Best Short Barbell

If you’ve been using barbells as a regular part of your fitness routine, then you may already be aware of the many benefits that come with barbell training. 

In addition to improving your overall athletic performance, barbell training also saves time you’d otherwise be spending switching from machine to machine. 

However, even those who are intimately familiar with barbells may not be aware that using a shorter, skinner barbell can actually change the way you perform. 

That’s because shorter barbells are often thinner than Olympic and standard-sized barbells, making them easier to grip and, in turn, allowing you to perform better. 

Now that you know why you ought to be using a short barbell in your workout, it’s time to get into the specifics. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the best short barbells for your home gym, then keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

Top 5 Best Short Barbells

1. Sentuca 5 Ft Barbell Weight Set

Sentuca 5 Ft Barbell Weight Set - Olympic Curl Bar & 2 Olympic Barbell Clamps for Lifts 18LB … : Sports & Outdoors - Amazon.com

Price:$75.89 – $86.99

Product Description:

The 5ft Barbell Weight Set from Sentuca is eighteen solid pounds of heavy-duty stainless steel with a 500lb weight capacity. 

Unless you prefer the black finish, in which case, it’s twenty-one pounds of steel coated in shiny black finish. 

With ten and three-quarter inch long static sleeves and an ultra-thin hand grip area (the shaft of the barbell) diameter of only one and one-eighth inch, the Sentuca 5ft Barbell Weight Set is affordable and packs a heavyweight punch. 

Pros:

  • Available in your choice of black or chrome colored finishes
  • Fits all Olympic weights, so you don’t have to purchase a whole new set of weight plates
  • Comes with two Olympic barbell clamps in matching finish to keep your bumper plates secure
  • Diamond knurling for a solid, reliable grip

Cons:

  • $9.99 charge for shipping, whereas some of the other options on this list offer free shipping
  • Some users report the finish chipping off with use over time
  • Depending on which finish you choose, the weight of the bar changes (18 pounds for chrome, 21 pounds for black)

2. CAP Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, Black (2-Inch)

Amazon.com : CAP Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, Black (2-Inch) : Sports & Outdoors

Price:$120.99 – $179.99

Product Description:

Combine twenty-five pounds of high-quality cold-rolled stainless steel, two smooth rotating sleeves, a tough medium-depth diamond knurling pattern, and a sleek black powder coat finish. What do you get? The Cap Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar (2-Inch). 

At the mid-range price, the Cap Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar (2-Inch) is a great deal for your wallet and your training, as it boasts a maximum weight capacity of as much as 500 pounds. 

Pros:

  • Wide 13-inch knurling length to accommodate large hards, no matter what position you take on the bar
  • Medium-depth diamond knurling help you to keep your grip on the bar throughout your workout
  • Constructed with solid 63,800 PSI tensile strength steel, finished in chrome
  • Sleeve diameter of 2 inches is compatible with all Olympic weights
  • Backed by CAP’s 30-Day Manufacturer’s Warranty

Cons:

  • No collars included, so you’ll have to use your own or purchase a set that will fit
  • Rotating sleeves and collars can arrive loose or become loose over time and have to be tightened
  • Some reviewers have reported their bar arriving in poor condition due to long shipping times

3. CAP Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, Chrome (2-Inch)

Amazon.com : CAP Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, Chrome (2-Inch) : Weight Bars : Sports & Outdoors

Price: $115.54 – $155.55

Product Description:

No, you aren’t experiencing déjà vu or seeing double. It just so happens that CAP is back at it again with their Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, but this time, it’s in chrome. 

The CAP Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, Chrome (2-Inch), is practically identical to its brother, the CAP Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar, Black (2-Inch). 

The only difference is the color of the finish, so the pros and cons are exactly the same. 

Pros:

  • Wide 13-inch knurling length to accommodate large hards, no matter what position you take on the bar
  • Medium-depth diamond knurling help you to keep your grip on the bar throughout your workout
  • Constructed with solid 63,800 PSI tensile strength steel, finished in chrome
  • Sleeve diameter of 2 inches is compatible with all Olympic weights
  • Backed by CAP’s 30-Day Manufacturer’s Warranty

Cons:

  • No collars included, so you’ll have to use your own or purchase a set that will fit
  • Rotating sleeves and collars can arrive loose or become loose over time and have to be tightened
  • Some reviewers have reported their bar arriving in poor condition due to long shipping times

4. Everyday Essentials Olympic Super Curl Barbell Curl Bar

Everyday Essentials Olympic Super Curl Barbell Curl Bar, 48 inch (350 lb Weight Capacity), Silver (CB4S) - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

Price: $105.00

Product Description:

As one of the only curl bars on the list, the Everyday Essentials Olympic Super Curl Barbell Curl Bar has several features you won’t find elsewhere. 

This barbell stands out not only for its short 4-foot length but also for its multi-angled shaft section and unique knurling positions resulting from the bar shape. 

The Everyday Essentials Olympic Super Curl Barbell Curl Bar has a 350-pound weight capacity and has a static sleeve measuring just over seven inches long. 

Pros:

  • Multiple knurling positions across 7.48 inch-length for multiple grip techniques and more varied workouts
  • 2-inch sleeve diameter fits all Olympic weights, so you can use the sets you already have
  • Impressive overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 1,800 global ratings on Amazon
  • Free shipping and free returns available when you purchase through Amazon
  • Chrome-plated bar and bearings lets weights move more smoothly on the static sleeve

Cons:

  • No collars included, so you’ll have to use your own or purchase some that fit
  • Lower weight capacity than some of the other bars we’ve gone over
  • Although the bar is listed as 25 pounds, some users report an actual weight of 18 pounds

5. Barbell Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar

47in Barbell Straight Standard Weight Lifting Curl Bar Fitness Home Gym Workout | eBay

Price: $163.99 – $196.99

Product Description:

AKT’s Barbell Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar is the ultimate choice in short barbell customization. 

Whether you prefer four-foot short barbells or five-foot short barbells, straight barbells, or curl barbells, you’re covered with the Barbell Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar from AKT. 

Regardless of which you choose, each bar has a maximum load of 120 kilograms (or 264.5 pounds). When making your decision on which length you prefer, remember that the longer the barbell, the heavier it will be. 

Thus the five-foot barbell weighs 5.5 kilograms (a little over 12 pounds), while the four-foot bar only weighs 5 kilograms (a little over 11 pounds). 

Pros:

  • Available in your choice of 4-foot or 5-foot lengths, as well as your choice of straight bar or curl bar
  • 1 inch barbell diameter fits most standard-sized weight plates
  • Comes with 2 solid steel nuts to lock bumper plates into place; no collars needed
  • Diamond knurling for solid gripping without worrying about hand slips or slides
  • Lightweight and small enough to be stored under a bed or horizontally in a closet

Cons:

  • On the more expensive end of the barbell’s we’ve covered thus far
  • Made to fit standard weight plates, so if you only have access to Olympic plates, you’ll have to be a new set

What to Look for in a Short Barbell?

short barbell

 1. Weight

Even before you add your own weights or bumper plates to a barbell, it has a base weight as most are made of heavy metals. 

Because short barbells are smaller by nature, they also tend to be lighter than Olympic barbells, which are 45 pounds without added weight. 

In general, you can expect short barbells to weigh anywhere from fifteen to twenty pounds (or 6.8 to 11.3 kilograms). 

2. Whip of the Bar

Bar whip comes into play when using any barbell, regardless of size and weight. The whip of the bar is the slight sway or bend that occurs as a result of rapidly switching the direction your barbell is traveling. 

As you increase the amount of weight on your bar, you’ll feel the bar whip more and more, but there are a few ways to avoid it. 

Trainer Tip: Using the smallest amount of plates possible can help to minimize the whip of the bar. If that’s not a possibility for you, though, you can always spend time practicing your form with the bar until you get familiar enough to move with it. 

3. Barbell Sleeve

Barbell sleeves, the textured or grooved end bits that hold the weights, can also vary depending on the type of bar you’re working out with. Barbell sleeves can be static, as in they don’t move, or rotate. 

Rotating barbell sleeves reduce the torque on the weight plates by allowing them to move with the bar as you use it, but they are more common on an Olympic barbell than standard barbells. 

4. Barbell Strength

The whole point of using a barbell is that you can add as much or as little weight as you wish to work with. 

If your barbell isn’t strong enough to handle that weight, though, it can bend and warp, leaving you with damaged equipment or even at the risk of injury. 

Your barbell’s strength is primarily determined by two things: the barbell’s tensile strength as derived from the metal materials used and the barbell’s load capacity (see below for more information).

5. Load Capacity

An important aspect to consider before you buy your barbell is how much weight you plan to use with it. If you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of barbell training, then you won’t necessarily need a barbell that holds more than a couple of hundred pounds. 

But if you’re a more advanced athlete who has experience working with weights before, you’ll want a barbell with a load capacity in the vicinity of 300 pounds or more.

6. Finish on the Bar and Sleeves

As with most professional-grade fitness equipment, short barbells will often have a metallic coating to protect against scratches and damages. The most popular finishes you’ll come across when looking at barbells are chrome, black oxide, and zinc. 

Keep in mind that each finish has its own advantages and disadvantages to weigh before you choose. 

For example, Black oxide provides a preferable feel on the barbell’s knurling and is more cost-effective. 

However, it’s not as resistant to scratches and damage as other finishes. Conversely, the chrome and zinc finishes offer more protection against rust and corrosion but are more expensive than the black oxide finish. 

So, Which One Should You Buy For Your Home Gym?

top short barbell

We’ve already established that short barbells are a versatile and budget-friendly way to diversify your workout and add to your home gym. 

And now that you know all that there is to know about what to look for in a short barbell and the top 5 best short barbells currently on the market, we can definitively say which short barbell reigns supreme.

Of all of the barbells we’ve discussed, our top recommendation is the Barbell Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar. 

While the Barbell Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar may be slightly more expensive than some of the other options on the list, it more than makes up for its cost in the superior quality of construction materials, reliability in performance, and overall approachability for new and experienced barbell users.

If you like this article, you might want to see our review of The Best Barbell Pads for Weight Lifting or our comparison of Dumbbells vs. Barbells: Which One Should You Choose. And don’t forget to check out our other blogs, reviews, and more at Dumbbellsreviews.com.

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