Squats with safety bar

I have done a search trying to find information on squats done with a safety bar.


Are safety squats just as effective as regular back squats? I have noticed that I am able to squat more and in less pain with the safety bar. But I also have noticed that I may be using my arms a little more than I should. Is there a correct way or incorrect way to do safety squats?

Sorry, I guess it was more than one question…

Do you feel yur hammies or quads working harder with safety squat bar than regular bar?
Some stength athletes report that this is te case. If so, then it undoubtebly will do a little more for your leg stregth, but don’t think it’ll nessesarily do more for your gluteals.
I’m not sure I can answer your second question at the momment, as i don’t know how you personally perform them for starters.
Why are you concerned about the use of your arms in a squat?
Does it detract you from your leg focus? (It shouldn’t).
Does it tire your body out quicker?(It shouldn’t if you are fit in the heart and lung department)

Yes you will be able to squat alot more with a safety bar, just look at kansas state football record board they have guys squatting 800-1000lbs with a safety bar with a normal bar they will probably be in 600-700 for most.

You will not be able to squat more with the safety bar. We got one 6 months ago and from my limited experience with it it is about 50 pounds under your regular back squat. This probably has something to do with it being more quad dominant as the bar is forcing you forward.

I’m pretty sure the reason the safety squats on Kansas’s record board are so high is because they allow there althletes to grab the powerrack or handles on the powerrack. I have seen it done this way before.

you may be right quik i will find out.

I remember using one at the Dallas Cowboys facility in 1988. It felt easy but I just worked in with the S and C coach so I can’t compare maxs.

Below are some numbers from past ksu fb players, i know these guys are probably stong but know they cant free squat 800+lbs.

Darren sproles:
CAMPUS: 4.48 in the 40-yard dash … 391-pound bench press … 818-pound safe squat … 319-pound power clean … 33-inch vertical jump … Right-handed. COMBINE: 4.49 in the 40-yard dash … 2.58 20-yard dash … 1.53 10-yard dash … 3.96 20-yard shuttle … 11.13 60-yard shuttle … 6.96 three-cone drill … 33-inch vertical jump … 8-foot-9 broad jump … Bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times … 28¼-inch arm length … 8¼-inch hands.

Josh Scobey:
4.42 in the 40-yard dash… 2.56 in the 20-yard dash… 1.59 in the 10-yard dash…42 1/2-inch vertical jump…10’4"-inch broad jump…3.93-in the 20-yard shuttle…6.86-in the three-cone drill…380-pound bench press…884-pound squat…310-pound hang clean…4.2-percent body fat…31 1/4-inch arm length…9 1/4-inch hands…Wonderlic score 12.

What were you doing at the Cowboys Facility at the time Charlie? Bob Ward was the Conditioning coach at the time I think.

Yup. They brought me in as a consultant. Coach Landry was still there at the time.

Im able to concentrate more on my glutes and hammies because I am not worried about feeling it in my lower back. I am one of the cursed people in the world with a 29 1/2 inch waist…which I think hurts me when trying to squat (reason being there there is not much to balance the weight on)…maybe Im wrong.

As far as feeling it in my arms, I am using them to keep me from falling over (holding to the safety handles). But I am feeling a complete body work out though…

[QUOTE=QUIKAZHELL]You will not be able to squat more with the safety bar. We got one 6 months ago and from my limited experience with it it is about 50 pounds under your regular back squat. This probably has something to do with it being more quad dominant as the bar is forcing you forward.QUOTE]

Using the safety bar and handles, I am able to train with more weight because of back issues and I am feeling the work out more because I am able to concentrate on the area trained rather than my back giving out on me…

You should have told Ward about a few of your principles before he put his in “Sports Speed.” Still havent figured out why I bought that book a fews years ago.

Hey. I’m just one consultant. I would bet many passed through there before and after me!

Well, then again, I guess I have answered my own question or questions…

Safety squats seem to be effective for me…activating the muscles that need to be activated during a squat…hammies, glutes, etc…plus I am getting a little upper body workout at the same time. Plus I am able to go just a little deeper with a little more weight…

I like’em a lot!

I copied and pasted 2 of your posts together.

The safety bar is obviously allowing you to put more into your glutes and legs judging by your posts. This is also in sync with reports from one of the westside heavyweights who said he was taken by suprise the intense feeling he got in the legs and hammies. (though he was not holding on to racks.)
He also said he felt it a lot in the lowerback (again, he was not holding onto racks.)

Keep it, if you really need stronger legs. In fact another study on E.M.G output showed the safety squat as having the highest quad stimulus of the varous squats tested. It may have evn been Tudor Bompa’s study - not 100% sure it was.

The lowerback giving out before the legs in an extensive squat set is not uncommon, and the bane for some who are trying to rely on squat to develope lower body. The safety squat is the sollution.
If you are not getting enough lowerback stimulus from safety squat (with hands on racks), you’ll now have to address your lowerback with other exercises, and there are quite a few that can compete with the squat in that department.
Could you try one of the sets without hands on rack? lower weight ofcourse, it may very well strengthen your lower back a great deal.

As for it feeling like a total body exercise when your hands are grabbing racks, what is the problem with that? Helps fitness, and should result in a slightly higher t-spike, if nothing else. Does it take away from your concentration on the legs though?

I do need to keep the strength in my legs (Bobsleigh and track) plus add some muscle weight…and squats are the best mass packing exercises out there…arent they?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with it being a full body exercise…thats why I was saying that I basically answered my own question.

I do try other exercises to strengthen my lower back due to an injury…any suggestions?

The saftey bar, as with any other cambered bar, places the weight further down the upper to mid back. You should not be able to squat more with this bar. I personally squat about 50-80lbs less than my str bar squat and have noticed my athletes have generally larger deficits due to trainability. The higher the trainability, the smaller the deficit (at best probably 40-50lbs).

I’ve got a couple of safety squat bars, one from Crepinsek and one from PowerLift (14" camber). The following comment is made without knowledge of your levers (femur to torso ratio, etc.) but unless your bodybuilding dump the handles. Whats the point? You can handle more weight in a stabilized environment. Who cares? You can emphasize your quads. If your sports are track and bobsleigh why is that important? Your quads will get plenty of emphasis when using the bar without employing handles as your trunk is forced to stay more erect. If you insist on staying with the handles I recommend you deadlift to strengthen the posterior chain with a compound movement (reverse hypers and/or glute ham raises are not an adequate substitute if for no other reason they are not “ground based”). The caveat obviously is your lower back injury. What is the nature of the injury? Is it chronic and have you tried any treatment?

Bob Tomlinson

this has been shown before but its tiki barber performing safety bar squats holdin the rack.

My back injury is chronic and I have tried treatment. I am planning on prolotherapy…it helped a friend with her back injury. I have degenerating discs in the L3, L4, and L5 area plus scar tissue.

The reason of using the safety bar is so that I can squat and squat a little heavier and not be worried that my back is going to give out at the bottom of the rep. I am also trying to add some much needed body weight and its kinda hard to do that without heavier weights and what nots…