EZ bar curls seem to be equally as popular (if not more popular in some gyms) than standard barbell curls.
The reduction in stress placed on your wrists and elbows thanks to those perfectly placed bends and curves in the bar make for an interesting piece of gym equipment.
Preacher curls have been a longstanding arm-building exercise for many gym-goers.
Seeing your biceps bulge as your arms are supported by the preacher pad can be a rewarding sight at the end of your arm workouts.
Even though both EZ bar curls and preacher curls are great exercises for building size and strength in your arms – is one of them better than the other?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re looking at in this article.
We compare EZ bar curls and preacher curls to see if one has more benefits than the other or if there is room for both in an effective arm workout.
What’s The Difference Between EZ Bar Curls And Preacher Curls?
EZ bar curls are performed standing up using an EZ bar in the same way you would use a barbell for barbell curls.
Preacher curls are done using a preacher bench with the back of your upper arms supported on a pad.
Preacher curls help to reduce momentum and other muscle groups from assisting in the movement, whereas EZ bar curls are a more free-moving exercise.
EZ Bar Curls vs Preacher Curls: For Biceps
As they do a better job of isolating your biceps during the movement, preacher curls tend to be a more effective bicep building exercise.
Despite both using flexion of the elbow, preacher curls put your biceps into a position where they have to do most of the work throughout the exercise.
As your biceps are placed under more stress during preacher curls, they’re slightly better for building biceps than EZ bar curls.
EZ Bar Curls vs Preacher Curls: For Forearms
During EZ bar curls, your forearms work as stabilizing muscles.
Even though they’re not required to do much work, they’re placed under more stress in EZ bar curls than they are during preacher curls.
That’s why EZ bar curls are a bit better for building forearms.
EZ Bar Curls
EZ bar curls are a pretty simple exercise in both terms of movement and the technique required.
Flexion of the elbow is used for the exercise and the technique is as simple as lifting the weighted bar from an extended arm position to a flexed arm position.
While you can master the technique of preacher curls fairly easily, your biceps are placed under quite a lot of stress.
This makes preacher curls a challenging exercise to perform.
That being said, once you’ve found the appropriate weight to lift and got to grips with the technique, you shouldn’t have too many issues.
Preacher curls are harder than EZ bar curls.
This is mainly due to the fact that preacher curls isolate your biceps more than EZ bar curls do.
As more muscle groups can assist in the movement, EZ bar curls are typically easier to perform.
Ease of Access
EZ Bar Curls
As long as your gym has an EZ bar and some weight plates, you’ll find EZ bar curls to be very accessible.
EZ bars tend to be pretty common in gyms nowadays, so you’ll likely be able to find all the equipment you need for EZ bar curls.
The main downfall when it comes to ease of access for preacher curls is the need for a preacher bench.
While this may be quite common in some gyms, not all gyms have them.
Even if your gym has a preacher bench, it might be being used when you want to use it, which can cause issues and delays in your workout.
EZ bar curls have greater ease of access than preacher curls simply because they only need basic gym equipment in the form of an EZ bar and weight plates.
Preacher curls need a preacher bench to be able to perform them, which can make them a little bit harder to find the equipment you need.
EZ Bar Curls
You can perform EZ bar curls with a supinated grip (palms up) or a pronated grip (palms down). This can bring in different muscles groups to the exercise.
You could also use a standard barbell instead of an EZ bar.
Although commonly performed with a barbell, you can do preacher curls with dumbbells or an EZ bar too.
You can also do single arm preacher curls to isolate one arm at a time to ensure you use the correct technique.
Both exercises have good levels of variability with multiple variations being able to be performed.
You can change your grip or the equipment used in EZ bar curls and the equipment used for preacher curls, making them both very versatile exercises.
EZ Bar Curls vs Preacher Curls: Which Is Better?
It’s a tough choice trying to decide if one of these exercises is better than the other.
EZ bar curls have a slightly easier level of difficulty and ease of access.
That being said, preacher curls aren’t much harder to perform and a preacher bench is the only additional equipment needed.
As with most exercises in your training program, the one you prefer doing will likely be the one that stays in your workouts the longest.
When it comes to EZ bar curls and preacher curls, both are great for building big and strong arms so it might even be beneficial to include both in your arm workouts.
Hope this helped!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.