How The Cambered Bar Works For Awesome Squat Benefits

cambered bar

This specialty bar can work your squats differently to target great growth and other benefits.

We typically always use a traditional barbell for our big lifts but specialty bars like the cambered bar exist for a reason and can greatly influence our gains. By working on better balance and stability, given the increased instability of this bar, we promote better form and strength when it comes to our squatting and our ability to lift big weight. The cambered bar may look strange but it is most certainly a great lifting tool to see gains.

Let’s take a look at the cambered bar and see what this can do for our gains. By offering great squat benefits, the cambered bar is something to consider when looking to maximize the effects of this exercise, as well as others.

What Is The Cambered Bar?

Definitely for more experienced lifters, the cambered bar is a strange looking bar that is highly effective at relieving stress off your shoulders. The downside to this bar is that it is unstable so a more experienced lifter who stays more tight and more controlled would benefit greatly (1). The way this bar is set up is that the plates hang lower than the normal barbell and your shoulders rest on the part of this bar that forms a bit of a square around your upper body. It is harder to balance but offers a nice variation to the squat and other exercises.

cambered bar

Benefits Of The Cambered Bar

When using the cambered bar, you do receive great benefits that may differ from the traditional barbell or even other specialty bars. You want these lifts to be as comfortable as possible and sometimes it can be a real challenge to feel comfortable under so much weight. With the cambered bar, some of those fears may subside as you seek the best out of this unique variation.


Benefits of the cambered bar during squats include:

  • Less shoulder pain: The way this bar is set up will require less mobility to feel comfortable when performing the exercise. This will keep your shoulders in a more comfortable position so you are able to handle any and all problems when it comes to shoulder pain.
  • Focus on technique: With less pain and a different position under the bar, you can focus on technique to better your overall form and stay physically healthier overall.
  • Offers a different challenge for your muscles: By using specialty bars, you offer your muscles a slightly different challenge to target growth in a different and unique way.
  • More versatility: Using the cambered bar on the whole allows for more versatility when it comes to other exercises. This can greatly influence your workouts to keep them different and engaging.

cambered bar

Difference Between Cambered Bar Vs. Traditional Barbell

We wanted to touch on some of the differences between the cambered bar and the traditional bar so you know what to look for. With the cambered bar, you will most likely use less weight. This is due to a bit more increased instability given the way the bar is designed and the way you move under it. While you still get good work done, it won’t be the bar used for a big PR. As a result of this instability, you will use other smaller muscles that may not be traditionally worked with a normal bar, so any slight soreness in unfamiliar places may be these stabilizer muscles finally getting work done. Overall, you may feel less tight as a result of reduced shoulder pain with the cambered bar. So while you may not pack on the weight as much, you will still get a great workout (2).


How To Use The Cambered Bar For Squats

When using the cambered bar for squats, you want your hands in a comfortable position and the upper part of the bar should be around the back of your shoulders. With a solid stance of feet about shoulder width apart, engage your core and be ready to keep a neutral spine. When ready, lower down into a squat, and drive back to the starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

strong man

Cambered Bar Exercise Variations Aside From The Squat

Aside from the squat, the cambered bar can be used in a variety of ways to offer unique variations on some traditional exercises. For those looking to change up their workouts a bit and add in some unique exercises, definitely give some of these a try.

Cambered bar variations include:

  • Bench Press
  • Lunges
  • Other Squats (Front Squat, Zercher Squat)
  • Deadlifts

Featured Supplement To Pair With Cambered Squats For Gains

For those looking to maximize their gains with the cambered bar squats, it is important to give yourself the fuel to power growth and recovery. A protein powder that is high quality with great ingredients can give you everything you need when looking to maximize all your gains (3).

Kaged Muscle Micropure Whey Protein Isolate

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Wrap Up

The cambered bar and how its used for squats can greatly influence growth and provide for solid benefits with the exercise. An interesting specialty bar, the cambered bar also works well for a host of other exercises to add variety and a unique approach to your workouts. With less pain, more focus on technique, and a more versatile bar, the cambered bar can work wonders for you and all your squatting and weightlifting goals. Give this bar a try and see what it can do to make your workouts more engaging.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Corey, Stephen W. (1991). “The cambered bar”. (source)
  2. Krysztofik, Michal; Golas, Artur; Wilk, Michal; Stastny, Petr; et al. (2020). “A Comparison of Muscle Activity Between the Cambered and Standard Bar During the Bench Press Exercise”. (source)
  3. Pasiakos, Stefan M.; Lieberman, Harris R.; McLellan, Tom M. (2014). “Effects of protein supplements on muscle damage, soreness and recovery of muscle function and physical performance: a systematic review”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.