Best Safety Squat Bars (2024) – Budget & More!


Specialty bars are underrated and should be staples in your performance or home gym. At the top of the specialty bar list is the safety squat bar.

I absolutely love them. It lets you smash your lower body when you have an upper-body injury or mobility restrictions. It also allows you to perform hand-supported exercises with excellent carry-over for sports performance.

I’ve spent my career training professional athletes, so I’ve curated a list of the best safety squat bars based on features, functionality, and comfort.

Best Safety Squat Bar

REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar

Metallic Black Powder Coat & Chrome Sleeves

High-Density Foam & Vinyl

Lifetime For Bar, 1-Year For Pad

  • The perfect balance between quality, features, and price.
  • Removable handles for more exercise versatility.
  • Comfortable, thick pad so it sits securely on your shoulders.
  • Fits in most power racks.
  • Lifetime bar warranty.
  • Doesnt have different handle variations or adjustable camber.

The REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar weighs 68 lbs and is one of the heaviest on the market, making it one of the most durable.

You wont outgrow it with the 1,500 lb weight capacity.

Its sleek metallic black powder coat finish and hard chrome sleeves are rust-resistant and don’t wear like other finishes.

The bar is 92.5 long, with a 49.1 distance between the cambers, making it a perfect fit for even the widest racks in my gym.

This detail addresses a common frustration with some safety squat bars being too short to fit in a power rack.

The camber drop of 5.5 inches encourages a more upright posture during squats, which is standard with safety squat bars and feels like a hybrid front and back squat.

The high-density foam pad wrapped in durable and easy-to-clean vinyl feels great across my back. And with an 8.3-inch spacing between the pads, I found the bar stable and balanced, no matter the load.

The fully knurled removable handles are a beefy 1.5″ in diameter and 7″ in length, offering a secure grip and adaptability to the bar.

Removing or adjusting the handles for different exercises is epic, as it makes hand-supported exercises easier to perform.

While I love every feature, the lifetime warranty and insanely low $329.99 price tag make it the best safety squat bar.

Safety squat bars are a specialty bar that typically cost over $400, but REP Fitness has managed to make a better bar for under $400. That’s a win for us all.

REP Fitness Best Safety Squat Bar

REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar

Runner Up Safety Squat Bar

Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

Rogue Fitness SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

Closed Cell Foam & Vinyl/Urethane Topcoat

  • Comes with Rogues lifetime warranty.
  • Thick, comfortable pad that sits securely on your shoulders.
  • Fits in most power racks.
  • No removable handles or customization.
  • It is more expensive than other safety squat bars with similar features.

The Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar makes an excellent runner-up option. It has features similar to the REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar but has a lower weight capacity at 1,000 lbs and costs over $100 more.

The SB-1 weighs 70 lbs with a solid steel shaft and handles that immediately communicate durability and reliability.

The bar is 93 long with 21 width and 10 height, ensuring it fits comfortably across the shoulders of a wide range of athletes.

The 1.5 diameter of the solid steel shaft, coupled with 1 diameter handles, provides a secure grip.

The black Cerakote finish adds a layer of durability against the wear and tear of daily use and makes it rust-resistant.

The machined Olympic sleeves are smooth, making loading and unloading weights easy, but they can be sketchy when performing heavy hand-supported movements.

The SB-1 has a 5.5 sleeve drop similar to the REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar and feels the same.

Rogue Fitness didn’t skimp on comfort with the SB-1. The heavy-duty vinyl and closed-cell foam pads cradle the neck and shoulders, distributing the weight evenly and reducing the risk of bruising or discomfort, no matter the load.

Like all Rogue equipment, it comes with a lifetime warranty and is one of the more expensive safety squat bars on this list at $445.

Rogue Fitness SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

Best Budget Safety Squat Bar

Titan Fitness Safety Squat Bar V2

Best Budget Safety Squat Bar

  • It’s the cheapest safety squat bar that is still of great quality.
  • Fits in most power racks.
  • Non-removable handles mean less exercise versatility.
  • The shorter camber drop doesn’t feel “centered” compared to other safety squat bars.
  • Only 1-year warranty on the bar.

There’s always a compromise when buying budget equipment. In the case of the Titan Safety Squat Bar V2, it’s a slightly shorter camber drop, which makes the weight not feel as “centered,” and it has non-removable handles.

It also only comes with a 1-year warranty, like all Titan Fitness equipment, so if you have problems after a year, you will have to replace it yourself.

Finally, it may not fit all power racks with a 48″ distance between cambers.

However, there are positives to the Titan Safety Squat Bar. It has a 1,500 lb weight capacity, is long enough to fit in typical power racks, and has a wide 12.75 distance between handles to fit almost all body sizes.

Its slightly lighter at 61 lbs, and the chrome finish is rust-resistant and doesnt scratch off with use on the rack.

This is the most cost-effective safety squat bar you’ll find at $299.99. It still sounds expensive, but if you’re buying safety squat bars under this price, you’re in for a bad time.

Best Budget Safety Squat Bar

Titan Fitness Safety Squat Bar V2

Most Versatile Safety Squat Bar

Bells Of Steel SS4

Bells Of Steel SS4 Versatile Safety Squat Bar

Dense Foam Padding & Vinyl Cover

Limited Lifetime On Bar, 1-Year On Pad

  • Multiple handle options for more exercise versatility.
  • Lifetime bar warranty.
  • Cost-effective for the features.
  • It’s shorter than other safety squat bars and doesn’t fit all power racks. It’s designed specifically for Bells Of Steel power racks.
  • Im not a fan of rotating sleeves for a safety squat bar.

The Bells Of Steel is the lightest safety squat bar on this list, weighing 45.6 lbs, but depending on the handles you use, it adds an additional 4.2 to 11.7 lbs.

These interchangeable handles make it the most customizable and versatile safety squat bar.

But don’t let the light weight fool you. It still has a 1,500 lb weight capacity and can handle the heavy loading you throw at it.

It also has a smooth black titanized shaft finish and sits comfortably on your back with thick foam padding and a vinyl cover.

The handles are what make the Bells Of Steel SSB4 exceptionally versatile. Moreso than any other safety squat bar. Here are the options:

  • Straight handles (included)
  • Chain handles
  • Spider handles
  • Seal row handles

The straight handles are your typical 5-6″ handles included on every safety squat bar. But they can be replaced with other options.

The chain handles mean there’s no assistance from your arms when pushing up when squatting, making it infinitely harder.

The spider handles are extra long handles to make it easier to grip if you have mobility issues or an upper-body injury.

And to make it more versatile, the seal row handles are for performing seal rows (or bench pulls if youre from the Southern Hemisphere).

No safety squat bar lets you perform chest-supported rows, but the SSB4 does. It has a limited lifetime warranty on the bar and 1 year for the pad, which is standard.

Its a great deal for $319.99 with the versatility you get.

However, a note of caution: this bar is designed to fit perfectly in Bells of Steel racks, specifically mentioning that compatibility issues might arise if used in non-Bells of Steel racks wider than 49″.

Bells Of Steel SS4 Versatile Safety Squat Bar

Best Premium Safety Squat Bar

Kabuki Transformer Bar

Kabuki Transformer Bar

54″ (fits racks the same as Olympic bar)

High-Density Foam/Durable Synthetic Leather

  • Only safety squat bar with adjustable camber degrees and sleeve length.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Different features depending where you buy the bar.
  • Premium product has a premium price.

Kabuki makes the creme de la creme of gym equipment, which is reflected in the price of $795.

It’s long enough to fit any power rack, weighs 55 lbs, has a weight capacity of 1,500 lbs, and has a synthetic leather pad. It also comes with a lifetime warranty because of its incredible build quality.

But here’s what you need to know.

There are two variations of the Kabuki Transformer bar. The one made by Kabuki and the one made by Rogue.

The Rogue variation has these differences:

  • Matte Black Finish (vs. a slightly glossier BK-08 powder coat)
  • Detent Locking Pin to attach the sleeve to bracket (vs. secure twist-lock mechanism)
  • Laser-cut labels and markings (vs. polyurethane color labels)
  • Optional shorter handles
  • Flat profile pull-pin

Everything else is functionally the same. The premium price tag comes with premium features.

I prefer the Kabuki built version for the twist-lock versus the locking pin.

It’s the only safety squat bar with a patent-pending design allowing for 24 unique angle and difficulty combinations, making it possible to switch from front squats to back squats, goblet squats, and even hip hinges without changing equipment.

You can also adjust the sleeve length from the outside. This allows modifying the weight’s center of mass relative to your body, fine-tuning the difficulty from “Easier” to “Harder” based on your training needs.

Kabuki Transformer Bar

Best Safety Squat Bar For Back Squats

Titan Fitness Marrs Bar

Titan Fitness Marrs Bar

52.5″ (fits racks the same as Olympic bar)

Foam with polyurethane cover

  • It is a more comfortable design that wraps over the shoulders with the load against the midback.
  • The weight is distributed like a low bar squat, perfect for injured powerlifters.
  • It doesn’t provide the same load distribution as a traditional safety squat bar, so it encourages forward lean.
  • There is no versatility outside of squatting.

The Marrs Bar is the most unique safety squat bar design, where the weight is distributed like a low bar back squat.

Most safety squat bars feel like a hybrid between front and back squats. If youre an injured competitive Powerlifter, the Marrs Bar may be a better option as it loads your squats like a low bar Powerlifting squat.

It also reduces upper back stress and fires like a well-fitted backpack. The high-density foam pad reduces any shoulder or back strain associated with soft or thin pads and doesn’t slip.

You can also use it as a front squat harness by reversing it, giving you more exercise variety. It’s 89″ long and weighs 64 lbs.

The 45 camber drop and extended, wrapped handles position your body to naturally engage the glutes and hamstrings more effectively.

The shoulder pad’s 20 height and 7 inside width, coupled with the 6 grip length, ensure a secure and comfortable fit, allowing you to focus solely on your lift.

The Marrs Bar has a 1,200lb weight capacity and 190,000 PSI tensile strength, making it durable and able to handle heavy loads without deforming.

The black zinc coating on the sleeves and silver zinc on the shaft look sleek and provide lasting protection against wear and tear.

The Marrs-Bar’s versatility shines through its suitability for various exercises beyond the traditional squat, like lunges, front squats, step-ups, and good mornings.

Youll be able to lift heavier loads during exercises like good mornings as the weight is closer to your hips.

The 52.5 sleeve-to-sleeve length accommodates a wide stance, and the 6 drop maintains a stabilized center of gravity, enhancing balance and control.

It’s made in the USA and shipped directly to your door, so it’s not a poorly manufactured bar from overseas. The Marrs Bar has the standard Titan Fitness 1-year warranty and is on the premium end, costing $799.99.

Titan Fitness Marrs Bar

Best Heavy-Duty Safety Squat Bar

Elite FTS SS Yoke bar

EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar

52.5″ (fits racks the same as Olympic bar)

Foam with polyurethane cover

  • Premium heavy-duty build tested by professional strength athletes.
  • Most comfortable padding.
  • Doesnt have more handle options for exercise versatility.

Elite FTS are known as one of the best equipment manufacturers because elite strength athletes use and test all their equipment. The EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar is no different.

Dave Tate reverse-engineered it due to his own struggles with traditional safety bars.

The wider, high-density inner pad is a game-changer, distributing weight across my upper back evenly and comfortably without any spinal compression issues I’ve experienced.

Because lifters test EliteFTS equipment, they’ve added more padding to make it thicker, providing a snug fit for my shoulders, regardless of their width, ensuring there was “no daylight anywhere.”

It has a lower weight capacity than other safety squat bars on this list, but that’s likely because it’s only been drop-tested to 800 lbs.

This differs from a static weight capacity rating, which will be significantly higher.

The shorter and thicker detachable handles are another feature that sets the SS Yoke Bar apart.

Plus, the ability to detach these handles made the bar versatile enough for a range of exercises, including JM Presses, which have become a staple in my upper body routine.

The fact that EliteFTS decided against rotating sleeves, which would have been an easy addition, further illustrates their commitment to the bar’s intended purpose.

This design choice ensures that exercises like thoracic extension movements load the muscles exactly as intended, providing a unique training stimulus that rotating sleeves would compromise.

All other specifications are relatively similar, weighing 65 lbs, 92″ long,

But the EliteFTS manufacturing process is what makes this a heavy-duty specialty bar. It’s made in their USA facility and backed by top-strength athletes.

At $429, its a heavy-duty premium safety squat bar for an excellent price.

EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar

Benefits Of Using A Safety Squat Bar

Train Around Upper Body Injuries

Its padded yoke-style support allows for a comfortable squatting position without taxing the shoulders, elbows, or wrists. This means you can load the legs without exacerbating existing injuries or risking new ones.

Eliminates Upper Body Mobility Restrictions

Mobility can often be a limiting factor in performing traditional squats with proper form in certain athletic populations. The safety squat bar allows heavy loads when squatting, requiring less shoulder, elbow, and wrist flexibility.

It’s a game-changer for anyone with a limited range of motion, allowing for strength gains even through upper body constraints.

Exercise Versatility

While the safety squat bar isn’t as versatile as an Olympic barbell, it’s a more comfortable option for many exercises when loading them heavily.

For example, good mornings, walking lunges, and split squats can be done by holding the handles or going hands-free.

Further, you have the option of performing hand-supported exercises. In my experience, they are more knee-friendly and let you load exercises heavier.

Hybrid Front And Back Squat

Due to the camber design, the load sits between a front and back squat, which encourages a more upright posture than back squats but allows heavier loading.

It means less lower back stress and more midback activation [1].

How To Pick The Best Safety Squat Bar

Weight Capacity

Weight capacity is typically a marker of durability and robustness. A bar with a minimum static weight capacity of 1,000 lbs is usually sufficient for most athletes. Many safety squat bars have a capacity of 1,500 lbs.

This indicator shows the bar’s ability to withstand heavy loads without compromising its structural integrity.

Camber Angle

Next, I look at the camber angle. This aspect is crucial as it impacts the bars balance and my biomechanics during a squat.

Ideally, I like a camber angle of about 22 coupled with a camber drop of 56 inches, which is the perfect balance. It ensures the weight is optimally distributed in the hybrid front and back squat loading position.

Bar & Handle Design

The design of the bar and handles plays a significant role in the overall experience. I search for bars with knurled handles as they provide a better grip, allowing me to maintain a stable and comfortable position.

The Bells of Steel SSB4 offers a unique design with interchangeable handles for different exercises like rows.

Many others offer removable handles so that you can use the safety squat bar for different purposes.

The design should also promote a natural hand placement, reducing the risk of shoulder, elbow, or wrist discomfort.

Adjustability and Comfort

Adjustability and comfort go hand in hand. A safety squat bar with adjustable handles is a game-changer, especially for athletes of different heights and sizes.

Most offer removable handles, which is an excellent asset. Having other handle options is a perk for more exercise versatility.

Bar Finish

The finish of the bar contributes to its aesthetic appeal and its longevity. Ive found that bars with a hard chrome finish are more wear-resistant. Especially since your safety squat bar will live in your power rack.

Zinc finishes tend to wear and rust unless you maintain them well, which I don’t like doing.

This feature might seem minor, but it significantly enhances the usability and lifespan of the bar.


I dont know of a safety squat bar that doesnt have Olympic-sized sleeves, but it goes without saying you need these.

The construction quality of the sleeves, including the welds and the coating, indicates the overall attention to detail and quality of the bar.

Some have ribbed sleeves to keep plates from sliding off.

Some safety squat bars have rotating sleeves like the Bells of Steel SSB4. I don’t like this feature on a safety squat bar.

You want the sleeves fixed, which taxes the upper back muscles more when performing squats and good mornings.

Hence why I love the REP Fitness safety squat bar with fixed sleeves.


Good padding is non-negotiable. It should be dense enough to endure the pressure of heavy weights without breaking down after a few sessions.

Quality padding prevents the bar from digging into your shoulders and neck, which will stop you from using the safety squat bar instantly.

The EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar has perfected this.


While price shouldn’t be the only criterion, balancing cost with quality is important. I’m always looking for a bar that offers the best value without compromising on essential features.

It’s worth investing in a slightly pricier bar for better durability, comfort, and performance.

In my opinion, REP Fitness balances price and quality the best, which is why they make such good home gym equipment.


A comprehensive warranty covering the bar and the padding instills confidence in the product. It assures me that the company stands behind their equipment, and I wont be left in the lurch should anything go wrong.

Most offer a lifetime warranty on the bar and 1 year with the padding.

Safety Squat Bar vs. Barbell

Usage and Applications

Safety Squat Bar: It’s primarily used for squat variations and is excellent for athletes with shoulder, elbow, or wrist limitations that make it difficult to hold a traditional squat bar.

It’s also beneficial for emphasizing the quadriceps and upper back due to its forward load distribution.

Additionally, it’s used in rehabilitation settings and to add variety to strength training routines.

Olympic Barbell: The Olympic Barbell is versatile and used for various exercises, including Olympic lifts, powerlifting (squats, deadlifts, bench presses), and general strength training.

Its design allows for dynamic movements and can accommodate various grip widths.

Biomechanics and Performance

Safety Squat Bar: By altering the load’s position relative to the lifter’s center of gravity, the SSB can change the squat’s biomechanics, typically requiring a more upright torso. It gives a hybrid front and back squat feeling.

This can be particularly beneficial for developing squat technique and lower body strength without overloading the shoulders and arms.

Olympic Barbell: The straight design allows for a balanced load across the bar, crucial for executing Olympic lifts and powerlifting exercises with proper form.

The rotating sleeves help manage the inertia and torque generated during rapid lifts, reducing the risk of injury.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Safety Squat Bar

Advantages: Reduces stress on the shoulders, wrists, and elbows; beneficial for those with injuries or mobility issues; encourages a more upright squat position.

Disadvantages: Less specificity to traditional squatting due to the altered center of gravity; limited application outside of squat variations and certain accessory movements.

Olympic Barbell

Advantages: Highly versatile, allowing for a wide range of exercises; specific to Olympic lifting and powerlifting; supports the development of technique in traditional barbell lifts.

Disadvantages: It can be challenging for individuals with shoulder, wrist, or elbow limitations; it requires good technique and mobility to use safely and effectively.

Frequently Asked Safety Squat Bar Questions

Is A Safety Squat Bar Worth It?

Investing in a safety squat bar is worthwhile, especially for athletes and lifters with upper body restrictions.

It means you can load your legs without the aches and pains of holding a barbell on your back if you don’t have wrist, shoulder, and elbow mobility.

Is The Safety Squat Bar Good For Your Back?

The safety squat bar reduces lower back stress by promoting a more upright posture. However, it heavily taxes the midback.

Is Squatting With A Safety Squat Bar Harder?

In my experience, squatting with the safety squat bar is harder because you must learn the unique feeling of where the load sits. Research shows Powerlifters squat 11% less with the safety squat bar than with a barbell [1].

How Much Does A Safety Squat Bar Weigh?

Safety squat bars weigh 45-70 lbs, depending on the materials and design. Heavier safety squat bars are typically better quality and will last longer.


Whether you’re dealing with limited shoulder mobility, recovering from an injury, or aiming to diversify your workout, investing in a quality safety squat bar can make a significant difference.

I love the REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar as it provides all the features you need at a reasonable price.

REP Fitness Best Safety Squat Bar

REP Fitness Safety Squat Bar


  1. Hecker, K. A., Carlson, L. A., & Lawrence, M. A. (2019). Effects of the safety squat bar on trunk and lower-body mechanics during a back squat. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33, S45-S51.