Close Grip EZ Bar Curl

Troy showing off his forearm muscles

Who doesn't want to get bigger and well-toned arms while working out every day? We all do. One of the most popular fitness exercises for better arm muscles is the close grip EZ bar curl. Even if you're doing your rows and deadlifts daily, this is a great exercise to include in your workout routine.

To get the results you desire, you have to do it right. Even though you can get assistance from your trainer or gym buddy, you do not really need it. This article is here to let you perfect this exercise without any help!

Let's start with the basics of this exercise.

How To Perform A Close Grip Ez Bar Curl

Along with an all-inclusive video, we have prepared a step-by-step instructions guide for the close grip EZ bar curl. Dive in!

Starting Position

Troy in the starting position for a close grip ez bar curl

Your starting position has to be perfect. Grab an EZ bar and hold it with a close grip, where your hands are closer than shoulder-width apart. Your palms have to face upward. Then extend your elbows and make sure that the EZ bar is placed by your thighs.

Then, follow the steps given below.

Execution instruction

Close Grip EZ Bar Curl
  1. 1
    Stand straight and be comfortable. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent.
  2. 2
    Keep your torso straight and tight, and grab the EZ bar using a close underhand grip with your arms extended.
  3. 3
    Raise the EZ bar towards your chest while keeping your elbows perfectly straight.
  4. 4
    Squeeze or contract your biceps as much as possible while raising the bar.
  5. 5
    Hold this position for a moment. After the brief pause, slowly lower down your bar and inhale while doing this.
  6. 6
    Make sure to maintain the tension on your biceps.

Follow these steps for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps according to your fitness level. A good option is to calculate your reps with the One Rep Max Calculator for accuracy.

To modify the exercise a little, change the close grip to a wider grip. This change in grip will let you target your inner bicep muscle head, resulting in better bicep growth overall. 

Troy performing a close grip ez bar curl with correct arm form

Always keep your elbows locked by your sides during the close grip EZ bar curl. Keep your body still and only move your shoulders.

Read on to learn more about the exercises and equipment variations to improve muscle strength.  But first, let's understand more about the close grip EZ bar curl and what muscles it targets.

What Is A Close Grip Ez Bar Curl?

This is an exercise that is aimed at your biceps, specifically at the bicep peak and the long head of your muscles called Biceps Brachii. It is a popular exercise which you can do while finishing your workout. The difference between this exercise and a normal EZ bar curl lies in the arm position and the grip. For this version, you'll hold the EZ bar closer to your body. This close grip helps to enhance your outer biceps.

You can do this with a moderate to a higher variation, such as 8 to 12 reps each set.

Benefits of the close grip EZ bar curl

Troy taking a selfie showing his biceps and shoulders

This exercise targets the biceps brachii, commonly called biceps. Your bicep muscle has two heads, a short head inside your arm and a long one on the exterior of your arm. When you do the curl, it affects the biceps' long head that makes up the biceps peak.

As you use a close grip for this exercise, your hands will come close together, creating tension on the long head of your biceps. This will help you increase the bicep's "bump" or length. The narrow grip used for the process will put stress on your forearms and wrists, which isn't bad for their development as well.

These exercises are always the most effective with an EZ bar than a barbell or dumbbell. It's because these types of equipment don't create the same muscle activation as the EZ bar does. So, always perform this exercise with an EZ bar.

Tips To Improve Your Form

Standard exercises like the close grip EZ bar curl demand a perfect form to build muscle and prevent injury. Let's see how to get your form right.

Good Wrist Position

The design of the EZ bar allows you to hold it using a semi-supinated grip. This helps in effectively isolating your biceps and enhancing their strength. For the curls to be successful, keep your wrists very strong and firm while turning them into your body. Adjust this at the starting position.

A good wrist position also maintains a firm grip for this bar curl.

Reduce Momentum

To get those amazing biceps, work them up the most during the curls. To get it right, reduce any momentum created while you perform this bar curl. So, keep your arms straight and squeeze your biceps while starting each rep. Don't swing your elbows, but always keep the tension on the biceps during the curl.

As you reach the top of your curl, squeeze your biceps and lower the bar slowly, while keeping your arms fully straight. It will reduce momentum and make your biceps work harder. 

Keep Your Elbows Tight

Always keep your elbows tight during each rep of the close grip EZ bar curl. If your elbows move forward during the curl, it'll remove the tension from your biceps. This won't help in making them bigger. So, while you stand shoulder-width apart, keep the elbows steady and locked by your sides. This effectively targets your biceps with every curl.

Head Position

Keep your head high during these curls. Raise your chin to make sure that your head and neck are aligned properly. You might feel exhausted after some reps and drop your chin. Doing this would pressurize your upper spine and neck muscles and hamper the close grip EZ bar curl process.

Pro tip: Stand in front of a mirror and do the bicep curl. This way you can check if you're dropping your chin or not during reps.

Wrap Up

The close grip EZ bar curl hits the long head of the biceps if done right. To perfect this bicep peak exercise, you need to maintain the position of your palms, shoulders, and hands. Follow the training video given on this page to ace your close grip EZ bar curl game!

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