Looking to build lean muscles?
If yes, you’ll definitely need to do lots of weight training.
While there are several gym equipment and exercises that can tone your muscles; nothing does it quite perfectly than barbells.
In fact, in the long ‘dumbbell vs. barbell’ debate, barbells are highly recommended if you want an effective strength training session. This is due to the simple reason that barbells can carry heavier weights than dumbbells.
But, it’ll be much better if you’d learn the different types of barbells to use across different weight training exercises.
So, here are the main types of barbells;
1. Standard Barbell
The standard barbell is the most common type of barbell that you’ll find in any gym.
Typically, a standard barbell for men is 7 feet long and carries up to 44 pounds (20kg). On the other hand, for women is 6.5 feet with a maximum load capacity of 33 pounds (15kg).
These type of barbells are incredibly versatile thus used in various exercises such as; bench presses, squats, and deadlifts among other power barbell exercises.
However, you should be careful when loading weights and plates on the standard barbell bar; as excessive weight can cause it to bend. But some have the ability to rebound or ‘whip’ after bending, though they tend to be a bit expensive.
As you get stronger, it’s advised that you change the thickness of the bar, to match your increasing power.
2. Olympic Barbell
This is special weightlifting barbell is purposefully designed for the weightlifting Olympic sport to enhance performance and reduce injuries.
Olympic barbells look a lot more like the standard barbells, only that they give more whip than the typical standard barbells. This amount of whip gives a lifter an advantageous position to create momentum without compromising on the efficiency of the grip.
Additionally, the Olympic bar has less knurling which enhances the grip further protecting your wrists and gloves.
Although Olympic barbells are used for the same exercises as standard barbells, they can be loaded up with more weight than a standard bar.
But due to their thickness, 2mm for men and 25 mm for women, Olympic barbells may not be to those with smaller palms. Also, they’re more expensive than standard bars.
3. Hex (Trap) Barbell
The trap barbell has a quite fascinating shape, having been invented by a power-lifter back in the 80s, with an aim to reduce back strains when doing deadlifts.
Its hexagonal shape allows you to stand in the middle of the bar’s center of gravity, giving you the safest position for deadlifts.
The ergonomic handles located on the interior opposite sides of the hexagonal shape; help distribute the weight to your back muscles while taking the strains off your joints.
This makes the hex bar an ideal barbell for novice weightlifters. It’s also best used for overhead presses and squat jumps.
If you’re considering buying one, you’re likely part with a large sum amount in order to get a durable hex bar.
4. EZ Curl Barbell
The bent shape of the EZ curl bar focuses on arm exercise. It helps isolate the muscles during biceps curls and triceps extensions.
They’re less stressful on the wrist as compared to other straight bar barbells but holds less weight than standard bars.
EZ curl barbells are not ideal for bench press or squats.
Nevertheless, EZ curls are one of the shortest bars and the lightest, they're easy to store hence making them ideal for a home gym. They’re also economical.
5. Swiss Barbell
Also known as the football bar, this bar is characterized by a neutral grip which removes the tension on the shoulder joints.
As such, the Swiss barbell is great for pressing, rows, and arms training.
The neutral grip also gives you more variation for extensions and presses, relieving the stress on wrists.
The Swiss bar can only accommodate a maximum load of 35lbs (15kg). It’s also pretty expensive compared EZ curl and standard barbells.
6. Safety Squat (Yoke) Barbell
As the name suggests, this barbell is precisely designed for squats as evident from the thick padding where the rests on shoulders. The arms that protrude off the bar also have padding that wraps around the neck while giving you ergonomic handles to grip.
Safety Squat barbells are usually heavier than regular barbells, weighing 27.5kg (60lbs).
Even though they’re expensive, the Yoke barbell among the best additions to a beginner’s routine.
7. Cambered Barbells
The cambered barbell resembles the yoke barbell, the only difference being it’s gripped by two handles at the side.
It’s best used for rows and presses since the U-shaped bend in the middle of the bar increases the lifter’s range of motion.
The cambered bar challenges your stability especially when the weights swing, forcing you to get tighter while squatting. For this reason, the bar is best used by advanced lifters.
8. Log Barbell
From the make of this barbell, it’s clear that it’s best reserved for professionals and experienced lifters.
The log, which is basically a cylinder for the shaft, is etched out with handles placed cutouts within the log.
It's 4 feet long with 10-inch thickness diameter and weighs 50 kg unloaded! The bar can hold weights of up to 600kg. This explains why the bar is expensive and rarely found in commercial gyms.
9. Powerlifting Barbells
Powerlifting barbells are in the same category as log barbells due to their ability to support heavy amounts of weights. Powerlifting bars support over 453kg.
The barbell’s heavy duty steel no rarely rusts or bends.
10. The Triceps Barbell
The triceps barbell is similar to the Swiss barbell, but it’s specifically made for arm exercises.
It’s shorter than the Swiss bar and supports lighter weights.
Even though it works perfectly for triceps workouts, it can also be used for biceps and rows.
Spice Up Your Workout Routine Using Different Types of Barbells
It's important to note that despite the fact there are many different types of barbells, your ultimate choice depends on your training goals, experience, and anatomy. You may also want to consult an experienced gym trainer to find the most suitable match for your training needs.
At Globalfitness, we specialize in all types of barbells and other essential gym equipment. Feel free to check out our inventory for the best buy.