The 10 Best Curl Bars
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Weight training can be used for everything from body sculpting to strengthening, so our selection of curl bars includes something for everyone, from Olympic athletes to regular folks just trying to stay fit and look their best. Instead of wasting money on a gym membership and time spent driving to and from the facility, just wail on your biceps from the comfort of your home. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 15, 2020:
The main reason people use a curl bar is because it offers better ergonomics than a straight barbell when doing the exercise in its name. An angled hand position reduces the amount of torque and pressure placed on the wrists and elbows, which helps to reduce the chance of injury while simultaneously putting more focus on the biceps.
Since getting a curl bar is all about ergonomics, one of the main considerations when choosing a model should be how the hand positioning lines up with your particular desires. For example, some may prefer a very aggressive angle, such as that found in the Cap Barbell Super 1210, whereas others may favor a very moderate angle, like what you get with the Cap Barbell RB-47B. For the most part though, we think people tend to want something that falls in the middle of these two extremes, which is why models like the XMark Fitness Convict, Cap Olympic EZ, Body Solid OB47B, and XMark Fitness XM-3670 make up a good majority of our selections.
Those who need something for hammer curls will be best off choosing the Titan Fitness Olympic Triceps or Valor Fitness OB-Multi. We like the latter better as it provides a lot more variety in your hand positioning, allowing for more versatile workouts. That being said, the Titan Fitness Olympic Triceps is significantly smaller, so if space is an issue for you, it might be better to go with this one, though you will be much more limited in which parts of your bicep and other muscles you can target with it.
Another thing to consider is the kind of plates a particular model accommodates. If you already own Olympic plates, you need to make sure to choose a model with large sleeves that accommodates them, and vice versa for standard plates. The Valor Fitness OB-Multi stands out in this area as well. because you can remove the Olympic sleeves so the bar can be used with standard plates when needed.
Finally, you will also have to factor in weight capacity. Serious body builders should lean towards a bar that can hold a lot of weight without risk of failure, such as the XMark Fitness Convict, Body Solid OB47B, and XMark Fitness XM-3670, all of which offer a 300-pound or greater capacity. For the casual lifter though, this may not be as much of an issue. For example, the Marcy SOC-49 only has a 100-pound capacity, but few people curl more than that anyways. We would be the least comfortable loading the Marcy Super SCB-248 to its maximum capacity due to its two-piece construction, however, we included it anyways just in case somebody has need of a bar they can breakdown for storage or transportation reasons.
August 08, 2019:
Curl bars are a great way to isolate your biceps, which should allow you to see quicker gains in a shorter period of time. What you may immediately notice when looking at this list is that all of the options on it are angled in some manner. While you can certainly perform curls with a straight bar, fitness professionals generally agree that using an angled bar provides essentially the same results, but with less chance of injuring the elbows or wrists.
For simplicity's sake, we are going to say we have included two types of curl bars on this list: EZ curl bars and hammer curl bars. EZ curl bars, like the XMark Fitness Convict, Champion Barbell EZ, Body Solid OB47B, XMark Fitness XM-3670, Marcy SOC-49, HulkFit Solid, and Cap Barbell RB-47B provide you with narrow and wide hand positions, which concentrate on the long and short head of the biceps, respectively.
We have decided to lump a variety of different styles into the hammer curl bars category because they allow you to perform this exercise, but in truth, our broad use of the term includes multi-grip and super bars. The Titan Fitness Olympic Triceps, Valor Fitness OB-Multi, and Cap Barbell Super all allow you to perform curls with your hands in a parallel position. This targets both the biceps and the forearms, so you'll be creating a stronger grip for deadlifts, pulling, and other power movements, at the same time you are increasing muscle mass in your upper arms.
Serious lifters should look to bars that have a very high weight capacity, such as the XMark Fitness Convict, Body Solid OB47B, XMark Fitness XM-3670, HulkFit Solid, and Valor Fitness OB-Multi, all of which can accommodate at least 300 pounds. The chances of outgrowing one of these and ever having to upgrade to a stronger model are slim. Casual lifters can save a bit of money and go with Champion Barbell EZ, Marcy SOC-49, Cap Barbell Super, or Cap Barbell RB-47B.
Whichever model you choose, make sure to pay attention to what kind of plates it uses. If you buy a bar that takes Olympic plates, but only have standard plates at your home or gym, or vice versa, they won't be compatible with each other.
Ivanko OBZ-55 Don't be fooled by the name, the Ivanko OBZ-55 is actually made in the U.S.A. It features a beautiful black oxide finish and is designed to stand up to the rigors of commercial use. However, it has isolated knurling, which some may love and others may dislike, as this dictates your hand placement. ivankobarbell.com
American Barbell EZ Curl There is no doubt, this is an extremely pricey option, but it is crafted of high-grade stainless steel that has a minimum tensile strength of 110K PSI, so the chances of it ever breaking or even bending are very slim. It also has near-unmatched corrosion resistance. americanbarbell.com
Rogue Curl Bar With a surprisingly heavy 30-pound weight, this bar isn't suitable for those who aren't already curling at least that much. As you may already have guessed, it is intended for dedicated lifters really looking to bulk up those arms. This is evident by the 10.50-inch long loadable sleeve length, high maximum weight capacity, and cambered design that helps reduce stress on joints while simultaneously isolating the muscles you are working on. roguefitness.com