Best Curl Bars: Beginners Guide with Workouts and Reviews 2021

Jeff Baldelli
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Many traditional gyms have a curl bar, so you may have seen them or at least heard of them.

Curl bars allow you to target your biceps more easily than standard straight weight bars. If you’re worried about your arm size or are looking to give your arms an extra challenge, it’s a great tool to have.

I’m not going to debate what is more effective at building muscle, a curl bar, straight bar, or regular dumbbells. That is besides the point of this article.

The point of this article is to introduce you to curl bars. A lot of people are probably familiar with them, because they have been around for a long time. For most beginners who are familiar with the barbells and dumbbells, curl bars may seem a bit different.

NameCategoryProduct
CAP Barbell 60” Standard Solid Threaded BarBest OverallCAP Barbell 60” Standard Solid Threaded Bar
XMark Olympic Bar EZ Curl BarBudget PickXMark Olympic Bar EZ Curl Bar
Gronk Fitness Swiss BarUpgrade PickGronk Fitness Swiss Bar

1. CAP Barbell 60” Standard Solid Threaded Bar

Our rating: 9 / 10

CAP Barbell 60” Standard Solid Threaded Bar

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Pros:

  • Affordable option that choice for less serious weight lifters
  • Heavyweight bar for strength-based exercises
  • The rounded base prevents slipping
  • Can be disassembled for storage
  • Good grip for easy and safe lifting
  • Olympic-sized and 20 inches long
  • The weight is evenly distributed
  • Rust-resistant and durable
  • Great professional-grade barbell

Cons:

  • Some moving parts might not be as sturdy as expected
  • The knurling can be rough for women with sensitive skin
  • A little rough on the hands

This CAP Barbell 60 Inch Standard Threaded Bar is a good bar at a reasonable price. It is the best inexpensive barbell for the weight lifter who isn’t using it all the time.

Cap Barbell is a moderate weight that will suit most CrossFit needs. But it is also short compared to a lot of others.

The length is more than enough for gripping in front of you or behind you, but not much room to do lateral moves. So for the athletes who are dedicated to barbell, the CAP Barbell 60” is a solid choice.

2. Ader Olympic 7' Black Cambered Bench Press Bar

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ader Olympic 7' Black Cambered Bench Press Bar

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Pros:

  • Dual knurling for both cross bar support and upper hand
  • Collars tighten and stay in place

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Difficult assembly and does not fit all plates

The Ader Olympic 7' Black Cambered Bench Press Bar with Chrome Sleeve is one of the best among the cheap barbells. It comes with four sets of collars for easy adjustment during your workout and to keep the weights set in place.

The bar is seven feet long and has a 29.5 mm grip with dual knurling for both cross bar support and upper hand comfort. The sleeves measure 2 inches and are machined steel with chrome finish for lasting durability. This one also fits all standard plate sizes. The barbell is sold without plates, but it is very sturdy and doesn’t wobble even with several hundred pounds on it.

3. XMark Lumberjack 7' Olympic Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

XMark Lumberjack 7' Olympic Bar

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Pros:

  • Fits on 2" Olympic size weightlifting rigs. Bar diameter – 29mm
  • Bar comes in 7ft 30KG, 7ft 35KG, 7ft 45KG, 7ft 55KG, 7ft 65KG, 7ft 75KG, and 7ft 85KG
  • Made of 7 layers of steel – Concentric Strength
  • Made in USA
  • Shaft is precision engineered to give you a consistent diameter throughout its entire length.
  • MADE IN OWN USA FACTORY
  • Precision ground sleeve shaft is hardened all the way through for extra durability.
  • Strength tested to a power of 2 million pounds
  • Manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty against bending or breaking under normal usage.
  • NBR Coating – protects the bar from corrosion and rust

4. XMark Olympic Bar EZ Curl Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

XMark Olympic Bar EZ Curl Bar

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Pros:

  • Very sturdy, durable
  • Can be used for standard exercises and thick bar curls.
  • Very stylish, high quality finish, looks great even when not in use.
  • Not too expensive, but made from good quality materials and strong construction.

Cons:

  • Won’t fit standard Olympic plates, plates must be extra wide EZ curl plates.

This is a specially designed EZ curl bar that is the best bar for curls. It uses an extra-wide grip design to make it comfortable to hold while minimizing any wrist strain.

You will save more money when purchasing the whole set, which has all you need to begin weight training. It is also great for standard lifts and other exercises. You can get started with this bar and plates alone or add more weight plates when you can lift more.

Due to its ergonomic grip, it doesn’t require a lot of assembly so you can get going right away. You can also purchase the whole package, which features a weight bench, a bar rack, a set of EZ curl olympic weight plates, a 20kg bar and a complimentary bar weight.

5. Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar

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Pros:

  • Strong enough to use without a spotter.
  • More than one grip option.
  • 22-inch bar with strong stainless steel shaft.
  • Durable.
  • Right and left-hand grip options.

Cons:

  • Bar length could be longer.
  • Some say they had trouble with the spring collars.

This multi-grip bar is a deceptively simple design, but it’s great for a workout that builds strength and balance. The Swiss Bar is made from stainless steel and it has multiple grip options. It includes two spring collars that you attach to the end of the bar and they allow you to add weight plates to the ends.

This gives you a great range of resistance and you also get two grip positions per hand. For example, if you want to have one hand go over the bar and one hand go under, you can do that. Or you can choose to have one hand grab from underneath and one hand from above. You can even grab the bar with your hands facing each other.

The bar can accommodate up to 500 pounds total, which is more than enough for most of us.

6. CFF – Men's WOD Bar

Our rating: 6 / 10

CFF - Men's WOD Bar

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Pros:

  • The collar is a nice addition and looks very high-end
  • Weight can be added in increments of 2.5 kg, 3 kg and 5 kg plates (1.25, 1.5, 2.5 and 5 lb plates)
  • Has a nice texture and ergonomic grip
  • Comes with a k-clip option (as well as a longer bolt on the sleeve)

Cons:

  • Lacks a center knurl (for high rep overhead squats)
  • The ends are thin and can eventually compromise the weight capacity

This is a great Olympic bar for cross training as it comes with a really nice collar and all the Olympic plate sizes.

You can slide weight on from the side which is nice and the knurling is nice and firm. The center of the bar is 27 mm in diameter, which means that the bar is best suited to Olympic weight plates. It is double sleeved and easy to clean because of it. The ends are drilled and grooved to allow you to attach end caps for your own custom loading.

The plates are of the best quality, the bar, however, is a mid range bar, and will bend with 1000+ lbs hanging from the end cap.

7. Gronk Fitness Safety Squat Bar

Our rating: 6 / 10

Gronk Fitness Safety Squat Bar

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Pros:

  • Safety squat bar
  • Lightweight with carrying bag
  • great for heavy squats
  • solid quality
  • deep edges prevent plates from popping out

The Verdict:

As the market's most professional provider,Gronk Fitness provides high quality workout bench, adjustable lat pull down machine,squat rack and heavy duty barbells.You can use it at home,in the gym,or even outdoors.It is also a super heavy duty weightlifting bar that can hold up to 1000lbs,it is a prefect for heavy squats,deadlifts,and more core Olympic weightlifting exercises.It should be your first choice to do weighted lower body exercises easily in a safe manner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which curl bar is best?

Strength training with barbells typically consists of squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. All three of these require strong grip strength, which is why most serious lifters would choose a standard bar over a hex or EZ bar. However, a smaller and lighter curl bar is also a must for many people.

Is a curl bar better than a straight bar?

Curl bars are meant for biceps curls and to target that muscle specifically, you would need a wider bar. Here is why.

Most of the exercises that you do on a straight bar will also work on a curl bar, it’s just that there are some that are made specifically for this bar. It doesn’t make the curl bar better or worse, but just that it is made for a particular exercise and that means in order to see the results you would need the appropriate bar.

What workouts can you do with a curl bar?

Same great workouts as you can do with any other type of bar: Bench press, squats, lunges, military press, deadlifts, rows, bench and shoulder press.

A curl bar allows you to isolate the biceps muscles and focus on the bicep movement.

Remember that the best way to develop the biceps is to perform exercises that recruit them differently. There is no better way to do this than with a curl bar. With its super-short grip, a curl bar allows you to emphasize and isolate your biceps during exercises that you do every day, like the bench press.

Can you squat with a curl bar?

Curl bars are designed for exercising the biceps and triceps. For that reason, your best bet is to use the curl bar for bicep and other arm exercises. You will not want to do squats with a curl bar.

That being said, there are several instances in which a curl bar can be used to help build up your leg muscles. This can be done by using a different bar for your squats, in which case your arms would be free to hold the curl bar. When doing this, you will not, however, build as much mass as you would with a straight bar.

There are also commercial gyms that will use a standard curl bar for walking lunges because the number of bars they have is limited. They have weight plates behind the bar to keep it from falling forward and reaching the ground.

Conclusion

27 Reviews Schiek Sports Infinity 1090 5-Position Adjustable Solid Steel CURL BARWEIGHT BELLS: 4x – 45lb 45lb increments with a total of 180lb

CUSTOM UPGRADE REINFORCED POLYURETHANE FOAM SHAFT ON EACH CURL BAR – a shaft that is reinforced with solid iron. Allows for better grip and reduces weight.

INCLUDES ADJUSTABLE WHITE CASTIERS – Schik stands behind their products. Their castors are designed for commercial or home use. Heavy duty castors ensure that our curl bars will never slide.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
CAP Barbell 60” Standard Solid Threaded BarBest OverallCAP Barbell 60” Standard Solid Threaded Bar
XMark Olympic Bar EZ Curl BarBudget PickXMark Olympic Bar EZ Curl Bar
Gronk Fitness Swiss BarUpgrade PickGronk Fitness Swiss Bar