Close-grip EZ-bar curl is an exercise that majorly targets the biceps, especially the long head. The feature that distinguishes it from other exercises is that the hands are positioned closer together along the bar as the name suggests.
It is believed that this positioning of the hands help in building the outer bicep’s head and the peak because by putting a narrow grip, you obviously change the tension onto the outer muscle fibres of your biceps, which over time makes them more peaked.
HOW TO DO CLOSE GRIP EZ BAR CURL
Equipment required; EZ bar and weights.
Place an appropriate weight onto an EZ bar.
Standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart, keeping your knees slightly bent.
Grab the EZ bar with an underhand narrow grip on the inner-most part of the bar with your elbows slightly in front of your torso. Your palm should face forward and tilted inwards. This is your starting position.
Flex your arms fully against your thighs.
Without bending your elbows, exhale and pull the weight towards your front delt (chest), ensuring that your biceps are squeezed maximally with the bar at shoulder level.
Hold for as long as convenient. Inhale and gently lower the weight returning it to the starting position.
Repeat the steps above to a number of sets of your choice.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CLOSE GRIP EZ BAR CURL WORK?
These are muscles on the front part of the upper arm. It comprises of long head and short head which work as one muscle. It is attached to the arm bone by tendons.
When you contract the biceps, you pull the forearm and rotate it outward. This is a key movement in close grip ez bar curl.
It attaches to your upper arm bone and to your ulna bone of your forearm. The main function is to flex your elbow, bring your hand towards your shoulder – or in other words, it bends your elbow.
This is a two-headed muscle, long and short head that connects to the scapular and radius bone of the forearm. It acts on both the shoulder joint and elbow joint.
It is also a flexor of the elbow that helps turn the forearm so your palm can face outward
CLOSE GRIP EZ BAR CURL BENEFITS
1. STRONG BICEPS
When performing close grip EZ bar curl, your arms will be positioned in front of your body. This enables you to utilize your torso as a bench thus creating a concentration curly effect that leads to a powerful bicep contraction.
Curling with a firm grip yields high intensity within the muscles. For maximum strength of the biceps, the contraction should be optimal as well as complete lowering of the weight.
2. STRENGTHENED FOREARM AND WRISTS
Close grip EZ bar curl exercise strengthens the forearm and wrists as the stress around the wrist is greatly reduced due to semi-supinated grip. Keeping a close grip usually put a lot of strain on the joints and their joining tissues. A strong forearm is essential for grip exercises/activities.
3. WEIGHT LOSS
Close grip EZ bar exercise will be ideal if you are looking to shed weight and turn fat into muscle.
Performance of this exercise subject a lot of work to the muscles and high degree of the burning of calories. This takes a lot of energy from the body that eventually leads to loss of weight.
4. IMPROVED MOBILITY & FLEXIBILITY
In order to your muscles stronger, the muscles must be flexible enough to do so otherwise it will be a great challenge to develop a desirable form while doing close grip EZ bar curl and chances of incurring injury will be high.
However, if done appropriately, the exercise will help loosen tight muscles around your chest and shoulder which will be a great benefit to other related daily activities.
ALTERNATIVES TO CLOSE GRIP EZ BAR CURL
1. CONCENTRATION CURLS
This exercise works to train the long head of the biceps.
If a dumbbell is available, concentration curls can comfortably be done at home without necessarily registering at a gym centre. It amazingly builds the peak in a similar way to close grip EZ bar curl.
2. SINGLE DUMBBELL CURLS
This is a convenient exercise that can be done anywhere provided there is a dumbbell. No additional equipment is required for the exercise.
It is particularly suitable if you want to do a curl without an EZ bar. You will be rest assured of similar working of the biceps.
3. INCLINE DUMBBELL CURLS
This is a great exercise for training of the long head of the biceps. The biceps are exposed to a good stretch which puts extra tension on the long head.
If performed properly, this exercise can lead to a well-built forearm.
4. DUMBBELL ALTERNATE CURLS.
For alternate dumbbell curls, you ordinarily require a chair and a dumbbell to perform. It is an effective exercise suitable for training the biceps. It can be performed at home or anywhere else.
5. DUMBBELL SPIDER CURL
Dumbbell spider curl is an amazing alternative to close grip EZ bar curl.
Spider curl exercise mostly target the long head and will definitely enable you to develop a resilient peak of the bicep.
It is also a convenient exercise that you can incorporate into your daily routine with much ease.
6. CROSS BODY CURL
Cross body curl requires the use of a dumbbell. Like the others already discussed, it works on the brachialis and the long head. It involves lifting the dumbbell across the middle line of your body while maintaining a neutral grip. It helps in building bigger biceps.
CLOSE GRIP EZ BAR CURL MISTAKES TO AVOID
1. SQUEEZING THE BAR HARD
In as much as it is required that you secure a proper grip on the weight being lifted, squeezing the bar too hard is a clear indicator that your body is compensating for lacking adequate strength by employing other muscles i.e your forearm.
The danger with this is that the tension will be taken off the biceps which may lead to issues like tennis elbow.
2. NEGLECTING ANGLES AND BARS
Curling with different bars and with varied angles will yield better results for working both the long and short head of your biceps. It is therefore very important to consider the two variables.
3. BACK ARCHING
It is working of the biceps that enable pulling up of the weight. Arching your back is a clear indicator that your body and not your biceps is used during the exercise.
This places your lower back at risk of straining. It is advisable either to curl in a split stance or with your back straight.
4. NOT CURLING ONE ARM AT A TIME
Doing Curling alternately with one arm at a time greatly helps in correcting muscle imbalance whose presence is hard to notice in the first place.
Hold a dumbbell on one arm and perform about 12 reps then alternate arms and do the same.
Close grip EZ bar curl is a simple and interesting exercise that you should consider adding into your routine.
It works majorly bicep muscles of the arm. It contributes to a strong arm among other benefits. Alternative exercises have been discussed that gives options with the same results.
You are however advised not to do all the exercises in a single day. Equally, you should not over-train the biceps since it is a small muscle that can get trained in a short while.