A barbell pad fits over a barbell to provide cushioning for the neck and shoulders. It normally is placed over the part of the barbell that rests on the shoulders to allow for protection and comfort when training. The pad is usually made of durable, high-density cushioned foam and are typically designed to fit any size barbell.
Training with a barbell pad can be very helpful, especially when performing exercises like lunges or squats. It can protect both the shoulders and neck by proving a layer of cushioning between the athlete's body and the bar. It can also prevent slipping by providing a firmer grip on the bar. These pads have been used by athletes for many years and have since become more advanced — pads now are made of higher-quality materials and often have the ability to fit all bar sizes.
The foam used in a barbell pad can consist of varying degrees of density and thickness. The pads usually have a Velcro strip that allows it to be securely fitted to all types of bars, both standard and Olympic size. Although the sizes can vary between pads, a typical barbell pad is about 15 inches (38.1 cm) long in a nylon shell and is about 5 inches (12.7 cm) thick. It slides over the bar and can be positioned to provide comfort when the bar rests on the athlete's shoulders. It can easily be adjusted to fit any individual and can quickly be removed if needed.
When performing squats or lunges, a certain amount of strain can be placed on the lower back. The barbell pad can help provide a firmer grip, which may improve the athlete's ability to use the correct form when exercising, thereby relieving the strain on the lower back. The risk of injury can also be greatly reduced by having a firm grip on the barbell. The bar should be less likely to slip and can rest more comfortably on the neck and shoulders. This can also allow the weight of the barbell to be evenly distributed.
Many barbells found in health clubs can be equipped with barbell pads to ensure a comfortable workout. Since many athletes may perform squats and lunges as a regular part of their training routine it is usually more comfortable to use a barbell pad as opposed to the bar alone. Pads can be bought separately and taken to the gym to be used when training. They also usually have a nylon cover that is easy to clean and water resistant.