EZ Bar Standing Curl

Start Position
End Position

Starting position:

  1. Grasp the EZ bar with a closed, slightly pronated grip (palms angled inward), to conform to the outer handles.
  2. Extend elbows, resting the EZ bar on the front of thighs.
  3. Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart, keeping a slight bend in the knees.
  4. Keep upper arms tucked against torso and perpendicular to the floor.

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 standing straight and upper arms tucked against side of torso.
  3. Keep wrists straight throughout the exercise.
Do not swing or jerk the body 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. Keep standing straight, only the elbow joint is to be moving as it extends.
Do not bounce the bar off of the thighs at the bottom of the movement when proceeding to the next repetition/concentric phase. 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: Rotator cuff muscles (primarily subscapularis), anterior deltoid
  • Type: Strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance
  • Mechanics: Elbow flexion
  • Equipment: EZ-Bar
  • Lever: 3rd class lever
  • Level: Beginner to advanced
  • FAQ'S & FACTS ABOUT EZ Bar Standing Curl

    What Is A Biceps EZ-Bar Standing Curl?

    A standing EZ-Bar biceps curl is a resistance exercise, which involves the primary elbow flexors, the brachialis and biceps brachii. This exercise is performed with an EZ bar. The EZ bar provides a variation to standing biceps curl bar exercises (e.g. barbell, dumbbells). The concentric portion of the lift is elbow flexion, which involves the lifting of the weight. The eccentric portion is elbow extension, which involves the descent of the weight.

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

    Why Do Biceps EZ-Bar Standing Curls?

    The EZ bar is an alternative to utilizing a barbell. When strategically implemented in an exercise regimen, standing EZ bar curls complement other biceps curl exercises, providing a change in grip. This provides an advantage for optimizing the hypertrophy of the biceps. For example, when curling with a barbell, the grip is supinated (palms facing up). 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 of the biceps brachii. In addition, using an EZ bar places less stress on the wrists.

    Standing EZ bar curls strengthen and increase the size of the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis. Although it is primarily an exercise for aesthetics, biceps curls also serve as an auxiliary exercise that can increase strength involved in other multi-joint exercises.

    Anatomy Of A Biceps EZ-Bar Standing 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 in the standing biceps curl, helping stabilize the elbow joint.

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

    The subscapularis works in conjunction with the other three rotator cuff muscles to stabilize the shoulder joint during this exercise.

    Variations Of A Biceps EZ-Bar Standing Curl

    Wide grip, narrow grip, reverse grip, standing against a wall, using an arm blaster.

    How To Improve Your Biceps EZ-Bar Standing Curl

    In order to improve flexion performance through “sticking points”, partial repetition ranges may be implemented. For example, performing EZ Bar Biceps Curl 21’s - partial repetitions from starting position to mid-flexion (flexion at 90 degrees), followed by repetitions from mid-flexion to full flexion, followed by full range of motion repetitions. Intensity and volume of this type of protocol should be implemented in accordance with your goals.

    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.

    Strategically varying your bicep exercises to target different angles 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.

    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 Standing Curls

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

    It is very common to observe an individual swinging their torso in efforts of lifting the weight with more ease. This compromised proper technique and biceps contraction. The biceps curl is a single-joint movement. The single-joint involved is the elbow joint. If you find yourself depending on momentum from swinging your torso to lift the weight, you may want to decrease the weight to prevent injury.

    Standing on an unstable surface or with an unstable stance can also compromise technique. Your feet are your foundation and should be in a position of stability. If you are looking to maximize the contraction of your biceps, ensure that your feet are shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees. Stand on a flat surface. Standing with one foot in front of the other during a standing biceps curl can also compromise balance and decrease the potential for optimal muscle contraction.

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

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