The Best Safety Squat Bars of 2023: Safely Hitting Your Strength Goals

man doing squats with safety squat bar


The best safety squat bars are specifically engineered to maintain healthy shoulders, elbows, and wrists by redistributing weight in a way that increases stability. What is special about that, you ask? Aside from offering those with limited shoulder mobility a safe way to squat, these bars add a variation to squat training by targeting different muscles. The handles, camber angles, and higher weight capacities allow lifters striving to hit their next PR to safely increase their load. Safety squat bars are quite different from traditional barbells you see racked up on squat racks and make for a great addition to any strength-training program.

Finding the best safety squat bar may sound like an easy task but in a market saturated with specialty bars ranging in cost, features, and dimensions, it can be daunting. But, you are in luck. The ACTIVE Reviews Team has researched the best safety squat bars currently on the market and narrowed it down into one comprehensive list here for you.

So, if you are looking to build up your strength or are dealing with reduced shoulder mobility, a safety squat bar may be your next best purchase. Read on to find which is the best one for you.

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The Best Safety Squat Bar - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Safety Squat Bar - Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2

Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2

SPECS

  • Weight: 61 lbs.
  • Handle type: 6"
  • Features: 22-degree camber angle, 2" padding, 5" drop, 1,500-lb. weight capacity
  • Finish: Chrome

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The Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2 has snagged the top spot for best overall safety squat bar for a plethora of reasons, which we will dive into. But let's first highlight its price! For less than $300, Titan has taken what was previously an unarguably poor version of a safety squat bar and engineered it to be one of the very best on the market (even when compared to higher-priced competitors). In fact, it is most commonly compared to the highly-respected Elitefts SS Yoke Bar, which is quite the compliment. And here is why it is awesome.

First off, the V2 boasts one of the most important qualities in a safety squat bar: an appropriate camber angle of 22 degrees. In addition, it comes with a 5-inch drop which effectively keeps the weight plates in a position that creates a stabilized center of gravity. The ergonomically placed 6-inch long hand grips offer more control when you are performing any lift, and the longer handles are great for people with shoulder mobility issues.

Another noteworthy feature is the Olympic-sized sleeves with a loadable length of 16 inches. The diameter allows you to use traditional clips rather than requiring special ones (as is often the case with safety squat bars). Titan also nailed the level of padding on this bar. Rather than being too bulky and thick or too thin, the V2 boasts a 2-inch thick padding designed to prevent sliding of the bar while maximizing comfort. The vinyl covering is good enough, but not winning any awards in and of itself. There are a handful of reviews reporting that some screws come loose over time, but that is a fairly easy fix.

What We Like

  • Camber angle
  • Comfortable handles
  • Price
  • Olympic-sized sleeves
  • Padding

What We Don't Like

  • Vinyl coating is just OK
  • Some reports that screws may come loose

BUY: Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar

Most Versatile Safety Squat Bar - Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar

Kabuki Strength Performer Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 55 lbs.
  • Handle type: Multi-angle handle
  • Features: 2 adjustable spring-pin mechanisms, knurled multi-angle handles, enables 24 squat position variations, 12" spacing between handles, foam core padding
  • Finish: Zinc with black oxide sleeves

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If you are looking for a high-quality, heavy-duty, multi-function safety squat bar engineered by and for the most elite professionals, the Kabuki Strength Performer Bar may just be your next big purchase. Described by some users as the most versatile and quality safety squat bar ever used, the Transformer features unique spring-pin mechanisms for an adjustable bar that enables each user to adjust the weight's center of mass relative to the lifter's size. The result? Better mechanics, increased stability and decreased chance of injury.

Designed in conjunction with and tested by elite athletes, the Transformer Bar's design allows for 24 squat position variations with camber angles that are easily adjusted. Thanks to the spring-pin adjustment mechanisms, there is no need to remove the loaded weight. Two areas of adjustment are featured on this bar. The first one has six positions with 30 degrees of variance between each one, lending themselves to specific squat movements. The second adjustment mechanism allows lifters to modify the position of the weight sleeve which increases or decreases the level of difficulty (camber angle).

Some other notable specs include the 12-inch spacing between the machine-knurled and bent handles to maximize both comfort and performance. The multi-angle bend in the handles enables each user to find a grip that is naturally more comfortable and stable. Toward that end, the padding on this bar is top-notch. A foam core is covered with a synthetic leather pad that not only looks good but is reliable and is made in the USA.

Rated to withstand up to 1,500 pounds, this bar will support some of the heaviest lifters out there. It doesn't come cheap, though, and its price tag is likely too steep for most home gym owners.

What We Like

  • Easy adjustments
  • Ergonomic handle position
  • Quality padding
  • Works for most athletes

What We Don't Like

  • Cost
  • Delayed shipping (17-19 weeks)

BUY: Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar

Best Budget Safety Squat Bar - Get RX'd Safety Squat Bar

Get RX'd Safety Squat Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 45 lbs.
  • Handle type: Rubber coated
  • Features: 11.5" loadable sleeve length, rubber coated handles, padded shoulders
  • Finish: Nickel phosphorus

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Being on a budget does not mean you have to sacrifice quality. While you may not get the premium construction found on higher-end bars, you can still get a wallet-friendly safety squat bar that allows you to safely perform all the exercises you would with a top-end one. The Get RX'd Safety Squat Bar is a solid choice for those looking to keep the price down but get a well-made safety squat bar.

This bar is designed to keep your torso in an upright position which fosters better form and allows those limited by poor shoulder mobility to squat without discomfort. Get RX'd Safety Squat bar comes with padded shoulder braces and rubber-gripped handles to ensure a comfortable and sturdy grip. However, there is little to no information on the thickness of the padding. Users do seem to appreciate the padding, which indicates that it is plenty thick enough to form a comfortable level of cushioning on the shoulders.

There are a few things we would like to know about this safety squat bar that the manufacturer does not provide. For one, specs for both the camber angle as well as the length of the handles are not offered. Some users did find the camber angle to feel too narrow, which results in a more rotational force on the shoulders than experienced with a typical safety squat bar. Still, given the price and functionality, the majority of users are very pleased with the product.

What We Like

  • Price
  • Rubber-coated handles
  • Effectively helps to improve form safely

What We Don't Like

  • Lack of some information on key specs
  • Camber angle is reportedly small

BUY: Get RX'd Safety Squat Bar

Best Heavy Duty Safety Squat Bar - Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 70 lbs.
  • Handle type: 5.5" straight handle
  • Features: Olympic sleeves, 1.5" diameter shaft, 1" diameter handles, solid steel construction
  • Finish: Black cerakote

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Manufactured by one the most known and well-respected names in the business, the Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar is the one we clearly found to be the best heavy-duty safety squat bar. Constructed with solid steel, the SB-1 is built like a tank, weighing a respectable 70 pounds. With a 1.5-inch diameter shaft and 1-inch diameter handles, this safety squat bar is fit to handle just about any load (tested with weight up to 1,000 pounds and showed little to no flex).

Featuring a 5.5-inch camber drop, this bar effectively targets different muscle groups as is intended with safety squat bars. Users do report that the weight distribution lies between the traditional positioning of a front and a back squat, offering greater stability. Given its sturdy construction and engineering, the SB-1 is a good option for those looking to increase their squatting load in a safe manner.

The SB-1 is not the least nor is it the most expensive safety squat bar, it falls somewhere in the middle, making it an affordable choice for many. The closed-cell dense padding creates a comfortable feel even when fully loaded. However, there are some reviews stating that both the foam and vinyl stitching does not feel like they will stand up to the test of time. Additionally, the black cerakote finish does chip, which, while it doesn't sacrifice the integrity of the bar, is a bit annoying to see on a bar that costs over $400. Don't forget to factor in the cost of clips, as the SB-1 requires specialty ones.

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty solid-steel construction
  • Reputable brand
  • Even weight distribution
  • Olympic sleeves

What We Don't Like

  • Finish may chip
  • Foam doesn't hold shape for very long

BUY: SB-1 Rogue Safety Squat Bar

Best Safety Squat Bar with Multiple Handles - Bells of Steel Safety Squat Bar

Bells of Steel Safety Squat Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 47.5 lbs.
  • Handle type: 3 options - long, short, chain
  • Features: Interchangeable handles, rotating sleeves, lighter weight, 22-degree camber angle,
  • Finish: Black zinc shaft finish, bright white zinc finish

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Offering a unique twist on the more traditional safety squat bar is the Bells of Steel 3.0, a well-made bar that features interchangeable handles. What is awesome about that, you ask? Handles on a safety squat bar are what offer the comfort and security of keeping the bar in an ergonomic position. This is a preference and somewhat dependent on your size. Bells of Steel includes a long and short handle and a chain in your purchase so you can choose the one best suited for your body and intended exercise or targeted muscle group.

The Bells of Steel 3.0 features a shorter overall length and a 32-millimeter shaft diameter which results in a lighter bar (about 44 pounds). Still, it boasts an impressive 1,500-pound max weight capacity. This bar will work with any Bells of Steel rack, but the shortened profile will not work with wider racks. On the other hand, it certainly makes storage easier.

With a 22-degree camber angle, the Bells of Steel 3.0 meets the industry standard for what constitutes an ideal camber angle. Where it falls short (pun intended) is the camber drop reportedly feels and measures shorter than the drop found on competitors (Bells of Steel does not disclose the exact measurements). This is not a deal breaker as most users seem to not notice a big difference. In fact, it may even be more comfortable for some.

The black zinc shaft finish and bright white zinc finish look good, too. Users appreciate the single-pad design of the dense shoulder padding designed for both comfort and to keep the bar in place even when sweaty. Assembled with bushings and snap rings, these sleeves will rotate which is a feature not typically seen on a safety squat bar. While not a necessary feature, it does lend the bar to a greater variety of movements.

One important thing to note—the sleeve diameter measures 1.2 inches, which does require a special clip to secure the weights. Bells of Steel offers wonderful customer service and stands behind this high-quality, versatile safety squat bar.

What We Like

  • Lighter weight/easy storage
  • 3 handle designs
  • Weight capacity
  • Ideal camber angle
  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Shaft diameter requires special clip
  • Shorter camber drop

BUY: Bells of Steel Safety Squat Bar 3.0

Best Premium Safety Squat Bar - Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar

Kabuki Strength Performer Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 55 lbs.
  • Handle type: Multi-angle handle
  • Features: 2 adjustable spring-pin mechanisms, knurled multi-angle handles, enables 24 squat position variations, 12" spacing between handles, foam core padding
  • Finish: Zinc with black oxide sleeves

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Yup, the Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar holds two top spots on our list of the best safety squat bars. Not only is it incredibly versatile, but it is undeniably a premium safety squat bar. Created and used by elite professionals, this high-quality bar is one of the strongest and most multifunctional safety squat bars on the market.

Kabuki offers testimonials from some pretty heavy hitters in the world of strength training. World-renowned coaches, professors, and a published author/physical therapist speak to this bar's premium build, unique design, and versatility. The price alone sets this bar above others. It is an investment that many of us home gym enthusiasts just can't afford.

What We Like

  • Premium construction
  • Easy adjustments
  • Ergonomic handle position
  • Quality padding
  • Works for most athletes

What We Don't Like

  • Cost
  • Delayed shipping (17-19 weeks)

BUY: Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar

Best Safety Squat Bar for Beginners - Marrs-Bar

Marrs-Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 65 lbs.
  • Handle type: 45-degree camber angle
  • Features: Unique harness design, custom-molded high-density padding, solid steel construction
  • Finish: Shaft - zinc, sleeve - black oxide

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Anyone new to lifting and looking for a safety squat bar that will effectively help improve strength and form while decreasing the risk of injury should consider the Marrs-Bar. Unlike any other safety squat bars we have encountered, the Marrs-Bar features a backpack-like harness/handles with a 45-degree camber angle. It is intended to redistribute weight by placing a greater load on the lower back and reducing the axial load on the neck, back, spine, hips, and knees.

What is particularly great about this bar for beginners is the level of security it brings. The unique harness design really makes the lifter feel locked in which enables them to safely add more weight. It also encourages good form when learning to execute proper lifts.

Made in the USA, the Marrs-Bar features a 1.5-inch diameter fully-welded solid steel bar, black oxide-coated sleeves, and a vinyl-wrapped, high-density memory foam harness which, according to users, is incredibly comfortable. The bar weighs 65 pounds with a max weight capacity of 1,200 pounds.

What We Like

  • Very secure
  • Redistributes weight
  • Great for beginners or those rehabbing an injury
  • High-density padding

What We Don't Like

  • Cumbersome to store
  • Expensive
  • Camber angle could feel awkward to some

BUY: Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar

Best Safety Squat Bar for Advanced Lifters - Rep Fitness Safety Squat Bar

Rep Fitness Safety Squat Bar

SPECS

  • Weight: 68 lbs.
  • Handle type: 5.5" straight, knurled handles
  • Features: Removable handles, knurled handles, two-toned design, 49.1" distance between cambers, 8" between handles, Olympic-sized sleeves
  • Finish: Metallic black powder coat

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Advanced lifters are not always looking for the most expensive bar on the market, but they are looking for a high-quality one to best meet their lifting needs. And the Rep Fitness Safety Squat Bar does just that. Featuring knurled straight handles, a vinyl-wrapped high-density firm pad, 2-inch diameter Olympic-sized sleeves, and a 49.1-inch distance between cambers, this specialty bar offers a lot of bang for the buck. For less than $350, the REP safety squat bar accommodates Olympic plates, standard-barbell collars, and racks on most, if not all, squat racks fitting snugly in J-cups.

Why is this good for advanced lifters? First, it allows them to utilize Olympic plates and clips (which they likely have on hand). The sleeves measure over 15 inches which means you can load on a lot of weight. The 5.5-inch camber drop evenly distributes weight which contributes to improved safety while lifting some heavy loads. Some reviewers did find the camber angle to push them a tad forward, but overall the ergonomic design seems spot-on. This bar is rated for 1,500 pounds, which enables lifters to go as heavy as they want.

The knurled handles also set this bar above the rest and are an especially attractive feature to advanced lifters. REP Fitness hit the nail on the head with this aggressive, but not overly aggressive, knurling to maximize grip. The handles feel thick and sturdy at a 1.5-inch diameter (larger than what is found on traditional barbells). Notably, the handles can be removed to perform certain lifts and hopefully to interchange with handles that REP may make in the future. They sit about 8-inches apart which will fit just about any lifter.

A two-toned design with a metallic black powder coat results in a safety squat bar that looks as good as it functions. Unfortunately, REP did not include any weight label on the end caps of this bar. It weighs 68 pounds which may make calculating weight trickier when stacking the weights.

What We Like

  • Knurled and removable handles
  • 2-toned design
  • 5.5" camber drop
  • Fits standard racks
  • Olympic-sized sleeves

What We Don't Like

  • No label on caps for bar weight
  • Not within everyone's budget (but certainly a value purchase)

BUY: REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar

What to Look for in a Safety Squat Bar

Camber Angle

The camber angle is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a safety squat bar. Camber angle is the degree to which the bar is bent and where the load of the weight is relative to that. This angle directly affects how the weight is distributed when performing lifts and the muscle groups it targets. With a cambered squat bar, your hands rest lower than on a barbell, which makes it a good choice for people with injured shoulders or limited mobility. Traditionally, a 22-degree camber angle is considered the industry gold standard.

Handle Type

Safety squat bars can have knurling, or be straight, angled, removable, or even curved. They vary not only in style and length but in thickness. To a degree, which handles you choose are based on personal preference and comfort. But handles with knurling or that are rubber coated generally offer a more secure grip. The longer the handles, the easier they are to grab without requiring much shoulder mobility. You want a bar that feels comfortable, is easy to grip and will allow you to perform the lifts you want with good form.

Weight Capacity

Overall, safety squat bars should have a high weight capacity. They are inherently designed to enable lifters to progressively add load, requiring a higher weight capacity. There are few bars on the market that don't, so this should be a non-issue. However, depending on your strength and goals, be sure your weight capacity is high enough.

Benefits of a Safety Squat Bar

Perhaps the biggest benefit of training with a safety squat bar is that it significantly reduces the stress on shoulders, elbows, and wrists. This allows those with upper-body injuries or limited mobility to train comfortably and safely. In addition, by redistributing the load of the bar, safety squat bars encourage a more stacked spine and better overall form.

Lifters who actively partake in progressive training will also benefit from a safety squat bar. As the name alludes, because these bars enable better form when lifting, it is possible to add more weight safely than you would be able to do on a barbell. The result? Some serious strength gains not only in your squat but ones that will transfer over to other lifts.

The design of a safety squat bar forces more core activation in order to keep your body balanced. In addition, the different position of the bar on your back targets a variety of leg muscles not always hit with traditional back or front squats.

FAQs About Safety Squat Bars

Are safety squat bars worth it?

Safety squat bars are absolutely worth it. They are a great way to safely increase strength and add variety to your training.

Should I use a safety squat bar?

Not everyone needs a safety squat bar, but for those who are rehabbing an injury, have limited shoulder mobility, or are looking to safely increase the loads they lift, a safety squat bar is a must.

What is the purpose of a safety squat bar?

Safety squat bars enable users to execute lifts with better form and in a safe way while increasing the weight. Additionally, they allow those with limited shoulder mobility to comfortably squat and perform other exercises they otherwise would not be able to.

How heavy is a safety squat bar?

Safety squat bars range in how heavy they are. Typically, they weigh anywhere between 40 and 70 pounds.

About the Author

Kristine Golden

Kristine has been immersed in the fitness world for nearly 20 years. She has competed in marathons and Ironman races and earned a spot to compete in the 2012 Age Group National Championship Olympic Triathlon.

See More from Kristine

Kristine has been immersed in the fitness world for nearly 20 years. She has competed in marathons and Ironman races and earned a spot to compete in the 2012 Age Group National Championship Olympic Triathlon.

See More from Kristine

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