What Is The Best Barbell Pad? Ranking The Top 8 For 2023
If you are doing back squats or hip thrusts with a barbell, having the best barbell pad is important for the quality of your workout and comfort.
This article will examine several of the best barbell pads, their benefits, and top options on the market.
As an Amazon affiliate, I might make commissions on purchases via links on this page.
Do You Really Need A Barbell Pad For The Barbell?
The answer to this question varies from person to person and depends on the athlete’s specific needs.
For some, having a barbell directly on the shoulders and upper back can lead to discomfort and pain, so a barbell hip thrust pad provides extra barbell cushion and comfort to complete the exercises.
And of course, this can lead to adding more weight to the bar or doing more reps, making for a more intense workout experience.
How To Choose The Best Barbell Pads
We will consider a few things when looking at the best barbell pad for hip thrusts or squats, whatever fits our needs. First, we look at the material of the barbell pad. What is it made of?
Next, we will consider the pad’s size, including the foam’s thickness and length, which can vary but are important to understand based on your needs. Some of the best barbell pads come with straps to help secure the barbell pad to the bar to avoid slipping.
We are also going to consider the price. Most barbell hip thrust pads can be purchased for under 30 bucks, with a few options going over a bit. We don’t want to overpay for a barbell foam pad, but we want to get the best barbell hip thrust pad available for our specific fitness situation and exercise routine.
Here is the summary list of our best barbell pads, and the full reviews are below.
Top 8 Barbell Pads For Squats And Hip Thrusts On The Market
1. ProFitness Barbell Pad w/ Straps – Shoulder Support for Squats, Squat Lunges & Heavy Hip Thrusts – for Olympic or Standard Bars
With almost a perfect 5-star rating and almost 9,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s a no-brainer that this squat/thrust pas is our top choice, along with thousands of other users.
This squat barbell pad is a great option if you’re an athlete looking to take your performance beyond what nature intended. Its high grip surface will give extra control over the loaded barbell while providing comfort and ease of use so that all aspects can be executed precisely, especially those heavy squats and hip thrusts.
With these tough, rubberized foam squat pads, you’ll be able to protect your back and shoulders while performing heavy squats without worrying about them flattening out. Thanks to the two handy Velcro straps, they won’t stick or slide on the barbell.
The heavy squat pads allow you to work out comfortably without worrying about your barbell moving around. They’re designed for uneven weight distribution, perfect if it’s been a while since doing strong compound exercises like deadlifts or squats.
A great addition to your squat rack.
2. Iron Bull Strength Advanced Squat Pad – Barbell Pad for Squats, Lunges and Hip Thrusts – Neck Pads & Shoulder Protective Pad Support
What’s the difference between this best hip thrust pad and the one above? A couple of straps and a little thickness.
So, very little, but enough that you might want to consider if you need the straps.
This ergonomic design of the Iron Bull pad allows you to perform your exercises pain-free and focus on good form and proper technique while reducing shocks delivered by the flooring beneath us during squats and hip thrusts.
Advanced Squat Pads are made of high density foam rubber that absorbs energy when applied with force onto surfaces such as bars or floors – helping reduce discomfort.
The Iron Bull Strength matte finish ensures stability, preventing slipping away where it matters most: off our shoulders. This anti-slip matte finish helps with slippage in replacing the straps from above, but not 100%.
We also see the Iron Bull barbell pad in several colors, which is great for those worried about the gym aesthetic.
Iron Bull Pros
Iron Bull Cons
3. POWER GUIDANCE Barbell Squat Pad – Neck Hips & Shoulder Protective Pad
The new Perfect Barbell Squat Pad has everything you need to make your squats more comfortable.
It’s designed with one-piece reinforced covers, ergonomic center groove design, and strong non-slip properties so that there are no problems when it comes time for heavy deadlifting or Olympic Lifting.
This barbell hip thrust pad from Power Guidance is upgraded from an older version but with the same reliable options and high quality.
With its anti-slip design, you can have comfort without sacrificing stability.
The Power Guidance barbell pad has two velcro straps to ensure the back and hip pads don’t slide up and down the bar. This is great for powerlifting or casual training while focusing on getting stronger each time without worrying about slipping.
The barbell pad is made of high-quality materials to ensure a comfortable workout. The reinforced fabric cover and sponge inside provide optimal support for your joints while also being soft on the skin without any pain.
The Power Guidance barbell pad is a bit longer than others we have seen on the list, coming in just over 17 inches; great for those who need longer barbell hip thrust pads for hip thrusts, squat lunges, and other exercises.
Power Guidance Pros
Power Guidance Cons
4. Dark Iron Fitness Barbell Pad – 15-inch, Extra Thick, Padded Cushion for Barbell Squat, Hip Thrust, Weight Training and Lunge Exercises – Squat Rack Accessories
The Dark Iron Fitness barbell pad is the first non-ergonomic hip thrust pad we have seen on this list, but that’s not necessarily bad.
This is a different type for our barbell pad list of reviews.
The barbell pad’s extra 1.5″ barbell cushion is one of the thickest on this list, guaranteeing extra comfort during those difficult exercises.
The Dark Iron Fitness has a 15″ barbell pad, so it’s not super long, but it’s not necessarily bad.
The barbell pad design is made with top-grade, 1 1/2″ dense foam to provide optimal support and comfort during your WOD or powerlifting training.
This dense level foam will help it retain shape for a long time.
Remember, these barbell pads are designed for the 2″ Olympic-sized bars. While you can use these on 1″ bars, they will not stay on well and are more prone to slipping.
Dark Iron Pros
Dark Iron Cons
5. REEHUT Squat Pad Barbell Pad for Squats, Lunges and Barbell Hip Thrusts
The longest barbell hip thrust pad on the list at over 17 inches, the REEEHUT is approaching 5,000 reviews on Amazon, so we aren’t the only ones who are a fan.
I don’t want to call this an oversized bar pad, but it is the longest barbell pad on the list, making it a great option for those who need to cover a wider body span, whether for squats or hip thrusts.
We see a similar ergonomic design on these barbell cushions as with other barbell pads, with thick foam on the edges of the barbell pad and a dip in the middle.
This foam pad also has securing straps to help secure it to the bar.
This barbell hip thrust pad can be used on both standard and Olympic-sized bars.
6. DMoose Barbell Pad – For Standard & Olympic Bars
The DMoose barbell neck pad is an awesome home or garage gym addition.
With its lightweight and portable design, you can take this with in order so that your workout doesn’t have additional weight on top of all those exercises.
If you have been around fitness for a long time, you have surely come across the DMoose brand of high quality products and fitness equipment.
So it’s no surprise to see them pop on this best barbell pads for hip thrusts and squats list.
This is another long barbell squat pad for hip thrusts, measuring nearly 17 inches.
The barbell hip thrust pad also has a 1.2″ inch non-slip EVA foam that comes in several color options.
They also sell this item in combo packs, so you can buy two or 3 barbell hip thrust pads simultaneously at a small discount.
7. Fit Viva Barbell Pad for Standard and Olympic Barbells with Safety Straps
Fit Viva may not be as well-known as some other best hip thrust pads on this list, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the most reviewed barbell pads on Amazon.
The Fit Viva barbell pad is a great beginner option at a lower price than most barbell pads on this list.
It’s a 17″ barbell squat pad, long enough to protect the neck and shoulders for squats as the barbell sits across the back, and a great barbell pad for hip thrusts, thanks to its 1.3″ thickness.
It’s also another option with safety straps to help make sure the heavy barbell doesn’t move or shift during your barbell hip thrusts or other movements.
And while it’s a basic barbell pad for hip thrusts, squats, and other movements, with almost 6,000 reviews on Amazon, it seems this squat bar pad is more than capable of handling the weight.
Fit Viva Pros
Fit Viva Cons
8. Suzie B Fitness Barbell Pad
SuzieB Fitness is a line of workout equipment and gear for ladies who want to add great design and flare to their workout routines.
Even though this item doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon, SuzieB Fitness is one of the highest-searched barbell pads on Google, so it seems the word has gotten out.
This rainbow-designed foam pad is a 17-inch bar, wide enough to cover anyone doing exercises from barbell hip thrusts, barbell lunges, or squats.
The Suzie B Fitness pad has no safety straps but is Velcro-fastened.
SuzieB Fitness states they aim to make cute fitness products to help you feel good using them, and they have succeeded with this rainbow pad.
SuzieB Fitness Pros
SuzieB Fitness Cons
Help Choosing The Right Squat Or Hip Thrust Pads Based On Features
We have identified a few main factors to consider when purchasing barbell pads.
Looking at how thick, thin, and hard barbell pads are is worthwhile.
The material must be durable, soft, and comfortable enough to cushion the body and the loaded barbell.
The shoulder protective pad is made with rubber because it is more durable and comfortable, and the foam will also have a thicker texture, depending on your needs.
If you want your barbell hip thrust pad to be secure and not risk it moving or shifting around, consider getting a squat bar pad with straps.
The best barbell pad can move around on the bar, but the foam pad can’t hold the bar in place. This means the bar can rotate within the foam pad itself.
You must ensure a good hip thrust pad is securely secured to the bar, so the heavy weight does not move during hip thrusting or squat training. Many barbell pads are tight enough not to require a strap, but there is certainly comfort in having the extra security for some.
Coverage And Size
Look into barbell pads that are wide enough to cover all your muscles for whatever exercise you are doing.
If you want to do barbell squats, you want a pad that is wide enough to go across the width of your shoulder.
For hip thrusts, the bar pad doesn’t need to be as long, but the right size needs to be wide enough to cover the width of your body so the bar can comfortably lay across it.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Barbell Pad?
A barbell hip thrust pad is important for anyone who wants to do a barbell hip thrust or squat. A product being such a low-price tool is extremely beneficial to both lifters and athletes, especially considering the price.
The extra comfort and security of using a foam barbell pad can help safely take a hip thrust or back squat workout to the next level. With its thick, durable foam construction, the comfortable barbell pad is designed to fit around the neck of an Olympic-size weightlifting bar.
It provides a cushioning surface that helps ensure proper form and reduces the risk of injury while protecting areas of your body like the hip bones, neck and neck pressure, and lower body (as well as upper body).
Which Barbell Pad Is The Best Barbell Hip Thrust Pad?
Picking the best overall barbell pad wasn’t easy, as Amazon has so many great options. We have selected the ProFitness bar pad as the best barbell pad on this list from Amazon.
One thing to consider is that every person has different needs and requirements, so you might find a different pad better fits you. For example, Rogue Fitness makes a great pad that many people love.
In the end, the best pad is the one that helps you achieve your goals and get the quality of workout you want.
Is A Barbell Hip Thrust Pad Worth It?
This certainly depends on your specific workout and fitness wants and requirements.
Trying a barbell hip thrust pad at such a low price point is easy to see if it can benefit your workouts.
Also, many gyms have hip thrust pads on hand near the gym barbells, so you can test these out at your local gym before buying to determine if you should get one of your own.
These bar pads are inexpensive to add to your strength training experience, much like resistance bands or grip trainers, but well worth the cost.
How Thick Should The Best Barbell Pad Be?
This question has no standard answer, as it will be based on the athlete using it.
For some, a thinner pad with less foam padding might be preferred, whereas others prefer a thicker, high-density foam pad for hip thrust exercises and squat lungers to add more comfort.
In the end, the best thickness depends on the user’s preference.
What Exercises Are Good To Do With A Bar Pad?
Regarding the best exercises for which a bar pad would be useful, think about the different exercises you can do with a barbell. Nearly every back or hip thrust movement with a barbell can benefit from a bar pad.
For example, putting an extra thick barbell pad on the barbell can be used to cushion the heavy weights against your body when lowering the arms.
A barbell hip thrust pad can keep the bar and heavy loads from rubbing directly against your shoulders and traps and provide comfort with the high-density foam for back squats and squat lunges.
Many also use a bar pad for hip thrusts to protect the body from being directly impacted by the direct contact with the bar. The slight bit of cushion from a bar pad with thicker pads ensures that more reps can be done with more heavy weight (or add more weight) for a better workout experience.
Exercises like the hip thrust, glute bridge, and back squat get all the glory when it comes to the barbell pad, but the bench press is a great exercise that the pad can help with. A thrust and squat barbell pad protects the chest from lifting heavy weights and loaded barbells and gives a little padding to help keep you safe during your lifting.
What Are The Best Barbell Pad Alternatives?
There are not a lot of alternatives available to use, but the main one seen at the gym is gym towels.
You can take any gym towel, or maybe two, and wrap it around the bar at the contact points of your body. Some also try this with a rolled up yoga mat.
This will help with some cushion and is a great last-minute alternative, but not a proper alternative to a real barbell weightlifting pad or hip thrust pad.
Sometimes, the simple things make the biggest difference and can take our workouts to another level. Like the resistance band, yoga mats, or ab rollers, thrust pads are low cost tools that can elevate your intense workouts and help you lift more and get stronger.
With a thrust pad, you can do more core and lower body exercises to tone your muscles, burn fat, and increase strength. Whether you’re doing squats or weightlifting movements, thrust pads add a new element of intensity to any workout routine.
A well -placed and small investment into your fitness goals.
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Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.