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Curl Bar Exercises

by Sha Buckines

About Sha Buckines

Sha Buckines is a freelance writer, fitness and nutrition expert based in Atlanta. She has trained celebrity clients as well as business professionals since 2001. She obtained her B.S. in exercise science from Georgia State University, is American College of Sports Medicine certified and teaches group fitness classes.

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Overview

The curl bar is a barbell with two distinct bends designed to accommodate your hands. This type of barbell is used by people who suffer from wrist pain when using a straight barbell. Many women prefer using the curl bar because it’s smaller than the straight bar and easier to move. A variety of exercises are possible with the curl bar.

Bicep Curls

Stand with the back straight and grasp the curl bar with an underhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. The curl bar starts resting on your thighs. Exhale and raise the barbell by bending the elbows. Pause, then inhale and lower the bar back to your thighs. This exercise strengthens the biceps muscle. Using the curl bar to perform this exercise eases the stress on the wrist as compared to using a straight bar.

Seated Triceps Extension

Sit on a flat bench. Grasp the curl bar with an overhand grip and your arms vertical. Inhale, bend your elbows, and lower the bar behind your head. Exhale and straighten your elbows to return the bar to the starting position. To target the triceps muscle at the back of the forearm, perform the exercise with slow and controlled movements. Contract your abdominal muscles and avoid arching your back. If available, use a bench to support your back.

Front Raises

Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your back straight. Contract your abdominal muscles to prevent back strain. Hold the curl bar with an overhand grip as it rests on the front of your thighs. Exhale and raise the curl bar straight out in front of you with your arms extended. Inhale and return the curl bar to the front of the thighs. This exercise strengthens the anterior deltoids--the muscles at the front of your shoulders.

Upright Rows

Stand with your legs wider than shoulder width apart. Grasp the curl bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, bar resting on the thighs. Exhale and pull the barbell up along the body to the chin while keeping the elbows as high as possible, also keeping the bar close to the body. Inhale and lower the bar in a controlled manner to the front of the thighs. This exercise strengthens the trapezius muscle on the sides of your neck, and the deltoids at the top of your shoulders.

References (2)

Photo Credits:

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.