There are many different exercises you can include into your training regimen to work on your biceps and triceps. You can choose to do chest presses, pull-ups and pull-downs, shoulder presses, exercises that use the weight of your own body and exercises that are performed using equipment. If you have a look at the gear most frequently used by those looking for efficient training methods of the biceps-triceps area, you will see that two of the most widely used pieces of equipment are EZ curl bars and straight bars, and you will also see that each of the two bar types has its own fan club, so here is a short outline of what you can expect of each of them.
What's the Difference between the EZ Bar and the Straight Bar?
The first and most important difference between an EZ bar and a straight bar that you will notice when you look at the two devices side by side is that they are shaped and sized differently.
As the name shows, straight bars are made of a straight cylindrical rod and barbells attached to each end of the rod. The best EZ curl bars are also made of a cylindrical rod with weights attached to the end, but the rod itself is not straight–it has several angled parts used for gripping the bar.
EZ curl bars are usually shorter than straight bars, which also means that the method you use for gripping EZ bars must be different from the way you grab straight bars. While exercising with straight bars, your palms are in a position called full supination, meaning that your palms are facing upwards, while in the case of EZ bars, your hands are in a semi-supine position, half-way between palms facing completely upwards and a neutral position (the palms facing each other).
The differences in shape, size and gripping method bring about slight differences interms of the muscle groups trained:-
- Straight bars involve a wider grip, which means that your biceps are worked more intensively;
- -With EZ curl bars, your grip is slightly narrower, the exercise activating the brachioradialis muscles (the muscle group on the lateral side of the forearm that flexes the arm at the elbow) a bit more and the biceps a bit less.
While many bodybuilders prefer straight bars because straight bar exercises bring about more spectacular results over a shorter period of time, EZ curl bars are said to be safer to use because the wrists and the elbow are in a more natural position while lifting and lowering these angled bars; they are, therefore, more recommended for newcomers to weight training.
Both EZ curl bars and straight bars are great pieces of equipment that work your biceps, your triceps and your shoulders very efficiently, so the best way to make the most of your upper body workout is probably to alternate the two devices to train your biceps very hard using a straight bar and to work your biceps and the surrounding muscles with an easier grip on an EZ curl bar.