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Bench press with EZ curl bar: A Step-by-Step Video Guide

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Bench press with EZ curl bar: A Step-by-Step Video Guide

Looking to amp up your chest workout routine? One exercise that can help you achieve that is the Bench press with EZ curl bar. This variation of the traditional bench press not only targets your chest muscles but also engages your shoulders and arms, providing a well-rounded upper-body workout.

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits, techniques, and tips for enhancing your chest workout with the bench press using the EZ curl bar. Get ready to sculpt a stronger and more defined chest!

What is a Bench press with EZ curl bar?

The bench press with EZ curl bar is a variation of the traditional bench press exercise. In this variation, instead of using a straight barbell, you use an EZ curl bar, which has a zigzag or curved shape in the middle. The EZ curl bar is typically shorter and lighter than a standard barbell, making it ideal for targeting specific muscle groups like the chest, shoulders, and arms.

Bench press with EZ curl bar

Anatomy and Muscles Worked

The bench press with EZ curl bar primarily targets the following muscles:

  1. Pectoralis Major: This is the main muscle group that worked during the bench press with an EZ curl bar. It is located in the chest and is responsible for horizontal adduction and flexion of the shoulder joint.
  2. Anterior Deltoids: The front portion of the deltoid muscles in the shoulders is also engaged during this exercise. They assist in shoulder flexion and stabilization.
  3. Triceps Brachii: The triceps brachii muscles, located at the back of the upper arm, play a significant role in extending the elbow joint during the upward phase of the bench press movement.
  4. Biceps Brachii: While the biceps are not the primary muscles targeted during the bench press with an EZ curl bar, they do play a secondary role in stabilizing the bar and assisting in elbow flexion during the downward phase of the movement.
  5. Serratus Anterior: The serratus anterior muscles, located on the sides of the ribcage, assist in scapular protraction and contribute to overall stability during the bench press exercise.
Bench press with EZ curl bar: A Step-by-Step Video Guide

Also read: How to to Bench Press for a muscular chest | Benefits, Common mistakes, Variations.

Proper Technique

It’s important to note that the specific muscles worked can vary depending on grip width, hand placement, and individual biomechanics. Additionally, proper form and technique are crucial to effectively engage and target these muscle groups during the exercise.

A. Set-Up and Equipment Needed

  • Bench: Use a sturdy weight bench that is properly adjusted to support your body during the exercise.
  • EZ Curl Bar: Ensure you have an EZ curl bar, which is shorter and lighter than a standard barbell, with a zigzag or curved shape in the middle.
  • Weight Plates: Choose appropriate weight plates based on your strength and fitness level.

B. Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to execute the exercise correctly:

  1. Initial Position
  • Lie flat on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  • Ensure your head, shoulders, and glutes are in contact with the bench throughout the exercise.
  • Position yourself so that the bar is directly above your eyes when your arms are fully extended.

2. Execution of the Exercise:

  • Grip the EZ curl bar with an underhand grip (hands facing towards your body) slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and hold it directly above your chest with your arms fully extended.
  • Lower the bar slowly and under control towards your mid-chest while keeping your elbows tucked in towards your sides.
  • Pause briefly when the bar touches your chest or hovers just above it.
  • Push the bar back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully, but do not lock out your elbows.

Breathing Tips

  • Inhale before you lower the bar towards your chest.
  • Exhale as you push the bar back up to the starting position.
  • Maintain a controlled and steady breathing pattern throughout the exercise.

Benefits of BP with EZ curl bar

The Bench press with EZ curl bar offers several benefits for your fitness and strength training routine. Here are some of the advantages:

  1. Chest Development: This effective exercise helps in developing and strengthening the muscles of the chest, particularly the pectoralis major. It helps to build size, definition, and overall strength in the chest muscles.
  2. Arm Strength: This exercise also targets the triceps brachii muscles located at the back of the upper arm. By performing the bench press with an EZ curl bar, you can effectively engage and strengthen your triceps, contributing to improved arm strength and muscle development.
  3. Shoulder Stabilization: The bench press with EZ curl bar engages the anterior deltoid muscles in the shoulders. This helps to improve shoulder stability and strength, which can have a positive impact on other upper body exercises and daily activities that involve pushing or lifting.
  4. Joint-Friendly Alternative: The EZ curl bar used in this exercise has a zigzag or curved shape, which can be more comfortable for individuals with wrist discomfort or mobility limitations. It offers a joint-friendly alternative to the straight barbell bench press, reducing stress on the wrists and allowing for a more natural grip.

Remember, it is important to perform the bench press with proper form, use appropriate weights, and progress gradually to prevent injury and maximize the benefits. If you are new to this exercise, consider seeking guidance from a qualified fitness professional to ensure proper technique and safety.

Variations of BP with EZ Bar

1. Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press targets the upper chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps. It involves performing the bench press on an inclined bench with an EZ curl bar.

Step by Step guide

  • Adjust the bench to a 30-45 degree incline.
  • Lie back on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground.
  • Grip the EZ curl bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and lower it towards your upper chest while keeping your elbows tucked in.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and then push the bar back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully.

2. Decline Bench Press

The decline bench press primarily targets the lower chest muscles. It involves performing the bench press on a declined bench with an EZ curl bar.

How to Perform

  • Adjust the bench to a 30-45 degree decline.
  • Lie back on the bench with your feet secured at the top end of the bench.
  • Grip the EZ curl bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and lower it towards your lower chest while keeping your elbows tucked in.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and then push the bar back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully.

3. Close Grip Bench Press

The close-grip bench press places more emphasis on the triceps. It involves performing the bench press with a narrower hand placement on the EZ curl bar.

How to Perform

  • Lie back on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground.
  • Grip the EZ curl bar with a hand placement that is slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and lower it towards your mid-chest while keeping your elbows tucked in.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and then push the bar back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully.

4. Wide Grip Bench Press

The wide-grip bench press targets the outer portion of the chest muscles. It involves performing the bench press with a wider hand placement on the EZ curl bar.

Step by Step guide

  • Lie back on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground.
  • Grip the EZ curl bar with a hand placement that is wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and lower it towards your mid-chest while keeping your elbows tucked in.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and then push the bar back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully.

Tips to Maximize Results and Safety

To maximize results and ensure safety while performing the exercise, follow the below tips,

  1. Lower the Weights with Control: When lowering the dumbbells during the lateral raise portion of the exercise, focus on maintaining control and avoid letting the weights drop. Slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position to engage your muscles throughout the entire range of motion.
  2. Avoid Overextending: During the lateral raise, be mindful not to raise your arms beyond a horizontal position. Going too high can put unnecessary strain on your shoulder joints and increase the risk of injury.
  3. Use Appropriate Weight: Choose dumbbells that are suitable for your fitness level and allow you to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Starting with lighter weights and gradually increasing the load can help prevent muscle imbalances and reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Engage Your Core: Keep your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise to provide stability and support for your spine. This will also help prevent excessive leaning or arching of the back.
  5. Focus on Proper Form: Pay attention to your posture and technique. Keep your upper arms stable during the bicep curl portion, and avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weights. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows during the lateral raise and keep your shoulders relaxed.

By following these tips, you can optimize your results and maintain a safe workout routine.

Also read: Low to High Cable Chest Fly: A Comprehensive Guide

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When performing the bench press with EZ curl bar, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes and avoid them to ensure proper form and prevent injuries. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Going too heavy: Avoid starting with weights that are too heavy for your current strength level. Gradually increase the weight as you build strength and proper technique.
  2. Flaring elbows out at 90° angles: Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body throughout the movement to engage the chest muscles properly and reduce strain on the shoulders.
  3. Bending wrists backward: Maintain a neutral wrist position throughout the exercise. Avoid bending your wrists backward, as this can put unnecessary stress on the wrists and forearms.
  4. Improper grip width: Find a grip width that feels comfortable for you, typically slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Avoid using an excessively wide or narrow grip, as it can compromise proper muscle activation.
  5. Lowering the bar too high up: Lower the bar towards your mid-chest while keeping your elbows tucked in. Avoid lowering the bar too high up towards your neck, as it can strain the shoulders and limit the effectiveness of the exercise.
  6. Lack of control: Maintain control throughout the entire range of motion. Avoid lowering the bar too quickly or in an uncontrolled manner, as this can increase the risk of injury.

These are just a few of the common mistakes to be mindful of when performing the bench press with an EZ curl bar. By avoiding these errors and focusing on proper form, you can maximize the benefits of the exercise and minimize the risk of injury.

Also read: Blast your Chest with Cable fly | Proper form, technique, benefits and variations

Incorporating Progressive Overload and Workout Programming

Progressive overload is a key principle for strength and muscle gain. It involves gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles over time to continuously challenge them and promote growth. Here are some key principles and tips to help you understand and incorporate progressive overload into your workout programming:

  1. Understanding Progressive Overload: Key Principles for Strength and Muscle Gain:
    • Progressive overload involves increasing the intensity of your workouts by manipulating variables such as weight, reps, sets, or frequency.
    • The concept is to continually challenge your muscles beyond their current capacity, forcing them to adapt and grow stronger.
    • By progressively increasing the load, you stimulate muscle hypertrophy and overall strength gains.
  2. Warm-Up Routine: Preparing Your Muscles for Intense Bench Press Training:
    • Prioritize a thorough warm-up routine that includes dynamic stretches and mobility exercises to prepare your muscles, joints, and nervous system for the upcoming intense bench press training.
    • Gradually increase the intensity of warm-up sets, starting with lighter weights and gradually working towards your working weight.
  3. Sample Workout Programs: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels:
    • Design your workout programs based on your fitness level and goals.
    • For beginners, start with compound exercises like bench press and gradually increase weight and repetitions over time.
    • Intermediate and advanced lifters can incorporate advanced techniques like supersets, drop sets, or pyramid sets to further challenge their muscles.
  4. Tracking Your Progress: Tips for Monitoring and Adjusting Your Training:
    • Keep a record of your workouts, noting the weights, sets, and reps performed.
    • Regularly assess your progress by tracking metrics like strength gains, muscle measurements, or performance improvements.
    • Adjust your training program every few weeks by increasing weights, adding sets or reps, or changing exercises to ensure progressive overload.

Remember, progressive overload should be implemented gradually and safely to prevent injuries. It’s also important to listen to your body and allow for proper rest and recovery between workouts. Consulting with a fitness professional or personal trainer can help you create a tailored workout program that incorporates progressive overload effectively and suits your specific needs.

Frequent Question Answers

By addressing the following frequently asked questions, we hope to provide clarity and guidance on incorporating the Bench press with EZ curl bar into your fitness routine. Remember to listen to your body, start at an appropriate level, and gradually progress for optimal results.

QuestionAnswer
Can I do an overhead press with an EZ curl bar?Yes, you can use an EZ curl bar for bench press. However, it may not be as effective as using a straight bar due to the differences in wrist angle and thickness of the bar.
Can I bench press with a curved bar?Yes, you can bench press with a curved bar, such as an EZ curl bar. However, it may feel different compared to a straight bar, and you should adjust your grip accordingly.
Is the EZ bar better than the straight bar bench press?The choice between an EZ bar and a straight bar for a bench press depends on personal preference and comfort. Some individuals may find the EZ bar more comfortable, while others prefer the straight bar.
Can I do an overhead press with an EZ curl bar?While it is possible to perform an overhead press with an EZ curl bar, it may not be optimal. The design and grip of the EZ curl bar are more suitable for exercises targeting the biceps and triceps.
Can I use a curl bar for shoulder press?Using an EZ curl bar for shoulder press is not recommended. It is best to use a straight bar or dumbbells for the shoulder press exercise to maintain proper form and target the muscles effectively.
Can you deadlift with the EZ curl bar?It is not recommended to deadlift with an EZ curl bar. Deadlifting typically requires a straight barbell to maintain proper grip and form. It is best to use a standard barbell or trap/hex bar for deadlifts.

Conclusion

Using an EZ curl bar for a bench press can be an alternative, but it may not provide the same effectiveness as using a straight bar. However, the key is to find what works best for you and your comfort level. Remember, consistency and effort are what truly matter in achieving your fitness goals. Stay motivated, keep pushing yourself, and enjoy the journey to becoming stronger and healthier!

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