What is an Olympic bar?
Olympic bars, or barbells are a metal bar 7 feet long and weighing 45lbs. They are used in all weightlifting competitions and can handle 800 and even 1000 pounds. As you would expect the bar is used mainly for heavy exercises including dead lifts, squats and the bench press. They get their name from being used in Olympic weightlifting events, namely the clean and jerk and the snatch.
Olympic Bar Exercises
Most exercises include all types of clean and snatches, squats, deadliftas, the bench press and military press.
What is the difference between the Olympic bar and other barbells?
Olympic bars have fixed specifications that determine its length, weight and the size and location of its textured grips. The mens Olympic bar is 7.22 feet in length and has a weight of 44.1 pounds. At the outer ends the diameter of the bar is 1.9685 inches And the diameter of the grip portion of the bar is 1.1024 inches and the grips are spaced 35.83 inches apart!
They also have sleeves that can rotate when the main part of the bar is stationary. This rotation reduces the torque of the weight on the lifter.
Olympic EZ Curl Bars
You may also find this called a revolving curl bar. Essentially the EZ curl bars are wiggly shaped barbells which affect your grip as various angles are built in. It can therefore be useful if you are concerned about injury to your wrists or elbows. Used either for concentration curls over a preacher bench or you can stand and use - they also make it easy to do revers curl work for your biceps. Secondly, they make it easier for tricep work when you're lying on a bench. This is a useful addition if you like your arm workouts.
Which Olympic Bar is Right for You?
If you are mainly into static movements like presses and squats then you need to look for a stiff bar without a great deal of flex. These are sometimes also called power bars. And the weights on these bars can be extremely high. They will also have a 28mm grip, some will even have a 30mm grip and all will have medium to heavy knurling.
If you are performing olympic lifts then you need a bar with more whip and collars that spin freely. Good bars will also have needle bearings in the collar. The whip will help absorb some of the weight and will also act like a spring helping to get the weight moving upwards. The needle bearing or free collars are also important so you don’t hurt your wrists.