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Use an EZ bar to build bigger and stronger muscles

Most people only ever use an EZ bar to train their arms. That’s a mistake and means they miss out on a lot of fantastic muscle-building moves. Here’s how you can add serious muscle size and strength across your upper and lower body by getting to grips with your gym’s EZ bar, says New Body Plan fitness editor Joe Warner

Many EZ bars have a very boring life. In most gyms they only ever get taken out to do a few sets of lazy EZ bar biceps curls before being put back away for another day. To only use this clever bit of kit for a single exercise is a big mistake that many even experienced gym-goers make. Why? Because this type of bar offers a number of huge advantages over more popular gym equipment.

And not only for building bigger biceps. You can also use it to work your triceps, chest, shoulders, abs and all the major muscles of your lower body. So if you’re serious about getting the better-body results you want, here’s how to use the EZ bar to accelerate your progress!

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What is an EZ bar?

It’s a very clever bit of weight-training equipment with an undulating and angled middle section. It’s specifically designed to be held in a more joint-friendly position compared with straight bars, such as an Olympic barbell.

The angled position of the bar allows your to grip in what’s called a semi-supinated position, which means your wrists are partially internally rotating. This position provides a more natural grip on the bar to allow lifting without causing stress, pain, strain or injury on the wrist and elbow joints.

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How much does an EZ bar weigh?

Unlike an Olympic barbell, which weighs 20kg, there’s no one standard for the weight of an EZ bar. Most weigh between 7.5kg and 12kg. If you’re unsure, and your gym has weight scales on the gym floor, just hop on by yourself and note your weight. Then hop back on holding the bar and subtract the first number from the second to get its accurate weight.

Why should I use an EZ bar?

There’s many reasons why you would want to use this type of bar. It places less stress on your wrists and elbows, so makes it a more joint-friendly option if you suffered from soreness when using barbells or dumbbells. It’s also lighter than a barbell, so allows gym beginners to gradually build up their muscle strength. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used for a great many more exercises than people give it credit for.

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What’s the difference between a barbell and an EZ bar?

The big two differences are the weight and the shape. A barbell can be up to twice as heavy. And the design of the middle part of the bars – the part you grip when doing an exercise – are different. A barbell has a perfectly straight middle. An EZ bar has an angled middle section, which allows it to be gripped in a number of different ways, all of which place less stress and strain on your joints.

What upper body exercises can I do with an EZ bar?

Most people only ever use this bar bar to do arms exercises. The EZ bar preacher curl or biceps curl are two of the most popular lifts. The lying triceps pressdown – sometimes known as a “skullcrusher”, for fairly obvious reasons – is a very popular triceps exercise.

But an EZ bar can be used for a huge number of different exercises. Indeed, almost any lift you can do with a barbell you can also do with an EZ bar. This includes a wide range of upper body moves. These include the shoulder press, the Cuban press, the chest-supported row, bent over row or the close-grip bench press, amongst others.

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What lower body exercises can I do with an EZ bar?

This type of bar may most often be used for upper-body moves. But you can also do lower body moves with it. These include barbell lunges, barbell front and back squats, the Zercher squat and more besides. An EZ bar really is an incredibly versatile bit of kit that has far more uses than most people give it credit for!

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