These barbells are perfect for boosting your bodybuilding goals and beefing up your home gym while offering great value.
Barbells are a seriously effective exercise tool and must have piece of equipment in your home gym, whether you have a rack or not. Of course, a rack is more than helpful especially when it comes to your big three powerlifts being the squat, bench press, and deadlift, but other exercises can be seriously enhanced when you add a barbell to them. When looking to maximize your gains with barbells and add diversity to those workouts, barbells are a sure fire way to get this done.
We’ve put together a list of the Best Barbells for 2021 to boost your bodybuilding goals and home gym. The right barbell can enhance those heavy lifts and more functional exercises so all your bases are covered. Quality and durable, each of these barbells are what you need to thrive in your training goals.
Best Barbells For 2021
- Best Barbell Overall: American Barbell 20KG Training Bar
- Best Barbell For Weightlifting: LIONSCOOL 7-Foot Olympic Bar
- Best Barbell For Powerlifting: CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar
- Best Barbell For Beginners: Force USA Ranger Barbell
- Best Barbell For Squats: papababe Olympic Barbell
- Best Barbell For Deadlifts: XMark VOODOO Weight Bar
- Best Barbell On Amazon On A Budget: Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Bar
- Best Barbell For Women: Synergee Games Barbell
- Best Trap Bar: Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar
- Best Specialty Bar: American Barbell Hex Bar
Best Barbell Overall
The best barbells overall will work to be durable and high quality while still providing versatility and functionality. The right barbells can boost all your gains and take your strength training and your workouts to new heights.
American Barbell 20KG Training Bar
American Barbell 20KG Training Bar is a versatile bar tested and approved for training and competition. The precision ground alloy steel bar shaft is tested through a rigorous process to ensure longevity and excellent whip for optimal performance. A finished hard chrome adds extra durability and corrosion resistance for nice added features. The bar sleeves work to rotate smoothly and this bar is 20kg, 28mm in diameter, and 2,200mm in length. This bar is built to last while providing comfort and longevity for all of your goals.
- High quality, great grip, and quiet sleeves make sure your hands don’t tear and plates stay on
- Comfortable to use and a great bar for athletes of all levels for strength training and powerlifting
- From a reputable company who cares about their customers and products with the best barbell for bodybuilding
- Slight grooves in the collar may make for an unpleasant sound with plates
- The grip may give off a false sense of feeling weak, although that may be dependent on preference
Check out our individual review here!
Best Barbell For Weightlifting
Those who are into weightlifting and strength training regularly need the right bar to provide the best for your workouts. The ability to pack on weight for bigger lifts and still have a functional bar for other exercises can greatly influence your gains.
LIONSCOOL 7-Foot Olympic Bar
LIONSCOOL 7-Foot Olympic Bar is a great weightlifting bar made from high-grade steel with a hard chrome finish to withstand resistance and repeated abuse. High-quality bearings inside sleeves provide for a smooth and quiet spin and the design offers multiple knurling positions for a secure and stable grip. With 500 lbs. weight capacity, this bar holds 80,000 PSI high tensile strength so you can lift heavy and tackle your weightlifting needs.
- Made from high-grade steel with a hard chrome finish
- Multiple knurling positions provide for great grip
- Holds up to 500 lbs. for those weightlifting, powerlifting, and strength training goals
- Bar may be slightly lighter than advertised compared to the best barbell for bodybuilding
- Sleeves aren’t as smooth as other high-quality bars
Best Barbell For Powerlifting
Powerlifters need stable and durable barbells to boost those big three powerlifts. With so much weight on the bar, you want to be able to lift as much as possible without fear of the bar breaking or you suffering an injury.
CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar
This bar from CAP Barbell is built from solid cold rolled steel with a black phosphate finish. The sleeves are designed with snap clips and solid knurling allows for great grip, especially when lifting heavy. Made from steel, this bar is durable and high quality to ensure longevity and has a tensile strength of 110,000 PSI. Perfect for those who lift big, “The Beast” is a great bar to add to your home gym for serious growth.
- Great for heavy lifting and a solid grip ensures an effective lift
- Great for all experience levels involved in weightlifting
- The bar itself is fairly great quality for powerlifting needs
- Metal does tend to splinter and while the bar is well made, the threaded sleeves are not of equal quality
Best Barbell For Beginners
Those just starting out should consider great beginner barbells. It will reinforce grip and give you a better idea of what to expect as you progress in your fitness journey.
Force USA Ranger Barbell
Force USA Ranger Barbell is ideal for those looking to start to lift heavy and is a strong, quality Olympic barbell. Standard whip allows you to keep control and the shaft is ground and polished for a refined finish. With 170,000 PSI tensile strength, this is extremely durable and heavy duty able to tackle any of your needs. For beginners, this is just what you need to kickstart your weightlifting journey.
- Durable and heavy duty with 170,000 PSI tensile strength
- Standard whip is great for control with training and when plates are on
- Perfect for those weightlifters just starting out
- Provides enough grip but could be better for weightlifting and powerlifting
Best Barbell For Squats
Squats are essential for boosting leg growth and the right barbell can work wonders for your lower half gains. Comfortable and versatile, this will feel good on your back and offer the best in terms of range of motion.
papababe Olympic Barbell
papababe Olympic Barbell is built from solid cold rolled steel with a hard chrome finish to ensure strength and durability. The diamond knurling offers a secure grip and the rotating sleeves work to reduce pressure off the wrists and forearms. With weight support of up to 1,000 lbs., the superior design allows for a wide variety of workouts designed to help you tone, gain muscle, and improve your all around fitness levels.
- Well-built and made from quality and durable material
- Holds weight up to 1,000 lbs. which is great for weightlifting and powerlifting
- Diamond knurling offers great grip to tackle any workouts
- Whip is okay but for those looking for more, this is rather stiff
Best Barbell For Deadlifts
Along with squats, deadlifts are also an essential powerlift that can make others envy you. The right barbell will be able to hold as much weight as you want with a comfortable grip to provide for optimal movement.
XMark VOODOO Weight Bar
XMark VOODOO Weight Bar is built for those who want to perform while looking for products at a reasonable price. With 185,000 PSI, this bar offers superior tensile strength and has a weight capacity of 1,500 lbs. with moderate flex. A quality grip ensures stability and safety and the micro grooves on the collars ensure your plates stay in place. Comfortable and consistent, this bar is great for exercises like deadlifts to help maximize performance.
- Versatile and convenient bar for those looking to perform well, especially with lifts like the deadlift
- 185,000 PSI is superior tensile strength with a 1,500 lbs. weight capacity for plates and bearings
- Good grip and collars help plates stay in place for powerlifting
- Overall quality varies from bar to bar in terms of knurling and finish
Best Barbell On Amazon On A Budget
Finding the right barbell at an affordable price can be challenging. Thankfully, Amazon is a great place to find awesome products and barbells are no different.
Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Bar
Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Bar is a great bar to boost your Olympic lifting needs and is designed to hold up to 700 lbs. Made of durable, cold-rolled steel, this high-quality bar will last a long time and ensure you get only the best in terms of longevity. An easy-grip surface allows for stability and the diamond knurling provides for a sturdy grip. For those on a budget, this bar can give you great quality while not totally breaking the bank.
- Durable and high-quality steel bar to ensure longevity
- Easy-grip surface allows for better gripping and stability
- Affordable price still gives you a great bar
- 700 lbs. capacity is a lot but much less than others on the market
Best Barbell For Women
Women may be looking for a barbell that can boost their gains without any nonsense attached. Able to provide great grip and stability for their workouts, a good barbell can tone, build muscle, and help you hit those desired goals.
Synergee Games Barbell
Synergee Games has built a great bar for tough workouts made from high-grade steel with a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI. With a loadable sleeve of 16.4’’, this bar can carry loads and ensure you see growth with whatever exercise you embark on. Weighing 15kg and being 79.13’’ long, this bar is perfect for any style workouts for maximum training and performance. A cerakote finish comes in different colors and this bar is great for whatever your workouts bring.
- A great looking bar great for functional exercise
- Good value and can hold a lot of weight for those big lifts
- The bearings are poor quality and wear down after only a few uses
- For the price, this could be better
Best Trap Bar
Trap bars offer the ability to have a great alternative to your favorite exercises while still promoting better form and strength. Keeping you in the center and working on preventing injury will prove to be highly effective moving forward with your lifts.
Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar
Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar is an innovative and counterbalanced design to give you the best chance at gains by offering a variety of exercises. A convenient walkthrough design and built-in bar jack make working out easy so your focus can only be on lifting huge weight. Ergonomic lifting handles offer great grip and you can load and unload plates with ease. With less stress on your back, this bar promotes form and requires less headache to learn the proper movements of those big lifts.
- Walkthrough design is convenient for a variety of workouts
- Ergonomic handles offer great grip and plate loading is easy
- Innovative design to offer less stress on your low back
- The handles tend to spin and are a little wide for some
Best Specialty Bar
Specialty bars offer the ability to tackle many lifts in a variety of ways. By focusing on specialty bars and their ability to provide for great gains, you really feel a need to own at least one kind of specialty bar to keep your workouts fun and engaging.
American Barbell Hex Bar
American Barbell Hex Bar is a great bar when looking to switch up your traditional deadlift while also allowing versatility with a number of exercises. This bar works to reduce stress on your low back given that you stand in the middle as opposed to slightly behind. Keeping the bar closer allows you to engage different muscles and have a more effective workout. While you don’t need a rack, this bar is fully rackable and fits all Olympic plates. The bar is 85’’ long with 16’’ loadable sleeves and weighs 40 lbs. Knurled handles ensure great grip and this hex bar is a great variation when looking for something different than barbells while getting the same benefits.
- Great durability and can withstand a lot of weight
- Bar and handle size work well for all levels and all athletes
- From a reputable company who knows the needs of consumers
- Doesn’t accept a standard Olympic collar and there is an option for a collar to buy from them directly
- The ends are hollow and are not protective against cutting you
Benefits Of Barbells & Barbell Training
Offering a great full body workout and aiding in many functional movements, barbells are great for enhancing all areas of your athletic performance. The benefits of barbells and barbell training include:
- Improved athletic performance: Great full body workout to enhance size and strength, while also providing support for functional movements (1).
- Versatility: Working to enhance both cardio and strength, barbells can be used in a number of ways.
- Better cognitive function: Works well with drop sets and increased time under tension, while also boosting your confidence as your strength and physique improve.
- Convenience: The best barbell for bodybuilding won’t take up that much space and is easy to use.
Barbells Vs. Specialty Barbells
Using the traditional barbell allows you to tackle a multitude of workouts for it is versatile in its ability get work done. Of course, those big three powerlifts are done with a traditional bar but other, more functional exercises can be handled with ease and convenience. Specialty barbells work to handle more niche exercises but provide for different benefits all while aiding in those exercises performed with the traditional barbell. For example, the hex bar is a great bar to use for the deadlift for it keeps you centered and grounded for added safety and can increase gains. But the benefit is that when you transition over to the barbell, you can tackle the deadlift more effectively (2).
Types of specialty barbells include: the Hex bar, Swiss bar, EZ Curl bar, Buffalo bar, Yoke bar, and Cambered bar, among others.
How We Choose
When looking at the best barbells, and in particular the best barbell for bodybuilding, we look for a number of factors because you deserve the best when it comes to beefing up your home gym and working on those bodybuilding goals. The company producing the barbell is important because you deserve to have brands that only produce the highest quality fitness equipment. We look for the material and durability of the product, like if it is made of stainless steel, as well as the tensile strength because you certainly don’t deserve to have a bar that will break under pressure. Finally, we know fitness equipment can get pricey and we look for those brands that will not break the bank but still offer great products at an affordable price.
What is the best barbell?
American Barbell 20KG Training Bar. This bar is a versatile bar tested and approved for training and competition. The precision ground alloy stainless steel bar shaft is tested through a rigorous process to ensure longevity and excellent whip for optimal performance.
What is tensile strength and why does it matter?
Tensile strength is how much a barbell can hold in terms of weight. If the weight packed on exceeds the tensile strength, then it can break. This matters because for those of you lifting big, for you want to be able to put on as much weight as possible without the fear of it breaking on you.
Should I focus on a barbell or a specialty barbell?
This depends on your goals. Barbells are great for they work for a host of exercises and of course, those big three powerlifts. But something like a specialty barbell can work for niche exercises and give you the best chance to succeed when it comes to tackling those bigger lifts.
Barbells are great tools to seriously affect your lifts and enhance all areas of your gains. Adding a barbell to your home gym is something that will prove to be effective and worthwhile in the long run, especially for those still weary about going to a gym. Check out our list above and see which one of these barbells seems appealing to you because the benefits will be well worth the purchase.
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- Thompson, Brennan J.; Stock, Matt S.; Shields, JoCarol E.; Luera, Micheal J.; et al. (2015). “Barbell Deadlift Training Increases the Rate of Torque Development and Vertical Jump Performance in Novices”. (source)
- Andersen, V.; Fimland, M.; Mo, D.; Iversen, V.; et al. (2018). “Electromyographic Comparison of Barbell Deadlift, Hex Bar Deadlift, and Hip Thrust Exercises: A Cross-Over Study”. (source)