Safety squat bars have become a preferred piece of workout equipment for most fitness enthusiasts today. It provides core stability and reduces the strain on wrists, elbows, and shoulders as the user doesn’t have to bend them awkwardly to hold the bar. This has led many to let go of the traditional straight bar and make the switch.
A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research states that using safety squat bars (SSB) result in “more upright trunk angle, which places less stress on the lower back, a commonly injured area when squatting.”
After a lot of research and reading insightful customer reviews, we have curated the list of the five best safety squat bars based on their features, pricing, and durability. Read on to know more.
Our Top 3 Picks:
|Gronk Fitness Safety Squat Bar||Popsport Olympic Safety Squat Bar||Ader Safety Squat Olympic Bar|
|Pros|| 1000 lbs Weight Capacity
Comfortable to Use
| 700 lbs Weight Capacity
Easy to Use
| High Weight Capacity 1000-1500 lbs
Offers Firm Grip
|Price||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE|
5 Best Safety Squat Bars
Safety squat bars are an excellent addition to your home/commercial gym. It’s best for the days you don’t have too much strength to workout or have recently suffered an injury. They are quite versatile and can also help improve your squatting technique. Now, let’s talk about these safety squat bars in detail.
The Gronk fitness family has taken the charge of making exercise and gym time easier and more effective for fellow fitness enthusiasts. The 81’’ safety squat bar has been designed to prevent excessive hip flexion and knee stresses during squats. It weighs 45 lbs and is built with 30mm heavy-duty stainless steel, which will last you long.
Unlike a straight bar, you don’t have to put pressure on your hands and wrist to use this bar. Besides the back squats, it can be used to perform front squats, Zercher squats, walking lunges, good mornings, and even box squats. It helps reduce the strain on your shoulder, hip, knee, and lower back.
- The safety squat bar has a weight capacity of 1000 lbs which makes it ideal for many lifters, beginners to advanced.
- The 30 degrees angled camber lets the bar fit on your shoulders with ease. It distributes the weight evenly across your shoulders for you to perform squats without putting the entire load on your lower back.
- It offers a viable alternative to a regular back squat for athletes with limited chest and shoulder mobility.
- It has three comfortable neck and shoulder pads, the quality of which is at par with several competitors. The pads give you extra control and balance while performing the squats. Also, this is helpful from a safety perspective.
- The pad handles are sweat proof, so your grip on the bar is good. This also prevents unnecessary breaks to dry your hands.
- 1000 lbs weight capacity
- Comfortable to use
- Has sweat-proof handles
- Good-quality padding
- Pads might get out of place at times
The Gronk Fitness safety squat bar is perfect for home gyms and will be a substantial addition to your workout routine. It makes it easier for you to transition from using a straight bar. This extremely versatile bar is a must-have for all fitness enthusiasts.
Why did we decide to put this boxing glove in the #1 position?
The top-notch quality and features of the product led us to put it in our #1 position. Also, as it can accommodate a variety of exercises, it is a top choice for both novice and professional lifters.
Also Read: Best Calf Raise Machines
Our second pick is the 86 inch long bar from TDS. It is made by New York Barbells, a well-known heavy-duty fitness equipment manufacturer. This is a knurled safety squat bar (SSB) that is ideal for performing heavy squats. It is also available in a weight capacity of 600 lbs for beginners.
It has a steel construction which makes the bar sturdy and durable. The SSB is suitable for serious powerlifters who train daily. It is beneficial in reducing stress on your shoulders and neck. As the bar is longer than the standard power racks, the customers receive J-hooks to store it, once the workout is over.
- This bar, like the Gronk Fitness bar, has a weight capacity of 1000 lbs. It weighs 65 pounds, making it slightly heavier than standard safety squat bars. It is more suitable for professional lifters.
- The chrome knurling pattern on the bar creates friction between your hand and the bar. This, in turn, helps you maintain a good grip while squatting.
- It has high-density foam padding on the neck and shoulders to provide you adequate support. The padding is covered with slip-resistance vinyl and proper stitching.
- The bar comes with spinning wheels, which is not a very common feature in safety squat bars. But its addition to the product ensures a smooth lifting experience.
- It allows you to maintain a good balance while squatting, a feature that many customers have appreciated.
- 1000 lbs weight capacity
- Slip-resistant padding cover
- Has a chrome-plated bar finish
- Knurling pattern offers better grip
- Weight cuffs are not as good
- Slightly heavier
The knurling pattern on the bar is a promising feature for better squat performance. The high-quality foam padding is something to look out for. It’s perfect for fitness buffs who prefer to train at home. However, the price can be a deal-breaker for some people.
Manufactured by Ader Sporting goods, this SSB is a must-have in your home/commercial gym collection. It is available in two lengths: 84 inches and 94 inches. You might need a large space to store and train with the bar as it is quite long. The alloy steel build makes it durable, which will last you a lifetime.
This SSB allows you to perform squats without putting excess load on your back. If you’re someone suffering from injuries or have limited shoulder mobility, it will indulge in a safe and effective workout. It is compatible with squat stands, rack, and also bench presses.
- This squat bar has a weight capacity of 1000–1500 lbs, making it a suitable choice for professional lifters. It can carry any type of heavy load.
- It comes with a pressure collar to secure the weight plates to the barbell bar. This is beneficial from a safety perspective.
- The foam rollers on the shoulder and neck are dense enough to offer you adequate support. It has vinyl covers that are not only moisture resistant but also durable.
- The cambered bar design in combination with the bar handles offers a good grip to maintain your squat form during each rep.
- High weight capacity 1000–1500 lbs
- Sturdy construction
- Offers powerful grip
- It might be difficult to load the bar
- Customer service is not great
The Ader SSB’s quality features and affordability has made it the talk of the town. It is perfect for fitness enthusiasts who have suffered injuries and find it tough to work out. The 1000 lbs weight capacity bar should be better suited for them.
Related: Best Adjustable Kettlebell
Our next pick is the premium quality bar from Popsport. The proprietary coating processes and specialty finishes on the SSB make it rust-resistant. It adds to the durability of the bar, provided it is used and cared for properly. This 30mm bar is built from high tensile steel. It’s easy to use and clean.
The Popsport SSB takes your workout to the next level. It will help train your upper back, lower back, legs and even support the fat burning. It offers stability and lets you squat without hurting your neck, shoulder, and back.
- The bar can easily handle a weight of up to 700 lbs. This makes it ideal for beginners and mid-level lifters. It is better suited for tall people.
- The 30 degrees angled camber that fits on your shoulders allows squatting without putting the entire load on your lower back. It makes it easier for people with limited shoulder mobility or upper-body injuries to hold the bar and exercise.
- The bent bar lowers down the weight plates added to the side to stabilize your center of gravity. It is designed to fit 2’’ Olympic weight plates for you to exercise your leg muscles and buttocks.
- It has padded foam rollers that put less pressure on your body and reduce the shocks while you squat or perform lunges. It is covered in vinyl for added comfort.
- The SSB is easy to use, and the handgrip lets you control the bar while lifting it up and down. It makes your workout smooth.
- Sturdy built
- Durable and rust-resistant coating
- 700 lbs weight capacity
- Easy to use
- The SSB needs to be assembled
- Some consumers have questioned the padding quality
It is an excellent option for users who want to invest in their home gym. It supports fat loss and can help you maintain lean muscle mass. Its rust-resistant feature and sturdy steel construction are something to look out for. However, the assembly might be a little tricky.
The Titan Fitness Safety Squat Bar is known for its quality and ease of use. It is quite similar to an Olympic barbell and offers a good balance to the user. It has a durable steel construction that can withstand all types of workouts.
The bar is 86’’ inches long with a weight of 45 lbs, like most standard safety squat bars. Like most safety squat bars, it enables zero external shoulder rotation for shoulder preservation and recovery. As per the customer reviews, it is better suited for people with broad shoulders.
- This SSB can easily accommodate 2” Olympic plates and has a weight capacity of 700 lbs which is quite decent for beginner and mid-level fitness enthusiasts.
- The shoulder and neck pads are very comfortable and reduce unnecessary strain on your shoulders. This also keeps your neck from weighing down as you squat.
- It has bent sleeves that help stabilize the center of gravity. It lowers down the plates about 4 inches so that you have more balance and control. Your hips, knees, and spine will be locked in space as you perform the squat.
- The comfortable hand grips on the bar give you more control. It also helps you remain safe and prevent any accidents during the workout.
- The bar distributes the weight evenly across your shoulder, and you don’t need to use your arms to support it. Therefore, you can better concentrate on performing squats.
- 700 lbs weight capacity
- Has good-quality neck and shoulder padding
- Has comfortable hand grips
- Offers 4-inch hand drop for increased stability
- May not be suitable for professional lifters
- Durability is questionable
You will get a bang for your buck with this product. It is reasonably priced and has good-quality features. The hand grips make it easier for you to squat and maintain an upright position. Also, the padding is quite comfortable and easy on your neck and shoulders.
Also Read: Best Adjustable Dumbbells
Safety Squat Bar: Buying Guide
As you make the switch from a standard barbell to a safety squat bar, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. A little research goes a long way and can help you decide which is the right bar for you. So, we put together this buying guide for you to check out and follow while making the purchase. Take a look:
The safety squat bar’s weight capacity usually ranges up to 1500 lbs. The higher the weight capacity, the more expensive the bar is supposed to be. It depends on your personal choice of how much weight you can carry now and also consider this from a future perspective. Also, do remember that some SSBs are not compatible with 2’’ Olympic bumper plates.
The quality of the padding matters a lot in a safety squat bar. Most safety squat bars have high-density foam which is beneficial in reducing the strain of the neck and shoulders. Also, the customers prefer vinyl covers on the padding. The material is moisture resistant and also durable.
Knurling is a straight, angled, or crossed line pattern, which usually goes in opposite directions on the barbell. This pattern digs into your skin and provides a better grip when performing the squats. However, not all safety squat bars are knurled. Therefore, if you need better grip and balance in your workout, go for the one that offers this feature.
The safety squat bars come in a variety of lengths. Before you buy one, make sure you have enough space in your gym to use and place the bar. This is important because most bar racks are standard in size and may not accommodate longer safety squat bars. You may also find it difficult to train with very long bars.
Apart from the padding, the bar quality also needs to be taken into consideration. Although all safety squats bars are made up of steel, a few extra features like chrome plating and solid finish add to their quality. They also protect the bar from rust and corrosion, allowing it to last for a longer period of time.
The price range of a safety squat bar depends on the brands you are buying from. You also need to consider your amount of use while making the purchase. If you won’t be using it regularly, it’s better to opt for a low-cost SSB. Although safety squat bars are not too expensive, they must be worth the money you are spending on them. It should have solid features and a robust build to last you for a longer period of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a Safety Squat Bar do?
The safety bar has forward handles for you to perform squats even with limited shoulder mobility. Also, it allows you to maintain an upright position while squatting so that there is much less stress on your lower back. The pressure is directed towards your glutes and quads to exercise them better. It also prevents your core from collapsing and lets you open your hips and knees more freely, lowering the chances of injury.
How heavy is a Safety Squat Bar?
The weight of a safety squat bar depends on the brand you are buying from. However, they are usually within the weight range of 45 to 70 lbs.
How is a Safety Squat Bar beneficial for people with limited shoulder mobility?
Most beginners do not have the shoulder mobility to withstand a straight barbell. This is also common in people who had been following a sedentary lifestyle earlier. A safety squat bar enables zero external shoulder rotation. The handles are right there in front of you and don’t have to put your hands on the bar while performing squats. The bar load is evenly spread over three comfortable paddings, which puts less pressure on your shoulders and also lower back.
What exercises can you do with a Safety Squat Bar?
Apart from the back squats, you can perform box squats, good mornings, suspended squats, front squats, Zercher squats, and walking lunges with a safety squat bar.
How often should I use a Safety Squat Bar?
A safety squat bar is great fitness equipment for your workout goals. You can use it on all lower body exercise days. It will take off the pressure from your lower back. You will be able to maintain an upright position while squatting with a safety squat bar.
Do Safety Bar Squats work the hamstrings?
Although safety bar squats can work the hamstrings, they are not the primary movement for this purpose. You can do the stiff-leg good mornings with a safety squat bar instead to work on your hamstrings.
How is a Safety Squat Bar work during training with an injury?
A safety squat bar enables you to work out even with a shoulder or pec injury. Unlike a straight barbell, it doesn’t cause any pain, discomfort, or affect the injured area. The grip of such a barbell puts pressure on your shoulder. However, a safety squat bar makes the workout less intense but doesn’t compromise on the quality. It is placed on your trap and shoulder comfortably, with the weight evenly distributed to put less pressure on them.
Can you squat more with Safety Squat Bars?
A study showed that the users squat 11.3% less with a safety squat bar as compared to barbells. The squats performed with safety bars have lower trap Electromyography (EMG), a medical technique to measure the level of muscle activation and allow more upright positions. On the other hand, straight barbells have higher 3RM (repetition maximum) and greater EMG readings.
To sum it up, safety squat bars are an excellent alternative to straight barbells. They aim to increase your overall body strength and enhance your core and leg muscles. Many fitness buffs use it when they require a break from intense everyday training. You can choose the right one from the suggested SSBs as per requirements and move one step closer to your fitness goals.