Tip: Smoke Your Legs With an EZ-Bar

It's not just for arm day, you meathead. Try these awesome lower-body exercises.

Every gym has an EZ-curl bar, and it's not just for arm day. It's actually a great tool for lower-body training. Due to the unique shape of the bar, two positions work well: the front rack or front squat position, and the Zercher.

The Front Rack

Holding the EZ-bar in a California-style (arms crossed) front rack is as comfortable as it gets. Here's how it looks with a rear-foot elevated split squat:

Many struggle with the standard front rack because of mobility restrictions and jacked-up shoulders. The shape of the EZ-bar sits nicely on the shoulders, while the California grip adds to the comfort.

The narrow width of the bar also makes it less awkward for beginners, as well as for times when the squat rack is taken up or space is limited. Having an EZ-bar in your garage gym is always a good idea.

Benefits of the front rack include a more upright torso, a forward load distribution, greater quadriceps dominance, and solid trunk development.

The Zercher Position

The shape of the bar fits nicely in the crooks of the elbows, and a little padding increases the comfort of this sometimes-awkward setup. Here's how it looks with a squat:

That anterior load will fire up nearly every muscle in your body. It's a good position to use if you're limited on workout time, and it's great for those involved in MMA and tactical strength and conditioning. In the Zercher position you can squat, lunge, split squat, hip hinge, and do step-ups and loaded carries.


The front rack position is easy. For the Zercher however, you might want to use some elbow or knee sleeves, a towel, or fat grips for added padding.

If there's respectable weight on the bar it can be awkward to pick the bar up and get it into position. You have four options:

  1. Sit the bar on a gym bench and load it there. Take it from a kneeling or half-kneeling position.
  2. Use free-moving (independent) squat stands. This is the best option for bigger weights.
  3. Load the bar while it sits in a preacher bench and take it from there.
  4. Set the Zercher position off the floor. You're also welcome to pick it up like a gorilla if your body allows you to.

Exercise Options

Zercher Good Morning (Staggered Stance)

Front Rack Lunge

Zercher Lunge

Zercher Split Squat

Step-ups and loaded carries also work great with an EZ-bar in either the Zercher or front rack position.

Gareth Sapstead is a leading strength and physique coach from the UK. He specializes in problem solving and breakthrough training techniques.

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