Best Weighted Workout Bars

Updated August 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
134 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best weight workout bars

Staying in shape and working out at home can take many forms, from strength training to cardiovascular activity. If you exercise at home, equipment that is easy to store, transport, and clean is often preferred, especially if your space is limited.

A weighted workout bar is a great space-saving solution, and you can perform a variety of exercises with one. These bars typically stretch about 4 feet long and are relatively light in weight with a padded exterior. You can use them to tone, strengthen, and stretch your upper body, including your back, arms, and core. You can use them for some lower body exercises as well, or in tandem with other pieces of equipment.

In this guide, we detail the possibilities that come with a weighted workout bar and explain what fitness goals you might be able to achieve with one. If a weighted workout bar is in your future, we can help you find the right one.

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With the right exercises, a weighted workout bar can help you tone muscle and burn fat. However, you should not expect a weighted workout bar to help you gain substantial muscle. For that, you need to keep increasing weight.

Key considerations

Benefits

Weighted workout bars are useful for people who want to stay active and tone their muscles, often in the convenience of home. These bars are easy to store and transport, which means they can also be used at a park, fitness class, or even the gym, if you want to bring your own.

Weighted workout bars are easy to maintain: with proper care and use, they can last a lifetime. For certain exercises, they offer a bit more stability than dumbbells or kettlebells. The reason: when you use an individual weight in each hand, you may have a weaker arm that struggles to keep up with your dominant arm. With a weighted workout bar, the arms work together.

In addition to toning the upper body, you can use a weighted workout bar to supplement your lower body and core exercises. The added weight on your arms provides a more complete fitness routine.

Exercises

A weighted workout bar can add some resistance to your workout. Here are a few popular exercises — keep in mind there are countless variations that you can use to tweak your routine.

Squats: These popular exercises for toning the legs and glutes can easily incorporate a weighted bar. You may hold the bar in front you, parallel or perpendicular to the ground, above your head, or behind your back. You may also lift or press the bar during exercise.

Lunges: As you lunge forward, laterally, or backward, you can use the weighted bar in similar ways to squats. Hold it forward, above your head, or behind your neck. You may lift or press as well, provided you do so with control.

Curls: Bicep curls are a popular exercise with workout bars. You can perform one-handed curls or two-handed curls in an upright or seated position with your hands grasping over or under the bar.

Crunches: Some users position the workout bar across their core or chest when performing sit-ups, adding weight to the exercises. You may also opt to perform a press with your arms as you do the crunch.

Thrusts and twists: You can position the bar across your hips when performing thrusts or in a bridge position. Bars can be incorporated in Russians twists as well.

Steps: Bars are useful in conjunction with high-stepping or exercising with a step platform, balancing out a lower body workout with some upper body movement.

Weight

A weighted workout bar may weigh anywhere from 4 to 35 pounds; typically, they don’t go much higher than that. As such, weighted workout bars are ideal for those who want to tone and build a little bit of muscle.

Weighted workout bar exercise routines typically involve a number of reps in a set and two or three sets as part of a circuit. While the weight may not feel burdensome in the beginning, it will likely start to fatigue you 20 or 30 minutes into your workout.

Length

Weighted workout bars don’t vary much in length, but it’s still worth keeping in mind. Most stretch about 4 feet across, but heavier models may run up to 5 feet across. Consider the space in which you’ll be exercising when choosing a bar length.

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Did You Know?
Exercises performed without the use of a machine don’t restrict your motion. That means you must be more careful with form, but it also engages more muscles, like your stabilizers.
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Features

Color-coding

Most weighted workout bars are colored on the ends to help indicate the size. This is useful if you have more than one bar on hand; it also adds a bit of liveliness to what is an otherwise standard black or gray piece of exercise equipment. While the color may help identify the size of the bar, note that there is no set standard, so red from one company may denote a different weight than red from another company.

Sets

Some weighted workout bars come in sets. This is useful for those who exercise at home and want to perform a variety of moves requiring different weights. It’s also helpful to have a heavier bar on hand as you get stronger.

Sanitize and wipe down your weighted workout bar as needed, and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.

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Accessories

Adjustable weight bench: Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench Series
A workout bench provides a stable foundation from which to perform a variety of upper, lower, and core body exercises. We like this heavy-duty adjustable option from Bowflex.

Step platform: Trademark Innovations High Step Work Out Device
A step platform is an effective and convenient addition to your workout, especially when used with a weighted bar. This option from Trademark Innovations is inexpensive and easy to store.

Yoga mat: Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Mat
A yoga mat provides comfort and support when stretching and performing a variety of core exercises. We recommended this mat from Sivan that complements a weighted bar.

Caution2
Caution
Weighted workout bars are not designed to support plates or bands. In fact, they could damage the bar or easily and dangerously come off.
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Weighted workout bar prices

Inexpensive: For around $25, you can find a decent weighted workout bar that is under 10 pounds.

Mid-range: Most quality weighted workout bars cost between $25 and $50. These range in size, increasing in price as they increase in weight.

Expensive: For over $50, the heaviest of weighted workout bars are available. You may also be able to purchase sets of weighted bars for up to and over $100.

Tips

  • Remember to stretch. Take time to warm up and cool down your muscles before and after working out. It’ll prevent you from feeling overly sore and protect you when you exercise.
  • Get creative. A workout bar adds myriad options when you’re exercising. Every slight difference in where and how you hold it renders a slightly different workout.
  • Tend to your hands. Even a comfortable bar can wear out your hands after prolonged use. Make sure you stretch your fingers and lotion your hands to keep them from hurting or blistering.
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Owning the proper equipment is a good start toward your fitness goals, but you need a plan to see it through. Craft a fitness routine and adhere to it to realize progress.

FAQ

Q. Are weighted workout bars safe to use?

A. Most weighted workout bars come with an element of padding so your hands stay comfortable while holding the bar. The bars themselves are usually protected with a layer of foam or rubber so that, should you drop it, the impact is lessened. However, it’s important to have proper form when you perform your exercises. Lunges, squats, and lifts can put strain on different muscles if not executed correctly. Practice form ahead of time, and if you start to feel pain while exercising, stop immediately.

Q. Are weighted workout bars the same as Pilates bars or barbells?

A. Weighted workout bars have some similarities to bars used by Pilates enthusiasts and weight trainers, but there are important differences. Generally, Pilates bars are light in weight and designed to be used in conjunction with resistance bands; the toning and flexibility components come from the bands and not necessarily the bar. For strength trainers, barbells are used to hold weighted plates and perform more intense exercises. These are heavy-duty and typically less comfortable to hold over a long period of time.

Q. How do I know which bar weight is right for me?

A. Every individual is on their own fitness journey with their own specific goals, so it will be up to you to determine how much your bar should weigh. Most people want a workout bar that they can wield across several different exercises; not too light but not too heavy. If you have the opportunity to experiment at a gym, see how you feel with different weights.

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