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Which works the biceps more, barbell or EZ curl?

+8 votes
A guy I train with reckons the standard barbell curl hits the biceps more than the EZl curl. But I find that the EZ bar much more comfortable on the forearms. He reckons cos the biceps are supinated using the EZ bar then you’re hitting them as hard as barbell curls.

Is there any truth in this?
asked Nov 21, 2012 in Exercises by SimonL Rookie (100 points)  
0% Accept Rate

edited Nov 22, 2012 by RobConnor

2 Answers

+1 vote
Yes and no, there is truth to it but not in totality. Yes, the barbell curl is the gold standard of biceps training, simply because of the amount of weight you would be able to perform and because it recruits both heads of the biceps. The EZ bar, while more comfortable, takes a lot of emphasis off of the longer bicep head (which gives more overall size) and instead targets more of the short bicep head (the peak) along with the brachialis( just below the elbow).

EZ bar curls do not necessarily need to be a staple in your regimen, but if elbow pain is severe and persistent, you may not have a choice.
answered Nov 21, 2012 by mjessimy Gym Legend (1,706 points)  
edited Nov 22, 2012 by RobConnor
0 votes

I found this youtube video that can answer you: 


In resume:

- biceps brachii requires full supination of the forearm to achieve maximal contraction so when lifting with an ez curl grip, the biceps cannot fully contract. People mostly use it cause it feels easier than barbell curls which can actually be pretty hard if done right, but in the end it is the equivalent of a partial squat for example.
answered Dec 10, 2012 by georgef Iron Addict (1,395 points)  
edited Dec 10, 2012 by RobConnor
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