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Reasons to use the Squat Safety Bar

by Rahim Ramji, DPT (Doctor of Physiotherapy), YWCA Fitness Staff Team Member

The Safety Squat Bar (pictured below) is an excellent piece of equipment to help you add versatility to your lifting program; especially when it comes to the development of lower body strength and power. All athletes, age group and performance oriented, will benefit from a training program that includes a variety of movements. The Squat Safety Bar will do that for your squats and give you more options for movements such as weighted lunges.

The benefits of the Safety Bar include:

  • The bar naturally creates a more stable pelvic position in the squat. The weight is shifted forward when compared to the traditional low and high back squats and is shifted back from front squats. The result is weight carried in a more stable pelvic position.
  • A classic outcome people encounter when performing squats is the classic chest fall pattern. Those experiencing this outcome during their squats will find it easier to keep their torso upright using the safety bar.
  • As mentioned above, the squat movements using the Safety Bar places the weight forward of back squats and behind where it would be for front squats. This in between position leads to different experiences for your body. The safety bar squat is more knee dominant that the back squat and more hip dominant than the front squat. Therefore, adding squats using the safety bar becomes a great way to bring versatility to your programming.
  • This stable position improves your ability to complete single leg work such as you find with weighted lunges.

The Safety Bar is easier on the shoulders; allowing you to train even through the disruption a shoulder injury may bring:

  • Try one squat with the Safety Bar and you will find it is easier on your shoulders and neck. There is an immediate learned experience from this.
  • Those with shoulder injuries who find they are prevented from weighted back squats (high or low) often find this a great alternative. Thus, allowing them to continue completing squat workouts while they rehab their shoulder.
  • And, in a similar fashion, those with mobility challenges in the shoulder area (or even wrist) will find the Safety Bar a great option. Good form during the low back squat, for example, calls for tight elbows and hands (to set the back shelf the weighted straight bar sits on). This is no longer an issue with the Safety Bar.

There are numerous other ways to use this bar to add variety to your program and lower body strength building. Come and chat with one of our trainers and we can help you explore this great addition to our weight room. See below for images of myself using this bar:

This is the Safety Bar. The padding for the neck and shoulder area are there for comfort. And, the contour of the bar itself helps for weight distribution. The weight is between where it would be for a front squat and a back squat.
Here you can see me in full squat from the side. Notice how I am looking down as I keep the angle of my neck in line with my spine.
A front on view. See how I place my hands on the grips allowing the shoulder to be in a natural position.
Here I am getting into the starting position. The bar needs to be on the squat rack to add weight. Then, safely back away to begin your lifts.