Barbells are among the most used weight training tools in fitness rooms but they are also increasingly in demand for home training, especially for those who want to refine their workout in the gym.
We hear more and more about home fitness, and the sets of dumbbells and barbells are essential for those who want to follow their training at home, to be used in coordination with benches, weights, rods, supports and so on … or even alone .
What are balance wheels?
The tool consists of a chromed steel bar which can vary in shape and length depending on the model, at the ends of which the interchangeable cast iron weights are fixed, blocked by special iron clips, the so-called “stop rings”. The weight settings are variable and interchangeable according to the workload to be carried out and the objectives to be achieved.
Barbells are used for a type of anaerobic training, for athletes who are already aware of their use. Practicing exercises without a minimum of preparation or without the indications of a personal trainer can prove to be risky and more or less serious muscle injuries can be incurred, even with minimal weights.
The use of barbells involves high-intensity movements and workouts lasting a few seconds, which end up with an oxygen debt. This kind of training is very useful for modeling and defining muscles and increasing mass, but also for training strength; they are in fact indispensable for some practices such as body building or crossfit.
Barbells are tools primarily intended for defining the upper body muscles, but they also involve other lower muscle groups such as calves, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, lumbar and back muscles.
They are perfect training partners for bench presses, squats and deadlifts. But do you know what types of barbells you can buy and use? Let’s see together which models to choose according to your needs.
Barbells: how to choose them according to the type
Types of rocker arms
On the market we find various types of balance wheels, which differ primarily in the shape and diameter of the rod.
First, it is good to distinguish:
- Barbells with modular weights and straight shaft: these models are made up of a steel bar of variable length, the most common of 150, 180 and 220 centimetres, to which the weights are hooked, cast iron discs of various weight ranges. The plates have a hole in the central part with a diameter compatible with that of the axle to be inserted.
- Barbells with modular weights and curved shaft: the barbell is not always made up of a straight bar, it can also have a curved one, specially shaped to train the biceps in a targeted way. The ergonomic shape allows for a comfortable grip which facilitates a more complex and focused workout for the anterior and posterior arm portions. The form also protects against the risk of injury as it does not overwork the forearms.
The choice of gear depending on the activity
As for the type of barbell based on the specific activity, there are four variants on the market: Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting, hybrid and specialist barbells.
- Olympic weightlifting barbells: these are models made up of 50mm thick bars, compatible with all cast iron Olympic plates whose hole has a diameter of approximately 51mm. The diameter of the bar allows rotation of the palms of the hand with minimal resistance, and has a smooth surface of the cylinders which allows for quick and easy weight changes. But what distinguishes weightlifting barbells from powerlifting ones is the much more elastic bar steel. In fact, for weightlifting barbells we speak of “Whip”, elastic energy that benefits the heaviest lifts, in jargon “Snatch”, or during a “Clean & Jerk”.
- Powerlifting Olympic Bars: These are models designed for very heavy lifts. Their characteristic is that they are very stiff and hard and do not contain elastic energy. They also feature knurls that are closer together and a larger diameter.
- Hybrid barbells: these are models that have the main characteristics of the Olympic barbells, but differ in the shorter length of the shaft which makes them more performing and extremely versatile. Dual-marked barbells, for example, are a hybrid of powerlifting and weightlifting barbells. This barbell is perfect for functional workouts. It is also the most common barbell on the market at the moment, suitable for Olympic type lifts but can also be used for more powerful squat exercises. Also, it is recommended for newbies or those who train at home.
- Specialist barbells: these are models that vary according to the specific technical needs of training and use.
The best barbells: the Tipsforwomens ranking
1 – KlarFit barbells: the complete solution
If you’re looking for a complete, all-in-one kit for your home workout and great value for money, the KlarFit Power Forge is the right choice for you. An incomparable, top-level equipment, at a decidedly fair price, considering the offer: around 200 euros per price list.
In the kit we find:
- Pair of long bars and set of 6 weights.
- Pair of dumbbells, each with 4 weights (2 x 2.5 kg and 2 x 1.25 kg), with a total weight of 7.5 kg.
- Klarfit logo design and chrome bar with star safety lock.
In addition, there are non-slip grooved handles that can support you in performing any exercise. And then the material is of high quality, as all components are resistant to wear thanks to the stainless steel profiling.
Versatility, comfort and total safety. The star blocks – thus the aforementioned handles – are also ideal for intense workouts. A security that can appeal even to newbies. Seeing is believing.
2 – Songmics barbell and dumbbell set: the cheapest
If you are a beginner looking for a tool with good features, which knows how to take care of the business and which does not cost a fortune, you can find what you are looking for in the Songmics balance wheel set. An option to complete your home gym, which can support any mid-level training session.
This adjustable set includes two versatile sized barbells designed to accommodate any type of workout. The total weight that can be reached is 30 kg; this thanks to 8 weight plates of 2.5 kg, 4 of 1.25 kg, 4 of 1 kg, 2 dumbbell bars, 4 fasteners and a barbell bar which allow you to create 2 dumbbells of 15 kg or, in fact, a barbell of 30kg.
Although there are some plastic parts, the kit is not fragile but rather, it proves to be very safe and reliable. The central bars are robust, with non-slip knurling that guarantees a comfortable grip; 4 spin-locks prevent disc shifting.
We remind you that this is the cheapest choice among quality barbells: less than 70 euros, net of discounts.
3 – G5 HT SPORT: the chromed balance wheel
Here, however, we come to a highlight for perfectionists and for all those particularly attentive to comfort and ergonomics. With G5 HT SPORT we are dealing with a chromed balance wheel with a fixed length, classic in design and performance, but which is able to faithfully reflect the possibilities of the weight room in home fitness workouts.
120 cm wide, with screw closure and handle diameter of 25mm, it can support a weight of up to 130 kg. A body builder-proof tool, therefore. Obviously the material used is steel, for maximum resistance even in the most intensive sessions.
This product is ideal for those who want to perform muscle strengthening exercises of considerable variety, with unparalleled comfort and extreme safety. The curved shaft, as we have seen, also allows you to prevent any injuries or incorrect overloads due to movements that are not exactly perfect. All at a cost of just under 40 euros.
4 – Physionics complete set: the professional choice
Are you a true gym addicted or an average user who wants to aim high right away? Don’t worry: in our ranking of the best barbells, there is room for a truly professional, complete and super-equipped product. We are talking about the Physionics set, a reference brand for “do-it-yourself” gyms.
Between barbells, weights and dumbbells, with this set you can really have a widely used tool, without hesitation.
- The plates, combined with the appropriate fitness bar, allow you to perform a variety of unrivaled strength exercises, suitable for both the upper and lower body.
- The ergonomic barbell shaft is 165cm long, the EZ curl barbell 120cm, while the dumbbells come in at 45cm each.
- Again, the grips on the fitness bars have a non-slip finish that ensures proper movement without risk.
- The weights are filled with concrete and coated in heavy duty plastic… meaning your home floor can really stay safe.
And the price? 250 euros for a professional and equipped kit is undoubtedly a reasonable sum.
5 – BCBIG, the multifunction adjustable balance wheels
We close our ranking with a “hybrid” in all respects. With the BCBIG product, in fact, we are dealing with a pair of dumbbells that can become comfortable barbells. An all-in-one that breaks the mold in terms of both functionality and design.
Not surprisingly, this set turns out to be more ideal for the consumer looking for a completion tool, which does not focus on his own…