Fitness Tips

Cambered Bar Curls: What Are They and How to Do Them?

Trying to figure out just what cambered bar curls are if they can help you with building those biceps up bigger than they have ever been aren’t ya?

i can tell you this.. you are asking the right question..

And the good news is somehow you ended up here at the right place because cambered bar curls are literally my favorite bicep exercise and they are most definitely one of the best workouts that you can do to build big biceps and get rid of those skinny little arms.

At a Glance; Cambered or Straight Bar – One Clear Winner!Cambered curl bar beats the straight bar in several respects

Is a cambered bar better than a straight one? For those wondering why you might want to prefer the cambered bar to the straight bar, here’s a sneak peek at some of the things that make the former stand out.

I will go over this briefly to give you a hint of what gives the cambered bar the edge (don’t worry, we will be getting into the details in a moment.)

SafetyCambered bars are safer and easier on your wrists

The cambered bar is easier on your wrists, and that’s pretty much obvious. You know, it doesn’t exert most of the weight on your shoulders, forearms, and back as a straight one does. This makes it ideal for keeping elbow problems and wrist pain at a minimum.

Targeting the right musclesThe use of this bar also allows you to land a laser target on the desired muscles

Another bit that makes the cambered bar efficient is the focus it gives you on the muscles you want to target.

As mentioned above, the straight bar can employ a wide range of muscles, while the cambered bar allows you to target a more specific set of muscles. You have the small bends in the bar to thank for this.

You can even use them to get bigger hands if you do certain exercises.

FlexibilityThis bar allows you to enjoy both wide and narrow grip options with ease

Unlike the straight bar, a cambered one allows you to hold the bar at different spots, allowing you to shift between a close and wide grip.

Well, that’s also possible with the straight one. But when you consider the ease of handling of the former, it gets more comfortable when using any of these grips than when using them with a straight bar.

They are also in terms of convenience since they are compact and would fit people who are looking for a short barbell because of space constraints.

What Are Cambered Bar Curls?

cambered bar curls

This is going to seem a bit silly but cambered bar curls are just curls that you do on a cambered bar.. literally.

Cambered bar curls are curls that are performed on a bar that allows you to have a little bit more comfortable grip that is not so strenuous on your wrist. On a cambered bar your wrist are facing inwards at a 45 degree angle.

This grip allows you to lift quite a bit more weight without tearing up your wrist joints in the process. It also allows you to focus more on lifting the weight and getting a full contraction of the muscle.

Cambered bar curls are my favorite exercise for building up big arms because I do not have to worry about having elbow pain, wrecking my wrist, or tearing up my cartilage like I do on the straight curl bar.

Cambered Curl Bar Vs Straight Curl BarThe straight bar is simple and can only be held at a 90-degree angle

How exactly is a cambered curl bar different than a straight curl bar you might ask. Well the main difference is that the cambered bar has several different angles in the bar allowing you to get a couple different grips on the bar when working both your triceps and your biceps.

These angles are usually 45 degree angles and allow for better grip positions for people who do have trouble with their wrist and elbows.

A straight bar is is just that.. a straight.. bar.. it is designed to go straight across and only allows for flat 90 degree angle grips which for me is extremely painful and is something that I definitely do not advise doing. I’m 24 and I already feel the aches and pains while doing cleans and power cleans, so I would start with a cambered bar and move up from there.

How To Do Cambered Bar Curls

how to do cambered bar curls step 1

Learning how to do cambered bar curls is not that hard I promise.

First you need to find a cambered or EZ bar.

Make sure you have a weight that is not too heavy, make sure your feet shoulder width apart, standing straight up with your arms down at your sides, curl the bar up to your chest.

**Tip: For the best muscle growth and size you need to be holding and flexing at the top of the rep range. This will allow you squeeze as much blood as possible into the muscles allowing for maximum growth and the best pump.

How To Do Sitting Cambered Preacher Curls

how to do cambered bar curls

how to do cambered bar curls step 2

Sitting cambered preacher curls are just as easy. The are the same thing as standing but now you’re sitting with your elbows on a padded bench at a downward 45 degree angle.

This bench will keep you in tension with gravity and will keep the force against your biceps, causing them to have to go through more work with the same amount of weight.

Watch the video below to get a visual representation of how to do them


What Muscles Does A Cambered Bar Work?

Does a cambered bar work different muscles than a straight bar does?

Yes. It does.

A cambered bar changes your grip just enough to allow you to not only focus on working the biceps but it also engages your brachioradialis which is your forearm muscle that sticks out the most when doing hammer curls.

Doing cambered bar curls will really increase the size you have on both your biceps and your forearms.

Wide or Close Grip; Which Grip is Best For You?Deciding between the narrow and wide grip depends on your target muscle

Whether you are using the cambered or the straight bar, varying the grip could bring on board a great deal of difference in your workout.

The choice here pretty much boils down to the results you want.

By this I mean, you can decide to either target the inner or the outer head of your bicep, and that’s probably all there is to it.

To put this into perspective, the bicep comprises of two sections: the inner head (the one closes to the body) and the outer head (which is, of course, on the outside.)

A wide grip will work the inside of your bicep, while a close grip will target the outside bicep head.

And that’s about it!

If you are looking to work more on either of these, then you will choose the grip that works it best. And for those who have a long way to go and work both, you can decide to start with one, then move on to the next.

The choice is all yours here.

Are Cambered Bar Curls The Best Bicep Exercise For Size? Yes!Curl bars are good for building bicep muscle

Yes, for me cambered bar curls are definitely the number 1 bicep builder and are also the best for putting size onto your arms. They allow you to lift heavier weight in a safer way all while allowing you to engage your forearm muscles as well. It’s a win-win!

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Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page

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