top of page

WTF is a Safety Squat Bar?!

The Safety Squat Bar (SSB) is a specialty barbell and a great tool for all strength athletes and general population alike. It's a barbell with a slight camber that sits the weight slightly forward, has neck and shoulder pads and handles that come off the main bar. That's kinda awkward to describe and it's kinda awkward looking to be honest. But, it's a great piece of kit.

There is limited research on the SSB and I'd actually love to set something up within the gym one day. Maybe get some lifters to work up to 1RMs with different specialty barbells and using different equipment and see what happens. One study on the SSB by Hecker et al in 2018 found that the SSB created a more upright trunk angle, greater lower trapezius activation and the competitive Powerlifters in the study squatted roughly 11% less than a normal bar during a 3RM. That's actually higher than I would expect.

I make note to tell my members and athletes that the SSB feels great until about 70-80% which is where it starts to really challenge the upper back and fold you in half. Tough reps on the SSB are TOUGH!!

One of the best uses of the SSB to train the squat when dealing with the notorious elbow pain associated with heavy low bar squatting and big bench pressing. It allows lifters to continue to train with adding to the misery of painful elbows. I've been there and it sucks.

From a different perspective the Safety Bar is also great to use the numerous people who present with limited shoulder mobility and struggle with a straight bar. It allows them to train the squat pattern with heavier loads combined with axial loading while you continue to work on increasing mobility.

Overall the Safety Squat Bar is a must have. Add it to your toolbox and use it more often than you think you should.

49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page