Best Safety Squat Bars for 2021

Well, the word safety bars doesn’t necessarily mean that the safety squat bars will protect you against injuries and accidents. It simply means that these squat bars are designed to minimize the strain squatting puts on your body, especially the shoulders, biceps, and forearms. Plus, if you are already suffering from upper-body injuries, especially shoulder injuries, safety squats provide you an opportunity to squat without hurting yourself.

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This piece of powerlifting equipment comes with a few design variations but the standard design has: 

  • Padding at the center of the bar and on the handles, specifically the area that rests on our traps. 
  • Two padded handles extend out in front of the body so you can hold them. 
  • Cambered weight sleeves help keep the weights optimally balanced or else the plates may rest far up from the ground. 

Benefits of safety squat bars 

  • As mentioned above, the sole reason safety squat bars were invented is to reduce the stress on the upper extremities i.e. the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The padded center is cushioned enough to keep your neck comfortable. We all know how much the conventional barbells hurt when we put them around our neck and traps without any padding. 
  • The handles of the safety squat bars are designed to keep your spine straight. Many of us tend to curve our spine upwards or downwards towards our chest while squatting. Chest fall pattern is common among beginners and intermediate trainers; although sometimes powerlifters also do that. When you hold the handles, your shoulders remain in a position that helps keep your spine straight. A straight spine helps reduce the pressure on your knees and lower back
  • Safety squat bars require you to adopt a hybrid form of front and back squat and stimulate those minor muscles that otherwise remain unused. They are the plateau buster for squatting. Using them regularly helps strengthen your back, so you can improve your deadlifts

Since safety squat bars (often written as SSB) help improve your technique and protect you against injuries, they are highly recommended for anyone who can afford them. Intermediate and advanced trainers and powerlifters must use them to stay safe and maintain their proper form when squatting with heavy weights. 

Safety squats are expensive and bulky. Plus, they spoil your habit by providing you cushioning. Once you start using them, you might find it hard to use the standard non-cushioned and handle-less squat bars. Yet, if you can afford them, you must buy one for your home gym. 

You don’t have too many options to choose from because standard squat bars still rule the home gym equipment industry. Yet, we have managed to find a few of them for you. We have evaluated each of these hybrid squat bars thoroughly for their durability, ease of use, and value for money. They are suitable for powerlifters, intermediate trainers who struggle to maintain their form under heavy weights, and for anyone who wants to squat better and comfortably.  

Here is our list: 

Best safety squat bars 

NameDimensionsWeight Weight-capacityOur rating Price 
Gronk Fitness Safety Squat BarThe bar is 81”. Sleeve length is 13.5”45 lbsupto 1000 lbs4.7Check Price 
SB-1 – ROGUE SAFETY SQUAT BAR89″ length, 21″ width, and 10” height70lbs1000lbs 4.8Check Price 
Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V 2Length is 90.5 inches, handle spacing is 12.75 inches, camber drop is 5 inches, sleeves are 16”61 lbs1500lbs4.7Check Price
SS3 safety squat bar by Bells of Steel total length is 86.6 inches, sleeves measure 13 inches, camber angle is 22 degree 47.5lbs1200lbs4.8Check Price
SS YOKE BAR By Elitefts92” in lengthCamber angle is 30 degree (as per buyers)65lbs800lbs4.6Check price
TDS Safety Squat Bartotal length is 86”, shaft length is 53”, sleeve length 13.25”, shoulder pad is 9” long and 4” in diameter65lbs1000lbs4.6Check price
The Transformer Bar by Kabuki Strengthtotal length is 90.75”, sleeve length is 15.75”, shaft i.e. the distance between the brackets is 54”, distance between handles is 12”55lbs1500lbs4.7Check Price
Vulcan Strength Safety Squat Bar total length is 88″, shaft length is 63″, sleeve length is 12″, space between handles is 12” 53lbs700lbs4.6Check Price

Gronk Fitness Safety Squat Bar

Gronk Fitness Safety Squat Bar is a hybrid squat bar that is the exact Olympic barbell that Rob Gronkowski uses for training.

This hybrid squat bar is the exact Olympic barbell that Rob Gronkowski uses for his training. In 2015, Rob Gronkowski and his family members launched Gronk Fitness, a company that manufactures workout equipment for athletes and powerlifters. They manufacture a wide range of products that can be used in commercial establishments as well as in home gym setups. Since these products are meant for serious trainers, they are heavy-duty, durable, and safe to be trusted with heavy weights. Let’s look at some key features of Gronk Fitness safety squat bar

Features: 

  • Made of 30mm solid high-tensile steel
  • Dimensions: Bar length is 81”. Sleeve length is 13.5”
  • Weight: 45 lbs. 
  • Handles are 4” thick and 16” long 
  • The padded area between the two handles measures 15” 
  • 30-degree sloping weight sleeve 
  • Weight capacity: up to 1000 lbs
  • Compatible with 2” Olympic plates

What we like about it: 

  • Its weight is the same as standard barbells, so you won’t feel any difference while using it. Others such as Rogue Fitness weigh much more than the standard bars, so transitioning to them would require some practice and guesswork. 
  • The manufacturer claims that the handles, although covered with foam, are sweat-proof and grippy. Most buyers agree with this. Your hands will not slip while it is loaded heavily on your body. 

Things that could be improved: 

  • A few buyers have stated that the padding doesn’t stay on the back. Rather, they get compressed under weight making the handles come up
  • Some of them have also stated that the padding material is not too great and feels slippery. It sometimes slides off the back. A buyer has stated that it slides enough to cause inconvenience but duct-taping works to solve this issue. 

Our Rating: 4.7/5

Our Verdict: 

No matter what the manufacturer claims, Gronk Fitness safety squat bar is not meant for powerlifters. Slippery pads are not acceptable because they can shift the center of gravity, thereby affecting your balance. Beginners and intermediates can, however, safely use them as they won’t be squatting with heavy weight that can make the bar slip. 

SB-1 – ROGUE SAFETY SQUAT BAR

SB-1 - Rogue Safety Squat Bar is built to target the anterior chain of the trainer and distribute the weight between front and high-bar back squat.

As claimed by Rogue Fitness, this SB-1 safety squat bar is specially built to target the anterior chain of the trainer and distribute the weight between front and high-bar back squat. Priced under $400, it is cheaper than many of its competitors and yet, it adheres to Rogue’s quality standards. It very well deserves to be on our list of best safety squat bars. 

Features: 

  • Dimensions: 89″ length, 21″ width, and 10” height
  • Steel shaft has a diameter of 1.5” 
  • Weight: 70 lbs. Standard Olympic barbells weigh 45 lbs
  • Compatible with Olympic weight plates
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 1000 lbs
  • Has a fully welded design for extra durability and safety
  • Has a black Cerakote finish

Pros: 

  • The cerakote finish helps improve its life by reducing the wear and tear due to rusting and weather-related damages, especially if you want to keep it in your garage gym. Not many squat bars are available with this finish, making it a value buy. The clear coat finish on most barbells is prone to chipping. 
  • The shaft is 1.5” thick, which is about 38 mm. The Gronk Fitness safety squat bar is 30 mm thick. Obviously, the Rogue SB 1 safety squat barbell is thicker and sturdier with less flex. Further, it costs about $50-70 less! 
  • Like any other Rogue products, it is built like a tank. Every element of this Rogue SSB is designed to last years of heavy use. 

Things that could  be improved: 

  • A few buyers have found that the padding that sits on the shoulder is quite broad. If you are a tall person with broad shoulders, you would love it! But, for many of us, it sits at an uncomfortable position. Plus, the handles are farther too. Some buyers have suggested that they should have been 1-2 inches closer.
  • Some buyers have stated that the stitches of the paddings come out after a few weeks of use. You can easily fix this issue by doing some DIY. 
  • Some buyers have stated that the padding needs to be improved but maximum buyers are happy with it. When you are lifting heavy, comfort is very subjective. We don’t consider it as its drawback but, we decided to mention it here so you know what the buyers are talking about.  

Our Rating: 4.8/5

Our Verdict: 

It is a stout bar that can handle any weight you throw at it, making it suitable for beginners as well as powerlifters. But, before buying, please ensure you have ample space for it. Unlike standard barbells, this one is bulky and requires a dedicated space. 

Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V 2

The Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V 2 was designed to have a 1500 lbs weight capacity after the 700 lbs version had a lot of issues like camber angles and lot of whip.

Please note: This is version 2 with 1500 lbs weight-capacity. The previous version had a weight-bearing capacity of 700 lbs of weight but it had a lot of issues such as wrong camber angles and a lot of whip. After receiving a lot of negative feedback, Titan discontinued the model and came up with the V2 model that, according to many buyers, highly resembles Elitefts SS Yoke Bar (scroll below to read more about it). 

Titan Safety Squat Olympic bar V2 is a well-designed product. More than 92% of buyers have rated it 5-stars on Titan’s website, which is why we have chosen it to be a part of our list of best safety squat bars. Let’s look at its key features: 

Features: 

  • Dimensions: Length is 90.5 inches, handle spacing is 12.75 inches, camber drop is 5 inches 
  • The handles sit at 22-degree angle and have a 38mm diameter 
  • The loadable sleeves measure 16 inches
  • Weight: 61 lbs
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 1500 lbs
  • Compatible with Olympic weight plates 
  • Chrome finish on the shaft and the sleeves

What we like about it: 

  • Its price is one of the most attractive things about the Titan Fitness V2 Safety Squat bar. Currently, it is sold at $260 on the manufacturer’s website, which is the lowest price you can pay for a hybrid barbell. Plus, shipping is free! If you are looking for an inexpensive product for your home gym, this makes a good choice. Of course, it has its own flaws but the price is still a big consideration for many budget-conscious buyers who are willing to settle down with a ‘good enough’ product. 
  • The handles are removable, making it easier to do JM presses and a few other exercises. Plus, it makes it easier to remove the covers when they need a replacement. 
  • Many buyers have stated that the handles are just adequately thick and long. They are comfortable and provide excellent grip even with sweaty hands. 

Things that could be improved: 

  • The vinyl cover of the padding is thin and the stitches aren’t the best ones. So, the padding could rip off and the stitching will come undone in some time if used roughly. But, most buyers have stated that the stitching issue is common with even expensive products. So, they don’t mind it, considering its low price.
  • A few buyers have stated that one of their handles doesn’t screw in well, probably due to welding issues. They have mentioned that Titan Fitness needs to improve the performance in terms of ‘quality check’ because returns and exchanges can sometimes take weeks. 
  • You can expect the standard welding and shipping issues that most Titan Fitness products carry. Usually, they are minor and ignorable. Many buyers have stated that they will happily purchase and recommend the V2 Safety Squat Bar from Titan Fitness despite its flaws because it’s worth its price. 

Our Rating: 4.7/5

Our Verdict: 

Titan Fitness has definitely hit a home run with this V2 Safety squat bar. It isn’t the best safety squat bar out there but it is above-average in quality and suitable for intermediate and advanced trainers who do not really crave high-quality, feature-rich, professionally-designed equipment. 

SS3 Safety Squat Bar by Bells of Steel 

The SS3 Safety Squat Bar by Bells of Steel was launch in 2010 by Bells of Steel which was originally a Canadian company that used to sell kettleballs.

Launched in 2010, Bells of Steel was originally a Canadian company that used to sell kettlebells. Within a decade, it has vastly expanded its product catalog, and now it is one of the most trusted home gym equipment manufacturers. Be it their racks, benches, or the safety squat bars, each of their products is thoughtfully designed to beat its competitors in terms of features, quality, and even price! 

Since it has expanded its presence in the United States, you can expect fast delivery. Plus, it offers free shipping! Others such as Rogue and EliteFTS charge a huge shipping amount. Let’s look at some of the key features of SS3 safety squat barbell: 

Features: 

  • Dimensions: total length is 86.6 inches, sleeves measure 13 inches
  • Camber angle is 22 degree 
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 1200lbs
  • Weight: 47.5 lbs
  • Has three different handles; regular short handles, chain handles, and really long spider handles for people with limited elbow and shoulder mobility 
  • The chain handles weigh 4lbs, regular handles weigh 2.5 lbs and the spider handles weigh 6 lbs
  • Handles are removable 
  • Sleeves are coated with white zinc. Shaft is coated with black zinc. 

What we like about it: 

  • Many buyers have confirmed that the camber of the bar that rests on the shoulder is thick and non-slippery. Some have even stated that it rests so well on your body that you don’t need to hold it. 
  • The pad is dense and comfortable. It is very well built and so is its vinyl cover. That’s an impressive thing because even expensive safety squat barbells such as the Gronk Fitness have a rather softer padding, making them slippery and uncomfortable. 
  • Well, for most of us just one handle is enough. But, Bells of Steel has really thought about people with limited shoulder and elbow mobility and has added the spider handles that are pretty long, so you don’t have to strain your injured areas. The chain one helps add more challenges to the workouts.  

Things that could be improved: 

  • A few buyers have mentioned minor cosmetic issues like paint chips, improper finish, etc. Those issues are rare and ignorable. 
  • Some buyers have stated that the sleeves are shorter than other safety squat bars. So, you can load fewer plates. Yet, it can hold enough weight that an intermediate or an average powerlifter can lift. 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

Our Verdict: 

Bells of Steel SS3 safety squat bar is a compelling option for budget-conscious (but not brand-conscious) fitness trainers. It offers a lot more than what you can expect from such a mid-priced product. Plus, we highly appreciate the manufacturer for thoughtfully designing the spider handles for people with shoulder injuries that are severe enough to not let them use the other safety squat bars listed here. 

SS YOKE BAR By Elitefts 

The SS YOKE BAR By Elitefts is quite popular among powerlifters because of its durable and truly anti-slip shoulder pad.

The Yoke bar is quite popular among powerlifters because of its durable and truly anti-slip shoulder pad. Elitefts is the only manufacturer that offers warranty on its pads! Plus, it claims that it excels other safety squat bars in terms of general construction, camber angles, handles, grips, and overall quality and comfort. Well, you get what you pay for. Being expensive, it is definitely a beast of a bar. Let’s look at its features: 

Features: 

  • Dimensions: 92” in length
  • Weight: 65 lbs
  • Camber angle : 30 degree (as per buyers)
  • Weight-bearing capacity: more than 800 lbs. Some buyers have tried even 1500lbs and it holds up well.
  • Handles are short, straight, and removable with textured grips and individual finger slots.
  • The sleeves are of non-Olympic size
  • Features a clear coat. 
  • Pads are covered under warranty. 

What we like about it: 

  • Poor quality pad and pad cover has been a major issue with almost all safety squat barbells. They aren’t made poor but they aren’t dense enough to bear heavy use. They are either too firm or too soft to stay balanced. Since safety squat bars are mostly used by people who train heavy, they are meant to suffer a lot of rough use. But, not many of them are designed for it. Thankfully, Elitefts SS Yoke bar is a bit closer to the expectations of powerlifters. It is made of a very dense foam that looks like a carpet padding; firm yet soft. The vinyl cover is grippy and well-made with proper stitching. 
  • The handles are removable. They feature a machine-shopped screw-in design. You can add or remove them instantly. A few other safety squat bars listed here have removable handles too but buyers have often stated that it’s not that easy to put the handles back. 

Things that could be improved: 

  • A major problem with the SS Yoke bar is that its sleeves are not machined to be compatible with Olympic barbell standards, so you will have to buy special collars. 
  • The clear coat finish gives a classy look to this safety squat bar but it does get flaked with time while loading and unloading plates and collars. This is a purely cosmetic issue. Moreover, pain chipping is a common issue with almost every home gym product, no matter which brand or how expensive it is. 

Our Rating: 4.6/5 

Our Verdict: 

Honestly, Elitefts SS yoke bar deserves better ratings than what we have given but the non-standard sleeves are a disappointment. It seems like it is willingly done to make you purchase an extra product from EliteFts. Otherwise, it is definitely one of the best safety squat bars for advanced trainers and powerlifters. 

TDS Safety Squat Bar

TDS Safety Squat Bar by New York Barbells, the manufacturer of TDS safety Squat Bar is a well-known brand with over 40 years of presence in the home gym equipment industry.

New York Barbells, the manufacturer of TDS safety Squat Bar is a well-known brand with over 40 years of presence in the home gym equipment industry. It manufactures simple yet heavy-duty equipment for athletes and serious trainers. This SSB is no exception. 92% of buyers have rated it 4-stars and above and have stated that it is worth its price

Features: 

  • Dimensions: total length is 86”, shaft length is 53”, sleeve length 13.25”, shoulder pad is 9” long and 4” in diameter. 
  • Made of 30mm steel 
  • Weight: 65lbs 
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 1000 lbs
  • The shaft is knurled. Well, knurling is not required for safety squat bars because they usually come with grippy handles. But, knurling isn’t a bad thing to have
  • Some buyers have stated that it comes with a pair of j-hooks but the manufacturer hasn’t mentioned anything about it in the product description. 

What we like about it: 

  • Numerous buyers have confirmed that the padding is firm and yet soft enough to keep you comfortable no matter how heavy you are lifting. The diameter of the padding is 4” and the pad is quite dense. The cover is also made of high-quality slip-resistance vinyl with proper stitching that won’t come undone any time soon. None of the buyers have reported any negative thing about the padding, which is surprising because the paddings of a very few safety squat bars are able to live up to the expectation of heavy lifters
  • The sleeves spin pretty well. Usually, safety squat bars do not come with rotating sleeves but TDS SSB has used it to target heavy lifters and bodybuilders who live to enjoy adding more challenge to their workouts. 
  • Many buyers have stated that this safety squat barbell has a high level of balance and can be trusted to be used without holding.

Things that could be improved: 

  • Some buyers found it expensive. It is almost as expensive as Rogue and Elitefts and yet its quality doesn’t match theirs

Our Rating: 4.6/5

Our Verdict: 

If you are used to Rogue or Titan or other SSBs, you will take time to adjust to the spinning sleeves. But, it isn’t a major issue. A lot of buyers liked it. The cuffs of the sleeves aren’t great though. Go for it if you aren’t crazy about products from big brands such as Rogue

The Transformer Bar by Kabuki Strength 

The Transformer Bar by Kabuki Strength is 4-in-1 SSB. It has four adjustable positions for the camber and the weight sleeves, so you can squat in 24 different variations.

It is one of the craziest safety squat bars that you must try at least once in your lifetime, especially if lifting is your only hobby. It is a 4-in-1 SSB. It has four adjustable positions for the camber and the weight sleeves, so you can squat in 24 different variations. Spring mechanism is used for making these adjustments, so you don’t need to spend minutes changing the positions. No wonder why it is called the Transformer bar. 

Yes, it is expensive but did you know the V1 of this bar was about $200 more expensive and had too many flaws. Soon after its launch, Kabuki Strength received numerous improvement ideas from buyers and it quickly upgraded its design. Now, the bar is more user-friendly, has fewer (almost no) flaws, and costs much less than its previous version. Let’s look at its key features: 

Features: 

  • Dimensions: total length is 90.75”, sleeve length is 15.75”, shaft i.e. the distance between the brackets is 54”, distance between handles is 12”
  • Weight: 55lbs
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 1500 lbs
  • Pad cover is made of synthetic leather, not vinyl like other safety squat bars listed here have. 
  • Has zinc finish with black oxide sleeves
  • As mentioned above, for camber angle adjustment, it has 6 different positions with 30 degree of variation between each of them. Each position replicates a common squat movement pattern.
  • For adjusting the position of weight sleeves, there is a color-coded weight bracket. You can place the sleeves higher for an easier workout and at the lowest point for a more challenging one
  • The handles do not have any cover. They are knurled to provide you enough grip even for sweaty workouts. 

What we like about it: 

  • The Transformer Bar is huge and bulky but it can be disassembled for easy storage and transportation. So, you can carry it to your gym in your car.   
  • As mentioned above, it is the only safety squat bar that offers 24 different squat variations and the positions can be changed easily because of the spring load mechanism. You don’t need any tools or tighten/loosen any nuts and bolts. The previous version of the bar required so much manual work that most people didn’t bother changing the settings. This one is easy and quick. Worth its price. 
  • It is meant for powerlifters and people who are into competitive sports. To prove that it can hold 1500 lbs weight, Kabuki Strength has made a video that shows how they used it to pick up a rock-crawling truck. 
  • The padding and its cover are definitely better than every safety squat bar listed here. The padding is a custom injection-molded high-density foam and its cover is made of synthetic leather. It is grippy and comfortable. Plus, you can easily remove both of them for cleaning and replacement. 

Things that can be improved: 

  • Although you can change the angles and positions of weight bars and camber, please note that if you have very limited shoulder mobility, you would need help with it
  • A few buyers have reported welding issues, especially on the bracket. It could cut your skin, so check your product before you start using it. 
  • The bracket has stickers that help you identify the angle you are at. With time, these stickers will tear up or get damaged. Since the bar is so expensive, the manufacturer could have used laser-cut technology to mark them. Well, it’s not a major issue because, by the time the stickers tear up, you will have got used to the positions. 

Our Rating: 4.7/5

Our Verdict: 

If you can spend $600 and shipping, then the Transformer Bar is definitely worth it. But, not many of us have such huge fitness goals or such a huge budget. Another thing you need to note is that currently, the order fulfillment time is 20-22 weeks! That’s crazy but the manufacturer claims that it is because of its high demand. 

Vulcan Strength Safety Squat Bar 

The Vulcan Strength Safety Squat Bar is a great option if you are looking for the cheapest yet reliable safety squat bar.

If you are looking for the cheapest yet reliable safety squat bar, Vulcan Strength has an option for you. Its basic safety squat bar costs slightly more than $200 and shipping is included in it. Let’s be honest, it isn’t a great bar that offers you extreme comfort and some fancy features. But, it works and that’s all we need! 

Features: 

  • Dimensions: total length is 88″, shaft length is 63″, sleeve length is 12″, space between handles is 12” 
  • Weight: 24 kg (approx 53lbs)
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 700 lbs
  • Sleeve diameter: 50mm Olympic standards 
  • Camber position not mentioned by the manufacturer but buyers have stated that it is about 45 degrees from shaft 
  • The handles are threaded and can be detached if needed. 
  • Black powder-coated finish 
  • Warranty: 3 years on barbell and sleeves. Padding and handles are covered for 90 days.

What we like about it:

  • Price is its biggest selling point. Safety squat racks are expensive equipment. Vulcan Strength Basic safety squat bar is probably the only option you have that costs approximately $200. 
  • As mentioned above, it isn’t an amazing piece of equipment but it is a ‘good enough’ product for beginners, intermediates, and people who aren’t obsessed with lifting heavy and hard. The padding is durable and the cover is non-slip and comfortable. The angle of camber is well-positioned to offer you multiple benefits from your workouts. The coating is ‘OK’. In short, it is a good product for its price. 

Things that could be improved: 

  • The detachable handles aren’t great. Some buyers have stated that they tend to get loose and you have to re-tighten them after every few days. 
  • The sleeves are welded to the shaft, so they don’t spin. Well, SSBs are not meant to have spinning sleeves, so this is a great thing but the welding part is not well done. It doesn’t have a professional finish.

Our Rating: 4.6/5

Our Verdict: 

We certainly wouldn’t recommend Vulcan Strength Basic Safety Squat bar for big squatters, athletes, powerlifters, or for commercial establishments. But, for average fitness enthusiasts like many of us, this bar is a budget-friendly option for our home gym.  

Wrap up 

Safety squat bars aren’t just meant for people with limited shoulder mobility; they are Sa boon for them. These hybrid barbells are also meant for beginners who aren’t able to maintain their form while squatting and tend to injure themselves. They also help add more variety and versatility to your existing workouts, which is why they are a fantastic investment for your home gym.  
If you are squatting heavy, make sure you wear weightlifting shoes to protect your knees and ankles. Here are some of our top weightlifting shoes recommendations. Also, do read our blog on how to squat safely to ensure that you aren’t missing out on any important safety aspect.

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