View Full Version : Squat Bar Pad

06-01-2011, 01:49 PM
Does anyone use a pad on the barbell for squats? I've been wrapping a small towel around the area that rests on my area. It works for now, but I'm just concerned that as the weight gets heavier it could cause issues.

I found several on Amazon. A bit pricey so I was curious if anyone else uses one.

Here's one: http://www.amazon.com/Squat-Sponge-diameter-Olympic-Barbell/dp/B001LRCGWG/ref=sr_1_3?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1306935044&sr=1-3

06-01-2011, 01:55 PM
I always use one. I tried it one time without and it just seemed like I was asking for trouble.

06-01-2011, 04:05 PM
Yeah that's my concern. Seems like all that pressure can't be good for that area.

What kind do you use?

06-01-2011, 11:55 PM
Get used to no pad. It's affects the stability of the bar, specially on heavy weights.

This are quotes from experienced lifters on other forums:

For a serious answer, yes. If squatting with the bar is uncomfortable, you need to build up your muscle shelf in your back. You also may have the bar too high and if you don't have big traps, it'll be sitting on the top of your shoulder bones and that hurts. Also, making sure you pinch your shoulder blades together and keeping the elbows tight helps to bunch the muscle together.

The pad might also throw off your groove a little on bigger weights because the bar and weight won't be quite in the same spot as it would resting directly against your skin.

Same with anything else in lifting - it'll probably hurt the first couple of times and then your body will adapt.

From a biomechanical standpoint: The pad moves the bar/weight/force up and back away from the body shifting the COG (center of gravity) further back and placing more stress (read shearing and compressive forces) on the lumbar spine. Which in case you are new to this whole strength training thing would be a very bad thing. Very bad indeed.

As others have stated previously: go without, get used to the feel, learn to love the pain of the bar digging into your back. Grow some traps, rear delts and cajones while your are at, put some weight on the bar and SQUAT!

Read this: http://stronglifts.com/squats-sissy-bar-pad-exercise/

This is why the longer you wait to switch to Squatting without pad, the harder you’re making it on yourself. Drop the pad now instead of waiting until your back gets thicker and remember to position the barbell correctly on your back (not on your spine).

A few world records and some nice squats:

You get used to it after a while.

06-02-2011, 03:59 AM
I will say that I'm relatively new to barbell squats (~3 weeks). I've started to realize that putting the bar lower and on my traps seems to help a lot.

Just trying to make sure I don't wreck my neck.

06-02-2011, 08:16 PM
no pad! do not give up on squats, they are one of the BEST exercises you can do... three times a week here.

If you're experiencing spinal pain, you're putting the bar way too high. Drop it back a little, pull your shoulder blades together TIGHT by moving your bar grip closer to your neck. Keep it tight as you go down, chest up and forward.

06-05-2011, 02:05 AM
I do keep it on my trap/shoulder blade area but still for some reason I still get the pain, probably have to go to the doctor for it because it could be something with the bone or spine which needs to be taken care of, got back and neck issues haha, too much heavy lifting...

Look at the pic here:

The bar does not touches your spine at all

07-05-2011, 02:06 AM
Guess the pad isn't needed when you place the bar at the right spot. No issues at all thus far.

07-05-2011, 02:35 AM
I have trained with and without a pad. I found that with a pad stability is an issue as sometimes depending upon the type of shirt that is being worn. With out the pad in my opinion is the much better way to go. At first it does take a while to be come accustomed to there being no padding. But once that point is passed its smooth sailing. Its a matter of putting the bar in the correct place on the back/neck.