7 Ways To Level Up Your Curl Bar Workouts
7 Ways To Level Up Your Curl Bar Workouts
Since the innovation of the EZ Curl bar or simply the curl bar by Lewis G. Dymeck, workouts have never been the same. So, which one is better, the curl bar or straight bar? The answer depends on how you intend to use each type of barbell. The curl bar is a modification of the straight barbell bar to accommodate hand movement better. The curl bar has ridges and is smaller and lighter than the straight bar.
The majority of lifters prefer to use a curl bar to straight bar since the ridges make the Olympic EZ curl bar more comfortable to use and reduce wrist pains. The slight inversions relieve the pressure from your wrists and give you a stronger grip.
Curl bars are superior to dumbbells in some exercises, such as activating the bicep muscles. Skull crushers, triceps extensions, and front raises are much easier to perform due to the unique grip on the Olympic curl bar.
Are you looking forward to incorporating the Olympic curl bar into your workout routine? Here are the best variations of curl bar exercises that you can incorporate into any weightlifting routine:
1. Standard Standing Bicep Curl
The standing bicep curl is one of the most basic EZ bar exercises to activate gains in the biceps. This exercise can be done using any equipment, including a straight 15lb barbell, 45lb bar, rubber coated dumbbells, and cables. However, a curl bar is one of the best equipment to get the most out of the standard bicep curls.
The curl bar brings more effects compared to other types of barbells or equipment since the angles give you a better angle as you curl your arms inwards, resulting in a better bicep contraction. You can have any weight and the number of reps you are comfortable with on the bar.
It is advisable to combine high reps with low weights and low reps with heavy weights.
How To Do It
- Start by standing upright with your curl bar at hand
- Ensure that your chest is up, shoulder back, and elbows slightly in front of the torso, palms facing up
- Lift, maintaining your grip, and lift slowly without letting your elbows go behind your torso
- Curl the bar to face level, or bring it to your forehead if you are comfortable, as long as your elbows are moving forward correctly (do not bend your neck to meet the bar)
- Lower the bar slowly to the starting point with your elbows spread out to maximize the range of motion
Here are some tips to ensure you are in the proper form when performing the standard bicep curls:
- Ensure that your elbows do not go behind your torso
- Remember to breathe as you lift. Squeeze your biceps, inhale, and lower at the count of three
- Supinate or rotate your wrist as you feel comfortable, fully targeting the bicep muscles
- Do not drop your weight; ask for help in case your arms give in to the weight
- You can supplement the exercise with an arm blaster to prevent your torso from swinging too much
2. Preacher Bicep Curl
Preacher bicep curls are an exercise to build biceps that are compatible with beginners or seasoned bodybuilders. The preacher curl is derivative of the standard bicep curl, where you get to control your torso movement by getting supported by a preacher bench.
To perform the preacher curl, you need to sit on the preacher bench with your armpits resting on the arm pads to keep your elbows fixed and shoulders resisting motion. The exercise is best in moderate to heavy weights and regulated reps.
How To Do It
- Lift the curl bar with an underhand grip or palm facing up, and sit down on the preacher bench
- Plant your feet firmly on the floor and adjust the seat level so that your armpits rest comfortably on the bench to intimate the upwards movement, breath in, squeeze your biceps, and bend your elbows inwards
- Bring down the bar slowly, maintaining your posture and breathing
Your chin should remain in place, and avoid moving your head or lifting your bum from the bench. Maintain a natural wrist position and comfortable grip throughout. Lastly, ensure that all the lifting starts from a neutral stance, and don't forget to breathe.
Choose your weight and reps according to your ability to maintain your posture and correct technique. You can start by performing 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions.
3. Overhead Triceps Extension
The overhead triceps extension is a mass-building exercise that focuses on the tail of the triceps, core, glutes, and lower back muscles all at once. You can perform the overhead triceps extensions using a curl bar or dumbbells, sitting or standing. Select the option that allows you to have a long triceps stretch comfortably.
How To Do It
- Stand against a vertical bench not taller than your shoulders or sit on a flat bench that allows you to lower the bar behind your back without touching the floor
- Take an overhand grip on the curl bar, and press the bar over your head
- Hold the bar over your head, slightly behind you, and bend your elbows inwards as deep as you can
- Ensure that the elbows do not flare outwards and increase the range of motion as you feel comfortable
- Stretch as much as you can, squeezing your triceps, and bring the bar back to the starting position
Ensure that you squeeze your triceps as you go in and out. Maintain the curl bar overhead and slightly behind your torso to help you keep constant tension on the triceps.
4. Reverse Arm Curl
The reverse arm curl focuses on the biceps and forearms and can be done using a standard barbell, dumbbells, or EZ curl bar. The most effective way of performing a reverse arm curl is by taking a protracted grip on the curl bar, left, and curling the arms inwards.
The exercise is perfect for training your grip strength for heavier lifts and improving the elbow health and power, and the forearms.
How To Perform the Movement
- Stand, sit in a preacher curl setup, or the spider curl bench
- Grip an overarm or palms down grip on the curl bar with the width most comfortable to you
- Breath in, squeeze your muscles and lift curling your elbows inwards
- Lower slowly, at measured stances to maximize muscle growth
Training with moderate to lighter loads for higher reps is a great way to build healthier elbows, increase grip strength and endurance, and build muscle.
5. Front Deltoid Raise
The front deltoid raise is an isolation exercise that activates the muscle groups in your shoulders that target the sides and fronts of the shoulders, upper chest muscles, and biceps. The exercise can be done with the curl bar, dumbbells, or a standard barbell.
The curl bar is the best equipment for a front deltoid raise, as it gives you a wider grip that places your wrist in a position that decreases internal shoulder rotation.
Best Way to Perform a Front Deltoid Raise
- Grab your curl bar with an overarm grip or palms facing down and a wide arm placement
- Lift as if performing a standard shoulder raise, and ensure that you lift the bar upwards without momentum
- Pause as you reach the highest point possible, take a deep breath and slowly lower the bar downwards
- Do not lower the bar all the way down to preserve the deltoid tension
- Exhale as you raise your arms and inhale as you lower them
- Use an alternating standing split-stance position for greater tension
- Work as if reaching to a wall in front of you to engage all the target muscles
- Avoid wrist extension and flexion by maintaining a neutral stance and grip
- Focus on training with higher reps, i.e., 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16, until you feel a muscular burn
- Remember to retain your momentum and body control, and regulate your weights
6. Arm Blaster Standing Bicep Curl
An arm blaster is an aluminum strip 24″ long and 4″ high designed to be worn around the neck when doing upper body exercises. The arm blaster works by keeping your arms in a fixed position, helping you control your movements and retain your posture.
An arm blaster standing bicep curl is a variation of the standard standing curl, with the arm blaster harness secured with straps and grooves on your sides to rest your arms. The arm blaster bicep curl is also a variation of a supported preacher curl since it minimizes your ability to use body momentum and helps the elbows retain their position.
How To Do It
- Place the arm blaster strap around the neck, and secure it with the support straps across the chest
- Perform the standard standing biceps curl
7. Varied Grip Bicep Curl
The curl bar allows you to perform any variation of the bicep curl exercise with a variety of supinated grips. To train the outer head of the biceps, focus on narrow grips, and for the inner bicep, use the wider grip.
Mixing grips will bring you different movements—experiments, changing the grips until you find the one that works best. You can also alternate between narrow and wide grips to help you extend a set.
Attain the Best With Tru Grit Fitness
Are you a beginner or a seasoned bodybuilder looking for ways to spice up your workout routine? A curl bar might be an excellent addition to your equipment. Our stainless steel Olympic EZ Curl Bar is designed to make your curl exercises comfortable and is compatible with all Tru Grit hi-temp bumper plates and competition plates.
We have all sorts of exercise equipment, including cardio, bumpers, barbells, racks, and rigs. Get out of your comfort zone and explore all that bodybuilding has to offer with the help of Tru Grit Fitness.
- Upper extremity weightlifting injuries: Diagnosis and management: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5895929/
- The 9 best arm exercises for definition & strength: https://blog.nasm.org/workout-plans/9-best-arm-exercises
- 5 exercises to tighten and tone your arms for summer: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/5-exercises-tighten-tone-your-arms-summer-ncna1008266
- Prevent Back Pain: https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/everyday-healthy-living/safety/prevent-back-pain