Have you always been puzzled and confused about those zig-zag weightlifting bars at your local gym? Well, that bar is actually called a curl bar or an EZ bar. They are not accidentally bent or broken but are intentionally shaped that way for a purpose.
EZ bars increase the versatility of specific exercises or prevent injury. In weightlifting, it’s important to know how much each component weighs to know the actual weight you are lifting and the impact they can have.
So, how much does a curl bar weigh? Why exactly do you need to know? Scroll down to find out!
Curl Bar Vs Straight Bar
Why do curl bars exist when there are already the common straight bars? Well, although straight bars stimulate the biceps more, curl bars have some pretty substantial benefits as well:
1. Curl Bars Activate The Brachioradialis More
When using the curl bar, your hands are either in the neutral position (palms facing each other) or semi-supinated to supinated position (palms facing upward). This allows you to work on the brachioradialis or your forearm muscles. However, it reduces the action on the biceps a little.
2. Curl Bars Reduce Pressure On Your Wrists
According to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute exercise scientists in New York, curl bars take the pressure off your wrists while lifting, especially when doing arm curls. Arm curls typically target the biceps or upper arm muscles but can also work other muscles depending on the way you hold the bar.
3. Curl Bars Reduce Pain And Injury.
Numerous experts like Bob Cicherillo, an IFBB bodybuilder, say that the curl bar is much safer to use than the straight bar. It puts your elbows, wrists, and forearms in a safe, comfortable, and natural position, thus reducing the risk of common lifting injuries.
Most people who use a straight bar regularly over long periods of time often end up with injuries or conditions like medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow. These are intensely painful.
So, if you have had arm injuries in the past or want to save yourself from all that, I recommend that you start switching to curl bars from now on. Also, always make sure that you are using the right weight and proper form.
To know how to properly use a curl bar properly, check out this video:
How Much Does A Curl Bar Weigh?
There are no standard weights for curl bars. Generally, curl bars weigh about 10 to 40 pounds, depending on the type. Here are the three different types of curl bars:
1. Standard Curl bar
Also known as the beginner curl bar, the standard curl bar is about 120 cm or 47 inches long and weighs around 10 to 15 pounds or 15 to 17.5 pounds. It weighs less than a regular barbell or straight bar.
A standard curl bar is often made of a chrome-plated or stainless steel tube with a 1” diameter. Weight plates are attached at the end collars and held there by rotatable cuffs or butterfly clamps.
2. Olympic Curl Bar
With its name, you may assume this curl bar is for Olympic athletes only. However, this is actually the intermediate curl bar. It is about 5 inches or 12 cm longer than the standard bar and weighs between 20 to 25 pounds.
The body is similar to that of a standard curl, but at the end collars, Olympic curl bars have metal tube sleeves with bearings inside. These add to the weight and will allow weight plates to rotate freely as you load them.
Unless you are aiming to lift at least 100 pounds, you do not need to invest in an Olympic curl bar.
3. Super Curl bar
Yes, you guessed it right, this one is more of an advanced-level curl bar. Again, it is similar in appearance to the other two and also similar in length and function as the Olympic curl bar.
However, the Super curl bar weighs about 35 to 37.5 pounds and has a more complex handle design. This design lets the uses train with a parallel grip to focus on the biceps. Like the other two curl bar types, it has several grip markings that allow you to work on specific arm muscles.
Straight Bar Vs Curl bar: What’s The Difference?
While both are a common sight in gyms, the curl bar and straight bar differ in shape, weight, and their overall function related to the different exercises you can use them for. Of course, you can use them interchangeably if the other is not available, but you may have to consider a different grip or form to achieve the same results.
Regarding shape, a curl bar has a cambered “W” form that looks like a zigzag. Straight bars are well, straight, and have no bends whatsoever. In both cases, weights are added to the end for increased resistance.
Straight bars can weigh up to 45 pounds while a curl bar usually falls under 40 pounds. This weight difference is due to the straight bar being longer.
Curl bars are intended for triceps extension and bicep curls since they allow your wrist to pronate or turn inward or downward. With a straight bar, you can only use either an underhand or overhand grip with your wrists in a straight angle. With a curl bar, your wrists will be slightly angled.
When using a natural underhand grip, your wrists will be turned outward or supinated, and if you use an overhand or reverse grip, your wrists will be slightly turned inward or pronated. The same goes for when you use a tennis racquet.
Curl bars are used to work with smaller muscle groups which require less weight than when you want to work on your legs and chest, for example. Unlike straight bars, you do not need too much wrist strength and skill to use a curl bar to prevent pain and injury.
Overall, a straight bar may work on your biceps a little more, but a curl bar will save you from pain and injury. As for how much does a curl bar weigh, the answer depends on the type of curl bar but generally, curl bars weigh about 10 to 50 pounds.
You can find some good curl bars here.
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