Curl bars are a great way to perform some compound movements which are uncomfortable to perform with a regular straight bar. Exercises such as the barbell curl and the overhead press utilize the conventional barbell to get a full contraction in the muscles they target. Generally, using a bar allows you to lift heavier weights than if you used dumbbells. However, many users experience pain in their elbows, shoulders, or wrists while performing these exercises with a straight bar. This can slow down the rate at which you gain muscle and strength.
Thankfully, a curl bar will solve these issues for you. It will prevent you from feeling pain during workouts, enabling you to perform heavier lifts safely. A good quality EZ bar will last you a lifetime, even though it can be a substantial investment to begin with. However, the versatility of the EZ curl bar means that if you exercise regularly, you can easily incorporate it into your workouts and get maximum value out of it. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about curl bars before making a purchase. We also lay down six of the very best options on the market that you can trust.
Our Top Picks for Curl Bars At a Glance
Best EZ Curl Bar Overall
Rogue Curl Bar
The Rogue Curl bar is hands down the best EZ curl bar on the market. Its sleeve length of 10.5 inches and weight of 30 pounds means that you can load this bar as heavily as any. The standard E-coat finish looks classy and with the standard Ohio bar knurling, makes for a grip that feels comfortable and won’t slip. If you can afford it, the Rogue bar is a no-brainer.
Best Value EZ Curl Bar
REP EZ Curl Barbell
If you want a curl bar that will give you the most bang for your buck, the REP EZ bar is it. It has a 10-inch-long sleeve and a 30-pound weight that can withstand the heaviest loading. The chrome finish complements the knurling, giving it a tidy, all-silver aesthetic. This bar is extremely affordable for its level of quality.
Next Best Pick
XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar
The XMark bar is ideal for anyone looking to buy a cheap yet high-quality bar. The sleeve length allows you to comfortably load about 100 pounds on the bar, which is sufficient for the vast majority of us mortals. The moderately aggressive knurling also allows you to comfortably grip the bar, and the black manganese shaft paired with the chrome sleeves looks awesome.
EZ Curl Bar Reviews
|Rogue Curl Bar||
|REP EZ Curl Barbell||
|XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar||
|American Barbell Stainless EZ Curl Bar||
|Fringe Sport EZ Curl Bar||
|Titan Fitness EZ Curl Bar||
|Rogue Curl Bar|
|REP EZ Curl Barbell|
|XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar|
|American Barbell Stainless EZ Curl Bar|
|Fringe Sport EZ Curl Bar|
|Titan Fitness EZ Curl Bar|
#1. Rogue Curl Bar
We start with the best EZ bar anyone can own: The Rogue Curl bar. The fact that this bar is almost perpetually out of stock despite its high price is a testament to the industry-leading quality you get when you purchase it. It’s easy to see what the hype is about.
The bar itself weighs a hefty 30 pounds. This is a good round number for you to track exactly what weight you are lifting. It also means that the bar can withstand a substantial amount of weight without bending or deforming. Cheaper bars tend to be lighter because they’re hollow, and this affects their longevity. This is no concern for a Rogue Curl bar user.
Gripping the bar feels comfortable thanks to the extensive knurling, which extends throughout the bar except in the center. This, combined with your choice of finish, makes the Rogue Curl bar look and feel absolutely premium. There are two different coats you can opt for. One is an E-coat, which is similar to black oxide but more resistant to rust. Another is a Cerakote finish which is more akin to black zinc. Both are good choices, though the Cerakote finish is more expensive.
The weight of the bar is well complimented by the length of the sleeve, which is among the longest on this list. Coming in at 10.5”, this length allows you to load a lot more weight than you normally would be able to, especially since you don’t have to worry about the bar bending.
Lastly, the diameter of the sleeve is 50mm. This means that you can use any Olympic plates that have been manufactured with IWF specifications in mind. All in all, this bar is the crème de la crème of EZ bars. You won’t find a better option. If you can afford it, there’s no doubt that this should be the one you get.
- Weighty bar prevents bar bend
- Excellent finish
- Knurling makes for a comfortable grip
- The sleeve is longer than normal
The Not So Good
- Can be difficult to find in stock due to its popularity
#2. REP EZ Curl Barbell
If you combine the quality of the Rogue curl bar with a price that is much more affordable, you’ll get the REP EZ Curl Barbell. This bar is our choice for the best value for money EZ bar, and you’ll soon see why.
The bar itself weighs 30 pounds and is made of high-quality solid steel to give you the same heft of the Rogue bar. It utilizes both bushings and bearings, which will be appealing to Olympic lifters since it helps them prevent injuries by adding spin to the bar.
You can choose between two different finishes, chrome, and stainless steel being the options. Though stainless steel is the better option, it is considerably more expensive. Considering chrome is an excellent choice as well – you need not pay extra unless you have the cash to spare. Both finishes combine well with the moderately aggressive knurling on the bar. The lines don’t dig into your palms and make for a comfortable grip that won’t slip easily. However, one minor drawback here is that the knurling isn’t present throughout the bar – only at the regular spots which are used to position your wrists.
Coming to the sleeve length, the 10 inches offered here is almost as much as the Rogue bar, allowing you to load on a sizeable number of plates for lifting. If you’re a beginner or intermediate lifter, this length will be more than enough for you.
Overall, this bar comes as close to the Rogue bar without the price tag. If you’re on a slight budget but still want a quality product, this is the EZ bar for you. There’s also a rackable version available at a slightly higher price.
- Hefty weight and bearings/bushings combo makes the bar very durable
- Comfortable grip thanks to moderately aggressive knurling
- Adequately long sleeves
- Great value for money
The Not So Good
- Stainless steel version is far too expensive
- Knurling isn’t present throughout the bar
#3. XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar
This bar by XMark is the best budget option of all listed here. For a low price, you’ll get a product that comes close to the premium options we’ve discussed. However, despite the name, this bar isn’t really suitable for Olympic lifting. It’s more appropriate for beginners and intermediate lifters.
The weight of this bar comes in at 21 pounds, which is a considerable weight albeit lighter than its two predecessors. The thickness of the bar helps it feel sturdy and durable when lifting. XMark has chosen a black oxide finish which offers a decently comfortable grip and looks good aesthetically, but it does wear away rather soon once you start using the bar. Like the REP bar, the knurling here is moderately aggressive for a comfortable grip that won’t slip easily.
The sleeve here is only about 6.25 inches long. Though the weight limit for the bar has been cited as 400lbs by the manufacturer, you probably won’t reach anywhere near that number with this sleeve length. Regardless, if you use good Olympic weight plates (cast iron or steel), you’ll be able to load about 100-120 pounds on the bar, which will likely be more than sufficient for most users.
One potential inconvenience here is that the bar isn’t rackable, and there isn’t a rackable option available either. This won’t be an issue if you don’t own a rack at all, but if you do, you won’t be able to use it for this bar. Other than that, given the price of this bar, it’ll definitely give you good bang for your buck, especially if you’re just starting out as a lifter.
- Decently hefty bar weight
- Comfortable grip
- Affordable price
- Perfect for beginner and intermediate users
The Not So Good
- Black oxide coating wears away too quickly
- No rackable option available
- Slightly short sleeve length
#4. American Barbell Stainless EZ Curl Bar
American Barbell has built a reputation for producing barbells and plates that set the benchmark for quality in the fitness industry. The EZ Curl bar only cements that reputation further. The bar itself is very similar to the Rogue Curl bar in all respects except two: the price, and the finish.
With a weight of 31 pounds, this is about as heavy as EZ bars get. With bushings on both sides, this bar has been made for heavy lifting. The finish here is stainless steel, which is the best of all the alternatives out there. The knurling is somewhat sparse and does not extend over the entire bar, but the grip itself feels comfortable. The length of the sleeve here is 10.25 inches, just shy of the Rogue bar’s length. Regardless, you won’t have to worry about not being able to load it enough.
One strange aspect of this EZ bar is that it’s several inches longer than the ones we’ve discussed, but it’s still not long enough to be rackable. As such, the extra length can be a minor inconvenience if you’re cramped for space.
Other than this, the bar is probably too expensive when you can get the same functionality at a lower price with the Rogue bar. If you like the American Barbell brand and trust their products or if you really want the stainless steel finish, the premium may be worth paying. But if neither of these reasons is true for you, you might want to just go for the Rogue EZ bar.
- Heavy and durable bar
- Stainless steel finish
- Long sleeve length
- Comfortable grip
The Not So Good
- Extraordinarily expensive
- Knurling could’ve been extended over more of the bar.
#5. Fringe Sport EZ Curl Bar
The Fringe Sport bar is worth serious consideration for anyone in the market for a top-quality EZ curl bar. Its specifications and features are up there with the very best, with the price being relatively on par with them as well.
Like several others on this list, the Fringe Sport bar weighs 30 pounds, meaning you’ll have as much heft and sturdiness as the Rogue or REP bars. The sleeves utilize bushings to provide better spin when lifting heavy weights, meaning Olympic lifters won’t have to worry about injuries when using this product.
The sleeves and shaft of the bar come with two different finishes. While the sleeves have a hard chrome finish, the shaft is finished with black zinc. Both offer good protection against rust and a comfortable grip when combined with the knurling on this bar. Unlike many others, the knurling here extends throughout the shaft except at the center.
The sleeve length here is 10.5 inches, which is as much as the Rogue bar. Needless to say, you’ll be able to load this bar very heavily for all your lifts. This, combined with the 2-inch diameter shaft, makes it perfect for Olympic lifting as well.
As you can see, this bar is on par with the very best ones available on the market. The only minor drawback here is that the bar can’t be racked. It’s also slightly more expensive than alternatives like the Rogue bar, but it is nevertheless a worthy addition to any home or garage gym.
- Hefty weight
- Black zinc and chrome coating
- Extensive knurling
- Long sleeve length
The Not So Good
- Just shy of the length needed to be rackable
#6. Titan Fitness EZ Curl Bar
Compared to EZ bars like the one by American Barbell or Rogue, the Titan Fitness bar is much more affordable. Yet, it retains many of the premium features that allow these bars to be the industry leaders, making this a very attractive option for those looking to own a high-quality EZ curl bar.
To start with the weight of the bar, its 31 pounds is as heavy as the heaviest bar on this list. This bar also utilizes bushings for extra spin to minimize any chance of injuries during heavy lifts. Both of these features are fairly uncommon for this price range.
Surprisingly, this bar doesn’t seem to have a specific finish. Instead, it’s just made of bare steel. This makes the bar prone to rusting, which is also one of its main drawbacks. However, the knurling makes for a comfortable and tight grip that won’t slip easily.
The bar is also fairly long. In fact, at 71 inches, it’s long enough to be rackable, the only one on this list that has this feature. Of these 71 inches, each sleeve is about 9.25 inches long. This length will allow you to load the bar fairly heavily. The maximum weight supported by it is 500lbs, which is much more than you’ll need, but it is nevertheless a good indicator of the bar’s durability.
All in all, if you’re on a budget, this is easily among the best deals you’ll find.
- High maximum weight limit of 500lbs
- Sufficiently long sleeve length
- Affordable price
The Not So Good
- Bare steel finish is prone to rust
- Can only be used with Olympic plates
Should You Get a Curl Bar?
There are two main reasons why you might want to consider getting an EZ curl bar. The first is based on if you feel pain in your wrists, shoulders, or elbows when using a straight barbell for any compound movement. The reason for this is largely anatomical; conventional Olympic barbells place a lot of stress on your wrist due to the supinated grip you’re forced to use. However, with an EZ curl bar, this stress is mitigated because of the diagonal or semi-supinated grip that you use thanks to the curves on the bar. This is a more natural position for your wrists to be in, and does not cause any pain that you might otherwise experience with a conventional barbell. If you’ve suffered injuries in the areas we mentioned, an EZ curl bar may even have been recommended to you by a physical therapist. Even if you haven’t, using a straight bar too often can lead to pain in these areas developing over the long term. An EZ bar is a good way to avoid that.
Another reason you might want to get an EZ bar is that it can help you effectively isolate muscles in your biceps and triceps. One study shows that out of the EZ bar, straight bar, and dumbbells, the EZ bar is the most effective at isolating and enhancing muscle development in the brachioradialis and the biceps brachii. This can lead to better muscle and more even muscle development. Similarly, performing skullcrushers with an EZ bar can help you isolate the long head of the triceps more effectively than other triceps extension exercises. If your biceps or triceps growth has stagnated, switching over to an EZ bar could help you experience new gains.
Choosing the Right EZ Curl Bar
Here are the main things you need to pay attention to when buying a curl bar:
Standard vs Olympic Bars
If you’re in the market for an EZ bar, the first question you need to answer is whether you need one fit for Olympic lifting or just a standard bar for regular use. If you don’t intend to lift overly heavy or participate in lifting competitions, a standard bar is likely more suitable for you. This type is generally lighter, cheaper, more commonly available, and supports standard plates as well. However, if you’re highly proficient at resistance training and want to lift very heavy weights, you might need an Olympic bar. These are heavier than standard bars and have longer sleeves to accommodate more plates. They also only support 2-inch Olympic plates.
Length of the sleeve
The sleeves of an EZ bar lie at the two ends and are generally thicker than the middle portion. This is where you place your weights, and how long this area is determines two things. First, it affects how many plates you can load. Longer bars can be loaded with more weight. If you’re looking to exercise long-term, you may want a long sleeve so that you don’t outgrow your bar and have to purchase a new one. Second, it influences the spin of the bar. This is mainly relevant for those who lift very heavy. Spin refers to the rotation of the bar. A smooth spin helps prevent serious injuries to your wrist or elbows during lifts like the clean and jerk and snatch. However, if you’re a beginner and aren’t going to be performing these competitive lifts, you need not worry about spin.
The finish on your bar has a large impact on how much rust it will gather over time, as well as on the comfort of the grip while holding the bar. There are generally five types of finishes that are used in EZ bars. In ascending order of their quality, these are bare steel, black oxide, zinc, chrome, and stainless steel. Stainless steel is the best finish you can have, but this often comes at a high cost. Chrome is also a good choice, but it can be slightly slippery, which makes the knurling on the bar very important. Zinc offers good rust protection, but it tends to lose its sheen quickly, which means that it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Black oxide is another decent option, with bare steel being the finish that is most prone to rust.
The knurling on a bar is a set of crisscrossing lines etched onto the bar so that you can grip it tightly without having the bar slip from your fingers. The wider and deeper these lines are, the better the grip will be. Ideally, you want moderately aggressive knurling. Any more than that will likely bite into your skin, making it peel and turn rough.
The whip of a bar refers to the deforming or bending that a bar goes through when loaded heavily. This deformity is not permanent, the bar returns to normal once it is unloaded. A high whip can be useful for Olympic lifters because it creates inertia which makes lifting the bar easier and allows for a cleaner form. However, if you don’t intend to lift very heavy, the whip won’t be a concern for you.
We’ve briefly discussed the spin of the bar, and here we’ll mention one feature that you should look out for which influences how much and how smoothly your sleeves spin. This is whether an EZ bar utilizes bushings or bearings or both. Bearings make for a smoother spin but are also more expensive. Bushings are the opposite in that they’re cheaper, but the spin isn’t free of friction. Overall, the spin doesn’t matter if you’re lifting lighter weights. But if you’re lifting heavy, go for a bar with bearings or both bushings and bearings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Curl Bars
Are EZ curl bars better than straight bars?
If you experience discomfort in your wrist, shoulders, or elbows when using a straight bar, then the EZ bar may be better for you. If you don’t have problems with pain in these areas, there’s unlikely to be a noticeable difference between the two. That said, there is research demonstrating that EZ curl bars may elicit stronger activation of the biceps and associated muscles; though the weight of evidence is not yet particularly strong.
What is an EZ bar used for?
EZ bars are generally used for exercises aimed at developing your biceps and triceps. However, you can technically use them for exercising other body parts like your shoulders and chest as well. Some examples of exercises you can do using this bar is the conventional bicep curl, preacher curls, skullcrushers, and upright rows, just to name a few.
Is an EZ curl bar effective?
Yes, EZ curl bars are definitely effective, especially when it comes to your biceps and triceps. Ensure you’re using the proper form and technique while exercising, and you should see results with regular training.
Well, there you have it: Best EZ Curl Bars
So, there you have it: the best EZ curl bars. In this article, we’ve discussed everything you’ll need to know before purchasing an EZ bar. We’ve also listed the best choices available on the market that can be trusted to improve any home or garage gym. If you had to pick one, regardless of the price, go for the Rogue Curl bar.