Trying to figure out just what cambered bar curls are and 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.
In this post, I will be diving deep into the meats and bones of the cambered bar, and also comparing it to the straight bar. But if you’re on the prowl for the ideal bar, here are the ones I have tried, and would def recommend.
- My Favorite Cambared Bar: Rogue curl bar
- My Favorite Straight Bar: Sunny Health & Fitness chrome barbell bar
At a Glance; Cambered or Straight Bar – One Clear Winner!
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.)
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. The straight bar would definitely come out on top here if you wanna say work your shoulders after chest day or another workout.
But if you’re not out to hit any of these areas, then the cambered bar curl is your go-to option.
This makes it ideal for keeping elbow problems and wrist pain at a minimum.
Targeting the right 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.
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, making it perfect for such workouts as the skull crusher and its alternatives like the close grip bench press.
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?
This is going to seem a bit silly but cambered bar curls are just curls that you do on a cambered bar.. literally. There are, of course, other curl workouts like reverse curls, hammer curls, regular curls, some of which can be done using a cambered bar.
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. This is particularly crucial for those on single set training sessions.
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 (especially during one set to failure routine) like I do on the straight curl bar.
Even then, it’s worth mentioning that you’ve got to consider the bar weight and the overall weight you can handle when going into this kind of workouts. Lucky for you, I have done the heavy lifting as far as figuring out the likes of bench press bar weight, deadlift bar weight, ez bar weight…etc for you.
Cambered Curl Bar Vs Straight Curl Bar
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 of 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 wrists and elbows.
A straight bar is just that.. a straight.. bar.. it is designed to go straight across and only allows for flat 90-degree angle grips. I often have to use it when squatting and benching on the same day, and most of the time I bench more than I squat.
But the catch is that it proves extremely painful for me 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
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. It’s more like the idea of shocking the muscle fibers for growth.
How To Do Sitting Cambered Preacher Curls
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?
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 can also help hit the upper or lower lats, or both depending on how you exercise.
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!
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 weights in a safer way all while allowing you to engage your forearm muscles as well. It’s a win-win!
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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.
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