The EZ bar is a common gym equipment popularly used for arm exercises like bicep curls and many more. However, the EZ bar is also very suitable for working on your lower body with exercises like front squats, the Zercher squats, overhead squats, and many more. This article will explore whether using an EZ bar for front squats is an excellent idea for building your lower body muscles.
EZ bars are like regular barbells, but they curl in an s-shape along their length, making it easier and more natural to hold with two hands as against a straight regular bar. Because of this unique appearance, the EZ bar is more cut out for different exercises than the regular bar. I recommend the Rogue curl bar for comfort and balance while using an EZ bar for your front squats.
Using EZ bars for squats may be more challenging and less safe than using a regular bar. This is because the bar may not rest nicely on your back and shoulders because of the s-curve, making it difficult to concentrate on the squats. Using the EZ bar with a squat rack will also be difficult. This limits you to squats where you pick the bar off the ground instead of from a squat rack. This is where the front squat comes in.
💡 Quick Tip: If you want the benefits of a home gym and using a barbell, you can invest in a squat rack to help you perform your squats at home. You can check out the Rogue sml-2c squat stand, as it is perfect for home squats.
Rogue sml-2c squat stand
The front squat
The front squat is a squat variation that is perfect for the EZ bar and is a nice addition to your leg program. The EZ bar is ideal for this exercise because the s-curve makes it easier for you to perform the front squat. In addition, the front squat start position requires you to pick the bar off the ground.
Like other squats, the front squat targets your lower body muscles, including your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. However, front squats also specifically work your quads more so than regular back squats. Front squats also recruit your core muscles while strengthening your lower back. You ideally should perform front squats with lower weights than you would with back squats because they primarily target the quads.
These form requirements for performing the front squat, lifting the weights from the ground, and holding the bar in front of you, make the EZ bar perfect for the front squat.
📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: The Best Workouts You Can Do With a Squat Rack
How to perform the front squat with the EZ bar
After loading the EZ bar with the weights you are comfortable carrying, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the bar along the S-curve, ensuring that both your palms are facing you. The next step is to do a power clean to get the bar off the floor and in front of your shoulders. This is the position you squat in.
With the bar at the top of the power clean position, squat to bring your thighs parallel to the floor, then straighten back up to end one rep of the front squat. You can repeat it as many times as possible. You may drop the weights on the ground loosely after your rep, so I recommend the Rogue crash mat to help you protect your floors from the impacts of the weights.
Other squats you can perform with the EZ bar
Like the front squat, you can perform other squat variations with the EZ bar. Some of them are:
The Zercher squat
Unlike the front squat, where you are better off carrying lighter weights, the Zercher squat can be done with heavier weights. This is because the squat’s position makes lifting heavier bars easier for your body.
The Zercher squat is good for developing your glutes, quads, and hip flexors. Furthermore, it can improve the depth of your squat and help keep your torso upright when you squat. As a result, it helps you develop strength while reducing injury risks.
📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: How to Keep Your Back Straight During Squats
To perform them, first deadlift the bar to your thighs, then wrap your hands around it so that your palms are facing your chest while the bar rests inside your elbows. This should put you in a squat position with the bar in front of you. Simply straighten yourself up with the weight and go down back to complete a rep.
💡 Quick Tip: Performing the Zercher squats is excellent for developing your lower body and reducing injury risks. However, holding the bar in your arm may be uncomfortable. This is why I recommend the Strong elbow sleeves to provide more comfort and stability to your arms while lifting.
Strong elbow sleeves
The Overhead squat
The overhead squat is yet another squat that you can perform very well with an EZ bar. It is an intense workout that also engages your shoulder and core muscles while primarily strengthening your lower body.
Overhead squats are also good with an EZ bar workout because you need to perform it with fewer weights than a regular barbell squat, like the front squat. This is because it is easier to load a bar with enough weight for a great leg exercise without compromising the ability to pick it up from the ground when there is no barbell rack.
To perform the overhead squat, sink into a squat position, then grab the loaded EZ bar on its straight side, keeping your feet at shoulder-width distance. Carry the bar overhead through a clean and press, then begin squatting with the bar above your head.
Keep your arms extended during the workout but ensure your elbows are not locked to allow free flow of tension. You should also keep your cores tight and maintain good balance while squatting. Additionally, keep the weight evenly distributed on both feet, as more or less weight on one foot can make you lose balance and increase injury risks. You need a solid grip to perform the overhead squat properly, so I recommend the Mechanix fingerless covert gloves for excellent grip.