When to Use Different Kinds of Barbells in the Gym

In this video, Redcon1 trainer Joe Bennett gives us his insight on several different types of barbells you might find in the gym and how to use them within your own workouts.

The bars Joe covers in this video are the Swiss bar, the EZ bar, the trap bar, and the safety bar.

Swiss Bar

The first barbell Joe covers is the Swiss bar. The Swiss bar, also known as a football bar, has several different handles you can use to vary your hand positioning during exercises.

The exercise Joe finds it can be useful for is the close grip bench press. A big problem people have with the close grip bench press is over time they develop elbow pain. In most cases, this is due to wrist mobility and forcing the wrist into an uncomfortable position to execute a close grip bench press.

With the Swiss bar, you can find a position that is a little more favorable to your current mobility while also performing the lift pain free.

EZ Bar

The EZ bar, or cambered bar, is another great option for those who lack certain wrist mobility. Especially in instances where you are performing underhand exercises.

Those with a lack of wrist mobility risk elbow injuries, shoulder pain, and bicep tears when performing straight bar variations. By utilizing the EZ bar you can mimic the same movement pattern without putting your gym-longevity at risk.

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Trap Bar

A lot of people utilize the trap bar when performing shrugs or deadlifts, but there are other joint-saving ways to implement this bar into your workout routine.

Joe’s recommendation for the trap bar is to utilize it when performing rows if you have wrist mobility issues. This puts the hands in a more neutral position to alleviate shoulder and elbow pain.

Safety Squat Bar

The safety bar is an excellent option to use during the squat. As Joe mentions, it can help guys target the muscles involved in a front squat if they experience pain during the hand positioning of a front squat.

Or it can be used to help lifters maintain a more upright position during the squat if they struggle to do so during a traditional back squat.

A lot of this has to do with how the safety bar loads the exercises. The weight is placed more in line with the shoulders as opposed to behind the body.

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