EZ Bar Prone Incline Curl

Start Position
End Position

Starting position:

  1. Position the EZ bar within grabbing distance of an incline bench or have a spotter ready to pass you the EZ bar.
  2. Lie face down on a 45-degree incline bench, resting your chest on the bench with head and neck located above the edge of the bench.
  3. Keep both feet on the floor, straddling the incline bench or kneel on the seat.
  4. Grasp the EZ bar with a closed, slightly pronated grip (palms angled inward), to conform to the outer handles.
  5. Extend elbows, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
  6. Grip should be shoulder-width apart.
  7. Keep wrists straight throughout the exercise.

Upward movement/concentric phase:

  1. Flex the elbows until the bar is 4 to 6 inches away from the front of shoulder(s).
  2. Keep neck aligned with spine. Do not flex or extend neck.
Do not remove your body from the incline bench as the weight is lifted.

Downward movement/eccentric phase:

    1. In a controlled fashion, allow the elbows to extend back to the starting position.
    2. Upper arms should remain motionless during lift.
Do not hyperextend elbows at the bottom of the descent. Keep a slight bend in elbows to maintain tension on the biceps before the next repetition. Do not hold your breath. Exhale during the concentric phase and inhale during the eccentric phase.

Exercise Data

  • Primary Muscles: Biceps brachii and brachialis
  • Synergists: Brachioradialis
  • Stabilizers: Forearm flexors (flexor carpi radialis and flexor carpi ulnaris)
  • Type: Strength, hypertrophy
  • Mechanics: Elbow flexion
  • Equipment: EZ Bar
  • Lever: 3rd class lever
  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • FAQ'S & FACTS ABOUT EZ Bar Prone Incline Curl

    What Is A Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curl?

    A prone incline EZ bar curl is a resistance exercise, which involves the primary elbow flexors, the brachialis and biceps brachii. Body weight is rested on an incline bench to better isolate the biceps while placing the biceps at a fixed angle.

    This exercise is performed with an EZ bar. The concentric portion of the lift is elbow flexion. The EZ bar provides a variation to the prone incline curl (e.g. barbell, dumbbells). The concentric portion involves the lifting of the weight. The eccentric portion is elbow extension, which involves the descent of the weight.

    The purpose of the prone incline curl is to strengthen the biceps while promoting hypertrophy (increases in size) of the biceps.

    Why Do Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curls?

    Prone incline EZ bar curls strengthen and increase the size of the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis. The exercise is performed at a fixed angle to isolate elbow flexion. Although it is primarily an exercise for aesthetics, prone incline curls also serve as an auxiliary exercise that can increase strength involved in other multi-joint exercises.

    The EZ bar is an alternative to prone incline curls performed with a barbell or dumbbells. When strategically implemented in an exercise regimen, prone incline EZ bar curls complement other biceps curl exercises, providing a change in grip and angle. This provides an advantage for optimizing the hypertrophy of the biceps. With an EZ bar, the grip is less supinated with palms facing inward. Elbow flexion performed in this position, with rotation of the forearms slightly inward, activates the long head (outer biceps) of the biceps brachii. In addition, using an EZ bar places less stress on the wrists.

    Anatomy Of A Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curl

    The biceps brachii is located on the front of the arm, originating at the shoulder and inserting in the elbow joint. It consists of two heads, the long head (outer biceps) and the short head (inner biceps). The long head tendon helps stabilize the shoulder joint and its origin is located at the tubercle and lip of the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade). The short head origin is located at the coracoid process of the scapula. The long and short head unite as the muscle bellies run down the front of the arm. Both heads merge, sharing insertion into the radial tuberosity of the elbow joint.

    The biceps brachii flexes the elbow joint and supinates the forearm. Supination refers to the simultaneous rotation of the wrist and elbow as the palm of your hand faces upward. Both heads of the biceps flex the elbow joint together, however, the EZ bar grip is less supinated, eliciting greater activation of the long head of the biceps brachii.

    The brachialis lies underneath the biceps brachii, originating at the front of the lower end of the humerus bone. Its insertion is located at the coronoid process of the ulna at the elbow joint. The brachialis is a primary elbow flexor.

    The brachioradialis aids the biceps brachii and brachialis, helping stabilize the elbow joint during biceps curls.

    Although their contribution is minimal, forearm muscles, palmaris longus, flexor carpi radialis, and pronator teres contribute as weak flexors of the elbow joint.

    Primary forearms flexors, flexor carpi radialis and flexor carpi ulnaris are stabilizers. Both insert at the elbow joint and attach at the metacarpals near the wrist.

    Variations Of A Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curl

    Wide grip, narrow grip, reverse grip.

    How To Improve Your Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curl

    Strategically varying your biceps exercises to target different angles (e.g. standing, preacher bench) and grips (e.g. narrow grip, reverse grip) with an EZ bar can result in optimal muscle activation that increases strength and hypertrophy of the biceps.

    Emphasis on eccentric contractions, prolonging the eccentric portion of the contraction, may also be incorporated in a training program focused on increasing strength. This should be implemented accordingly and with adequate muscle recovery as eccentric contractions cause substantial damage to muscle tissue.

    It’s important to note that your repetition and set volume will depend on your goals (e.g. strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance). It is also important to allow adequate recovery days in between biceps training to allow muscles to repair.

    Common Mistakes When Doing Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curls

    Flexing and/or extending the wrists during elbow flexion. The wrists are to remain straight throughout the full range of motion.

    Returning the weight to the starting position too quickly. Performing the eccentric portion of the lift ballistically (e.g. dropping the weight on the way down, extending the elbows quickly) and/or hyperextending the elbow can result in biceps tendon injuries.

    Injuries Or Ailments & Their Effects Regarding Biceps EZ-Bar Prone Incline Curls

    If proper technique is not adhered to (e.g. dropping the weight quickly instead of controlling the descent on the eccentric portion of the lift), the likelihood of a biceps and/or wrist injury increases.

    Although rare, biceps tendon rupture may occur if warm-up is not sufficient and/or if intensity (load) is increased inappropriately.

    If proper recovery is not implemented between training days for optimal muscle repair of the biceps, the biceps tendon becomes inflamed. Without proper rest and treatment, the inflammation remains and results in biceps tendonitis.

    Impingement syndrome and rotator cuff injuries, in general, are commonly associated with biceps tendonitis/biceps tendinosis. Therefore, it’s best to avoid biceps exercises when addressing impingement syndrome/rotator cuff injury unless advised by a physical therapist.