Well, what more can I say? This bar is brilliant.
For those that don’t know, the safety squat bar (sometimes known as a yoke bar or Hatfield bar) is a barbell with frontal handles and a slight forward camber. Essentially what this does is shift the weight distribution forward, making the movement resemble something between a high bar squat and a front squat.
Why I love it so much:
- I originally started using it for 20 rep squats as I get brutal exertion headaches with a straight bar but due to the yoke and the padding I’ve no issues doing 20-50+ reps with a safety bar (this is not an excuse to add a pad to a regular barbell!).
- I press (axle, log and dumbbell) at least twice a week and using the safety bar saves my shoulders from extra strain while still allowing me to squat heavy and often.
- Due to the forward camber the safety bar places extra demands on your entire posterior chain, making it an awesome exercise in itself but also a suitable accessory movement for deadlifts.
- It can be used for a variety of great exercises like squats, front squats , lunge variations and good morning variations.
So, is the safety squat easier or harder than regular squats?
Short answer, both!
Personally due to the yoke and padding I find the safety squat bar easier to do high rep squats than with a regular barbell, but at the same time because of the camber you won’t be able to lift as much weight as with a regular bar. Another thing that makes the safety squat slightly easier is the fact you can be a bit looser on form. Unlike a regular squat your technique isn’t overly important, once you sit back in the whole you can simply muscle your way up and out. This however, makes it a poor choice for honing your regular squat technique.
Overall I absolutely love this bar and I’d recommend it to anyone but a beginner. I’d highly advise a beginner to develop proper squatting technique with a barbell before attempting to use a safety bar.
Lift Strong and Conquer!