Close-grip EZ bar curl exercise

Close-grip EZ bar curl

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Biceps Brachii (especially the long head)
  • Synergists: Brachioradialis, Brachialis
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand holding an EZ-curl bar using a close supinated grip (hands closer than shoulder width apart and palms facing upward). Your elbows should be almost fully extended, and the bar should be resting against your thighs.


  1. Keeping your elbows fixed to your sides, exhale as you curl the EZ-curl bar up toward your shoulders.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps.
  3. Inhale as you lower the EZ-curl bar to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Your biceps brachii has two heads: short (inner) and long (outer). The long head makes up the majority of the biceps’ peak, whereas the short head sits on the inner side and contributes to the biceps’ width. The close-grip EZ bar curl will emphasize the long head and build the peak of your biceps. The wide-grip EZ bar curl will emphasize the short head and give your biceps more width. The standard (shoulder-width) EZ bar curl will place approximately equal emphasis on both heads.
  • An easy way to remember whether you’re working the short/inner or long/outer head of the biceps brachii is to look in the mirror. When using a close grip, which, as explained above, targets the long head, the long head will be visible. When using a wide grip, which targets the short head, the short head will be visible.
  • Keep your elbows locked to your sides and your body still. Only your forearms should move.
  • Using the EZ-curl bar instead of a standard barbell to do biceps curls reduces the pressure on your wrists. However, the camber (bend) of the EZ-curl bar must be minimal. The steeper the camber, the more emphasis you will place on your brachioradialis instead of your biceps brachii. Therefore, if a standard barbell doesn’t hurt your wrists, use that instead of the EZ-curl bar.
  • For other exercises targeting the biceps brachii, see also the barbell drag curl and the barbell curl.

Close-grip EZ bar curl video


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