Best Curl Bars: Beginners Guide with Workouts and Reviews 2023
Looking for the perfect curl bar or just want to know what the difference is between all the styles available?
You have come to the right place.
We will define 7 styles of curl bar, offer both workout ideas and specific exercises that can be done using the curl bar, and finally, wrap things up with a review of 7 curl bars.
So let’s get started.
- Types of Bars
- Best Curl Bar Workouts
- Best Curl Bar Exercises
- TOP 7 Best Curl Bar Reviews 2023
Types of Bars
Standard 1” bar
These 1” diameter bars are suited for the home gym, and not often found in commercial gyms. These bars do not hold a ton of weight, and are not designed for heavy lifters/power lifters etc.
That being said, they are good for home use, for the everyday athlete who is NOT trying to lift more than 250lbs.
- 1” grip Diameter
- Low price, if the barbell is under 50 dollars, it is probably a standard 1” bar.
- 250- 300lb weigh MAX
- Between 5 and 6 feet long
- About 20 lbs unloaded, give or take
This is the most common barbell found in commercial gyms. They have industry standard weight, length and diameter, and are designed to slide weight plates on and off.
Primary Features of the standard men’s oly bar:
- 7.2 foot length (2.2 meters)
- 2” grip diameter Technically 49-50 mm outer, 28-29 mm inner
- 20 KILOS of about 44 lb weigh for barbell alone (unloaded)
- 4.3 foot grip or inner part of the bar
- Ball bearings, for spin
- Knurling or grip marks 36” apart
Note on Power Lifting Barbells: These are similar to Oly bars, but are more inflexible and have knurling (grip marks) that are 32 inches apart.
One giveaway that will tip you off is the bushings. Because power lifting barbells do not need to spin as freely as Oly bars, they tend to be made with bushings because bushings are cheaper than the bearings sometimes found in Oly bars.
Ok, if you read Swiss bar and think of Swiss cheese, you may find it amusing to learn that the Swiss barbell is also full of holes.
Ok, not exactly, but its close. This barbell has up to 8 various angle grip handles bars that make many holes or spaces in the grip for your hand. The bar can be used for bench presses, rows and curls.
- Uses standard Olympic Weights
- 8 grips
Easy Curl bar
The EZ Curl bar, as the name implies, is for bicep curls. It has two angled grips in an “M” of zig zag shape.
- “M” or Zig Zag shaped grips
The Cambered bar is a specialty bar that can be used by folks that have shoulder issues. The center piece of the bar sits at shoulder level, and the weight hangs down.
Essentially the lifter can grab the bar without putting their arms above their head.
Another use for this bar canters around the fact that the weights are able to swing slightly when lifting this bar. The swinging motion works core and deep stabilizing muscles automatically as you lift.
These bars also promote lower squats because they cut down on upper body dysfunction that occurs with a standard Oly bar squat.
Yoke Bar- Safety squat bar-SSB
This bar moves you forward and works well for those with shoulder injuries because you hold the bars that sit to either side of your neck, on the yoke, placing your arms in front of you.
This bar is not only for those with shoulder injuries. This bar carries weight differently than traditional Oly bar.
The Yoke Safety squat bar practically forces the lifter to assume an upright torso position. It works the back and core muscles in a different way, and is great to add to the mix, for overall conditioning.
Best Curl Bar Workouts
High Intensity Muscle Building Workout
This is an intense full body workout that uses the curl bar. It is four rounds of 7 exercises. The best part about the workout is each exercise is done to failure, so no counting or timing are needed.
Full Body Curl Bar Workout
This full body workout is done using the curl bar cycles through 11 exercises that will whip you into shape.
There is no speaking in the video, so you can mute the volume and put on your own favorites and bust out this routine no problem.
Best Curl Bar Exercises
How to Do a French Press using a Curl bar
The trainer gives a good example of the French press, done with an EZ curl bar. This is a triceps workout and the trainer makes a good point, triceps take up 2/3 of the space I the area where the triceps and biceps are, so they should not be ignored if you want gains.
How to Do a Reverse Curl
This is a forearm exercise, with palms facing the floor. The trainer explains the move in clear detail emphasizing how important it is to perform the move in a slow and controlled manner.
Phil Heath’s EZ Bar Bicep Curl
Phil Heath, 2 time Mr. Olympia, demonstrates the Bicep curl with perfect form. He explains that you should not swing your body and should keep your back straight during this exercise.
TOP 7 Best Curl Bar Reviews 2023
Top Standard Home Gym 1” Barbell
CAP Barbell Standard 1
- ✔️CONSTRUCTION – Made of solid steel with a chromed finish & threaded ends; Bar length: 60-inches; Diameter: 1-inch; Includes spin-lock collars that are 2.68-inches in diameter; Weight capacity of 250lb; Use with standard plates with 1-inch center hole
- ✔️FEATURES – Medium-depth diamond knurling for a secure, non-slip grip when exercising; Included spin lock collars with rubber rings to ensure the weights are secure on the bar; No center knurling; 12.75-pound light-weight bar
- ✔️VERSATILE – Target the upper and lower body by performing bench presses, deadlifts, squats, lunges, overhead presses and more with this barbell; Adding resistance to your workout routine helps to build mass while accelerating weight loss efforts
- ✔️COMPACT-SIZE – The 60-inch length of this bar makes it perfect for a home gym with limited space; Approximately 35-inches between the sleeves; Pair with a standard weight bench (not included) for maximum benefits
- ✔️TRUST – CAP has been a pioneer in the fitness industry for over 30 years and has locations worldwide; Chances are, if you have ever worked out before you have used a CAP product
Review: This standard 1” CAP barbell is suitable for home use and accommodates standard, 1” plates. It is perfect for the home gym for those who plan to lift less than 250 lbs.
- Solid metal bar
- Threaded, to attach collars that hold the weight
- 72” (6 feet long)
- Uses standard (not Olympic) weights. 1” diameter
- The collars do not always stay tightened
A good quality standard barbell for home gym use.
Best Olympic Bar at a Budget Price
XMark Fitness LUMBERJACK 7' Olympic Bar
- The XMark LUMBERJACK 7’ Olympic bar with a moderate flex makes it a great performance bar. This bar hits the middle of the road between flexible and stiff making it ideal for snatches, cleans, bench presses, squats, deadlifts, etc.
- A high quality shaft coating adds to the longevity of the bar. The LUMBERJACK’s shaft is black manganese phosphate which provides unbeatable corrosion and abrasion protection while also giving the bar shaft a slightly tacky feel. The medium depth fine knurling is dual spec with IWF and IPF knurling marks. When the coating and knurling are combined, this bar allows for a superior, firm grip minus the sharp, cheese grater knurling.
- The chrome sleeves of the LUMBERJACK Olympic bar rotates freely on self-lubricating brass alloy bushings and are secured to the bar using a maintenance-free dual snap ring system.
- Crafted using a high quality alloy steel, the LUMBERJACK 7 foot Olympic bar offers ultimate performance for cross training, Olympic and power lifting routines.
- Uncompromising quality and affordability are what you have come to expect and receive from XMark. Your XMark 7' Olympic LUMBERJACK Bar is an investment. As with all black manganese phosphate shafts, take a couple of minutes to protect your investment by wiping down your bar regularly with a light coat of a 3-in-1 oil.
Review: This Olympic spec Lifting barbell is a great value.
- Manganese phosphate black center, one of the most corrosion resistant available
- “aggressive” Knurling grip pattern
- Made with real brass bushings
- Smooth chrome sleeves, with snap rings
- 700 lb weight limit
- Collar does not spin too freely
Excellent Oly bar for deadlifts and squats with significant grip. One of the best Olympic Curl bars for the price.
Best Olympic bar for CrossFit
CFF - Men's WOD Bar Olymic Bar
Review: This CFF Oly bar is designed specifically for CrossFit because the brass bushing gives it decent spin. The bar is made in the USA and holds a max of 1200 lbs.
- 1200 lb capacity
- Black Oxide finish
- 3 mm grip, just slightly smaller than average, with medium Knurl
- Good whip action
- Brass Bushings
A high quality Oly bar for CrossFit and lifting.
Best ez curl bar
XMark Fitness 28mm Olympic EZ Curl Bar
- Designed to give a more comfortable feel when performing curls; change the intensity of your lift by alternating grips
- Durable chrome finish on sleeves with snap ring lock system and brass bushings
- 28mm grip with medium knurling ; 22 lb net weight; 400 lb. Weight capacity
- Black manganese phosphate on the shaft. Manganese phosphate coatings are the hardest, while providing unbeatable corrosion and abrasion protection.
- Your XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar is an investment. Take a couple of minutes to protect your investment by wiping down your bar regularly with a light coat of a 3-in-1 oil.
Review: This XMark EZ cur bar is a favorite among weight lifters because it has a supper grippy Manganese Phosphate finish, and high quality brass bushings for decent spin.
- Brass bushings
- Manganese Phosphate finish, for grip and anti corrosion
- 28 mm grip diameter
- 22 lbs unloaded
- 400 lb max capacity
- Some users mention the Manganese Phosphate wears off a bit.
A high quality EZ curl bar, identical in grade to one found in a commercial gym, where it would, in fact, be right at home. One of the best ez curl bars we could find.
Best Swiss Bar
Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar
- PRESS FLAT, INCLINE & OVERHEAD WITHOUT SHOULDER PAIN: The Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar is a shoulder saving barbell, allowing you to press and pull without pain and discomfort.
- COMMERCIAL GRADE FITNESS SWISS BAR: Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar is a heavy duty, 56 lb football bar that fits all olympic sized plates. This bar is also commonly called the American bar or the Multigrip bar, and it can handle up to 1000 lbs.
- ATTACK YOUR MUSCLES FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES: Press, row, curl and extend to attack your muscles from different angles with the multi grip barbell.
- 8 DIFFERENT HANDLES, ALLOWING FOR 4 DIFFERENT POSITIONS: This commercial-grade neutral grip bar is designed to give you versatility that will last a lifetime. Plus, the swiss bar can be placed on top of a squat rack and used as a multi grip pull up bar.
Review: This is a long, 7 foot, professional grade Swiss bar with 8 grip points.
- Two sets of angled grips
- Real welds, sturdy bar
- 84” wide and 56 lbs unloaded. This is a bar for serious lifters.
- Max weight capacity is 1000 lbs
- 15” collar length, stationary collars, no spinning, no bushings nor bearings
- It is heavier, unloaded, than an Oly barbell, some folks noted that. It is about 56 lbs unloaded
One of the best Swiss Bars money can buy, suitable for home and pro use.
Top Cambered Bar
Ader black Cambered bar
- 7’ Black Olympic cambered bench press bar w/ Chrome Sleeve
- Weighs 45 lbs
- Comes with knurled gripping areas
- For use with Olympic plates
- NO shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and APO/FPO addresses or PO Boxes
Review: This Ader Safety Squat bar weighs 47\5, 7 feet long lbs and is a STIFF bar with little, if any whip.
- 4” deep by 24” wide cambered area
- 600 lbs weigh capacity
- Alleviates pressure on shoulder and wrist during squats
- Knurled grip, black finish wit chrome sleeves
Solid Oly quality Cambered Bar by a well known manufacturer.
Best Yoke Bar
Xtreme Monkey Olympic Safety Squat Bar
- COMFORTABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE REGULAR BACK SQUAT - The Gronk Fitness squat bar with barbell cushion safety squat bar finally enables you to perform squats without putting the entire load on your lower back. The 30 degree angled camber allows for the work
- HANDLES UP TO 1000 LBS: This Olympic squat bar with barbell squat pad is constructed from 30mm solid high-tensile steel which means it can handle any weight up to 1000 lbs. It’s a must-have accessory equipment for every commercial or home gym.
- SAVE YOUR SHOULDERS & MAXIMIZE RECOVERY: Whether you don’t have the shoulder and chest mobility just yet to perform a standard back squat or you simply want to take some stress off your shoulder joints, this safety squat bar with weight bar pad is for you
- NOT JUST FOR BACK SQUATS: The Gronk Fitness safety squat bar is an extremely versatile fitness equipment that, in addition to back squats, can also be used for Front Squats, Walking Lunges, Zercher Squats, Good Mornings & Box Squats
- NO MORE HIP, KNEE OR LOWER BACK STRAINS: Contrary to the regular back squat, the Gronk Fitness squat bar with squat pad forces you to train with an upright torso position which automatically locks your knee and hip joints in place and removes stress
Review: If you are looking to take your squat to the next level, this safety squat bar is just what the Dr. Ordered. It can hold 1000 lbs and is a comfortable, secure alternative to a standard Oly bar.
- 1000 lb capacity
- Encourages an upright torso position
- Fits standard weight racks
- 88” total length, with a 50” wide camber
- Bar weighs 55 lbs, unloaded
- The pads could be better and don’t stay in place
Good value, with an accessible price for a specialty bar.
That wraps up the reviews. Leave us a not in the comments and tell us what you think is the best curl bar for bicep curls.