While high Back Squats became the king of all lower-body exercises, many coaches are now hesitant to include them in their programmes, citing potential lower-back injuries as a reason. Some coaches go so far as to exclude all heavy bilateral squats from their athletes’ strength training in favour of Single-Leg Squat variations. But how can you squat safely on two legs if standard back squats harm your lower back? Below you can read the advantages:. A safety squat bar is a unique barbell especially for performing squats. In this article, you can read about how this bar differs from a normal barbell and the benefits.
What Is A Safety Squat Bar?
As mentioned, the safety squat bar is not a normal barbell. It has a curve (bend) at both ends. The result of these curves is that you will experience the squat differently. For example, the center of gravity of the weight will move more forward compared to a squat performed with a ‘normal’ bar. The bar also bears the name ‘Hatfield bar’. This refers to Frederick Hatfield who goes through life as ‘Mr. Squat’. This is a big name in the power lift world and is partly responsible for the breakthrough of this bar.
Benefits Of Safety Squat Bar
The biggest advantage of the safety squat bar is that you no longer have to keep your shoulders in an unnatural position while squatting. With a back squat or a front squat, your shoulders will normally remain under constant tension. Because you don’t have to hold the bar, they are relieved. This is therefore the ultimate solution for people with sensitive shoulders.
Especially if you follow a full-body schedule in which the upper body and legs are trained on the same training day, it can make a huge difference that your shoulders get rest during the squats. This way you can more easily build strength in both the squat and press exercises.
Additionally, the safety squat bar has two handles that you can hold while training. However, this is not necessarily necessary and you can simply keep your hands free of the bar. In the beginning, this will feel a bit uncomfortable for most people, because you are used to always having to hold a bar. The advantage of having your hands free is that you can rest your arms, or hold the power rack to help yourself get up so you can do those few extra reps.
Straight Upper Body
Your upper body will stay straight more easily during the squats when you use the safety squat bar. The straighter your upper body is while performing the squat, the straighter your back will be. This is a great advantage as it can prevent back pain.
More Safer Than Typical Bar
If you are looking for a way to perform the squat safely, but with a loose bar, then the safety squat bar is the ultimate solution. Because the weight is more stable, the risk of accidents is considerably reduced.
The squat is an exercise that many people look up to. There are therefore only a few people whose favorite exercise is the squat. Squatting with a heavy bar in your neck is therefore not exactly the most comfortable position you can be in. That is why the safety bar is very popular among squat haters. It will make the exercise a lot more comfortable and bearable, without sacrificing the effectiveness of the training.
More Muscle Activation
Because the center of gravity is more forward, your core will have to work harder to keep your upper body up. This also ensures more muscle activation in your abdominal muscles. In addition, your back muscles are also addressed. The latissimus dorsi (also called lats) and your trapezius (traps) will therefore have to work to keep your upper body in balance while squatting.
Furthermore, the bar will allow you to do more reps than you normally could. Your leg muscles will therefore naturally be activated more.
Refine Your Technique
Because your upper body is forced to stay straight, you will eventually notice that this has a positive effect on the technique of the back squats with a normal barbell. You will be better able to keep your back straight. That is why these two exercises can be combined very well.
By keeping your workouts varied, you will ultimately achieve the best results. In this way, your body will be continuously challenged with various exercises and your muscles will be trained from different angles and positions. If your goal is to become stronger or to build muscle mass, this will also work in your favor.
You can challenge the exercises you do constantly by working with a one-leg safety squat bar. This forces your body to adapt to different weight distributions and exposes weaknesses you may not otherwise recognize. The safety squat bar can be used for single-leg moves such as Bulgarian split squats, one-legged Romanian deadlifts, and step-ups.
The safety squat bar is simple to use and extremely effective. If it’s not already part of your training routine, incorporating it into your regular leg routines is a great method to uncover your hidden improvements.
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