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Which multigrip barbell is best?

If you spend any time in the gym, you are probably familiar with standard barbells and curl bars. However, there are several other types that are useful for focusing on specific parts of muscles or reducing the chances of injury. The multigrip barbell is one such option.

Multigrip barbells offer several hand positions so you can target specific parts of your muscles or make an exercise more ergonomic. Some models, such as the Titan Fitness Multi-Grip Camber Bar, introduce a cambered design that allows for a greater range of motion.

What to know before you buy a multigrip barbell

Benefits

People turn to multigrip barbells for a variety of reasons. They allow you to keep your hands in a neutral position when performing various exercises, which can offer several benefits. Perhaps most importantly, they take a lot of the stress off your shoulders when moving heavy weights. This can be useful for not only preventing injuries but also rehabbing them. Additionally, they may allow you to continue performing certain exercises while you wait for an injury to heal.

Multigrip barbells also allow you to place greater emphasis on certain muscles when performing common exercises. For example, using a multigrip barbell that keeps your hands in a neutral position when bench pressing will place a greater focus on the triceps. Similarly, using one for bicep curls places will engage the long head of the bicep to a greater extent, as well as incorporate the wrist and forearm muscles more than doing standard curls with your hands in a supine position.

Olympic vs. standard

When looking at barbells, you may notice that some are labeled as Olympic. This refers to the size of the shaft where the weights are loaded. Olympic barbells have a 2-inch shaft that corresponds to the 2-inch hole in the center of Olympic weight plates. Conversely, standard barbells have a 1-inch shaft that corresponds to the 1-inch hole in the center of standard weight plates. It should be noted that some Olympic barbells have a removable sleeve that allows them to be used with standard plates. You can also buy Olympic adapters to use standard barbells with Olympic plates.

Length

When looking at the length of a multigrip barbell, you should pay attention to several dimensions. The total length is important simply because it gives you an idea of how big a barbell is, but more important is the inside shaft length. This refers to the length between the two inner collars of a barbell and it will dictate whether or not you can use that particular barbell with a standard bench pressing rack. For this, the inside shaft length should be at least 48 or 49 inches long.

Next, you want to look at loadable length. This refers to the length of the shaft from the inside collar to the end, which is where you will load the weight plates. The longer the loadable length, the more weight plates a barbell can hold.

What to look for in a quality multigrip barbell

Hand positions

Not all multigrip barbells offer the same hand positions. Some only have parallel grips, while others have a combination of parallel and angled grips. Also, which of the grips are angled can vary from bar to bar. Many people opt for a model that features at least one set of angled grips because they make bars more versatile.

Grips

The grips on multigrip bars don’t have any padding, but they do have knurling. This is a diamond pattern cut into the metal that adds more friction between your hands and the bar, thereby improving your grip. Most people prefer medium knurling, as this provides enough grip without being overly rough on the hands. 

Finish

Multigrip barbells come in several finishes that can affect how they feel in the hand and how well they resist corrosion and damage. Chrome is one of the most popular, and what you find most often in most gyms. This is because it is durable, affordable and highly corrosion resistant. Black powder coating is also highly resistant to corrosion and many people find it more attractive and to offer a better feel in the hands. You can also find some bare steel models, but these can be prone to rust if used in high humidity environments.

Weight capacity

For most people, the weight capacity of any multigrip barbell will be more than enough for their needs. However, if you are a heavy lifter, make sure to pay close attention to this. Some low-end models may only support 150 pounds. Those from reputable companies usually support at least 300 pounds, with some capable of holding well more than 1,000 pounds.

How much you can expect to spend on a multigrip barbell

Quality multigrip barbells cost $150-$400. You can find some for less than that, but they are often of low quality and are better avoided.

Multigrip barbell FAQ

What exercises can you perform with a multigrip barbell?

A. Multigrip barbells are extremely versatile pieces of equipment that can be used for a wide range of exercises. Some of the most common are bench presses, curls, bent rows, skull crushers and overhead presses, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. 

What is the difference between a Swiss barbell and a multigrip barbell?

A. There is no difference between Swiss barbells and multigrip barbells. Some people just choose to refer to them by different names.

What’s the best multigrip barbell to buy?

Top multigrip barbell

Titan Fitness Multi-Grip Camber Bar

What you need to know: This cambered multigrip bar combines a smart design with a high weight capacity, making it suitable for a wide range of users and exercises.

What you’ll love: Its knurling provides a secure grip but isn’t overly aggressive, and it allows for both straight and neutral hand positions.

What you should consider: The cambered design may take some getting used to.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top multigrip barbell for the money

Titan Fitness Hybrid Multigrip Olympic Barbell

Titan Fitness Hybrid Multigrip Olympic Barbell

What you need to know: This multigrip bar is built like a tank and fits on standard power racks.

What you’ll love: The black powder-coated finish is very durable and resistant to rust and scratches. It also has a nice feel in the hands.

What you should consider: The welds look a little sloppy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar

Gronk Fitness Swiss Bar

What you need to know: This multigrip bar offers more hand positions than most others and boasts a commercial-grade construction to last a lifetime.

What you’ll love: It’s long enough to be rackable and doesn’t flex at all, even when loaded up to capacity.

What you should consider: It weighs 56 pounds when unloaded, which can make it too difficult for beginners to use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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