I've been asked several times which one I prefer when doing the biceps curl - the classic straight barbell or the so called "curl bar", also known as the EZ bar.
Today's post delivers my answer in an unequivocal manner: the straight classical barbell is my choice. For me it is not even close, I don’t consider the EZ bar a worthy opponent to the beloved classical barbell. I’ve always stuck to this choice of mine. Sometimes the EZ bar is claimed to be more gentle for the wrists. If you have this experience yourself then by all means, stick with the EZ (in the end always trust your instincts, no matter what you read or hear other people say), but if you don’t have any wrist injury I’d urge you to (most often) go with the classical straight barbell when working your biceps (or any other muscle group for that matter). If you just make sure to master the basics of a good biceps curl (keeping the wrists straight and strong and letting the palms face the ceiling at the top of the movement) the straight and classical choice will be the most rewarding one.
Here are my reasons why I consider the straight classical bar superior to the EZ bar:
One advantage of the straight bar is that it is perfectly balanced. This obvious attribute of the barbell is the reason why we stick with it. Otherwise we could just as well be lifting stones or tree trunks. But we don’t, because we don’t want to be injured. And we want to look like we know what we are doing, which is much easier with a barbell than with the other mentioned alternatives... When compared with the EZ curl bar you’ll quickly notice that the straight bar follows your movements much better, without ever trying to turn or twist in your grip, not even when you are lifting really heavy weights.
The straight bar allows different grip variations in a way that the EZ curl bar doesn’t. This enables you to target different parts of the biceps. If you go for a narrow grip you will put more emphasis on the outer parts of biceps – and if you have a wider grip you will target more of the inner parts.
Another advantage of the straight bar is that it allows far more possibilities for different combinations in terms of supersets and other variations.
I finish this post with a serratus photo. In an earlier post I write about this aesthetically important part of the body. You can find that post here: