The 12 Best Curl Bar Exercises & Workouts: Muscle-Building and Performance Tips

Updated: Jul 2


curl-bar-workouts

The curl bar is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises to target different muscle groups. In this article, we will focus on the best curl bar exercises for building muscle and improving performance. We will start by describing how to properly perform each exercise, then move on to the variations and common mistakes people make. Let's get started!


Before we dive in: check out our full-body training program to develop a strong body and aesthetic physique; you will benefit from one of our programs. We designed a program that gives you the tools to build muscle with an easy-to-follow routine that will fit any schedule. To find out more:



What is an EZ curl bar?

An EZ curl bar is a type of curl bar that has angled grips, which makes it easier to hold and perform exercises. This type of curl bar is especially popular among those who are new to weightlifting, as it helps them to properly execute the exercises.


Why is it called an EZ Curl Bar?

The EZ curl bar is named after its inventor, Earle Ziegler. The curl bar was designed to reduce strain on the wrists and elbows, which made it easier for people to perform curl exercises.


How much does an EZ curl bar weigh?

An EZ curl bar typically weighs between 15 and 30 pounds. Although, in many gyms, you will find curl bars that have a fixed weight, and these can go up to 100.


How do you hold an EZ Curl Bar?

There are a few ways to grip an EZ curl bar:


Overhand grip: This is the most common way to grip the curl bar. To do this, simply hold the bar with your palms facing down.


Underhand grip: This grip is less common, but some people prefer it for certain exercises. To do this, simply hold the curl bar with your palms facing up.


Wide grip: This grip is different than the overhand and underhand grips because your hands are placed further apart on the curl bar. This grip is typically used for exercises that target the inner muscles of the arms.


Narrow grip: This grip varies the width of your grip depending on the exercise you are doing. For example, a close-grip curl will have your hands close together, while a wide-grip curl will have your hands further apart.


Medium grip: This grip is in the middle of the other two grips and can be used for a variety of exercises.


Benefits of a Curl Bar Workout

There are many benefits to using a curl bar for your workouts. Curl bars are great for targeting the muscles in your arms, such as the biceps and triceps. Additionally, curl bars help to build grip strength and improve forearm stability. Curl bar workouts create different positions for your arms and hands, which helps to build muscles in a more well-rounded way. Compared to other means of exercise, curl bars are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most gyms.



12 Best Curl Bar Exercises

Now that we've gone over the basics, let's get into the best curl bar exercises. These exercises are great for building muscle and improving performance.


Exercise #1: Standing Bicep Curl

The standing bicep curl is a great exercise to start with, as it is one of the most basic curl bar exercises.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the curl bar at arm's length.

  • From there, slowly curl the bar up to your chest, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake people make when performing this exercise is swinging the bar up using momentum. It is important to curl the bar slowly and with control, as this will help to target the muscles more effectively. Additionally, some people curl the bar too quickly, which can lead to injury.


Exercise #2: Preacher Curl

The preacher curl is an effective isolation exercise that targets the biceps.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Sit on a preacher curl bench and place your arms on the pads.

  • From there, hold the curl bar at arm's length and slowly curl it up to your chest.

  • Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake people make when performing this exercise is not sitting far enough back on the bench. This can cause you to lean forward and use momentum to curl the bar, rather than your bicep muscles. Additionally, don't lift too heavy of a weight, as this can lead to poor form and inadequate activation.


Exercise #3: Reverse curl

The reverse curl is a great exercise for targeting the brachioradialis, which is a muscle in the forearm.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the curl bar at arm's length.

  • From there, curl the bar up towards your chest, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

The mistake that many individuals make while doing this exercise is not keeping their elbows close to their sides. This may cause you to swing the bar upward rather than curl it using your actual muscles.


Exercise #4: Skull Crushers

Skull crushers are a great exercise for targeting the triceps.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Lie on a flat bench and hold the curl bar at arm's length above your chest.

  • From there, slowly lower the bar down to your forehead, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the bottom of the curl, then slowly raise the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

Flaring the elbows out to the side is a frequent error made while doing this exercise. This might harm the elbow joint and detract from the triceps emphasis.


Exercise #5: Spider curl

The spider curl is a great exercise for targeting the biceps.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Sit with your chest against the back of the incline bench.

  • Allow the arms to hang down holding the curl bar.

  • Curl the weight until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level.

  • Slowly lower the curl bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake people make when performing this exercise is not sitting up tall enough on the bench. This can cause you to round your back and use momentum to curl the bar, rather than your bicep muscles.


Exercise 6: Standing Overhead Tricep Extension

The standing overhead tricep extension targets the triceps. specifically, the long head of the triceps.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the curl bar at arm's length above your head.

  • From there, slowly lower the bar down behind your head, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the bottom of the curl, then slowly raise the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

The mistake that many individuals make while doing this exercise is not keeping their elbows close to their sides. This may cause you to swing the bar upward rather than curl it using your actual muscles. Additionally, many people tend to overarch their back while performing this exercise, which can lead to lower back pain.


Exercise 7: Front Raise

The front raise is a great exercise for targeting the anterior deltoid.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the curl bar at arm's length in front of you.

  • From there, slowly raise the bar up until it is level with your shoulders.

  • Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

Avoid using too much weight, as this can cause you to compensate by swinging your torso or using momentum. Additionally, many people tend to arch their back while performing this exercise, which can lead to lower back pain.


Exercise #8: Military Press

The military press is another excellent exercise for working the anterior deltoid.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Sit with your back against the back of the bench and hold the curl bar at arm's length above your head.

  • From there, slowly lower the bar down to your shoulders, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the bottom of the curl, then slowly raise the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

Keep your back pressed firmly against the bench and do not arch it during the exercise. Additionally, people often have movement in their hips while performing this exercise, which takes away from the focus on the shoulders.


Exercise #9: Bent-over Row

The bent-over row is a great exercise for targeting the posterior deltoid, as well as the upper and lower trapezius.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the waist, keeping your back straight.

  • From there, hold the curl bar at arm's length and row the bar up to your chest, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake people make while performing this exercise is not keeping their back straight. This can cause you to round your back and use momentum to curl the bar, rather than your actual muscles.


Exercise #10: Reverse Grip Bent-Over Row

The reverse grip bent-over row is a great exercise for targeting the posterior deltoid, as well as the upper and lower trapezius.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the waist, keeping your back straight.

  • From there, hold the curl bar with a reverse grip (palms facing up) and row the bar up to your chest, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

The common mistakes are similar to the regular bent-over row. People often round their back and use momentum to curl the bar, rather than their actual muscles. Additionally, many people do not keep their elbows close to their sides, which takes away from the focus on the posterior deltoid.


Exercise #11: Good Mornings

Good mornings are a great exercise for targeting the lower back and hamstrings.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the curl bar with arms extended in front of you.

  • From there, bend at the waist and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.

  • Pause for a moment at the bottom of the hinge, then slowly raise your torso back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

Avoid bending the arms while performing this exercise, as this takes away from the focus on the lower back and hamstrings. Additionally, many people round their back while performing good mornings, which can lead to lower back pain.


Exercise #12: EZ Bar Press

The EZ bar press is a great exercise for targeting the chest and triceps.


To properly execute this exercise:

  • Sit on a bench with your back against the back of the bench and hold an EZ curl bar at arm's length above your head.

  • From there, lower the bar down to your chest, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Pause for a moment at the bottom of the curl, then slowly press the bar back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake people make while performing this exercise is not keeping their elbows close to their sides. This takes away from the focus on the triceps and puts unnecessary stress on the shoulder joint.



Summary

In conclusion, these are the best curl bar exercises for muscle-building and performance. The list includes exercises that focus on the shoulders, back, chest, and arms. Remember to keep your form in check and avoid common mistakes while performing these exercises such as rounding your back or not keeping your elbows close to your sides. With proper form and execution, you'll be well on your way to building muscle and improving performance.


For a complete routine, check out our full-body training program to develop a strong body and aesthetic physique; you will benefit from one of our programs. We designed a program that gives you the tools to build muscle with an easy-to-follow routine that will fit any schedule. To find out more:


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