Proper Techniques to Build Biceps Using a Curl Bar


With a curl bar or E-Z curl bar, you can engage the biceps muscles from multiple angles during a workout. Using a curl bar allows for a more direct emphasis on both the inner and outer biceps. There are at least 10 biceps exercises that can be performed with a curl bar.

Proper Use and Form

  • The curl bar routine can be along with straight bar curls. The curl bar was designed for building both size and shape in the biceps. Power exercises are usually performed standing up. Shaping exercises can be done while bending over, or in a seated position. As with any exercise, always exhale when lifting the weight and inhale on the way down. Keep the back straight throughout the set.

Curl Bar Exercises For The Biceps

  • Do no more than four to five power exercises and four shaping exercises per curl bar workout.
    Here are some power exercises:
    The wide-grip standing curl is performed with the feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees slightly. Slowly lift the weight up until the biceps hit the forearm, then lower it. Stay within eight to 10 repetitions per set. Wide-grip curls hit the large inner head of the biceps but employs the outer head more directly.
    Narrow-grip standing curls hit the inner head more directly. Keep the elbows tucked in when doing this exercise.
    Wide- and narrow-grip standing reverse curls also work the biceps, but they hit the forearms more directly.
    Shaping exercises:
    Wide- and narrow-grip preacher curl exercises work the lower part of the biceps. Vary these two exercises to work both biceps heads. Preacher curls are done on a bench using the longer pad. Keep the arms flat against the bench.
    Another way to work lower biceps is to do wide- and narrow-grip concentration curls. These can be performed while seated or standing. On the side of a regular bench, place the elbows between and against both legs. This gives you more leverage for the lift and allows for a stricter motion. Grab the weights from the floor and slowly lift and lower them. To do concentration curls while standing, bend the knees slightly and do each repetition with the elbows between against the legs.

    The final two exercises are called wide- and narrow-grip spider curls. These are done on the shorter pad of the preacher curl bench. The short side has a steeper angle. Spider curls are a stricter version of concentration curls. They also work the lower part of the biceps. Varying between both grips will give the lower biceps a fuller look.

Pros and Cons of the Curl Bar

  • Curl bars are great for focusing on the inner and outer head of the biceps. However, overdoing these workouts can lead to tendinitis and elbow inflammation. Bodybuilders use the wide-grip more often because it is one of the few ways to hit the outer biceps head. More people use the curl bars for concentration or preacher curls. Contrarily, curl bars take pressure off the wrists compared with the straight bars.

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