safety squat bar question

Has anyone here used a safefty squat bar before?

Here's a picture with an example of what I mean (thanks to SRBEN for the link):

In the antimated gif it shows a fellow doing regular parallel squats with it. I was wondering if anyone here has done any full-squatting (aka "olympic-style" squatting) with it? If so, how did it work out for you?

Is it hard to maintain the proper backward curve of the spine without your shoulder blades adducted?


Haven't even had access to one, but Fred Hatfield swears by it, and Fred Knows Squat!

Has he talked about using it for full squatting at all? The fact that he's a powerlifter tells me that he might not be that concerned with rock bottom squats. Then again, I don't know much about powerlifting.

I guess I could look at his website articles to see what contexts he mentions it in.

Buddhadev, I got a chance to try the Safety Squat Bar while attending a class at the police academy at the Arlington P.D./F.D. training center. They had a complete gym that included a power rack and Safety Squat Bar among other pieces. I had seen and heard all the hype concerning it for years, but wasn't about to drop the $400.+ that most places want Click here to see alternative pricing on bars .I was favorably impressed with the bar. Not only is it more comfortable on your spine, but because the leverage is slightly altered through the sleeves being offset, you don't even have to hold onto the bar to do squats. This is something of a miracle for people with glass backs and tight calves. There are optional bars that attach to the rack that are sold for balance, but most people won't need them anyway. I'm 6' and have always envied guys that can squat almost straight backed through the entire movement. With this bar you can finally do that. I don't normally squat Olympic ass on calves deep, but you can do that with this bar with less back strain and better form. You want this bar. A power rack and that bar would literally transform you. I am currently redoing my home gym and have ordered a power rack, f/i/d bench, preacher curl bench, and plate holder/bar holder. The next order of equipment that I will get will definitely have this bar in it. For anyone else that's interested, here is a great ab bench that I got to test out Click here for bench

Maybe I'm an idiot, but in the animation on the right how is the guy keeping the bar on his shoulders?



"how is the guy keeping the bar on his shoulders?" - That's what I was talking about in the above post. If you look at the bar, you can see that the sleeves (where the weight plates are) are slightly lower than the bar itself. That, and the padded yolk, are what give the bar its balance. No more leaning forward to balance yourself in a squat. Absolutely brilliant.

I use a safety squat bar frequently. The way the bar is designed the weight is higher up on your shoulders, higher even than a Manta Ray. It feels like the bar is forcing you forward so you have to fight to keep a tight back. This is great for building your form if you have problems with leaning forward when squatting. I also like it for lunges, step ups, and jump squats since it feels more secure on my back.

Brian Jones

"The way the bar is designed the weight is higher up on your shoulders, higher even than a Manta Ray. It feels like the bar is forcing you forward" - Are you using the same kind of bar that is shown on the web page above? Look at where the sleeves are in relation to his shoulders. The weight is actually lower than a traditional bar. That's why he is doing squats without having his hands on the bar. If the bar you used forced you forwards, there is something wrong with that bar, or it's not the same kind of bar. The S.S. bar doesn't pitch you forward at all.

That is the same kind of bar I use at my gym. Check out some of Louie Simmon's and Dave Tate's articles on the safety squat bar on

Brian Jones

Now that's clever. So the safety bar is to squats kind of what the trap bar is to deadlifts?



The Safety Squat Bar and the Trap Bar are both fantastic training tools.

SRBEN and Brian: Thanks a ton! Great posts!

It looks like this bar would be a far superior cost/benefit calculation to the ironmind Buffalo bar (which costs about 3x as much).

Next idiotic question coming up, but what's a Buffalo bar?



Will, it's this:

Thanks Buddhadev, the safety squat bar definitely looks better than the cambered squat bar. I'm going to go for the hat-trick now and ask: Any idea where I might be able to get hold of a safety squat bar in the UK?



Hey dev,

I have used the safety squat bar and found it to work quite well. It is often used in a power rack with handles that can be held onto for self spotting and assistance. I do not have reular access to one but did like it when I used it.


"Can you go into more detail about the Ab Bench you tried? Ive thought about getting one of those but wondered what makes it so special. I saw a guy at the gym using the cable pulldown with a rope using the precher bench to mimic that bench but it had a straight face not a curved one. does that make a big difference?" - The curved back pad of the ab bench provides for an almost perfect ab movement. The overhead pulley idea doesn't work anywhere near as good as the real McCoy, but try it out to see the possibilities. I have an ab wheel, ab slings, and have tried almost every kind of ab device that has been sold. I liked this machine the best. The ab machines in the gym are always uncomfortable on my lower back. I don't have any problems, it's just an unnatural movement (i.e. holding the padded bar across your chest and trying to lean forward with your feet under a "t" bar). The ab wheel is second best for me, but again, I have a strong lower back and not everyone can do reverse jack knife ab wheel work. If your back can take it, rep out. It's a helluva workout no doubt about that. Ab slings? I always see the ads in magazines that have people hanging up and having rock hard granite abs. I don't feel the movement anywhere but my lower abs no matter what type of movement is being performed with them. The movement of this bench is probably the best ab movement that you can do from a biomechanical standpoint imho, and has the capability to progressively load to boot. Four thumbs up...........................


Sorry, didn't mean to look like I was ignoring your question. I ran a couple of searches on for fitness equipment providers in the UK that sell one. Unfortunately I didn't find anything.

It would, however, surprise me very much if no one in that whole country could sell you one. My recommendation would be that you ask on a site that's more knowledgable on this topic.

Try either of the following forums:

You could go back to google and see if you have better luck there than I did. Of course, I only poked around for a couple of minutes myself.


Taku, thanks for your insights bro.

SRBEN that ab bench looks great & a good price too! Thanks once again! You've made some awesome posts here.


Buddhadev, thanks very much. Looks like it's time for me to go hunting.



Not used that. It looks interesting though.

I would always keep my hands on the bar though. When the weight goes higher up I wouldn't feel comfortable with that much weight with the two side neck parts supporting it.

I do olympic squats and just use the olympic 20kg bar and no pads. You get use to the hard metal against your neck. Feels weird when its not there......

*Will* where are you in the UK? I'm in the UK also and at the club where I train they have plenty of Olympic bars and freeweights to train what you want.