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SSB (bar?)

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  • SSB (bar?)

    Im currently gathering equipment for my home gym. Next thing on the list is something like an SSB bar. I have basically 2 choices, one has a more open angle and is dropped a little further down, the other has a more closed angle between the drop and the handles. What will the different options do for me? Quality wise they are both the same. I understand that the open one will bring the center of mass a little further back, but will this really matter?

    hope everybody stays safe.
    Thanks a lot

  • #2
    It depends on how you want to use it, really. Anecdotally, I have trouble with quad strength and maintaining my back angle in my comp squat, so when I used the SSB as an assistance lift, I prefer to feel the center of gravity more forward so that I have to really fight to maintain my back angle and stay in my quads. If I had banged up shoulders or something and wanted to use the SSB as my primary squatting barbell, I'd probably want something that wouldn't pull me forward quite as much.

    If you want input, I've used several different SSBs over the years and the EliteFTS Yoke SSB is by far the best one I've used. They're a little expensive, but if I had the money/space for an SSB in my little home gym, I'd get one of them. I'm also intrigued by the Kabuki Transformer bar since you can change the positioning of the sleeves to mimic various bar positions/specialty bars, but they're even more expensive.


    • Mort
      Mort commented
      Editing a comment
      I too have some quad weakness, in my comp config I have a tendency to good morninging my way back up as I get to the limit. So I guess the way to fix this would be with the mass center further forward?

  • #3
    I would second EliteFTS' SSB. I love it. Although my home gym has been something of a budget purchase - I try to use the best stuff, but I am 'practical' - if that makes sense, I am going with the Titan SSB. Price point is great, and I've heard great reviews on it.


    • #4
      I started with a basic Rogue R-3 rack, steel plates from Craigslist, and a bar steel barbell. I splurged on the Kabuki Transformer, knowing that I would have it for decades. I like that it weighs the same as a normal barbell, has true Olympic sleeves, and is adjustable. The black oxide process finish looks nice and doesn't chip. Most of the 48 possible positions aren't recommended, and you probably wouldn't regularly use all of the 20 feasible positions. But I have been able to use it for four distinct variations:
      • Front squat setting. Gets around my frustrating inability to get and keep a good front rack even using straps. Now I can make good progress with a more upright squat.
      • SSB setting. This also lets the bar balance without holding the handles, for Hatfield squats.
      • Back Squat setting. I've exceeded my straight barbell back squat with this. I haven't retested with a straight barbell.
      • Good Mornings setting. I do these to spotter arms, it's a great setting with no sliding on the neck.
      I'd need to spend more time with the cambered bar setting. Didn't see much difference with "Back Squat" but might try gripping the bar and not the handles so the weight can swing. Any SSB type bar will be affected by any force applied to the handles. I've yet to try the Kettlebell setting.

      I don't compete, this is my full time squat bar now. I can relate to what Nate B. said, and I'm convinced this bar has made me a more self-aware and effective squatter. I used to hate squatting, now I don't. I think you'll enjoy any SSB for lower body variation. I highly recommend the Kabuki version. Good luck, have fun, and stay well.


      • Mort
        Mort commented
        Editing a comment
        Im looking at the Kabuki, my first thought is: will those grips hit your knees?

    • #5
      The grips hitting my knees isn’t something I’m worried about even though I have fairly long legs vs torso. It could only be an issue if I squatted with an extremely narrow stance and tried to lean over far.