Nothing feels as good as lifting barbells. 

A barbell teaches the mind to use muscles collectively to move an object. It also helps improve neuromuscular connections, which is responsible for building stronger muscles.

Don't know what a barbell is? A barbell is a long bar with weights attached at both ends. It is used in weightlifting, bodybuilding, and powerlifting. Also, you'd be surprised to know that there are several types of barbells and important factors to consider when buying one.

But before we talk about what makes a good barbell, let discuss the types!

Cambered Bars 

There are two types of cambered barbells. The first is the regular cambered barbell, which is a better variation of the straight barbell. With this cambered barbell, anyone with bad posture can use to work out comfortably since it relieves the stress from the shoulder. 

Cambered squat barbells have weights that hang low and swing as well. For a seasoned weightlifter looking for a tighter workout, the cambered squat barbell is perfect. 

Trap/Hex Bar 

The trap/hex bar looks very different from an average barbell. Its unique trapezoid shape is most likely the inspiration for its name. To lift this bar, you’d have to stand and lift with your arms spread more than usual. 

The selling points of the trap bar are many, but very notable among them is how it works the legs. The trap bar also relieves pressure on the joints when lifting while placing more pressure on the legs. According to a study done in 2016, the hex bar is effective for enhancing power, velocity, and maximal force.

Standard/Olympic Barbell

The standard Olympic barbell is the most common type of barbell in the market, and every gym has one. Standard barbells are 7 feet long and weigh about 45 pounds. You can use this barbell for squats, bench press, overhead press, deadlifts and much more.

Swiss Bars

Also referred to as the football bar, the Swiss bar is mostly used for bench pressing exercises.

Swiss bars, just like the regular cambered bar, are ideal for the working your shoulders. It relieves pressure on the shoulders and wrist. 

If you have a shoulder injury, you can bench press more comfortably with the Swiss bar. It also offers a wide range of grips that allows the user to utilize the bar for various movements.

Powerlifting Barbells

Compared to standard barbells, Powerlifting barbells often hold more weight. And that means they are designed with stronger steel. If you're a powerlifter, you'll love this barbell which is often knurled more aggressively, and has a more dense shaft.

Log Barbell 

This heavy-duty barbell is deigned for seasoned weight lifters who specialize in extreme weight lifting. Log barbells can carry as much as 1200 pounds and are primarily used for strongman competitions. 

The log Barbell is a straight bar with a log-shaped cylinder around the shaft. The handles (located perpendicular to the bar), are carved into the round logs.

EZ Curl Bar 

The EZ Curl barbell is what you should lift if you want to work on your arms. It is smaller than other barbells and not as heavy. You can also use the curl barbell for bicep training. Rather than a straight knurled area, the knurled area on the EZ Curl barbell is curled. 

There are two types of EZ Curl bars, the standard and the Olympic sleeve. One of the biggest advantages of the EZ Curl barbell is that it relieves pressure from the wrist as the wrists and elbows are in a neutral position.

The Deadlift Bar

The deadlift and standard barbell are pretty similar; however, the former allows for more whip, making it simpler to carry from the floor. Also, they're 45 lbs with firm knurling for excellent grip control.

Tsunami Bar 

The Tsunami barbell is a newly patented barbell. This barbell enhances lifters' experience in bench presses and back squats. Working with this barbell requires some level of skill, so it is not for a beginner weightlifter. The most notable fact about this bar is how flexible it is. 

It bends and flexes throughout the lifting process. According to its designers, the oscillating motion created at the ends is its selling point. It is said to enhance power, strength, and muscle contraction speed.

There are so many types of barbells, with each one having its unique advantages. The trap and cambered squat barbells help relieve the pressure of weight lifting from the shoulders. 

The Olympic barbell is also specially designed to be of maximum advantage to Olympic athletes. Other barbells are specialized in their use, and that includes the log Barbell and the EZ Curl barbell. 

What Makes a Good Barbell?

Choosing the perfect barbell can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. The ideal barbells are selected based on how they suit your needs, along with your strength. To choose the best barbell for your goals and needs, consider the following:

  • The Whip

The whip is the extra bounce that the barbell makes at the end of every repetition. The amount of whip a barbell has depends on the width of the bar and the material used to make it. And it also varies according to the needs of the lifter. That is to say that some lifters prefer more whip for any routine they follow.

  • The Barbell’s Strength

The tensile strength of a barbell is a crucial feature. It is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Also, the tensile strength depends on the type of barbell you want to acquire. 

If you're going to buy a barbell, it is best to go for a barbell with a minimum PSI rating of 155,000 PSI. 

  • Finish

Barbell steel bars do not have any finish and can rust easily. However, they do have an excellent grip. Zinc finishes give added protection and come in bright and black coatings.

  • Knurling

During back squats, the center knurl keeps the barbell on the back. However, a barbell with Olympic knurling doesn't come with a rough center knurling. And this might help prevent neck injuries during presses and jerks. If you're a functional fitness athlete, it's best to go for a barbell with smooth knurling.

On the other hand, if you want to use a barbell for casual recreational lifting, choose a barbell with standard knurling.

There you go! Finding the right barbell that suits your needs is important. We hope this guide provides what you need to make an informed choice.


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