Curl Bar Vs Tricep Bar – Are They Really All That Different?

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Getting bigger arms is a goal that a lot of lifters strive for. Not only are they stronger and more functional, but they also look better too.

Two of the best bars you can use to train them are the EZ curl bar, as well as tricep bars.

Even though they’re named as such, they both have similar functions compared to a basic straight barbell.

So today, I’ll cover the major similarities and differences, including their shape, benefits, grip, and more!

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

AspectEZ Curl BarTricep Bar
Primary UseVersatile for biceps, triceps, and upper body workouts.Mainly for triceps and forearm exercises.
Shape and DesignCurved bends in the shaft for ergonomic grip; allows semi-supinated hand position.Shorter, oval shape with parallel grip handles for natural hand position.
Weight VariationsRanges from 10-35 lbs, with different types like standard, Olympic, and rackable.Mostly between 16-25 lbs, fewer variations.
Grip and Hand PositionsAngled grips for semi-supinated positions; more variety with super curl bars.Two neutral grip options, less versatile but effective for its primary purpose.
BenefitsReduces strain on wrists and elbows; better bicep and brachialis activation; good for reverse curls.Even less strain on wrists and elbows; improved tricep and brachialis activation.
Exercise SuitabilitySuitable for a variety of exercises including curls, extensions, and rows.Best for tricep extensions and hammer curls; limited in versatility.
Home Gym ValueHigh value due to versatility and variety in exercises.Limited value for home gyms due to less versatility.
Overall RecommendationBetter for those seeking variety and a more comprehensive arm workout.Suitable for focused tricep and forearm development, especially if joint-friendly options are needed.

Comparison Of The EZ Curl Bar Vs Tricep Bar

Both the EZ curl bar and tricep bars are very good at what they’re built for, which is training the biceps and triceps, as well as the upper body.

Here is a comparison of their different shapes/design, how much they weigh, as well as the grips they offer.

Also, for the purposes of this article, I’m almost always going to talk exclusively about the Olympic versions of these bars.

An Olympic tricep bar and EZ bar are going to be a much better option than a 1″ standard bar for safety and higher weight capacities.

Shape and Design

  • EZ Curl Bar – An EZ curl bar looks very similar to a straight bar, but has curved bends in the shaft that allow for a more ergonomic grip. A standard EZ bar allows for a semi-supinated hand position that feels great on the wrists and elbows specifically.
  • Tricep Bar – A tricep bar, or hammer curl bar, has one of the strangest designs compared to a straight bar. Instead of it having a long shaft, it’s a lot shorter and has more of an oval shape. There are two parallel grip handles inside of it that allows for a much more natural hand position.


  • EZ Curl BarThe average weight of an EZ curl bar is around 10-35 lbs. Standard EZ curl bars weigh between 10-14 lbs, Olympic EZ curl bars weigh between 14-30 lbs, super EZ curl bars are 16-25 lbs, and a Rackable EZ curl bar is commonly 31 lbs. There’s a lot more variety in weight depending on the type of EZ curl bar you have access to.
  • Tricep Bar/Hammer Curl Bar – There aren’t a lot of variations in tricep bars so they’re mostly between 16-25 lbs overall.

Grips And Hand Positions

  • EZ Curl Bar – The angled grips on a curl bar allow for a variety of semi-supinated hand positions. If you get a super curl bar, you get more variety with neutral grip options as well as the curved grip of a regular EZ bar.
  • Tricep Bar – Tricep bars have two neutral grip options and that’s about it. It’s not very versatile for this reason but it’s great for its primary purpose.

It is important to note that both the tricep bar and the EZ curl bar come in a range of sizes and weights, so you can select one that best fits your needs and fitness level.

RelatedWhat Is An EZ Bar? – The Best Tool To Build Bigger Arms

Benefits Of Using An EZ Curl Bar

EZ curl bars were mainly invented to have an easier time curling compared to a straight bar. Since then though, lifters have discovered other benefits of using them.

man doing curls with EZ bar

Here are the main ones you should know.

  • Reduced Strain On The Wrists And Elbows – The unique bends EZ curl bar help to reduce stress on the wrist and elbow joints, allowing you to train harder and safer. This is especially important for individuals who have pre-existing joint issues.
  • Improved Bicep/Brachialis Activation – The cambered grip of an EZ curl bar allows for a more integrated movement compared to just a straight bar curl. Because your hands are semi-supinated, you get more biceps brachii and brachialis activation. The brachialis is engaged more the closer you get to a neutral grip position. This distinct advantage of an EZ bar will help you train more curl variations.
  • Reverse Curls Are Great For Forearms – EZ bars also allow you to do exercises like reverse curls with a semi-pronated or overhand grip. Reverse curls are a great exercise for building bigger forearms and the semi-overhand grip is far more comfortable than a straight bar.

Benefits of Using a Tricep Bar

A tricep bar is great for any neutral grip movements you choose to do.

Most use them for basic tricep extensions as they’re easy on the elbows, but hammer curls are another common use for this type of bar.

Here are the main benefits of using a tricep bar that you should know.

  • Even Less Strain On Wrists And Elbows – Similar to the curl bar, the neutral grips on a tricep bar also helps to reduce stress on the wrist and elbow joints. However, this hand position is going to be even better than what you can find on an EZ curl bar.
  • Improved Tricep Activation – The neutral grip position of a tricep bar is fantastic for targeting the triceps. Considering that’s what it was made for, this isn’t all that surprising.
  • Even Greater Brachialis Activation – The brachialis is another elbow flexor in the upper arm that is deep compared to the biceps. This is basically a pure forearm flexor so you can expect better forearm growth with hammer curls and other variations. Even though the tricep bar was made for tricep exercises, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s great for hammer curl variations.

Recommended Exercises for EZ Curl Bars and Tricep Bars

EZ curl bars and tricep bars allow you to do similar exercises. Some are going to be better with one bar or the other as the grips aren’t always compatible with certain movements.

man doing overhead extensions with a curl bar

Recommended Exercises For The EZ Curl Bar

  1. EZ Bar Curls
  2. EZ Bar Preacher Curls
  3. Reverse Curls
  4. Tricep Extensions
  5. Skull Crushers
  6. Overhead Extensions
  7. Upright Rows

Recommended Exercises For The Tricep Bar

  1. Tricep Extensions
  2. Skull Crushers
  3. Overhead Extensions
  4. Hammer Curls

It is important to note that these exercises are not exhaustive, and many other exercises can be performed with an EZ curl bar and a tricep bar.

You can definitely use both for different exercises, especially if you have access to them in a commercial gym.

Is A Tricep Bar Worth It?

Let’s talk about the tricep bar. You’re probably wondering if it’s a smart addition to your home gym arsenal.

Well, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no – it really depends on your specific needs and workout routine.

First off, the tricep bar is designed for, you guessed it, targeting those triceps. It’s fantastic for exercises like tricep extensions and hammer curls.

The unique design, with its neutral grips, is easier on your wrists and elbows, making it a solid choice if you’re dealing with joint discomfort.

But here’s the thing – the tricep bar is somewhat limited in its versatility. Unlike an EZ curl bar or a multi-grip barbell, it’s not as adaptable for a wide range of exercises.

man using a tricep bar to do extensions

So, if your workout routine is heavily focused on tricep and forearm exercises, then yes, a tricep bar can be a valuable tool.

It allows you to hit those muscles effectively without putting extra strain on your joints.

However, if you’re looking for a piece of equipment that offers more variety, the tricep bar might not be the best investment.

In a home gym scenario where space and budget are often at a premium, choosing equipment that serves multiple purposes is usually the smarter move.

So, is a tricep bar worth it? If you’re zeroing in on tricep and forearm development and need a joint-friendly option, absolutely.

But if you’re after a more all-encompassing tool for your home gym, you might want to explore other options.

Which Is Better Overall?

Honestly, this should be pretty easy to figure out, especially if you have a home gym and are trying to decide on what is a good investment.

While a tricep bar does have some nice features, it’s really only built for two things, extensions, and hammer curls.

On the flip side, an EZ curl bar allows for way more variation and there are more options available.

man doing overhead tricep extensions with rackable curl bar

You can get a rackable curl bar that is longer, stronger, and just better in every way. Or you can get a super curl bar that has all the benefits of a standard EZ curl bar, with the added benefits of neutral grips.

Buying a standalone tricep bar doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as it just isn’t a very good value.

Another type of bar that is similar but far more versatile, is a swiss/multi-grip barbell.

man with tattoos doing extensions with rep fitness cambered swiss bar

It has all the benefits of a tricep bar – but it’s rackable, can hold more weight, and you can use it for bigger compound exercises like presses and rows.

However, if you only have a choice between an EZ curl bar and a tricep bar, just get the EZ bar. It’s a better value and allows you to do much more in comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions


Now I turn it over to you!

Which bar do you think is better overall for building muscle?

Do you like the feel of EZ bars or are tricep bars better for your goals?

Let me know in the comment section below, right now!

Until next time,


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