A barbell pad, sometimes called a hip thrust pad or barbell squat pad, is an essential item for making your at-home workout more comfortable, especially once you’ve started lifting heavier weights.
Purchasing a barbell pad for hip thrusts or a neck pad for a squat bar will keep the pressure off your hips, neck, and upper back so your workouts can be even more intense.
Barbell pads come in various lengths, thicknesses, and even materials.
Why Use A Barbell Pad?
A barbell pad is a cushion for your barbell that protects your body from the weight bar. They reduce pressure on your body where you may be resting a particularly heavy barbell for exercises like squats or hip thrusts.
You may not need a barbell pad when you are first beginning your at-home workout journey. But as you get stronger and want to add more weight or start to work out more frequently, you’ll want to invest in a barbell pad so you can continue to make progress.
When Can You Use a Barbell Pad?
Barbell pads are only necessary for barbell exercises that make direct contact with your body and require heavyweights, like squats, hip thrusts, and lunges.
Although it may not seem essential to purchase a barbell pad for this shortlist of exercises, these exercises are critical to a workout routine for building full-body strength. Investing in a barbell pad will ensure that you can continue to practice these exercises without hurting yourself or wearing yourself out.
What Does a Barbell Pad Do?
Barbell pads help protect your body in many ways by providing comfort and support and reducing your risk of bruising or injury.
Comfort and Support
The barbell pad’s thick, cushiony material prevents direct or intense contact with your body from the barbell, reducing the pressure on your body. This makes it much more comfortable to lift heavier weights or include more reps or sets in your workout routine since there won’t be physical pain from the bar itself.
Barbell pads also provide support when lifting, reducing the chance of the barbell slipping and causing an accident. This additional support becomes extra essential when you begin to lift heavier weights.
Reduce Risk of Bruising and Injury
When applying direct pressure to your body from your heavyweights, bruising can become a common occurrence. If you are battered and bruised from your previous workout sessions, it will be painful to do those exercises again.
A barbell pad will act as a soft barrier between the barbell and your body, reducing bruising and ensuring you can keep working out without taking time off for the bruises to heal.
Barbell pads also reduce the risk of injury during a workout. Barbells can get slippery, and if the barbell falls while you’re mid-exercise, it could do a lot of damage to your body. Barbell pads consist of a material that grips onto the body well, even despite the sweat. They will reduce the chances of your barbell falling during even high-intensity, sweaty workouts.
What Should You Look For in a Barbell Pad?
With so many barbell pads on the market of all different shapes, sizes, and materials, it can be overwhelming to pick the barbell pad that works best for you, especially if you’re just beginning your workout journey. There are several elements of a good barbell pad that you should look out for when evaluating your options.
The material of your barbell pad is the most important thing to consider. You want a durable material yet one soft and thick enough to act as a sufficient cushion between yourself and the barbell.
The best materials for barbell pads are rubber and foam, but barbell pads come in all thicknesses, so pay extra attention to how thick it is before purchasing.
While many barbell pads have no cover, some barbell pads come covered in another material around the foam or rubber. Although they may be more expensive, covered barbell pads are generally more comfortable, durable, and easy to clean, especially if they come covered in a long-lasting material like leather or vegan leather.
Although having a cover on your barbell pad isn’t absolutely necessary, investing in a barbell pad with a cover will ensure that your barbell pad lasts longer and is even more comfortable for your heavy workout sessions.
Some barbell pads come with velcro or straps to secure the pad around your barbell, but some simply slide on and off with no way to secure the pad. Barbell pads without any security run the risk of sliding around or even coming off during your lifting session, so it may be worth it to invest in a barbell pad with a strip of velcro or straps to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts.
Product Reviews: Best Barbell Pad
Now that you know what you should be looking for in a barbell pad to fit your specific needs, you can evaluate your options for purchasing one. Here are our top choices for a barbell pad.
Top Choice – ProFitness Barbell Pad Squat Pad
The ProFitness Barbell Pad is a barbell pad made from a 1.5-inch thick foam. The pad is 16 inches long and lightweight, making it perfect for throwing into your gym bag and bringing it on the go. The pad slides onto the barbell and is suitable for most barbell sizes, which is ideal if you are looking to bring your barbell pad from one gym to the next.
This barbell pad comes with removable straps for extra security, ensuring that it won’t slip and slide off the bar during your workout session. The pad also has an ergonomically contoured design, dipping in the middle of the pad where the barbell would rest on your neck during a squat or lunge for added comfort. The ProFitness Barbell Pad does not come with a cover.
- Thick, high-quality foam protects your body against the barbell.
- Comes with removable velcro straps for added security
- Ergonomic design for comfort during your workout
- Versatile, lightweight, and portable
Budget Pick – Lxuemlu Squat Pad Barbell Pad
The Lxuemlu Barbell Pad is a rubber memory foam barbell pad that is 17.5 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. The pad features an ergonomic design for extra comfort and impact absorption and is lightweight enough for portable use. The barbell pad easily slides onto barbells of all sizes, making it a great, versatile option.
The Lxuemlu Barbell Pad comes with removable velcro straps to reduce the chances of rotation or slipping during your workout. Although it does not come with a cover, this barbell pad is made with high-quality rubber, making it non-slip and resistant to tears. The Lxuemlu Barbell Pad is a long-lasting and durable barbell hip thrust pad for workouts of all kinds.
- High-quality rubber is durable and long-lasting.
- Ergonomic design absorbs the impact of a heavy lifting session.
- Removable velcro straps reduce the chances of slipping.
- Thick and long enough for maximum comfort
Best Value – Gymletics 7 Pack Barbell Squat Pad for Standard Set
The Gymletics Barbell Squat Pad Set comes with a barbell pad and several other workout accessories to level up your performance both in the gym and at home. It comes with a 17.3-inch barbell pad made of 1.2-inch thick rubber foam that fits all size barbells and features an ergonomic design to relieve more tension from your body during a workout.
The barbell pad does not come with a cover but does include removable velcro straps for added security. The set also contains a resistance band, two ankle straps for cable machines, and a carrying bag that makes all items easily transportable. This is a great and affordable set for someone who is just beginning their workout accessory collection or for someone more advanced who is ready to take their home workouts to the next level.
- Removable velcro straps provide extra safety.
- Comes with additional workout accessories
- Travel bag makes set easily portable.
- Barbell pad is long enough to support all gym-goers yet versatile enough to work on all barbells.
Most Durable – Dark Iron Fitness 17 Inch Extra Thick Barbell Neck Pad
The Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad is a 17-inch long barbell pad that is unlike all the rest. Although designed to fit 2-inch Olympic barbells, this barbell pad is still a versatile option that will fit most barbells and is made of ¾ inch thick foam, making the pad dense enough that it won’t flatten out, no matter the weight on your barbell.
This barbell pad has a synthetic leather cover to reduce rips and tears. The leather material is also incredibly easy to clean and doesn’t absorb sweat or odor over time.
It fastens securely to your barbell with a horizontal velcro strap across the length of the pad, reducing the chances of slipping and sliding. The Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad is a sleek and stylish option for someone serious about their workouts.
- Leather cover makes for easy cleaning and durability.
- Horizontal Velcro strap keeps barbell pad secure and stable.
- Dense foam reduces flattening out and increases the pad’s lifespan.
- Portable, stylish and sleek
That’s A Wrap!
A barbell pad is a must-have gym item for someone looking to intensify their home workouts or even step up their game in the gym. However, it can be difficult to find the best barbell pad for you with so many elements to consider.
Our top pick is the ProFitness Barbell Pad, a thick and durable option that won’t break the bank. This is a great option for home workouts, beginners, and even seasoned gym-goers since its versatility and removable straps make your workout entirely customizable and suited to your needs. The ergonomic design is a great feature for beginners as well since it provides more comfort and support on your upper back and hips during a workout.
Both the Lxuemlu Squat Pad and the Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pads are cheaper options, but both boast different qualities. Our best budget pick is the Lxuemlu Squat Pad since it offers various features great for beginner gym-goers, such as its ergonomic design, at the lowest price. The Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad is also a low-cost option but may be more suited for someone who already has heavy lifting experience.
Finally, the Gymletics Barbell Squat Pad Set gives you the most bang for your back, as it comes with other gym accessories that you can use to level up your workouts at home or in the gym. No matter which option you choose, a barbell pad is a great way to keep your body safe and recovering quickly, making it an important addition to your workouts.