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8 Best Safety Squat Bars in 2024: Top Picks for More Comfortable Squats

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The safety squat bar is one of the most versatile specialty barbells you can buy. It offers several benefits, including strength gains, comfort, injury prevention, rehab, and more.

We’ve tested every type of safety squat bar from some of the biggest brands in the industry. We’ve used them on squats, lunges, step-ups, JM presses, good mornings, etc. Here are some of the things we considered when making our list (more below):

  • Balance: Does the bar have an optimal camber angle for balance? Can you squat hands-free?
  • Comfort: Is the pad comfortable and made of high-quality foam?
  • Handle Design: Are the handles removable for extra versatility? Are they long or short? How do they feel?

In this article, I’ll share our top picks for the best safety squat bars based on real experience. Whether you’re an elite powerlifter looking for serious strength or an average Joe with shoulder issues, we’ve got you covered.

What’s the Best Safety Squat Bar?

We found the REP Safety Squat Bar offered excellent balance and performance at an affordable price. With an ideal camber angle and comfortable padding, this is our pick as the best safety squat bar for most people.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: REP Safety Squat Bar

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Best for Value: Titan Safety Squat Bar v2

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Most Versatile: Kabuki Transformer Bar

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Best Heavy-Duty: Elitefts SS Yoke Bar

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Best for Low Bar Squats: Marrs Bar

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Best with Multiple Handles: Bells of Steel SS3

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Most Unique: Bandbell BrassKnuckle Bar

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Best Attachment: Sorinex Top Squat

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REP Safety Squat Bar: Best Safety Squat Bar Overall

Best SSB for Most People
REP Safety Squat Bar

The REP Safety Squat Bar is a well-balanced SSB with several unique features, including knurled handles, hard chrome Olympic-sized sleeves, and more. For the price, it's the best safety squat bar out there for most people.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 68 lbs
  • Handle Type: Short/Straight
  • Shaft Finish: Metallic Black Powder Coat
  • Sleeve Finish: Hard Chrome
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes


CHECK PRICE

Summary

The REP Safety Squat Bar is the best SSB we’ve tested for most people. This bar matches the balance of the Elitefts SS Yoke Bar, which no other bar in this class has been able to achieve.

This bar strikes its balance with a camber angle of roughly 22 degrees (similar to other bars). Additionally, it offers a sleeve drop of 5.5″ inches, the same as the Elitefts SS Yoke. Both of these are important in creating balance, but most other bars only get the camber angle right. Their camber drops are often shorter by 1″ or more, which can cause the bar to lean further back.

REP Safety Squat Bar on REP PR-5000 Power Rack

The yoke on this bar is very similar to other traditional safety squat bars. It uses a very comfortable foam that sits perfectly on the traps. It’s not as soft as the Elitefts bar and not as firm as the Titan SSB. The vinyl is a clear upgrade over some SSBs, including the Titan and others. However, it’s not as supple as the Elitefts Bar, which I consider the gold standard for vinyl.

The handles are among the best features of the REP Safety Squat Bar. While most other bars include plastic-capped handles with contoured grips, the REP bar offers fully knurled steel handles. They feel excellent in the hand, and the volcanic knurling is consistently machined. Similar to others, these handles are removable so that you can perform movements like JM presses. REP is also planning to release other handle variations in the future.

REP Safety Squat Bar Balance Hatfield Squats

This bar from REP has a unique metallic black powder-coated finish that looks fantastic out of the box. While powder coat will always be susceptible to signs of wear and tear over time, I like this finish much more than the Elitefts clear coat and Titan chrome. This bar also uses smooth Olympic-sized sleeves with a hard-chrome finish, which is a huge benefit.

This bar is simply excellent. Considering the price, free shipping, and all the features, we feel that the REP Safety Squat Bar is the best SSB for most people.

Pros

  • Outstanding balance
  • Hard chrome, Olympic-sized sleeves
  • Removable knurled steel handles
  • Very comfortable yoke
  • Soft, durable vinyl
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Heavier and longer than some other safety squat bars

Titan Safety Squat Bar v2: Best Value Safety Squat Bar

Best Value SSB
Titan Safety Squat Bar

The Titan Safety Squat Bar is a budget-friendly SSB modeled closely after the Elitefts SS Yoke Bar. This bar ships for free and has excellent reviews.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 61 lbs
  • Handle Type: Short/Straight
  • Shaft Finish: Chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: Chrome
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes


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Summary

The Titan safety squat bar v2 has become one of the most popular SSBs on the market. While it’s not an exact clone, it’s VERY similar to the highly-regarded Elitefts SS Yoke Bar at a lower price. For an in-depth comparison of the two, watch the video below.

I’ve owned the Titan SSB since 2019, and I like several things about it. First, it offers a very familiar yoke design that’s comfortable. The foam on the yoke is similar to thick carpet padding, and it feels good on the back. The vinyl, while not as soft as the Elitefts version, is durable and textured. It fits very snug around the yoke, so there aren’t any areas of loose vinyl that you can see or feel.

Titan Safety Squat Bar on REP PR-5000 Power Rack

The balance of this bar is good overall. I would consider the REP and Elitefts bars to have great balance, so while the Titan may not be as good, most users will be happy with it. What makes it slightly less balanced is a slightly thicker pad and a sleeve drop that’s about 1″ shorter. The camber angle is exactly the same, roughly 22 degrees. This helps to create balance while also making for a challenging experience that safety squat bars are known for.

The Titan Safety Squat Bar handles are contoured with individual finger slots. I love this handle design, which is similar to the Elite bar. The handles are also threaded, so you can remove them to perform various other movements, like JM presses. You can also attach different handles to this bar to make it even more challenging (how-to video near the bottom of this article).

Like the REP bar, this Titan bar has Olympic-sized sleeves, which means you can use any size barbell collar. It uses a different and cheaper chrome, but the sleeves are still smooth, which I prefer. These sleeves are a definite upgrade over the Elitefts bar and even a few others.

The Titan Safety Squat Bar is a tremendous value bar. Often on sale for less than $275 shipped, it offers a great blend of value and performance. Because of that, the Titan SSB v2 has become a household name in the home gym community.

Pros

  • Great value for a quality safety squat bar
  • Similar design to the Elitefts SS Yoke
  • Chrome finish with Olympic-sized sleeves
  • Removable handles with contoured grip
  • Comfortable yoke padding
  • Very positive user reviews

Cons

  • Not quite as well balanced as the Elitefts SS Yoke

Read our Full Titan Safety Squat Bar Review


Kabuki Transformer Bar: Most Versatile Safety Squat Bar

Most Versatile SSB
Kabuki Transformer Bar

The Kabuki Transformer Bar is far and away the most versatile safety squat bar with 24 different adjustment options. It's extremely high-quality, and it's made in the USA.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • Handle Type: Long/Angled
  • Shaft Finish: Zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Black Oxide
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes


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Summary

There’s nothing like the Kabuki Transformer bar. This bar is truly unique and amazingly versatile. It’s pricey, but for everything it offers, it’s an outstanding option.

The most notable thing about the Transformer bar is its adjustability. Kabuki allows lifters to change two primary variables: camber angle and sleeve drop. For more information on these two variables, see the below section about important factors to consider.

The first adjustment is the camber angle, which sets the type of lift that you’re performing. There are six options: goblet squats, front squats, safety bar squats, high-bar back squats, low-bar back squats, and good mornings. You can adjust the angle with a simple pop-pin without even unloading the bar.

Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar - Best Safety Squat Bar

The second feature is the sleeve drop, which sets the difficulty of the movement. It ranges from 1 to 4, with 1 being closest to the shaft and 4 being furthest. The further the load sits from the center of mass, the more challenging the lift will be. This adjustment is made by removing the sleeve and twisting it into place at the desired level. You will need to have the bar unloaded to change the sleeve drop unless it’s a very small amount of weight.

All-in, the Kabuki Transformer Bar offers 24 total adjustments.

The yoke on this bar consists of high-density foam, and it’s very comfortable – considerably more comfortable than prior versions of this bar. The handles are long and angled, which some users like and others do not. I prefer shorter handles, but you can still grip higher on these. The ends are also knurled for additional texture.

The main shaft is finished in zinc, while the sleeves have a black oxide coating. As a result, the sleeves will tend to show imperfections over time as plates slide on and off. The loadable sleeve length is 15.75″, which is about 0.5″ less than a traditional Olympic barbell – still plenty of room to load a lot of weight.

You won’t find a more versatile safety squat bar on the market than the Kabuki Transformer Bar. I highly recommend it if budget is no concern and you plan to take advantage of all it offers.

Pros

  • 6 camber angle adjustments
  • 4 sleeve drop adjustments
  • 24 total combinations
  • Comfortable high-density foam yoke
  • Knurled handles
  • Legible graphics make for easy and fast adjustments

Cons

  • Expensive for the average home gym owner
  • Black oxide sleeves will show imperfections over time
  • Long handles may be awkward for some lifters

Elitefts SS Yoke Bar: Best Heavy-Duty Safety Squat Bar

Best Balance SSB
EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar

The EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar is the gold standard when it comes to the safety squat bar. This USA-made bar offers exceptional balance with a very strong reputation.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 65 lbs
  • Handle Type: Short/Straight
  • Shaft Finish: Clear Coat
  • Sleeve Finish: Clear Coat
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: No


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Summary

The Elitefts is widely considered to be the king of the traditional safety squat bar. It offers amazing balance, a great yoke, and removable handles.

When it comes to this bar, the first thing to point out is its balance. From the camber angle (22 degrees) to the sleeve drop (5.5″) and everywhere in between, it provides excellent balance. You can use this bar with or without your hands. For example, if you’re big on Hatfield squats, the Elitefts SS Yoke is the best traditional safety squat bar I’ve tried.

The yoke on the Elitefts bar is very comfortable. It has a combination of foam and a layer of what looks like what you would find on a pool noodle. Combined with the supple and high-quality vinyl, it’s one of the best yoke designs out there.

Elitefts SS Yoke on REP PR-5000 Power Rack

The handles are short and straight, which I prefer, and the grips include contoured finger slots. They’re also removable and accept 3/4″ threaded attachments for increased versatility. I love attaching eye bolts and using cannonball grips for an increased challenge.

The biggest downside to the Elite SS Yoke is the clear coat finish. This persists on the shaft and the sleeves and will almost immediately begin to chip and flake as you use the bar. It’s purely cosmetic, but it’s my least favorite finish on any barbell. The sleeves are also not Olympic-sized, so you’ll need to purchase collars that will fit. I recommend Proloc collars since they will work on any barbell, regardless of diameter.

I view the Elitefts SS Yoke Bar as the best traditional safety squat bar on the market. Its balance is largely unmatched, and its performance is well documented. It’s more expensive, but if you want the best, it’s hard to top this bar.

Pros

  • Amazing balance
  • Short, removable handles
  • Ideal camber angle and sleeve drop
  • Very comfortable padding and vinyl
  • Longstanding history of solid performance

Cons

  • Clearcoat finish chips and flakes off almost immediately
  • Sleeves are not Olympic-sized, which prevents the use of standard barbell collars.

Read Our Full Elitefts SS Yoke Review


Marrs Bar: Best Safety Squat Bar for Low Bar Squats

Best SSB for Low Bar Squats
Marrs Bar

The Marrs Bar is a unique and amazingly balanced bar that's ideal for low bar squats, front squats, and good mornings.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 64 lbs
  • Handle Type: Short
  • Shaft Finish: Zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Black Oxide
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes


Check price at Titan Check price at Rogue

Summary

The Marrs Bar is far and away my favorite specialty bar of all time. Nothing has transformed my training as much as this bar has. You can watch an in-depth review of the bar above.

The Marrs Bar isn’t a safety squat bar in the traditional sense. It looks like a safety squat bar with its yoke and cambered design, but it serves a different purpose. A traditional SSB wants to pitch the lifter forward, putting more emphasis on the upper back and the quads. The Marrs Bar is, among other things, a low bar squat alternative with a more hip/glute focus.

The BEST Specialty Bar I've Ever Used - The Marrs Bar

The yoke design on the Marrs bar looks much different than a traditional SSB. This bar has a ‘backpack’ yoke that sits in the mid-thoracic region and wraps around your shoulders. Simply put, a better-balanced bar does not exist. When the Marrs bar is on you, it’s completely locked in. You can jump up and down, move side to side, squat, hinge, etc. it’s not moving. The current version of the Marrs Bar includes a molded foam pad that’s comfortable and very durable.

The bar’s shaft is finished in zinc, while the sleeves are finished in black oxide. Similar to the Transformer bar above, this will result in the sleeves showing imperfections over time. The sleeves are 16.25″ long, which is great, and they’re Olympic-sized.

While the Marrs bar excels at low bar back squats, it’s also amazing at front squats and good mornings. I maintain that once you front squat with the Marrs Bar, you’ll never front squat with a straight bar again. It’s that good. The Good Morning is also better than with a traditional safety squat bar because it reduces the lever arm and makes it safer for your lumbar spine.

The downside to the Marrs Bar is that it’s among the most expensive specialty bars available. However, if you have the budget, it’s an amazing bar, especially if you’re a low bar squatter.

Pros

  • Most well-balanced bar on the market
  • Excellent for low bar squats, front squats, and good mornings
  • Olympic-sized sleeves
  • Very comfortable foam/yoke design
  • Molded foam is very durable

Cons

  • Expensive for the average home gym owner
  • Not as versatile as some other safety squat bars

Bells of Steel SS3: Best Safety Squat Bar w/ Multiple Handles

Best SSB w/ Multiple Handles
Bells of Steel SS3

The Bells of Steel SS3 is a safety squat bar built similar to the Elitefts SS Yoke, but with several handle attachments included for added versatility.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20 kg
  • Handle Type: Multiple
  • Shaft Finish: Black Zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Bright Zinc
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: Yes


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Summary

The Bells of Steel SS3 is a unique safety squat bar that takes some of the design features of the Elitefts SS Yoke and adds a few of its own.

In terms of its basic design, the SS3 from Bells of Steel is built similarly to the Elite bar. It has a similar yoke design, handle design, camber angle, etc. Where it mainly differs is in its sleeve design. These aren’t just Olympic-sized sleeves… they’re legitimately barbell sleeves… that rotate… with bushings. This is very rare on safety squat bars, which normally include fixed sleeves. Does this change the lift at all? Not much, in my experience, but I do appreciate the unique take on the design, especially as a traditional barbell lover.

Bells of Steel SS3 on REP PR-5000 Power Rack

Another unique quality of this bar is that it includes several handle options as standard. I mentioned earlier that a few other safety squat bars have removable handles that you can replace with various threaded attachments. However, those bars don’t actually include them – you must buy the parts to create them yourself (see the video below). Bells of Steel gives you the regular handles, long handles, and chain handles with your purchase.

This is a BIG selling point, in my opinion. The different handles, mind you, are used based on preference or desired stimulus. For example, the chain handles make it harder for users to cheat using the bar by introducing some slack in the handle system. Again, check out the video below for more.

The shaft on the SS3 is coated in black zinc, while the sleeves are coated in bright zinc. The sleeves aren’t as long (14.2″) as some other safety squat bars (15.75″+), so keep this in mind if you’re a heavy lifter. This bar also weighs 20kg, which is lighter than other SSBs and makes gym math a little easier.

If you like the idea of multiple handles on your safety squat bar, I recommend the Bells of Steel SS3 since they include several out of the box. It’s also well-priced in general for a safety squat bar.

Pros

  • Solid price point for most home gym owners
  • Removable handle system – comes with three types of handles
  • Olympic-sized sleeves
  • Rotating sleeves
  • Comfortable yoke designed closely after the Elitefts SS Yoke Bar

Cons

  • Not as well balanced as some

Read Our Full Bells of Steel SS3 Review


Bandbell BrassKnuckle Bar: Most Unique Safety Squat Bar

Most Unique SSB
Bandbell BrassKnuckle Bar

The Bandbell Brassknuckle Bar is a unique SSB that doesn't offer a traditional camber, but does include a yoke. This bar provides a very humbling oscillating effect to challenge stabilizer muscles.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Handle Type: Short/Straight
  • Shaft Finish: N/A
  • Sleeve Finish: N/A
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: Partially


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Summary

The BrassKnuckle Bar from Bandbell is in a class of its own. It’s similar to a safety squat bar in that it has the conventional yoke and handle design. It’s different because there isn’t a camber, and it offers unique oscillating features. Bandbell is known as one of the leaders in kinetic energy training. Their Earthquake Bar is probably what they’re best known for. I’ve owned and used that bar for years, and it’s excellent at targeting stabilizing muscles. It’s also humbling because it doesn’t require as much weight as a traditional bar.

The BrassKnuckle Bar is a part of Bandbell’s RhinoFlex series, which is stronger than the Earthquake Series bars. It still provides flex in the shaft that constantly requires the lifter to absorb the force and use their stabilizing muscles.

This bar was created to offer a safety squat bar look and feel in the sense of the yoke and handles. So, if you like the idea of oscillating kinetic training but you have upper extremity limitations that make their regular bars difficult to use, this is a great option.

The bar is made of composite materials that include carbon fiber, ceramics, fiberglass, and poly-rubber compounds. There’s little-to-no maintenance as on bars with exposed steel. It’s also much lighter at only 20lbs, but don’t let that fool you – Bandbell bars are extremely challenging.

The BrassKnuckle Bar is a very niche bar – there’s currently nothing else like it on the market. It’s not a traditional safety squat bar by any means, but it has some unique training applications that some people will find beneficial.

Pros

  • Uses kinetic energy, making it a very unconventional safety squat bar
  • Flexes under load to activate stabilizer muscles
  • Much lighter than other SSBs
  • Comfortable yoke with high-quality vinyl
  • Bandbell is a leader in kinetic/oscillating barbells

Cons

  • No camber, so it doesn’t act as a true safety squat bar
  • Sleeves are not conventional – they will fit most plates, but not plates with very tight tolerances

Sorinex Top Squat: Best Safety Squat Bar Attachment

Best SSB Attachment
Sorinex Top Squat

The Sorinex Top Squat is an SSB attachment that attaches around the shaft of an Olympic Bar to provide a yoke and handle system for comfort.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 14 lbs
  • Handle Type: Long/Angled
  • Shaft Finish: Powder Coat
  • Sleeve Finish: Powder Coat
  • Olympic Sized Sleeves: N/A


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Summary

The Top Squat was developed by professional bodybuilder, Dave Draper. This is a solid option if you don’t have the money, space, or desire to buy a dedicated SSB.

The Top Squat is a safety squat bar attachment that hooks directly onto your Olympic barbell. It includes two 22.5″ long handles that angle with a flat end to prevent your hands from coming off. You can use the Top Squat for both back squats and front squats.

There are a couple of things to consider when looking at this attachment. First, you won’t get any of the challenging benefits of a safety squat bar. Because there’s no camber, you’re just working with a straight bar. In this sense, the Top Squat is ideal for lifters who have trouble externally rotating their shoulders or those who just want a more comfortable hand position.

The second is that the attachment does not include any padding on the back or handles. This may or may not be a big deal depending on your needs. Padding is more important on a traditional safety squat bar because of the load placement and force vectors. Being that this doesn’t produce the same stimulus, padding isn’t as important.

The Top Squat is powder-coated from end to end and includes UHMW on the inner edge to protect your barbell’s finish.

I don’t particularly recommend a safety squat bar attachment when there are such high-quality and budget-friendly options out there for an actual SSB. However, if you do want to go the attachment route, the Top Squat is the best available.

Pros

  • Much cheaper than a full safety squat bar
  • More space-friendly than a traditional SSB
  • Works for back squats and front squats
  • Designed by bodybuilder, Dave Draper
  • Includes UHMW lining to protect your barbell

Cons

  • Uses your straight bar, so there isn’t a camber like on a safety squat bar
  • No exterior padding, so it may be uncomfortable for some users

Compare our Top Picks

Compare our selection of the best safety squat bars below based on price and key specs. Scroll right to see more.

REP Safety Squat Bar
REP Safety Squat Bar Table Image
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Titan Safety Squat Bar
Titan Safety Squat Bar v2 Table Image
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Kabuki Transformer Bar
Kabuki Transformer Bar Table Image
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Elitefts SS Yoke Bar
Elitefts SS Yoke Table Image
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Marrs Bar
Marrs Bar Table Image
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Bells of Steel SS3
Bells of Steel SS3 Table Image
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Bandbell BrassKnuckle
Bandbell BrassKnuckle Bar Table Image
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Sorinex Top Squat
Sorinex Top Squat Table Image
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Price$329.99$299.99$795$348$649$339.99$490$179
AwardBest OverallBest ValueMost VersatileBest Heavy-DutyBest Low BarBest HandlesMost UniqueBest Attachment
Weight68 lbs61 lbs55 lbs65 lbs64 lbs20 kg20 lbs14 lbs
Handle TypeShort/StraightShort/StraightLong/AngledShort/StraightShortShort, Long, ChainShort/StraightLong/Angled
Shaft FinishBlack Powder CoatChromeZincClear CoatZincBlack ZincN/APowder Coat
Sleeve FinishHard ChromeChromeBlack OxideClear CoatBlack OxideBlack ZincN/APowder Coat
Olympic SleevesYesYesYesNoYesYesPartiallyN/A

Safety Squat Bar Benefits

The safety squat bar is one of the best and most versatile specialty bars you can buy. It has carryover to various lifting styles, and it can benefit a wide population of athletes. The SSB is one of the first specialty bars that I ever bought, and it’s one that I recommend to many people, along with a trap bar.

I’ll highlight a few of the key benefits of the safety squat bar below, but feel free to check out my list of safety squat bar benefits for a more comprehensive overview.

1. It’s Safer for Your Shoulders, Elbows, and Wrists

Safety Squat Bar Comfort

One of the biggest reasons to buy a safety squat bar is because it produces much less stress on the upper extremities than a traditional Olympic Barbell.

Many people have mobility limitations in the shoulder joint that make it challenging to externally rotate for a back squat. Other people have elbow pain associated with back squatting, and some have wrist pain with back or front squatting.

The safety squat bar eliminates all that because it keeps your shoulders neutral and removes the load from the elbows and wrists. If you love to squat but find it too uncomfortable because of issues in your arms/shoulders, a safety squat bar will change your life.

2. Your Upper Back and Quads Will Explode

Safety Squat Bar Back Squat

The safety squat bar is a very challenging specialty bar. Due to the camber that tries to pitch you forward, you have to work hard to stay upright. As you fight that force, your upper back gets torched… in a good way. Since you’re in a more upright position, the bar places a greater emphasis on the quads, so you can expect some solid gains in quad strength and size.

In addition to the upper back and quads, you can still manipulate the load to target other areas as well. A deeper hip hinge can help target the hips and glutes more effectively. A good morning will light up the entire poster chain, and a front squat will hit the quads even harder along with the anterior core.

The safety squat bar is very effective at increasing general strength.

3. It’s Very Versatile

Safety Squat Bar Lunge

You can use a safety squat bar for more than just squats. Depending on which bar you buy, they can be extremely versatile. As a general rule of thumb, shorter handles will provide more versatility, and removable handles will provide even more.

You can perform movements including squats (and variations), good mornings, lunges, step-ups, overhead presses, JM presses, calf raises, etc… Alongside the trap bar, I see safety squat bars as being among the most versatile specialty bars. Not only is that great for general strength and performance, but in the home gym, you get a single piece of equipment that can accomplish a lot of different things.


How to Pick a Safety Squat Bar

Best Safety Squat Bars - Factors

Here are the key factors to consider when buying a safety squat bar:

Camber Angle

One of the quintessential elements of a proper safety squat bar design is the camber, specifically the angle. An angle that is too far forward or not far forward enough will result in an unbalanced bar. The Elitefts SS Yoke is one of the best-balanced bars on the market. It uses a 22-degree camber angle.

Sleeve Drop

Another contributing factor to the overall balance and challenge of a safety squat bar is the sleeve drop. This measures how far below the sleeves sit from the main shaft. Too far below and the balance can get unwieldy – too shallow, and the bar may not produce the appropriate stimulus. Most quality SSBs will have a sleeve drop of approximately 5″-6″; however, depending on the overall design of the bar, the drop could change and still be OK (e.g., Kabuki Transformer Bar)

Yoke Design

In addition to the camber angle and sleeve drop, the yoke design contributes to an SSB’s overall balance. The yoke is what sits on your shoulders/back. The yoke consists of vinyl-wrapped foam, which provides a comfortable lifting experience in most cases. Some bars are more comfortable than others. For example, the Rogue Safety Squat Bar, which did not make our top list, has a very firm foam that many people find uncomfortable (myself included). Others, like the Elitefts SS Yoke and the Marrs Bar, are very comfortable. Remember, the thickness and placement of the padding will also impact the bar’s comfort and balance.

Handle Design

Safety squat bars will vary in handle length and type. Some, like the Titan safety squat bar, have short and straight handles, while others, like the Kabuki Transformer, have long and angled handles. This will come down to personal preference. Long handles can be awkward for some users. Some bars will also have removable handles, allowing for more movement variety and various handle attachments.

Sleeve Diameter

Some safety squat bars will have sleeves that are not Olympic-sized. This means their diameter will be smaller than a traditional Olympic barbell, and you won’t be able to use regular barbell collars. Instead, you need axel collars or Proloc collars. I highly recommend Proloc since they work on any barbell. I’ve been using them for years. Meanwhile, other bars will offer Olympic-sized sleeves. Typically, a powder-coated sleeve indicates a sleeve that is NOT Olympic-sized.

Bar Finish

The finish of safety squat bars will vary from company to company. You will commonly see powder coat, clear coat, chrome, or zinc on the shaft or sleeves. Powder coat and clear coat will show imperfections much faster than chrome or zinc, and they’re not as good at fighting oxidation.

Bar Weight

Safety squat bars can range in weight, but they’re often heavier than a traditional Olympic barbell. While some weigh 45lbs or 20kgs, most weigh between 55lbs-70lbs.

Price

Price is always a consideration with strength equipment. Safety squat bars have traditionally been among the most expensive of the special bars, but there are now more value options than ever before. You can buy bars like the REP SSB, Titan SSB, and others at reasonable prices. On the other hand, you can pay more for something like the Kabuki Transformer Bar and get a lot more versatility.


Honorable Mentions

  • Vulcan Safety Squat Bar: The Vulcan Safety Squat Bar is a value option with a heavy-duty 69lb weight. It didn’t make the list because it has thinner padding, nylon covers, and a narrower yoke. However, it does have Olympic-sized sleeves with good length.
  • Rogue Safety Squat Bar: The Rogue Safety Squat Bar is another heavy-duty option (70lbs) but it didn’t make the list because it’s not as comfortable as other bars and the powder-coated sleeves show blemishes quickly. We also felt the price was too high compared to other bars, although it is made in the USA.
  • Cerberus Safety Squat Bar: Like the Bells of Steel SS3, the Cerberus SSB comes with multiple handles and rotating sleeves. It didn’t make the list because of its higher price and red color that may clash with gym schemes. However, it does have longer sleeves than the SS3.

FAQs about Safety Squat Bars

  • What is a Safety Squat Bar?

    A safety squat bar is a type of cambered bar that sits high on the shoulders and places the load forward. It’s an excellent upper back and quad builder because it puts you in a more upright position. It’s also more comfortable because of the padding and front-facing handles. These handles eliminate the need to externally rotate the shoulders, making it a great bar for those with a history of shoulder/arm injuries.

  • Should I Buy a Safety Squat Bar For My Home Gym?

    In my opinion, a safety squat bar is one of the best specialty bars to own. It works extremely well, it’s comfortable, and it’s a game-changer for people with upper extremity limitations. If you love to squat and you value the versatility that a safety squat bar offers, I highly recommend one for your home gym.

  • Who Makes the Best Safety Squat Bar?

    We think that REP makes the best safety squat bar for most people. Unlike traditional Olympic bars, trap bars, etc., the list of quality safety squat bar manufacturers is slim. Titan, Elitefts, and Kabuki Strength are also great options, depending on your budget and needs.

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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