How To Use Safety Squat Bar – A Complete Guide

Safety squat bars offer a unique design that provides benefits to lifters of all levels and abilities.

Whether you are a novice looking to get started or a seasoned lifter wanting to mix things up, a safety squat bar is a tool worth considering for your weightlifting regime.

However, like any gym equipment, knowing how to use a safety squat bar properly can significantly affect your results and safety.

Let’s delve into the world of the safety squat bar, exploring its advantages and how to make the most of it.

What Is A Safety Squat Bar?

Safety Squat Bars are specialized pieces of gym equipment designed to optimize comfort and performance during squats.

Unlike traditional barbells, the safety squat bar (often simply referred to as a safety bar or squat bar) features a curved shape and padding, making it an awesome bar to incorporate into your workouts, especially for those with upper body mobility limitations.

This handy little bar can benefit a wide range of individuals, from the seasoned lifter looking to diversify their routine to a client recovering from injuries.

Safety squat bars are known to be particularly beneficial for those with rotator cuff issues, severe elbow tendonitis, or other arm injuries that may limit their ability to perform a traditional back squat.

RELATED – Barbell Safety – The Complete Guide To Prevent Injuries & Get Strong

The Benefits of Using a Safety Squat Bar

The safety squat bar provides numerous benefits that make it a great tool for your quad training regime and overall workout routine.

Here are the main benefits:


Safety Squat Bars are specialized pieces of gym equipment designed to optimize comfort and performance during squats.

The curved shape and padding of the safety squat bar offer a more relaxed feel compared to the standard barbell.

This is especially useful for people with limited shoulder, elbow, or wrist mobility.

Reduced Posterior Chain Involvement

The safety squat bar allows for a more vertical torso during squats, which results in less engagement of the posterior chain muscles.

This makes it an excellent addition to the squat game of those wanting to focus more on their quads and less on their glutes and hamstrings.


Both novices and seasoned lifters can use a safety squat bar. It’s a great way to add variety to your training sessions without unnecessarily straining your upper body.

Remember that while the safety squat bar has padding galore, it’s still important to add weight incrementally to prevent injury and ensure a proper form.

How To Use A Safety Squat Bar

Whether you’re new to the safety squat bar or a seasoned lifter looking to ensure you’re using the bar correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Position the bar – Place the padded part of the bar on your shoulders, with the cambered bars facing forward. Make sure the padding is evenly distributed across your back.
  2. Secure your grip – Grab the handles. This position is more similar to a front rack position than a traditional back squat, giving you more stability and control.
  3. Maintain your posture – Stand up tall, pulling your shoulder blades together to maintain thoracic extension. This prevents the bar from rolling up your neck.
  4. Sit into your squat – As you squat, keep your knees tracking over your toes and maintain tension throughout your body. Remember, the safety squat bar will push you forward more than a traditional barbell, so it’s important to keep your core tight and push back against the bar.

Throughout your training session, always remember the key rule of barbell logic: consistent practice. The more you familiarize yourself with the safety squat bar and its feel, the more comfortable and proficient you will become.

Programming Tips for Using a Safety Squat Bar

As with any new piece of equipment, it’s essential to incorporate the safety squat bar into your routine strategically. Here are some programming tips:

  1. Start Slow – If you’re new to the safety squat bar, begin by adding it to your routine once a week, allowing your body to adjust to the change.
  2. Use It as a Supplemental Exercise – The safety squat bar can be used as a supplemental exercise to your traditional squats or when your body needs a break from the low bar squat.
  3. Mix It Up – Incorporate other exercises with the safety squat bar like front squats, Good Mornings, Reverse Lunges, and Split Squats to diversify your workouts.

Differences Between a Safety Squat Bar and a Traditional Barbell

The safety squat bar and traditional barbell have a few basic differences that make each unique:

  • Hand Placement – Unlike a traditional barbell, the safety squat bar features handles that allow you to keep your hands in front of you, similar to a front rack position.
  • Padding – The safety squat bar offers padding, providing a comfortable place for the bar to sit on your shoulders and reducing strain.
  • Weight – Generally, an SSB weighs more than a standard Olympic barbell, which is something to consider when adding weight to the bar.

Understanding these differences can make a big difference in how you use each bar and help you decide if investing in a safety squat bar is a worthwhile purchase for your fitness goals.

Other Exercises You Can Do with a Safety Squat Bar

Aside from traditional squats, the safety squat bar’s unique design makes it versatile enough to use in several exercises. Here are some to consider:

  • Front Squats – The safety squat bar can mimic a front rack position, making it an excellent tool for front squats, particularly for those with tight shoulders or inflexible wrists.
  • Good Mornings – This bar can help maintain a better upper back position during Good Mornings due to the padding and front handles.
  • Reverse Lunges – With the bar’s secure and comfortable position, reverse lunges become more accessible and can help with stability.
  • Split Squats – The safety squat bar makes split squats feel less awkward and more stable than using traditional barbells.

By integrating these exercises into your routine, you’re not only getting the most out of your safety squat bar but also improving various aspects of your strength and mobility.

What the Safety Squat Bar is NOT Used For

While the safety squat bar is a versatile piece of equipment, it isn’t suitable for all exercises.

Specifically, it’s not designed for deadlifts due to its curved shape, and its unique structure makes Olympic lifting moves, such as cleans and snatches, impossible.

Therefore, if your training heavily involves these exercises, a traditional Olympic barbell may be more suited to your needs.


Now I turn it over to you!

Did this guide help you figure out how to use a safety squat bar effectively in your training?

Let me know in the comment section below, right now!

Until next time,


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