The Safety Squat Bar is an underutilised weightlifting tool. It differs from a traditional barbell by having two padded handles that extend across the shoulders, allowing lifters to support the bar from in front of their body. There are several performance benefits to using the Safety Squat Bar that can benefit even the most experienced lifters.
Look around and you will see that the squat and its variations are an integral part of most strength and conditioning programs in the elite sporting world. Unfortunately, injuries, especially those involving the shoulder, can rule out the use of a conventional barbell squat. Whilst there are other alternatives such as utilising dumbbells or a trap bar, they do not fully mimic the benefits of a back squat. The Safety Squat Bar allows for a complete range of motion at the ankles, knees, and hips without requiring significant shoulder mobility. This means that athletes can continue to develop their lower body strength and power without disruption.
The weight distribution of a safety squat bar allows for a more vertical posture to be maintained throughout the squatting motion. This is especially important for taller athletes and those with lower back issues as it reduces the shearing forces placed on the spine. Tall posture can also increase the range of motion at the knee joint without any significant increase in hip flexion, leading to greater development of the quadriceps without placing excessive stress on the hip joint.
Neutralizing spinal posture and pressurizing the torso are key factors in squat performance. Shoulder mobility limitations will often cause lifters to make the mistake of significantly arching their spine when setting up the squat. This position compromises the ability of the lifter to breathe diaphragmatically and brace the abdominals, ultimately leading to a lack of internal pressure. Not only is this position dangerous under heavy loads, but it will also limit performance. The safety squat bar removes the need for external rotation or excessive spinal extension, ensuring a strong posture can be easily maintained.
For those just starting out or those with limited upper-back musculature, squatting with a barbell can be extremely uncomfortable. Often times it can be so uncomfortable that it becomes the limiting factor in load selection. The Safety Squat Bar is not only padded, but it also distributes the weight across the upper back and shoulders, reducing the pressure on any one area.
About the author
Bachelor of Science (Physiology)
Masters of Exercise Science (Strength and conditioning)
Head Coach at Legacy Health & Performance
Nutritionist and Exercise Scientist at The Clean 5