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I’m in Love With the Safety Squat Bar

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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!



author: Louis Whenlock

Hi I’m Louis, a passionate freelance Personal Trainer on a mission to cut through the BS and gimmicks of the fitness world and deliver honest, hard earned results to my clients.