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Thread: Squatting with a Bar Pad

  1. #1
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    Squatting with a Bar Pad

    So I know a lot of people around here advocate against using a bar pad when squatting. Clearly it makes you look less hardcore as a lifter, but does the bar pad actually make your workout less effective?

    I've always felt like the pad is fine, and I'd use the following example. If there were a bench in your gym with no padding, just a flat piece of wood, would you use it for bench pressing? I'd have to think most people wouldn't. If people don't use an unpadded bench, why do they squat with an unpadded bar?
    5'10", 148 lb., 13% BF

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    Whether or not it hits the legs differently, I have no clue. Thats a good question. I know for me, since I'm a bit tall (6'2) I was taught to rest the bar lower on my traps to ease the pressure on my back. The pad rolled on me all the time. I feel better w/out it and feel in more control of the bar. Also, the hardcoreness of it, for me, plays a big part in my head when I'm squatting since it's not the easiest lift.

  3. #3
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    I used to always use a pad, now I dont like the pad anymore. Not because of the whole hardcore thing either. It sits better on my traps without the pad and it doesn't have a tendency to roll down your traps. The first couple of times you will feel the top of your spine become a bit brused but it doesn't do that after you get used to it, at least not for me.

  4. #4
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    i never use a pad, and dont like it when I have un the past.... but i do get a fat red mark across my neck after leg day though.
    "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

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  5. #5
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    at my old gym they had this thing called the mantaray or something like that that cliped on the bar and sat on your traps... kept the bar high and helped hold it there...

  6. #6
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    using or not using has no difference, i use one and i could careless what people think.
    2000 or bust

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rrolack
    So I know a lot of people around here advocate against using a bar pad when squatting. Clearly it makes you look less hardcore as a lifter, but does the bar pad actually make your workout less effective?
    No, it doesn't make it less effective. It makes it less safe. The typical "squat pads" that you find in gyms are a round, nylon-covered foam pad that can very easily roll on your back.

    If you need to use padding, or if you want a higher bar placement (to change the COG), then use a Manta-Ray.

    I've always felt like the pad is fine, and I'd use the following example. If there were a bench in your gym with no padding, just a flat piece of wood, would you use it for bench pressing? I'd have to think most people wouldn't. If people don't use an unpadded bench, why do they squat with an unpadded bar?
    I think a better analogy would be squatting with padding to benching on a stability ball.

    Here's a thread about bar placement on squats: http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=71389
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  8. #8
    Senior Member eatit's Avatar
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    back before i could effectively rest it with it pain i would just wear a hoodie and scrunch up the hood. It provided enough padding to ease the pain without making a mess of my form.

    Now i don't use anything.

  9. #9
    Cock-Diesel Bound Optimum08's Avatar
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    its not a matter of efficacy of squats, but using the pad (big round foam ones) makes it a lot less stable on your back, and with 400+ lbs. on your back you want as much stability as possible...we discourage the use of squat pads in our high school gym...if you want to learn to go heavy you can't use a pad, so you might as well get used to it...
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  10. #10
    Senior Member KevinStarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rrolack
    So I know a lot of people around here advocate against using a bar pad when squatting. Clearly it makes you look less hardcore as a lifter, but does the bar pad actually make your workout less effective?

    I've always felt like the pad is fine, and I'd use the following example. If there were a bench in your gym with no padding, just a flat piece of wood, would you use it for bench pressing? I'd have to think most people wouldn't. If people don't use an unpadded bench, why do they squat with an unpadded bar?

    Funny you should mention that, the guys at my gym hate the padding on our bench so they ducktaped plywould to the bench.

    As far as using a pad to squat with to each his own but personally I would think you could stabalize the bar better without the pad than with. Plus what do you do when your at a gym with your buddies and they say "lets squat" and your whining about the bar hurting your back cause theres no pad.
    Last edited by KevinStarke; 02-12-2006 at 01:23 PM.

  11. #11
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    The first and last time I used a pad the bar rolled on me and I had to dump the weight in the power rack. Not fun.
    Cutting...
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  12. #12
    LOL STFU!
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    i used to use a padded bar. not anymore though.. at first it was uncomfortable, but in time the uncomfort went away and i was able to squat back to my normal weights with ease.. i'd stick with not using it, but if it really bothers you then use it. you'll still hit the legs effectively.

  13. #13
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    I use a piece of pipe insulation. The good flexible kind. I wrap it up with a hand wrap for boxing. It doesnt roll it stays put. And I get no mark on my back. Its cheaper than those bar pads they sell too.

  14. #14
    In China tigo's Avatar
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    manta rays are supposed to make it easier to squat... spreads outt he weight over 1600% of normal.

    not sure about pads though
    I don't have time. I make time.

  15. #15
    C.S.C.S. ddegroff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian136
    at my old gym they had this thing called the mantaray or something like that that cliped on the bar and sat on your traps... kept the bar high and helped hold it there...
    Yeah, they work great until your traps get to big and it doesn't sit on your back right. I've use the pad, the mantaray and nothing. I used the first two in high school, but now the bar feels the best.

  16. #16
    Senior Member TechMetalMan's Avatar
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    I just get a towel and fold it a few times and drape it over the part of the bar that hits my upper back/traps.

    No loss of stability---less pain.

  17. #17
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinStarke
    . Plus what do you do when your at a gym with your buddies and they say "lets squat"
    No one at my gym would EVER say this..
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  18. #18
    Re-Dedicated midee1's Avatar
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    :withstupi

    Do you go to the same gym I do?

    Seriously. Learning without it is the best way IMO. But like someone else said it really does not effect the workout much if at all.
    Here we go again!

    "I've seen yer mug. Eeeeeeesh gotta feed ya with teh slingshot!"....Mik in reference to clvmike19

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