The Critical Body Logo

Tricep bar vs EZ curl bar: Which is better for building muscle?

Find out if the tricep bar is better than the EZ bar for building muscle.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 2nd May 2022
A tricep bar vs EZ curl bar comparison to show the differences

In this Tricep bar vs EZ curl bar comparison, you’ll learn about all the differences between the tricep bar (also called a hammer curl bar) and the EZ bar (also called the easy curl bar).

Related Comparisons:

What is the difference between a tricep bar and an EZ curl bar?

A side by side tricep bar vs EZ bar comparison to illustrate the differences

The main difference between a tricep bar and an EZ curl bar is that you can use an EZ bar for a much wider variety of exercises. Tricep bars are only good for overhead extensions, hammer curls, and a few other exercises, whereas EZ bars give you so many more exercise possibilities.

Tricep bars place your wrists in a completely neutral position (one of the main tricep bar benefits), whereas EZ bars put your wrists in a semi-supinated or semi-pronated position depending on whether you use an overhand or underhand grip.

So while tricep bars are slightly more joint-friendly, they only have one grip option (neutral), whereas EZ bars have two (overhand and underhand), hence why tricep bars naturally have fewer workout possibilities.

Tricep bars are typically quite a bit shorter in length than EZ bars, which makes them more portable and means that they generally weigh less. While tricep bars weigh around 20 lbs, EZ curl bars usually weigh between 20 lbs and 30 lbs.

Since they’re smaller, tricep bars are usually a bit cheaper than EZ bars, something that’s worth considering if you’re shopping for a new bar on a budget.

Tricep bar vs EZ curl bar: Which is best for building muscle?

A man showing that you can use a tricep bar or EZ bar to build muscle

It depends on which muscle you’re trying to build. Tricep bars, as the name suggests, are slightly better for developing the triceps because they put your elbows and wrists in a neutral position, which allows many people to train pretty much pain-free during overhead extensions.

As for the biceps, since you can do hammer curls with a tricep bar, they’re good for developing the brachioradialis and brachialis. However, since EZ bars allow you to curl with a semi-supinated grip, they’re much better for working the biceps (and equally as good for training the brachialis and brachioradialis when you use an overhand grip).

EZ bars are better for working the back (rows) because tricep bars are only good for training your arms and the front of your shoulders (with front raises).

Still, both types of bars can help you to build muscle when used strategically in the context of a wider training program.

Which one is better for gaining strength

A weight lifter doing an EZ bar vs tricep bar comparison to show the differences

Again, it depends on the particular exercise that you want to get stronger at. Tricep bars are obviously better at gaining strength on hammer curls—because you can’t do hammer curls with an EZ bar.

In terms of progressive overload, both bars are equal because you can add small weight plates to either side in order to increase the resistance in manageable increments.

Since EZ bars typically have a higher starting weight, however, you could argue that tricep bars are better for gaining strength faster initially because you won’t be lifting as much weight by default.

EZ curl bar vs tricep bar: The verdict

A man performing a EZ curl bar vs tricep bar comparison to see which is best

As mentioned in this tricep bar vs EZ curl bar comparison, the main difference between the two bars is that tricep bars have neutral grips, whereas EZ bars offer both semi-pronated and semi-supinated grips.

While it’s true that some tricep bars have two grip options, the slanted grip isn’t usually worth using because the completely neutral grip is better for just about every exercise.

Tricep bars are also smaller and generally weigh less than EZ bars, which means that they’re cheaper.

Overall, one isn’t better than the other because they both serve different purposes. Nonetheless, If I could only buy or use one bar, it would definitely be the EZ bar because it has far more exercise options than the tricep bar.

James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
chevron-upmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram