Can You Deadlift With A Curl Bar? – Don’t Try It!

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Ever caught yourself eyeing a curl bar and wondered, ‘Can I deadlift with this?’ Let me cut straight to the chase: Don’t try it! While it’s tempting to use what you have on hand, especially in a home gym setting, some equipment isn’t meant for every exercise.

In this post, we’ll go over why deadlifts with an EZ bar aren’t the best idea, and what you should be using instead.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

Key PointsTakeaways
Can You Deadlift With A Curl Bar?Avoid deadlifting with a curl bar as it’s not designed for this exercise.
Understanding the Curl BarCurl bars have a unique W-shape, suitable for bicep curls, not heavy lifting.
Deadlifting with an EZ Curl BarUsing an EZ curl bar for deadlifts can lead to improper form and injury.
Muscles Worked in EZ Bar DeadliftEZ bar deadlifts work hamstrings, glutes, lower back, core, upper back, and shoulders.
Pros and Cons of EZ Bar for DeadliftsMainly disadvantages – limited weight capacity and form challenges. No real advantages.
Best Bars for DeadliftsDeadlift Bar, Power Bar, Multipurpose Bar, Olympic Bar, and Trap Bar each have specific uses.
Recommended EZ Curl Bar ExercisesGood for bicep curls, tricep extensions, upright rows, pullovers, and close-grip bench presses.

Understanding the Curl Bar Vs Other Bars For Deadlifts

The EZ curl bar, a familiar sight in many home gyms, is designed with a unique W-shaped curve. This design is specifically tailored to reduce the strain on your wrists and elbows during bicep curls and other similar exercises. It’s lighter and shorter than standard bars, making it a great fit for smaller spaces and targeted workouts.

attractive woman doing curls

Now, compare this to your standard deadlift bar. Deadlift bars are longer, straight, and typically heavier, designed to handle significant weight loads. They’re built for powerlifting, giving you the leverage and capacity to perform heavy deadlifts safely. The length of these bars also allows for more whip, which can be an advantage when lifting heavier weights.

Then there’s the power bar. This is your all-rounder in the strength training world. It’s a bit more rigid compared to a deadlift bar, making it suitable not just for deadlifts but for squats and bench presses too.

So, when you compare these bars, it’s clear that the EZ bar, with its unique shape and lighter weight, isn’t cut out for the heavy and high-impact nature of deadlifts. It’s like comparing a sports car to a heavy-duty truck – both are fantastic for their purposes, but you wouldn’t haul a heavy load with a sports car, right? The same principle applies here in choosing the right bar for your deadlifts.

How To Do The EZ Curl Bar Deadlift

The EZ bar is a bit of a square peg in a round hole for deadlifts – it just doesn’t fit.

The main issue? Its design.

The EZ curl bar’s unique bends and shorter length make it unsuitable for the wide grip typically used in deadlifts. Plus, it’s lighter and not built to handle the heavy weights usually lifted in a deadlift. This mismatch can lead to a higher risk of injury, as you might compromise your form to adapt to the bar’s shape.

Another point to consider is the distribution of weight. The EZ bar’s curves can cause an uneven weight distribution, which might throw you off balance. In deadlifting, balance and stability are key. You need a bar that will evenly distribute the weight and allow for a stable, shoulder-width grip. That’s something the straight and longer deadlift or power bars offer, but the curl bar lacks.

However, I get it. Sometimes, you’ve got to work with what you have, especially in a home gym. If you absolutely must use an EZ curl bar for deadlifts, here’s how to do it as safely as possible:

  1. Start with Light Weights – Remember, the curl bar isn’t built for heavy lifting. Begin with a weight you can comfortably manage.
  2. Starting Position – Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees to lower down and grip the bar. Find the most natural grip position right outside of your legs.
  3. Get Your Breathing Right – Take a deep breath before you start your rep, you should be breathing down into your stomach. As you do this, brace yourself like you’re about to be punching in the gut. You should be braced like this every single rep, only breathing out after you get back down to the start position.
  4. Lifting Technique – Keep the bar close to your body as you lift by pushing through your feet. You should focus on keeping a neutral spine the entire time.
  5. Lower Correctly – From here, lower the bar the same way you lifted it. Sit the hips back under control with a neutral spine, and once the bar passes your knees, bend them to get you back down to the start position.

While you can technically perform a deadlift with an EZ curl bar, it’s far from ideal and should only be done with caution and light weights. For serious deadlifting, invest in a straight, long bar designed for the task.

Muscles Worked

Deadlifting, no matter the equipment, is a powerhouse move in strength training, engaging multiple muscle groups. When you deadlift with an EZ curl bar, you’re primarily targeting:

  1. Hamstrings and Glutes – These muscles are the driving force behind the lifting motion. The bend-and-lift movement heavily engages your hamstrings and glutes.
  2. Lower Back (Erector Spinae) – Deadlifting is a superb exercise for strengthening your lower back, especially the erector spinae muscles that run alongside your spine.
  3. Quadriceps – Though not as heavily engaged as in squats, your quads still play a significant role the starting position as you push through the floor.
  4. Core Muscles – Your abs and obliques have to stabilize your body while deadlifting.
  5. Upper Back and Shoulders – The trapezius, rhomboids, and lats in your upper back, along with the deltoids in your shoulders, are engaged as you maintain the correct posture and control the bar.

While an EZ curl bar can engage many of the same muscle groups as straight bar deadlifting, the differences in grip and weight distribution can lead to a less effective and potentially riskier movement.


Pros and Cons of Using an EZ Bar for Deadlifts

It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before trying to Deadlift with a curl bar. I’ll tell you right now though, there are no advantages to doing this. All you will find in this section are the negatives that come with using the wrong bar for the job.


dylan obrien none not a single one

When it comes to using an EZ curl bar for deadlifts, the advantages are quite specific and narrow. Essentially, the primary advantage is the lack of choice – if an EZ curl bar is all you have in your home gym, then it’s better than nothing. However, it’s crucial to be aware of its limitations and adjust your expectations accordingly.


thanos saying everything

Now, for the disadvantages, they are more pronounced:

  1. Limited Weight Capacity – The EZ curl bar isn’t built to handle heavy loads. Its shorter loadable sleeve length means you can’t add as much weight as you could on a standard barbell, limiting the intensity of your workout.
  2. Form Challenges – Maintaining proper deadlift form is crucial for effectiveness and safety. The bent shape of the EZ bar makes it difficult to keep the bar close to your body, which is essential in a traditional deadlift.
  3. Not Suitable for Competition – If you’re training for powerlifting or any form of competitive lifting, the curl bar won’t be used. A power or deadlift bar will so it’s a requirement to train with one of those.
  4. Hindered Strength Progression – Because of its weight limitations and the awkwardness in handling, the EZ bar isn’t ideal for progressive strength training. If you’re looking to increase your deadlift strength significantly, you’ll hit a plateau quickly with an EZ bar.
  5. Insufficient Knurling – The grip on a curl bar typically isn’t as aggressive as on a standard barbell. This can be a problem when handling heavier weights, as a secure grip is vital for effective and safe deadlifting.
  6. Discomfort Due to Bent Camber – The unique shape of the EZ bar means it can drag uncomfortably against your legs during the lift, unlike the smoother trajectory of a straight bar.

In light of these factors, while an EZ bar can be used in a pinch, it’s far from the ideal tool for deadlifts. For those serious about their deadlifting, investing in a standard barbell is a wise move.

Best Bars For Deadlifts

When it comes to choosing the best bar for deadlifts, there’s a variety of options, each with its specific uses and benefits. Let’s break down the different types of bars and see which might be the best fit for your training goals and experience level.

Bar TypeBest Used ForFeatures
Deadlift BarSpecifically for deadliftsLonger, thinner, more flexible, greater whip.
Power BarSquats, Deadlifts, Bench Presses, Overhead Press, etc.Stiffer, center knurling.
Multipurpose BarGeneral liftingModerate whip and knurling.
Olympic BarOlympic weightliftingHigh whip, super smooth spin.
Trap Bar (Hex Bar)Deadlifts for back issues/beginnersHexagonal design, upright position.

Your choice of bar should align with your training goals and experience level. While specialty bars like the deadlift bar are fantastic for specific training, a good quality power bar or multipurpose bar can serve you well across a range of exercises. And for those new to deadlifting or with back concerns, the trap bar can be a valuable tool in your training.


Recommended Exercises with an EZ Curl Bar

The EZ curl bar is ideal for specific upper body exercises, offering a comfortable grip and minimizing wrist strain. Here’s a short list of exercises that work well with it:

  1. Preacher Curl
  2. Bicep Curl
  3. Upright Row
  4. Reverse Curl
  5. Tricep Extensions (Skull Crushers)
  6. Overhead Tricep Extension
  7. Pullovers
  8. Close-Grip Bench Press

These exercises utilize the EZ curl bar’s design for efficient and comfortable upper body training. There are definitely more out there but these are all solid choices that get the job done.

Frequently Asked Questions


While the EZ curl bar is a versatile and useful tool for specific upper body exercises, it’s not the ideal choice for deadlifts. For deadlifting, you’re better off with dumbbells or, preferably, an Olympic straight bar designed for the task. Remember, using the right equipment is key to effective and safe training. 

Until next time,


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