Gyms, spas and health clubs often fill their spaces with fancy and expensive cutting-edge machines, all designed to aid the masses in their fitness goals. These contraptions certainly have their benefits. Free weights, on the other hand, offer much of the same workout, if not more. By working against gravity, more muscle fibers are recruited to stabilize the body during a movement series. A straightforward free weight mainstay is the curl bar, sometimes called the EZ Curl Bar, a solid yet simple piece that offers several excellent exercises.
A curl bar is essentially a miniature barbell with ergonomic bends in the middle of the bar which aid in displacing stress on the wrists, something barbells are notorious for. Because of their compact size and reduced weight, they are heavily favored by those who have trouble handling a barbell's cumbersome length. Most Olympic curl bars feature rubber or neoprene padded grips that suggest hand placement and reduce callous causing had friction. Below are some suggested curl bar exercises pertaining to popular training body parts.
Obviously, the curl bar can be used for its namesake, curls, a common exercise for building the biceps. By putting the desired amount of weight on the bar and picking it up, the biceps act as a lever against gravity and bring the bar closer to your chest. Curl bars are effective for curls because of design; the ergonomic bends in the bar displace stress on the wrist. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and with a slight bend in your knees. Lift the weight from an extended position to your chest, resisting the temptation to use your hips to gain leverage.
Triceps make up 3/5 of your arm and are located opposite of the biceps. "Skullcrushers" are an exercise that can be done by laying on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor, with the bar above your chest (as if beginning chest presses). Keep your elbows locked and pointed at the ceiling as you lower the curl bar downward until it touches your forehead. Pullovers are another tricep exercise that also work the chest, lats and abdominal muscles. They are similar in motion to skullcrushers, but lower the bar past your head and as far to the floor as possible before bringing the bar to the starting point.
A curl bar is essentially a scaled-down barbell, so exercises usually reserved can be modified for curl bar use. Squats can be performed by those who can't safely handle the larger and heavier barbell. Put weight on the curl bar (have a partner help you place the weight behind your head on your shoulders) and lower yourself as far as possible, at least to the point when your knees are flexed to a 90-degree angle before returning to the beginning position.
Performing standing pullovers are an alternative if a flat bench isn't available, simply keep your elbows pointed to the ceiling. Seated or standing overhead military presses provide excellent work for your shoulders. Hold the bar with your palms facing away from you in the same hand position as you did with curls, then press above your head until your arms are fully extended.
How to Use a Curl Bar
A curl bar comes in all shapes and sizes and when used correctly can work the arms, chest, back and shoulders. Maintain...