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Skipping leg day is one way your body will start looking a bit off. Just like every muscle group, your leg muscles should not be neglected.
And since the legs are usually the largest and naturally most used muscles of the body (assuming you live a pretty active lifestyle), they’re going to need a lot of focus in order to develop in strength and size. Typically we heavier weights and more muscle breakdown.
That’s why you’re going to have to do either a ton of squats or a decent amount with some heavy ass weights to aid in their development. Obviously, there are a couple of pieces of exercise equipment to help you out with that.
One of those pieces of equipment is the safety squat bar (SSB).
Comparison Of The Top Safety Squat Bars
Safety Squat Bar
Ader Safety Squat Olympic Bar
TDS Safety Squat Bar
Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar
Ader Safety Bar for Compact Spaces
TDS Buffalo Bow Bar
Now, what exactly is a safety squat bar and why should i use one?
Well, if you do heavy squats without the assistance of a SSB, you’ll start to have shoulder issues and problems with your mobility.
Even though in essence you’re focusing on your leg muscles, squats actually require the entire body to hold your weight and position. Squats are compound muscle exercises used mainly for building density, mass and strength.
The more you experiment with heavy weights, the harder it is for your body to stabilize its position. That could lead to muscle tears and damage to your joints as well.
Since we’re all about safety here, you’ve got to have the right equipment to avoid any injuries. Even if you have perfect form and you don’t go overboard with the weights, there is still a possibility of you straining your wrists and your back.
Remember, it’s not very smart to keep doing something if it always ends up with you in discomfort. That’s a sign that you’re doing something wrong.
Enter the safety squat bar. The SSB has foam-padded shoulder pads to cushion the weights against your shoulders and back and put you in a much supportive and stabilized position.
Trust us, this will make a world of difference in your squatting exercises.
The weight plates hang lower than they normally would because of the curves at the end of the bar.
So the tension on your body, trying to keep everything in place, is lifted off of your wrists and shoulders.
Again, the more comfortable you are, the more likely it is that you’ll get more squats in. More squats mean better results. It’s just a win-win.
That’s the main reason why this invention came to be. Before this was around, everyone was just using the traditional straight barbells.
While it still makes sense to have those around in every gym, they’re just not suitable for everyone – especially those with past shoulder injuries or just poor shoulder mobility in general.
Benefits of A Safety Squat Bar
Did you know that the SSB came from the powerlifting community? Yup, this was designed by people who know their stuff and use traditional straight barbells the most.
So what other benefits are there to using the safety squat bar?
Safety Squat Bars are very versatile.
Who knew that you can do so much with this oddly shaped bar? With traditional straight barbells, you’re pretty much limited to what you can do.
It would be kind of ballsy to do add some variation because you’re not supported at all. That’s just an accident waiting to happen.
Below are just some of the standard exercises that people typically do with the safety squat bar (to name a few).
- Back squat
- Zercher Squat
- Split Squats
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Front Lunge
- Back lunge
- Good Morning
- Seated Good Morning
- Single-Leg Good Morning
- Overhead Press
- Hip Thrusts
- Triceps Press
- Calf Raises
- Walking Lunge
The point that we’re trying to make here is that you won’t have to do the same repetitive workouts over and over again with this one piece of equipment. You can mix it up, so you won’t be bored and you can target specific muscles with different positions.
Building Muscle Becomes Less Strenuous – Hello Gainz
Even though this is a safety and support tool, by no means does it make squatting any easier. It’s just there to protect the parts of your body that are vulnerable to strain and stress.
It’s actually also designed to challenge you. And what happens when you keep challenging yourself? You’ll see the results that you want.
A safety squat bar sits a bit higher on the shoulders.
Not only will this improve your leg strength, you’ll be working a lot with your traps and lats as well. That’s just part of the workout.
But that’s not all. During most of the exercises that can be done on the safety squat bar, your core will be engaged. Typically engaging the entire body.
Safety Squat Bars Are Way More Comfortable
We’re not talking about lounging on the couch comfortable. We mean “less uncomfortable.” You’re not supposed to breeze through your squat exercises anyway. Otherwise, you must not be doing enough of them.
It significantly alleviates the stress on your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. That’s why we dread doing squats, right? So now there’s no excuse not to do them anymore.
Let’s just say that the SSB provides comfort for the parts of the body that need it. There’s no absolutely no reason why your shoulders should take a beating because you were working on your legs.
The handles that extend over your shoulders and the padded part that sits around your neck make it easier for you to grab onto the bar.
See, with traditional straight barbells, people have the tendency to rotate their shoulder when they start lifting.
That’s why before you’ll see any gains with straight bars, you have to work on your form for quite a while. But with the SSB, it kind of corrects your form for you.
And it doesn’t only help your upper extremities. It will help the rest of your body as well. How? It keeps your spine in a more vertical position.
This takes a load off your lower back, hips, knees and ankles, which not only
So if you’ve encountered any issues at all when doing squat exercises with a straight bar, then it’s high time you make the switch to a safety squat bar. Your body will thank you for it.
It’s A Must If You Are Over 6ft
Just in general, taller lifters just have a harder time doing squatting exercises. It’s the higher center of gravity and the longer spine that makes it a lot harder to control your form. So they have the tendency to curl their backs.
With a safety squat bar, it forces the lifter to stay upright, therefore alleviating the pressure from their back and shoulders.
Are you now thinking about getting a safety squat bar for your home gym? That’s the best idea you’ve had since you started reading this.
Read on to find out our top picks for the safety squat bars that currently available right now. We’re going to tell you what we like about each one and we hope you find something that will suit your lifting needs. Here we go.
Best Safety Squat Bar Reviews
These are the top safety squat bars that made our list for both budget and quality.
1. Ader Safety Squat Olympic Bar
Features that we like:
With this model, you can choose from two weight capacity options: 1000 lbs. and 1500 lbs. If you don’t plan on ever joining powerlifting competitions, the 1000-lb. one will do just fine.
The padding, which has a high quality vinyl cover, is made from foam rollers. It provides adequate cushioning to relieve some of the tension from your shoulders. As far as comfort goes, there’s not much to complain about here.
A lot users report that even after a couple of years of use, the padding still looks and feels like new.
This SSB will also fit any power rack, squat rack or bench press.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with this one. Even powerlifters who are pretty picky with their equipment love the Ader Safety Squat Olympic Bar.
2. TDS Safety Squat Bar
Features that we like:
With its weight capacity of 1000 pounds, you can tell that this bar has to be durable in order to withstand that weight.
We can assure you that it is. Some of us have been using the TDS Safety Squat Bar for a couple of years now and it has held up nicely.
With the package, you’ll get a nice pair of J hooks which will make them fit on any power rack. It also works perfectly well with a bend press and squat rack.
Another thing that we can say about this bar is that its padding is super comfortable. It’s actually a little more comfortable than its competitors.
You can do your squats comfortably without straining your shoulders.
And if you’re a lifter who can’t put your hands behind your shoulders when you squat, this is a great option because you’ll be gripping the handles right at the front.
It doesn’t cost very much at all for the kind of quality that you’re getting. The build quality on this thing is outstanding and we can guarantee that it’ll last you a long time.
So whether you’re looking to train hard or you just want to lift but can’t because of mobility problems, this the TDS Safety Squat Bar is a good choice.
3. Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar
Features that we like:
Like with all Rogue equipment, the SB-1 is built like a tank. And the bar is coated with Ceratoke, which makes it very resistant to corrosion.
Although we have to note that this doesn’t apply to metal-to-metal contact. It will still wear out eventually.
After using it for quite some time now, we can say that the bar really doesn’t mark easily, so the Ceratoke coating does hold up and it will not chip off.
The handles are made from solid steel, so the bar hardly flexes at all.
Next up is the padding. We really love the padding on this one too. It’s made from closed cell foam. That means it’s very dense.
Heavy duty vinyl covers the foam and held together with tight stitching. We understand that comfort is very subjective, but generally we can agree amongst ourselves that this bar is comfortable to use.
Another thing to note about this bar is that it feels very balanced. You won’t find it hard to maintain a stable position when doing squats in the proper form. Re-racking the bar is fairly easy too.
As far as functionality goes, the SB-1 can definitely deliver what it promises. Just by the sheer versatility of all the workouts you can do with this bar, it makes it well the worth the price.
This is just a high quality piece of equipment that will probably remain as a permanent fixture in your home gym.
4. Ader Safety Bar for Compact Spaces
Features that we like:
This safety squat bar is a little different from the other ones on this list because of its slightly smaller profile. This is perfect if you don’t have much space in your home.
But even though it’s smaller, it can still hold up to 600 lbs. of weight.
Another thing worth noting here is that this bar is great for those with shoulder and wrist problems, stability issues or a weak back.
A standard bar usually balances the weight that you put on it on your shoulders. But this one trains you straighten your torso, which engages your whole upper body.
This puts the pressure on your muscles and not your joints. So all in all, you’d be saving your shoulders, knees, hips, back, and ankles.
For a bar of this price, the value that you get from it is pretty darn incredible. Of course you can’t use this for serious strength training unless you’re just starting out, but that’s not what it’s made for anyway.
The bar itself weight about 45 pounds, so if you want to start small, you could do without putting any extra weights on it.
The shoulder pads are pretty comfortable and can fit almost everyone perfectly at about 9 inches.
Pick this one if you live in an apartment or if you’re short on space and have no room for exercise equipment or you have mobility issues.
5. TDS Buffalo Bow Bar
Features that we like:
If you’re looking for just a bit more comfort than a normal squat bar but don’t want a safety squat bar, then here is our best rated bow bar.
What’s a bow bar? As the name implies, there’s a “bow” in the bar, which is a bit thicker and longer. They made it way so that the weight spreads across your back and as opposed to just around your neck.
The curve allows for a more natural position. This makes it easier and more comfortable to handle heavier weights. So unlike with a yoke or cambered bar (SSB), you’ll feel that the weight is more evenly distributed.
And at this price point, it’s pretty much a steal.
This is closer to a standard barbell more than anything, only it’s just more comfortable. Other specialty bars like the safety squat bar kind of force you to change your form.
With this bow bar, you can retain your natural squat movement.
Also, if you’re on the bigger side (taller or wider), this would be better for you than the SSB. It’ll fit more comfortably and allow for more mobility. For some people, the extra length is definitely appreciated.
You could also use it as a benching tool. Overall, this bar is absolutely worth the money. It will help you out with your training or your recovery from wrist or shoulder injuries.
What to look for in the best safety squat bar
1. Quality of the materials
Just like with every product, you want to make sure that the SSB you’re getting is made from high quality materials. High quality materials equals the more use you’re going to get out of it.
And of course, products made from high quality materials tend to be more expensive. But don’t be turned off by this.
Safety squat bars in general are not very expensive, but there are some high end SSBs out there that could make a $500 dent on your bank account. Would it be worth it?
Check the materials. If the you see that something that is made from solid steel, professionally welded or uses some sort of new technology, then it probably is.
2. How much weight it can hold
The average weight capacity among all safety squat bars lie around 1000 lbs. That will last you while. All beginners start with no weights to very minimal weights. Then you work your way up from there.
So that’s going to take some time.
3. High quality padding
Another important factor to consider when looking for the right safety squat bar is the padding or the shoulder pads.
This is a very important feature because it cushions the weight on your shoulders.
Most of the pads are made of foam, but they all come in different densities. Try to look for one that’s on the denser side. That’s going to offer more support and comfort.
As for the covering, most of them would be made out of vinyl or synthetic leather. Both are very easy to wipe down and can stand getting a bit wet.
What you have to pay attention to is the stitching of the covering. You have to make sure that it’s not the kind that looks like it’ll come loose over time.
Safety Squat Bars Have Many uses
Apart from the traditional way of using it, which we’re sure you can figure out yourself, you can also use the SSB to improve your bench and overhead press.
To perform bench presses with your safety squat bar, you simply remove the handles first. This is to avoid the handles sinking into your body.
Just as you would with a traditional bench press, assume a lying position on the bench and make sure that your feet, hips, shoulders and head are flat on the ground and bench.
Once you start pumping, the only difference is that the pads will sit on your chest.
With the overhead press, the only difference it would have from a standard bar is that it will stick out a little more in front of you because of the padding. Make sure that it’s not too far out, though.
The Best Safety Squat Bar: The Verdict
Here we are now at the end of our safety squat bar buyers guide. Here we have listed out the top safety squat bars of 2022, and now it is up to you to take your safety and your training to the next level.
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Hi there! I'm Kaden, Founder & Main Writer here at SmartMMA. I've been training boxing, MMA, BJJ and other martial arts since 2004. I love every aspect of it as well as helping others learn more about training martial arts effectively.