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What is Squat Bar: Should you buy a squat bar?

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what is squat bar specialty barbell

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What is squat bar? A squat bar, or say specialty bar, is designed mainly for performing one type of exercise, i.e., squats. It features a deep course knurl pattern for optimal “stick” and long shaft length for reduced whip/flex during lifting heavier loads. 

This isn’t really a power bar, but one step ahead of that. 👉 Serious Powerlifters usually buy it because it is one of the stiffest bars in the market. 

But if you ask me, should I buy a squat bar? My answer right away would have been NO. 

And if you know anything about squat bars, I think a lot of people’s perception of them initially is you have to squat a lot of weight in order to use them like 200 – 300+ kgs. 

That’s because typically I think of people who are lifting a lot of weight, usually in gear, usually not in-depth (in the middle of somewhere) as people who would predominantly be the audience or the customer for a squat bar. 😀

But after seeing so many reviews, I’ve changed my point of view on the best squat bar. In fact, I think the squat bar is very beneficial for a lot of people, yet still not essential. 

👉 In this blog, I will explain “what is squat bar”, the basics of the squat bar, why you should buy the specialty squat bar, and all.

If that’s what you’re interested in, more coming up…

Best Squat Bar to buy?

71o gVnbDzL. SL1500

Bullrock Fitness Squat Bar (Only in India)

This specialty squat bar in India has an aggressive, fully knurled shaft of diameter 32mm. A thicker bar implies more contact area with the back ensuring it doesn’t roll off. All owe to the aggressive knurl!
SQB004 1

ROGUE 32MM SQUAT BAR

The 32MM Squat Bar is another Rogue-exclusive, Ohio-built power bar, has a tensile strength of 200,000 PSI, and the knurling runs across its entire length, with clearcut powerlifting marks and a center mark included. 
Rating
4.5
bastard squat bar end cap

Strength Shop Bastard Squat Bar

32mm diameter sprung steel shaft, making this thicker than a normal power bar the thicker shaft is better suited for squats and increases the strength of the bar. Due to this the bar is 25kg in weight!
squat bar 02

Squat Bar By Strongarm

Thicker, longer, and stiffer — the Squat Bar by StrongArm has a 12” extra-wide center knurl to keep massive weights “velcroed” to your back, designed specifically for titan squatters.

What is Squat Bar? 3 Basics of a Squat Bar

Basics of best squat bar

When you look at a squat bar, the basics behind it is 

1️⃣ It’s longer than a normal barbell

2️⃣ It’s thicker than a normal barbell 

3️⃣ Allows you to load more weights on the sleeves than a normal barbell 

For most people training at home or like you and me, who are maybe squatting 90-140 kgs or fewer, I didn’t think they would probably be that useful. But if there were three reasons why I think you should get a squat bar, they would be these. 

1. Added length of the bar:
squat bar length

Squat bars are normally 2400mm (or 7.87fts) in the length, while normal barbells are 7.2 fts. This added length comes from the shaft length because this bar doesn’t obey any IPF or IWF specs. 

Where almost any barbell, maybe a kid’s bar, women’s bar has the same/ fixed shaft length, this squat bar has 56” (vs ) between the sleeves and a loadable sleeve length of 16.795” (vs. 16.4”).

 They’re really beneficial to a lot of people because of one reason – You will never hit the uprights again. If you ever have walked a squat out and bang the uprights, you know how off-putting it can be. 

✔️ Using a squat bar, you’ll never run into that issue, which is really nice. Especially if you own a rogue rack, you can really relate to it. As there, three-by-three racks tend to be a little bit wider than some of the other brands that are out there.

2. Added thickness of the bar
what is squat bar?

It’s thicker than other normal barbells. When you take a look at the shaft of a squat bar, you’re typically looking at somewhere between 32 to 35 millimeters’ shaft thickness.

Compared to a normal bar that’s somewhere between 28 and 29 mm, so much thicker than a normal barbell. 

Now initially they did this to add stiffness and rigidity to it. As you load more weights and as the weight is obviously further pushed out because the bar is longer, it’s really beneficial to a lot of people’s training, in my opinion. 😀

Why? Because there’s more actual area of the bar to be in contact with your back. Since the formula of force is Pressure = Force / Surace Area, the more surface area you get to push and apply pressure to, the more force you are able to generate. That’s compounds to you for lifting heavier weights. 

3. Extremely good knurl that runs over the entire shaft
best squat bar

Add on to that the fact that most of these specialty bars for squats are extremely well to aggressively knurled. It means that not only do you have a lot of contact points on your back, but those contact points are really sharp. 

And when you set up with a squat bar, you really know and feel it. Because it’s not going anywhere which can really help on hot days when it’s pushing 100 degrees.🥵 

You might be more sweaty and you have that knurling digging down into your back and that thicker bar on your back really gets set pretty well with a lot of these kinds of barbell for squats. 

 👉In powerlifting bars, regardless they have thicker shaft diameter (28MM, not 32MM), the knurl is aggressive, but the area of knurl on the bar is limited to a certain area. Which won’t cover the full-back.

Who Should Buy Squat Bar?

➡️ Meant best for: In terms of benefits of getting a squat bar is if you’re actually competing in a Federation. Pretty much anyone outside the USA PL or IPF for squats. You’re probably using a squat bar, so a lot of people like to practice how they play. 🙌

That’s why people get calibrated plates, that’s why people get all this fancy expensive equipment because they’re really interested in powerlifting. 

Having a bar that you’re going to use in competition can be very helpful. Otherwise, if you’re used to training on a powerlifting bar and you go into your competition and do squats using a specialty barbell, you’ve never touched before. 

It can be a bit difficult for some people to kind of grasp and that’s not just because it has a thicker shaft, but it feels different. “So practice like you PLAY.” 

✔️ Three main benefits, in my opinion, are:

1️⃣ No longer hitting the uprights on walkouts. 

2️⃣ A bigger & thicker bar is going to feel a lot better on your back, especially with the knurling.

3️⃣ Last, if you’re competing in a Federation, that uses one. It’s good to have one.

Of course, that’s not to say that squat bar is for everyone. They’re very beneficial and there are definite reasons to stay away from them as well.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Squat Bar.

1. As with most specialty bars, they get very expensive:

This particular rogue squat bar retails for something like 450 dollars that’s before tax and shipping, texas squat bar around the same. When we’re taking a look at like the Kabuki squat bar I want to say it’s probably in the upper $500 or so. 💸

Depending on what finish you get, it’s definitely enough from the dog so these bars can be pretty pricey. That’s always a deterrent for people buying something like this.

2. They’re meany only for squats:

This is a specialty bar, so it’s meant only for squats. Can you deadlift with them? Yes, you can, but it’s actually harder to grip. 

Even though it has good knurling, it’s a thicker bar, which means it’s going to tax your grip a little bit more. And because the knurling is more prominent in terms of a fully knurled shaft or a wider center knurling piece, it’s aggressive. 

Therefore, the specialty bar is tough, and it’s tough to recommend this as a specialty bar over something like a deadlift bar which you can actually see more weight on your lift versus the squat bar. If you would like to use the Squat bar as a PowerBar for an all-around bar, it’s tough to recommend.

3. The biggest benefit of it, can be squared off.

Probably the biggest reason why I wouldn’t recommend this for most people is when I take a look at one of the biggest benefits which is not hitting the uprights or maybe even feeling a little more secure in your back. 

Those are all things that are easily prevented if you work on your walkout and how you actually rack the bar on your back. If you have a problem where you’re clipping the uprights as you walk a squat out. Clean up your walkout. You don’t have to spend $500 on a barbell that you probably don’t need. 

➡️ Yes, it’s beneficial, but you could easily fix that without dropping money on this bar and could put that towards other things in your own home gym. Like getting a better full rack or half rack. ❤️

32 mm squat bar

✔️ Yes, the knurling is good but for a lot of people, that’s not going to make a huge difference. Of course, a squat bar is better than a normal barbell, in my opinion, but not tremendously better.

Conclusion: Should you buy Squat Bar?

I think for most people, add to the fact that if you do compete in USA PL or IPF, you’re going to be using a powerlifting bar for all your lifts. Therefore, you would never actually use this in competition. It is kind of diminishing some of the value-added that I’ve mentioned is one of the reasons to consider it. 

At the end of the day, there are pros, & cons. ✔️ Squat Bar is extremely beneficial if you’re looking for your very first specialty barbell. 

I don’t think a squat bar should be it unless the exception is you compete in a federation that uses one or you really just can’t clean up your walkout enough where you can’t avoid hitting the uprights. 

I think there are other barbells you can probably buy FIRST. But again, if you have the money, you have the room in your gym and you’re looking for something like this. 

➡️ I do think it’s a good idea for a lot of people. You’d be surprised about how much you like it even if you’re squatting on something like 100 kgs.

FAQs on squat barbell

1. Where I can buy a squat bar?

In India 👌

Check Bullrock Fitness barbell lineup. 

For All other countries

2. Can you bench with a squat bar?

Yes, but if you’re competing, you’re probably not want to bench with this. Because it’s not going to be like what you’ll see in competition.

Though its thickness is more so, it’s ideal to push with a large surface area of contact, but is this what you get in competitions? Ask yourself.

Although you must try a squat bar for other things, but there are specialty barbells for solely bench presses if you like to try/ BUY one.   

3. Can you deadlift with a squat bar?

Yes, you can, but it’s actually harder to grip. Even though it has good knurling.

It’s a thicker bar, which means it’s going to tax your grip a little bit more, and because the knurling is more prominent in terms of a fully knurled shaft or a wider center knurling piece, it’s aggressive.

Depending on how you pull for a deadlift, if you choose to use the squat bar for this, it’s really going to eat up your shins or your socks.

4. Is a squat bar worth it?

Yes, it’s a specialty bar designed keeping in mind squat dynamics and to improve the lifter efficiency in squats exercise.

This can be your best squat bar if you are focused on increasing your squat numbers. Otherwise, a power bar is an all-purpose bar. It’s not ideal to use the squat bar for deadlifts, bench presses, but you could experiment with it.  

5. Squat bar vs Safety squat bar: Which is better?

A squat bar is not as versatile as a safety squat bar which you can use for safety bar squats, Hatfield’s squats, lunges, good mornings it’s a lot more versatile than a squat bar which is predominantly made just for the back squats.

Also, if you have limited shoulder mobility, safety squat bar puts you in a more stable place. Where the squat bar is straight, comes without handles or pads, and looks like any other barbell. 

6. How much does a squat bar weigh in kg?

A squat barbell is heavier than a normal barbell, that is 25 kgs because of all good reasons like it lengths 7.91 fts, has 32 mm thickness, which makes it automatically bulkier & heavier. 

If you have other comments or questions regarding a squat bar or anything else. As always, leave them in the comments section below.

Also, check out other reviews:

  1. 5 best specialty barbells for home gym
  2. Does ATE barbell provide Eleiko-like IPF powerlifting bar specs in India?
  3. Bullrock T-Rex Adjustable Dumbbell India Review

Thanks for reading.

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Rishabh Shrivastava

Rishabh dreams of sailing with his dog on the Kerala coast🌅 - unless he's helping someone design their home gym with all the lifting gears and gym equipments that would create a perfect setting for strength & muscle progression. He is a savvy blogger, health writer, and weightlifter who help put a great foundation for athletes that improves their muscle strength, response time, and mental prowess on the game.😁

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