failure, we mean where you cannot perform another rep without compromising your form. Drop sets are an essential strength training exercise that produces noticeable results.
Now, put the weights down and remove one plate from each side of the Swiss Bar. Immediately pick the weights up and start going again to the point of failure. Repeat this process until you are just using the Swiss Bar.
Our Budget Selection: Champion Barbell E-Z Curl Bar, Chrome
This bar has been designed to be used primarily with one inch flat plates. It has knurled hand grips, so that you can get a quality workout with less strenuous effort. A number of customers who purchased this item complained that the package does not always contain everything they were expecting. Some got two spring collars, others only got one, and others got to none at all.
This E-Z curl bar has an angle that is a little bit different than what you would get with your standard curl bar. To get the most out of this piece of equipment, you will need to have a wider grip as there is not a lot of knurling toward the center of the bar.
The bar itself is relatively light. It weighs a little over 10 pounds. It is rated to support 160 pounds. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how much weight you are looking to curl. For someone who is just starting out or for someone who is not looking to lift heavier weights, 160 pounds is more than good enough.
You will likely be impressed by how good the finish on the product is. The whole barbell is made from one piece of steel. The upside of this is that you’re not going to have a lot of noise when you work with this piece of equipment. It has a finish that is made of chrome. It looks as good as other bars we have seen for a more expensive price.
- Good finish
- Nicely crafted
- Angles that are different than most bars
- Made out of one solid piece of steel
- Issues with the packing
- Uneven knurling
- Rated for 160 pounds
Technique for Reverse Grip E-Z Bar Curl
This is one workout that a lot of people overlook. Everyone is focused on building bigger biceps, but they forget that in order to have truly impressive looking arms, they need to have big forearms. To perform reverse curls, grab the curl bar on the first angled grooves.
You are going to use a grip that is the reverse of what you would use during traditional curls. During the exercise, you’re basically curling your knuckles toward your biceps. The key to doing this exercise without pain is keeping your elbows at your sides.
If you experience pain, you may want to try lowering the weight and focusing on your form as opposed to the amount of weight you are lifting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What muscles does the E-Z bar work?
A: This equipment is designed to work your biceps. The curves in the bar are designed to be easier on your wrists. Although the E-Z bar is designed to target your biceps, it can also be used on your triceps, your forearms, and even your back. The muscles that are worked are determined not by the equipment itself but by exercises you use the E-Z bar for.
Q: How much does an E-Z bar weigh?
A: Standard plates have a one inch hole in the center. An Olympic bar used for curling is approximately 47 inches long. There are E-Z bars that can be up to 52 inches long. These can weigh between 18 and 25 pounds. Standard curl bars are lighter. They can weigh between 11 and 13 pounds.
- Differences in electromyographic activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing three variants of curl
- Effect of the shoulder position on the biceps brachii emg in different dumbbell curls
- Prediction of biceps muscle fatigue and force using electromyography signal analysis for repeated isokinetic dumbbell curl exercise.