When it comes time to start setting up your home gym, or if you already have one, an essential piece of equipment is going to be the curl bar. Another term that is used to describe these are barbells. It’s a long bar that allows for weights to be placed on either end and secured. There are a plethora of exercises that can be completed with a curl bar and they are used in bodybuilding, weightlifting, weight training, and powerlifting.
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There are a variety of types of curl bars out there, so finding the best curl bar for your workout is essential. If you get a bar that is too big or doesn’t allow for the weight plates you need to complete your exercises, you aren’t going to benefit from having one. Before purchasing one, make sure that you check out the ones that we’ve reviewed in detail to get a better idea of which one is going to work best for you.
1) Troy Barbell Olympic
The Troy Barbell Olympic has been built to withstand use in a professional gym. It is made of high-quality materials that give it a premium appearance and also comes in an all black finish. It is available in two different lengths including the standard 47-inch or a 5-foot version. The knurling is deep and diamond in shape for a quality grip. The bar itself weighs around 18 pounds before adding any weights to it. The sleeves rotate so there is no irritating squeak from spinning weight plates during a workout routine.
- 47-inch or 5-foot versions
- Rotating sleeves
- Diamond knurling
- 18 pounds
- 27-mm diameter
- Fits Olympic sized plates
2) XMark Fitness
This curl bar weighs 22 pounds which is a slightly more massive than other average barbells like it. Olympic plates can be slid over the 2-inch sleeves on the ends. The ends rotate so that the plates won’t turn the bar during a workout. The knurling is sufficient to give enough grip without causing pain or discomfort to your hands. The center part of the curl bar doesn’t have any knurling leaving it a bit slippery, so it may not be as effective for narrow grip exercises. The finish comes in a chrome or black option. The downside to the finish is that it seems as though it comes off fairly easily. The black stays on a bit better than the chrome.
- Rotating ends
- 22 pounds
- 28 mm grip
- 400-pound weight capacity
- Brass bushings
3) Body Solid OB47B
The Body Solid OB47B comes in both black and chrome finishes. It holds the 2-inch Olympic weight plates. The bar has subtle angles, but it’s still comfortable and easy to use. The knurling is satisfactory to complete various exercises without having any problems. There have been some customers that have reported the spring collars are missing when their packaging arrives. Other users have stated that the black version of this bar isn’t the best curl bar because it starts to rust quickly.
- Comes in black or chrome
- Holds 2” Olympic plates
- Adequate knurling
4) Apex Marcy
If muscle isolation is what you’re looking for in the best curl bar, that’s what you’re going to find with the Apex Marcy. This barbell has some of the most dramatic angles of all bars of this type. The spins lock on to keep weights in place. There isn’t much flex that occurs even under hefty weight loads. The knurling is nice, but it’s only in one area restricting the variety of exercises that can be done with this piece of equipment. Shipping weight is about 12 pounds, so the weight of the bar is close to that. It holds standard 1-inch plates and is made of solid steel.
- Spin locks
- Sharp angles for muscle isolation
- Solid steel
- Holds standard 1” plates
5) Cap Barbell Standard Super
The Cap Barbell Standard Super is another one of the bars on the market with a unique set of angles to provide for various grips. You can use it overhand, underhand, or at a variety of other positions to complete the workouts you are looking to for specific muscle group targeting. The steel collars are threaded for safety and security. It is a bar that allows for tricep extensions to be done with it as well, while most other bars don’t have that capability. The bar weighs 13 pounds alone.
- Weighs 13 pounds
- Solid steel
- Chrome finish
- Fits standard 1” plates
- Unique texture and loop design
6) Valor Fitness MB – 47
This is the best curl bar for serious weightlifters. It is 25 pounds all by itself, making it one of the heaviest curl bars on the market. That can be a pro or a con, depending on your individual preference for a bar. Each of the sleeves is long which allows for maximum Olympic-sized 2-inch weights to be added to each side for the lifting workout.
- 25-pound bar
- 47” length
- Fits 2” plates
- Solid steel
- Chrome finish
7) Impex Apex SOC 49
One of the best curl bars on the market that was reviewed was the Impex Apex SOC 49. It’s made from solid steel and a chrome exterior making it resistant to rust. The bar holds the Olympic-sized 2-inch weights. It seems to be curved at the proper angles to keep your body protected and comfortable during use.
- Weighs 15 pounds
- Compatible with Olympic 2” weights
- Solid steel
- Chrome finish
- Comes with two plate collars
8) Champion Barbell CHSBCURL
The Champion Barbell is one of the more affordable options when it comes to adding the best curl bar to your home gym. It has angles that seem to be a bit mellower than other products like it. If you’re looking for that kind of a bend, it’s one to consider. The knurling provides a grip that is solid, but it doesn’t run all the way across the bar. It makes it somewhat ineffective to use for narrow grip exercises. The bar weighs 10.7 pounds on its own making it one of the lighter bars out there. You can use a load of up to 160 pounds of plates of regular size. The entire curl bar is made from a solid piece of steel so it reduces the amount sounds that come from it during the workout. The finish is chrome making look nice in the gym.
- Bar weighs 10.7 pounds
- Holds 160 pounds
- Chrome plating
- Solid piece of steel
9) CAP Barbell Standard
The CAP Barbell Standard is an EZ-style curl bar that holds 1-inch plates. The weight of the bar alone is around 10 pounds, but the manufacturer never supplied that information. The collars spin and screw on the sides of the bar to hold the plates in place. The bend isn’t as remarkable as the bends in some other barbells of this type, but there is still enough there for protection.
This bar is helpful for both narrow and wide grips, and the knurling goes over most of the bar’s surface.
The quality doesn’t appear to be all that premium, and the chrome coating tends to start chipping away reasonably quickly with the screwing and unscrewing of the collars.
- 10 pounds
- Holds 1” plates
- Screw on collars
10) Titan 47”
When on your search for the best curl bar, the Titan 47” is one that you should check. It is a bit longer than other curl bars, and it holds Olympic-sized plates. This is nice for taller athletes and those that want to do close grip bench presses or upright rows as part of their workouts. The coating is quality, and the sleeves are securely attached giving it a premium quality appearance and feel. The knurling travels across the bar as well as deep into it and provides a firm grip. Big plates tend to spin around during exercise, and the rotating plates on this bar allow for extra comfort when that starts happening. The sharp angles on the bar provide for a different kind of a grip as well. The sleeves can get slippery so a set of collars might be necessary. There are no spring collars included with this curl bar.
- Longer than other bars
- 2” Olympic plate compatible
- Deep knurling
- Rotating sleeves
Best Curl Bar Exercises
Hopefully, you can pick out the best curl bar for your home gym after going over what’s been reviewed above. Whether you are an experienced weight lifter or one just starting out on your workout journey, you now have to know what to do with your curl bar when it arrives. You shouldn’t just start lifting weights without first learning how to properly carry out each exercise. Before beginning your workout regime, discover some of the best curl bar exercises to complete at home.
You start by loading up your curl bar with the maximum amount of weight you can lift at least six times without sacrificing your form. Ideally, you should be using small plates that are about five pounds each to complete this exercise. You start with that weight and do as many curl reps as possible without cheating. Then, set the bar down and take a plate off from each side. Don’t rest and pick the bar back up and do another set of reps until you can’t do another one without failing. Set the bar down again and take off another weight repeating the process. Continue doing this until your last set is just you lifting the bar with no weight on it.
When you think of using a curl bar, most of the time it’s associated with bicep curls. That means that the reverse curl often gets pushed aside. To get a completely formed armed, the forearm can be sculpted with a reverse curl. Hold on to the bar on the first set of angled grips with palms facing down in a reverse grip. Keep your elbows at your sides and pull your hands up towards your biceps. In the event you feel any discomfort, be sure that your elbows aren’t coming too far out to the side. You can also reduce the weight if pain occurs.
That might sound a bit intimidating at first, because that’s what you’ll be doing is 100 reps. It’s only recommended to do this once a month to put some real strain on your muscles and shock them a bit. Use around 40% of the weight you usually would to complete an exercise that requires 8 reps. Your first set you are going to do 50 bar curls. Count them off as 5 sets of 10. Then rest for two minutes. The second time do 30 reps and rest two minutes and then finish with the final 20 reps.
Three different movements allow for a complete bicep workout doing 21’s. They have been proven to be one of the fastest techniques for building mass in that muscle area. Using 75% of the weights you normally would for an 8 rep exercise, load up your best curl bar. Do seven reps curling from the bottom about halfway up to where your arms are parallel to the ground. On the 8th rep go all the way up then come down just halfway. Go through another 7 reps in this fashion. On the 15th rep, do a complete top to bottom curl and finish out the last of the 21 in that same manner.
These exercises work your traps. Just grab the bar in a narrow grip overhand position. Stand with your spine in a neutral position with your shoulders back. Pull the weight up and towards your ears. Hold the traps and release. Repeat until the point of failure; or until you can no longer do a rep without cheating.
When on the search for the best curl bar to add to your own home gym, there are a variety of factors that you need to take into consideration before purchasing one. First of all, you have to know what kinds of exercises you plan to do with your curl bar. Not all bars are suitable for all exercises.
Secondly, take into thought what quality of bar you want. If you aren’t worried about the appearance of the bar itself or how well the finish holds up, you can easily purchase one that’s less expensive that will still get the job done.
Also, consider what kinds of weights you plan to put on your bar. Some of them hold the standard 1-inch plates while others carry a 2-inch. You want to be sure that your bar is compatible with the weights you intend to use.
The best curl bar for your workouts in your home gym is out there. Take the time to go over these that have been reviewed to be sure that the one you are making the final decision on has all the features that you are expecting.