How to use your Safety Squat Barbell

My recent YouTube series discusses the Safety Squat Barbell (SSB).

Episode 1 introduces what I believe to be the best SSB available – the EliteFTS Safety Squat Yoke Barbell.

Episode 2 talkes about the benefits of the SSB and why it should be the first specialty barbell for your garage gym.

My third video in the series addresses how to perform a squat with the SSB and goes over all the different exercises I could find that uses the SSB.

The Basic Squat with the SSB

  • For the basic iteration of the squat, make sure you have it right way up. The handles should be angled forward and the logo should be visible. For the EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar, the EliteFTS logo is on the rear of the pad.
  • Find the point at which the SSB balances will on your shoulders. When the bar balances on your shoulders without having to hold on to it that’s a good starting point for the bar.
    • If it’s too high, you’ll feel a lot of pressure on the neck
    • If it’s too low, the SSB will start to slip down your back
  • For a neutral squat, I like to pull the handles outwards, in effect pulling the pad into your shoulders. This shouldn’t affect the camber, try not to move the handles up or down, simply outwards.
  • The train upper back musculature and tightness, try pulling the handles in towards your body to flex the lats.
  • If you’re experiencing some lower back pain and want to maintain a more upright back angle, push the handles up to shift the camber forward.
  • As the weight gets heavier and you approach your max, keep in mind the weight has a tendency to staple you about halfway up, generally when the hips start to shoot up too early, leaving the weight in place, as you try to stand up.

When you first start using the SSB, due to the differences in weight distribution and technique, you won’t see a direct transfer of strength from a regular barbell. My current one rep max squat with the regular barbell is 465lbs, where as with the SSB it is at 450lbs.

SSB Exercise List

Upside Down SSB Squat

Wide Grip SSB Squat

Hands Free SSB Squat

Assisted SSB Squat

Hatfield Squat

SSB Front Squat

Zercher Squats

Front Carry Squats

Front Carry Walks

Lunge variations

Elevated rear leg lunge

SSB Good Mornings

Upper Back Good Mornings

Single leg good morning

SSB Pistol Squats

Deadlift variations

Hammer Curls

SSB Curls

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Overhead Press

JM Press


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