Are you interested in getting a safety squat bar for your home gym? You may lack the mobility to use a regular barbell or simply want to make your workouts more fun and varied.
In any case, stick around because we’ll be reviewing the 7 best safety squat bars on the market today. From budget to premium and everything else in between, this list has you covered.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
The 7 Best Safety Squat Bars For 2023
- Best Overall Safety Squat Bar: Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar
- Most Versatile Safety Squat Bar: Bells of Steel SS3 Safety Squat Bar
- Best Budget Safety Squat Bar: RitFit Safety Squat Bar
- Best Premium Safety Squat Bar: Marrs Bar
- Best Safety Squat Bar on Amazon: Synergee Safety Squat Bar
- Best Safety Squat Bar For Advanced Trainees: Kabuki Strength Transformer
- Best Heavy Duty Squat Bar: EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar
1. Best Overall Safety Squat Bar: Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar
- 16” (40.6 cm) loadable sleeves and 1,500-lb (680-kilogram) weight capacity
- Great quality at an affordable price
- The pad comes in one piece, which
- is great for preventing slipping
- The padding is not the softest
- The chrome coating isn’t the highest quality
The first Titan safety squat bar was a failure. Its overall design wasn’t good, the handles were too wide apart, and the bar whipped when it supported more weight.
Luckily, the manufacturer learned from its early mistakes and came up with the V2, one of the best safety squat bars on the market today. Titan adjusted the camber angle, equipped the bar with high-quality padding, and boosted the weight capacity to 1,500 lbs.
Despite being our top pick, the bar is much more affordable than most other options without the common issues seen in cheap safety squat bars:
- Excessive whipping due to low tensile strength.
- Padding that breaks down quickly, making the bar unusable.
- Improper camber angle.
2. Most Versatile Safety Squat Bar: Bells of Steel SS3 Safety Squat Bar
- The bar comes with three handle options
- The padding is quite dense but still comfortable
- Works with standard weight plates and barbell collars
- Comes at a standard 44-lb weight (20 kilograms)
- More expensive than other options
- Might not fit well on wider squat racks
The Bells of Steel SS3 safety squat bar is easily one of the best picks for several reasons. First, it comes with three handle options, which makes it versatile and usable by more people.
Second, the bar has excellent padding that feels secure and prevents discomfort. The materials used are also of good quality, and the pad is likely going to last a long time.
Like our top pick, the Bells of Steel bar boasts an impressive 1,500-lb (680-kg) weight limit, enough to challenge even the strongest lifters and make the squat bar virtually unbreakable.
The only real issue with the bar is the loadable sleeve length, which is just 12” (30.5 centimeters). Despite its impeccable maximum capacity, you won’t be able to get anywhere near the limit with standard plates.
3. Best Budget Safety Squat Bar: RitFit Safety Squat Bar
- Excellent weight capacity at around 700 lbs (317.5 kilograms)
- The 87-inch (2.2-meter) length makes the bar usable on pretty much any squat or power rack
- The handles are removable, and you can use the bar for other activities (e.g., overhead presses)
- Handles might be too far apart for some people
The RitFit safety squat bar is the best budget option today. With a price tag of just $239.99 at the time of writing, it offers a lot to casual trainees and gym owners.
First, the safety squat bar by RitFit has an impressive 700-lb capacity, which is more than enough for most trainees to have great workouts.
Second, the 87-inch length makes the bar long enough to be used on even the widest squat or power racks.
Third, the handles and pads are removable, which allows you to use the safety squat bar as a regular barbell and do activities like barbell rows, overhead presses, and more. So, if you’re wondering whether to get a standard barbell or a safety squat bar, the one by RitFit allows you to get the best of both worlds at an affordable price.
4. Best Premium Safety Squat Bar: Marrs Bar
- Weight capacity is 1,200 lbs (544 kilograms)
- Unique design that keeps the stress away from the neck
- Foam harness is comfortable and molds to your body
- Quite expensive at over $700, with shipping costs included
The Marrs bar is well-known by most serious trainees and for good reasons. It features a unique design and is made with high-quality materials that ensure excellent durability for many years of regular use.
What’s different is that the arms are curved, which positions the top pad slightly lower on your back, allowing for better weight distribution and less spinal stress.
The foam harness is comfortable yet supportive for up to 1,200 lbs. It molds to your body, making the training experience more comfortable.
Additionally, thanks to its unique design, the safety squat bar by Marrs fits snuggly over your body, and you can use it without holding onto the handles.
The 45-degree camber angle is significantly more than the standard slant of 22 degrees, which forces a slightly greater torso lean and more posterior chain activation.
A drawback of the Marrs bar is that the black oxide finish on the loadable sleeves tends to chip due to the metal-on-metal contact.
5. Best Safety Squat Bar on Amazon: Synergee Safety Squat Bar
- Solid build
- Impressive weight capacity of 1,000 lbs (453 kilograms)
- Medium handle knurling for a solid grip
- The pad isn’t of the highest quality
If you prefer to do your safety squat bar shopping on Amazon, Synergee offers one of the best options. With a weight capacity of 1,000 lbs, 11.25” (28.5 centimeters) loadable sleeves, and decent overall length (86.5” or 2.19 meters), it offers enough of everything to keep most lifters happy.
The knurled handles provide a solid grip, and the bar feels high-quality and durable.
You can remove the padding, allowing you to replace it if it wears down after some time of heavy use.
6. Best Safety Squat Bar For Advanced Trainees: Kabuki Strength Transformer
- 24 total adjustments you can make to fit your needs
- Knurled handles for a firm grip
- Fantastic design and a pleasure to look at
- The black loadable sleeves are prone to wear due to the metal-on-metal contact
The Kabuki Strength Transformer has a unique design that makes it one of the most versatile safety squat bars today.
If you’re serious about getting a quality squat bar and don’t mind the price ($799.99 at the time of writing), we recommend getting it because you cannot go wrong with one.
As its name suggests, the transformer bar comes with 24 total adjustments of the camber and loadable sleeve height, allowing you to make changes from exercise to exercise.
The folks behind the Kabuki Strength Transformer have gone through the effort to design the bar to fit trainees perfectly on exercises like back, front, goblet squats, and hip hinge patterns (e.g., good mornings).
In addition, the squat bar by Kabuki has one of the coolest designs, which makes it a pure pleasure to look at.
The only potential drawback is that the black loadable sleeves tend to wear down a bit from adding and removing weight plates. A chrome finish would have made scratches less noticeable, though it wouldn’t look as cool.
7. Best Heavy Duty Squat Bar: EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar
- Supports more than 800 lbs (362+ kilograms)
The padding is high-quality and durable
Removable handles and an option to get longer ones
- The price ($465 at the time of writing)
- The coating on the loadable sleeves tends to wear down quickly
The EliteSS Yoke bar has been on the market for several years and is widely regarded as one of the best squat bars money can buy.
First, the bar is incredibly durable and made of high-quality materials. The padding lasts a long time, and the bar can support more than 800 lbs, which is enough to challenge most people.
Second, the bar has removable handles, and you can add longer ones if you wish.
Dave Tate and his team worked on the bar for ten months, making countless small iterations before arriving at the product we see.
One drawback of the EliteFTS SS Yoke bar is that it often seems out of stock, so you have to monitor their website and order one as soon as a new batch is available.
What’s The Purpose of a Safety Squat Bar?
A safety squat bar is a specialty bar––a piece of equipment designed to offer unique benefits or advantages from the ones you get when using a regular barbell. The objective of a squat bar is to provide safety by loading your body slightly differently and leading stress away from your spine.
A notable advantage of a safety squat bar over a traditional barbell is that you can keep your hands in front of your body and grip the handles. In contrast, a conventional barbell forces you to rotate your shoulders externally, which can be difficult for people with impaired mobility or an injury history.
In most cases, the camber angle positions the weight plates slightly in front of your center of gravity, forcing you to lean forward. You must actively engage your core and back muscles to resist the position and maintain a more upright torso, which is beneficial for building a stronger upper body.
A safety squat bar can also allow for slightly easier ‘dumping’ if you fail to complete a rep, though I advise against testing that. It’s much better to lift weights within your limits and have a spotter when using near-maximal loads.
Benefits of a Safety Squat Bar
1. It’s Safer
One notable advantage of safety squat bars is that you can maintain a more upright torso, which reduces spinal loading and can keep you safer in the long run. The effect is particularly pronounced with the Marrs bar, which has a unique design that allows it to sit slightly lower on your back.
2. Useful For People With Shoulder Issues
As mentioned earlier, a notable advantage of a safety squat bar is that the handles are in front of you, allowing you to keep your hands close to your torso and train effectively, even with limited shoulder mobility.
In contrast, a regular barbell forces significant external shoulder rotation on squats, good mornings, and similar, which might not be doable.
3. It Reveals And Corrects Weaknesses
Do you remember the first time you tried front squatting and how the exercise made you feel like a beginner with twigs for legs? Sure, you could back squat two, three, or even four plates, but supporting the barbell in a front rack position? Ah, that was a whole other thing.
The same can be said about a safety bar because using one constantly forces you to fold forward, and you must work extra hard to stay in position.
It will initially feel awkward and discouraging, but stick with it, and you will build impressive back and midsection strength.
4. Fantastic For Lower Body Exercises
Lastly, we have the immense versatility of safety squat bars. You can use these for a variety of lower body exercises, including:
- Back squats
- Front squats
- Good morning
- Front and back lunges
Best Safety Squat Bars Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is a safety squat bar worth it?
Yes, a safety squat bar is worth it, so long as you can afford one. A squat bar is versatile, effective, and offers unique benefits.
2. Are safety squat bars heavier?
Yes, a safety squat bar can be heavier than the traditional 45-lb barbell. Most tend to be between 44 and 70 lbs.
3. When should I use a safety squat bar?
You can use a safety squat bar as frequently as you enjoy. It works great for squats, lunges, good morning, and numerous other exercises.
4. Should I get a safety squat bar for my home gym?
If you’ve already built a home or garage gym and your budget allows, I say go for it. As discussed, a safety squat bar offers unique benefits and can make your training more fun and varied.
But, if you’re just starting a home training setup, maybe get a standard barbell first and save up for a safety squat bar.
Best Safety Squat Bars Conclusion
There you have it: the 7 best safety squat bars on the market today. Each offers unique benefits, and even the budget option can work great for many lifters.
If you are interested in taking your training to the next level or certain issues prevent you from squatting productively (e.g., back pain, tight shoulders, etc.), a safety squat bar might be the perfect solution.
I’m a fan of the Kabuki Strength Transformer and recommend getting it if money is not an issue, but more affordable options like the RitFit Safety Squat Bar can also be great.