Is the pain of holding heavy barbells keeping you away from lifting heavier weights? Wishing for a miracle to soften up that cold, hard and heavy bars so you move closer to your goals?
Fortunately, we have just the perfect gym tool to fulfill this innocent wish of yours.
Barbell squat pad is a God-sent foam pad that will make your weight lifting dreams a lot softer and pain-free.
If you’re a lifter or wish to be one, keep reading the article because we’ll give you all the more reasons to buy a barbell squat pad.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Barbell Pad?
- 5 Ways to Use a Barbell Squat Pad
- Benefits Of Barbell Pads
- Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Barbell Pad
What Is a Barbell Pad?
Barbell pads are a long piece of extra-thick foam that is wrapped around the barbells.
It acts as a cushion between the bars and the body and reduces excess pressure on the bones helping the lifters avoid muscular strain.
The barbell squat pads have a groove in between that provides neck comfort. These squat pads are used only with barbells and specifically for those exercises that directly contact barbells with your body.
Apart from this, the non-slip technology keeps the grip firm and steady so you can lift heavy weights without worrying about your grip or the bars falling.
5 Ways to Use a Barbell Squat Pad
Here is how you can add a barbell pad to your bars and work out without straining your muscles.
1. Barbell Squat
Squats are one of the best workouts that exercise your upper and lower body and engages your core. It is also a very good measure of an individual’s strength.
- Start by taking a barbell that you can lift easily on your shoulders.
- Hold the bars a little more than your shoulder width
- Hold the barbell at the back of your neck and rest it on your shoulders.
- Keep your feet facing outwards to 20-30 degrees
- Open the feet wider than your shoulder width and get ready to squat
- Bend downwards until your knees are perpendicular to your toes.
- Stay in the position for 2-3 seconds and push on your toes to stand back upwards
Warning: make sure you have no mobility issues and only lift weight enough to handle while keeping in control of your movements.
Tips: keep a little weight plate of five to ten pounds under your heels so you can get up from your squats easily.
2. Barbell Lunges
Lunges are one of the best exercises for working up your lower body. It helps develop athletic ability by targeting different muscles of your lower body.
- Select the barbell with the weights you can handle and wrap your barbell pad.
- Once your bar is comfortable, hold it behind your neck, resting on your shoulders
- Retract your shoulder blades and keep your back straight and core tight
- Take a big step forward and bend down until both legs have a 90-degree angle
- Hold the position for two to four seconds and push back on your toes to stand up
Warning: Do not lift too much weight on your shoulders, or you may cause serious injuries. Maintain proper body posture when doing lunges and add variations to ease up the exercise if need be.
Tips: hold back your core and keep your back straight to achieve a stable lunge. A shorter lunge step will work your quads, while a longer lunge step will pump your hamstrings and glutes.
3. Hip Thrust
Lifters perform the hip thrust to work up the hamstrings, glutes and lower back.
- Sit in front of a bench and make sure it reaches near your shoulders when sitting.
- Bend your knees and fix your feet on the ground
- Hold a barbell with a squat pad on top of yourself below the hips for a pain-free lift.
- Lean back and press your shoulders on the bench slightly
- Push your hips along with the barbell upwards till your legs make a 90-degree angle and your shoulders are on the bench edge.
- Make sure you form a straight line from your head till your knees for best results
- Pause in this position and squeeze your glutes
- Slowly lower your hips, returning to the original position.
Warning: Always use weights that you can handle properly and can control your movements. Using a hip thrust pad will help you avoid any bruises and muscular strains so you can enjoy a pain-free workout.
Tips: wearing a squat pad will allow the pressure to be reduced on your hips and allow longer training. Maintaining a 90-degree angle will help work up all the muscles better and give quicker results.
4. Seated Calf Raises
Seated calf raises are a strength training exercise that works up your calves by isolating them.
- Start by sitting up straight on a bench and keeping your feet on a small elevation
- Create a 90-degree angle in between your hips and legs when seated
- Hold the barbells on your legs three inches away from your knees
- Lift your heels and hold the position for a few seconds
- Slowly lower back your heels and return your feet to the original position
Warning: make sure you perform the exercise with your core tucked in for better results. Do not go on using heavy weights without a proper warmup. Slowly lift weights on your legs and stop as soon as it gets too much to handle to avoid serious injuries.
Tips: Perform seated calf raises with a barbell pad to avoid injuries and excess pressure on the legs. Keep your movements steady and try to lift your legs with the calves for better results. Add a few weights to your barbell if you want to challenge your limits.
5. Good Morning
Good mornings are a great way to work up your back, legs, and hip strength. The pulling motion in the exercise allows isolation of the targeted muscles and makes the lifters more resilient.
• Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart
• Hold up a barbell on your shoulders and tighten up your core
• Start the exercise by pushing your hips backward and keep the back straight
• Keep your lower back tightened as you would when lifting something from the floor
• Maintain the position for a few seconds and ensure your head and chest are upwards
• Inhale your breath and return to the original position slowly.
Warning: this is an intermediate-level exercise and should be done carefully. Make sure you have the correct squat before you go on lifting heavier weights.
Keep your body stationed in one place, and do not overdo the exercise too quickly.
Tips: maintain a correct posture by keeping your back straight, and your head and chest lifted upwards for better results.
Using a squat pad will help you easily hold the barbells on your shoulders for longer durations.
Doing a warmup before the workout will help your muscles perform better, and you won’t end up straining or injuring your muscles.
Benefits Of Barbell Pads
If you still doubt your will to buy a squat pad, then read ahead. The benefits of barbell pads will help you end the fight between your heart and mind once and for all.
Wasn’t it the pain and hard bars that were stopping you from lifting? The barbell pad’s basic function acts as a cushion between the bars and the body, providing a comfortable lifting experience.
The bar pads for weight lifting are made with protective extra thick foam to help reduce the pressure of the bars.
They act as a barrier and help avoid direct contact between bars and the body. Hence, allowing you to progress your lifting journey and lift heavier weights without risking injuries.
Lifting heavy weights when exercising is no joke. It takes up a whole lot of strength to climb the powerlifting ladder. Apart from the strength and energy, a lifter needs maximum support to avoid the weights from falling off.
The barbell pad provides adequate support to the bars and prevents them from slipping and causing damages to the lifters.
When the lifter has firm support and is not worried about the bar slipping away, they can perform more reps and even longer training sessions.
3. No More Bruising
If you’re one of the lifters who get bruised easily, then a barbell pad is going to be your savior. It is common for lifters to get bruises on the skin once they lift heavy weights on their necks and shoulders.
Using the squat pad helps avoid bruising by acting as a barrier between the bar and your skin.
The barbell pads can avoid bruising because they have shock-absorbing quality, which allows the lifters to lift heavy weights without getting wounded.
4. Reduced Risk of Injuries
If you’re a lifter or just starting on your lifting journey, I am sure you’d have experienced sweaty palms.
These sweaty palms hinder your progress by engaging your mind into accidents that can happen, such as; barbells slipping, weights falling, causing fractures and injuries, etc.
A barbell pad keeps the sweat away and the grips steady, helping you avoid any kinds of accidents.
Apart from this, if you’re recovering from a previous injury and want to restart your lifting, then the barbells can be your best option. They keep the pressures off of your body and allow you to lift heavy again.
Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Barbell Pad
There are hundreds of barbells with various designs available in the market, but not all of them are worth your money.
Here are a few things you should look out for when investing in a barbell pad.
The first thing when buying a barbell pad is to make sure that they are comfortable. You will be lifting a hundred or more pounds of weights on your shoulders and neck, and it needs to be comfy.
Therefore, you need to check for a squat pad that has thick foam so that it can act as a cushion when you’re lifting.
It has to be long enough to cover your shoulders and neck area, leaving no uncovered space apart from the thick foam.
2. Steady Grip
No one wants to have bars slipping from their hands, be it at home or the gym. Slipping bars can cause serious injuries and may also create an embarrassing scene in front of others.
Fortunately, some barbell pads come with non-slip technology. This technology ensures that the pads stick to one place and give you a firm grip on the barbell.
3. Neck Support
When you lift weights and perform the barbell squats and lunges etc., you’re required to hold the bars either on the front or on the back of your neck.
Buying a squat pad with an ergonomic design because the neck groove will help you give superior neck support and lift weights without bruising the neck.
4. Easy to Use
When you’re lifting weights and are all pumped up, you want things to keep moving along quickly. That is why one thing to check in a squat pad is the ease of use.
Make sure that your barbell pads are quick to clip on. Various pads are available in the market, with locks, straps, and Velcro to secure the pads on your bars.
Even though Velcro tapped pads are easy to use, having a clip-on pad will be even better and faster.
Whether you’re a pro lifter or just starting, it never hurts to be comfortable when powerlifting.
The workout and lifting regime should be one of the most exciting yet comfortable journeys to embark upon, and adding a squat pad will help you do so.
This simple tool will help you lift more weights and progress your lifting journey smoothly.
This squat pad will keep you away from bruising and inflicting serious injuries, helping you avoid taking days off from the gym.
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● Bryan Dixon, J. ‘Gastrocnemius vs. Soleus Strain: How to Differentiate and Deal with Calf Muscle Injuries’. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, vol. 2, no. 2, May 2009, pp. 74–77. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8.
● Contreras, B., Cronin, J., & Schoenfeld, B. (2011). Barbell Hip Thrust. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 33(5), 58–61. https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0b013e31822fa09d
● Keogh, Justin. Lower-Body Resistance Training: Increasing Functional Performance with Lunges. School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science Griffith University, p. Volume 21, Number 1, pages 67-72, https://paulogentil.com/pdf/K16.pdf.
● Chiu, L. Z. F. (2009). Sitting Back in the Squat. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 31(6), 25–27. https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0b013e3181bb397c