If you use an EZ bar in place of a straight barbell, you might wonder how many exercises you can perform with it. Maybe you prefer the grip EZ bars induce or possibly you don't want to hassle with loading and unloading plates from more than one bar. Either way, using the EZ bar for as many different exercises as you can will be efficient and keep your workouts fun and interesting, too.
The EZ Design
An EZ bar is similar to a traditional barbell, only it has S-shaped curves instead of being a straight bar. In "The Women's Home Workout Bible," Brad Schoenfeld writes that the shape of the bar allows you to perform exercises placing your hands, wrists and arms at a natural angle. Workouts with an EZ bar are more comfortable and safer because the curves in the bar decrease stress on your wrists and elbows.
Typical EZ Bar Exercises
The EZ bar is useful to substitute for a typical straight barbell when performing many biceps, chest and shoulder exercises. Personal trainer Matt Siaperas routinely has his clients use an EZ bar in place of a barbell when doing such exercises as preacher curls, barbell pullovers, concentration curls and upright rows.
The Bent-Legged Deadlift
Although deadlifts are usually executed using a traditional straight barbell, there is a deadlift version that makes use of an EZ bar -- the bent-legged deadlift. You begin by placing two 10-pound weight plates on the floor and positioning your feet on them so the balls of your feet are on the plates and your heels are resting on the floor. When placing the plates, put them far enough apart so you can stand in a shoulder-width stance. Grasp the EZ bar in an overhand grip that is just a little wider than shoulder-width and stand up, arms extended down, knees slightly bent, shoulders back and abs tight. Bend at the hips and knees to lower the weight down only to the point that you feel a pull in your hamstrings, keeping your back straight. Extend your knees and your hips, standing back up to the starting position.
As when performing any weightlifting move, proper form is important when doing bent-legged deadlifts to avoid injury and ensure you're getting the benefits of the exercise. In "Stronger Legs and Lower Body," Keli Roberts and Linda Shelton remind readers to avoid rounding or arching the back and to keep the ab muscles contracted to help support the back. Also, your weight should stay on your heels. That is why standing on the weight plates is so helpful -- they keep your body balanced on the back part of your feet. Roberts and Shelton also caution not to go any lower in the move than the first point that you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
- The Women's Home Workout Bible; Brad Schoenfeld
- Matt Siaperas, personal trainer; Hardbodies Gym, Blackfoot, Idaho
- Stronger Legs and Lower Body; Keli Roberts and Linda Shelton
- Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images