It doesn’t matter if you are in the store searching for your new barbell or you are in a gym standing near a squat rack, and you see that the barbell length varies.
If you understand the difference in barbell lengths, that can significantly benefit you when doing training.
Like most people, the gym can be a confusing place to start with.
Unfortunately, there is no clear guidance, and most commercial gyms have a wide range of choices available. Choosing the proper one for your fitness needs is very important.
Don’t worry; I will help you explain everything so you can find the best possible barbell for yourself.
Table of Contents
- A standard barbell is 180 cm long.
- Olympic barbells are all the same length, 7 feet, and are made just for Olympic powerlifting and weightlifting.
- Standard barbells are common, widely used, and most commonly seen in commercial gyms.
How Long Is a Barbell?
A barbell is 7 feet long. This is the common length that can be seen in commercial gyms and in fitness centers for all kinds of exercises, including bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses, and squats.
Although there are different barbell lengths and therefore catering them to specific exercises that you want to do.
A quick example is safety squat bars, trap bars, and squat bars, typically shorter than standard ones and 5-6 feet long.
On the other side, you have Olympic bars that are much longer, around 8 to 9 feet, to accommodate you with a wider grip and to provide more wipes when lifting.
You can also find shorter barbells, such as women’s bars, which are usually around 6.5 to 7 feet in length.
However, these bars are made slightly shorter and lighter to accommodate differences between females’ strength levels.
It is important to consider what type of exercises and training goals you have before choosing the appropriate length barbell.
If you use the correct length, that will make sure you have a proper form and comfort and have a safe workout overall.
What Are the Different Barbell Lengths?
The different barbell lengths can be found as small as a foot and up to 9 feet. A barbell length vastly varies depending on which brand or model you pick, the sport for which the bell is used, or even sometimes just the sole purpose of it.
When it comes to barbells, here are all the different lengths available:
- Olympic barbell( 7 feet/ 6 feet 6 inches for women’s standard Olympic barbell length ). The men’s barbell weighs 45 pounds while the women’s is 35 pounds. These are the bells that are specifically designed for Olympic weightlifting competitions.
- A traditional/ standard barbell can vary in length and will weigh anywhere from 15 all the way up to 25 pounds. This is the best choice for a small home gym due to its compact build.
- Accessory barbells, some of which are Ez bars, stubby barbells, short bars, azel, and fat barbells, are typically made for Strongman, grip strength workouts, or accessory movements like triceps extensions.
Whether you are picking to purchase new equipment for your home gym or you are just curious why a barbell length matter, there are specific additions to each length and other characteristics that come with it.
All of that combined will have a huge impact during your training.
1. Standard Barbell Length
The standard barbell length barbells are usually 5 to 6 feet long.
Also, this is the most common and widely used choice for many and can be seen especially in fitness centers in commercial gyms.
The standard barbells are highly versatile and are suitable for all sorts of exercises, some of which include overhead presses, squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
2. Olympic Barbell Length
Olympic barbells are also the same length, 7 feet, and are specifically made for Olympic powerlifting and weightlifting.
In addition, they are much sturdier than the standard ones and can handle much heavier-weight plates.
The women’s olympic barbell length is 6.6ft.
The Olympic barbells come with rotating sleeves that allow the plates to spin, reducing the stress on your wrists and providing a more secure and stable grip when doing Olympic lifting explosive movements.
3. Powerlifting Barbell Length
Powerlifting barbells are almost the same length-wise as the Olympic barbells, which are 7 feet.
However, the difference is in design which is made so the bars meet specific criteria that are needed for powerlifting competitions.
Due to their robust construction, these barbells often feature a more aggressive center knurling pattern to enhance grip and withstand extremely heavy weights.
4. Squat Bar Length
Squat bars, which are also known as “safety squat bars,” are typically a bit shorter, ranging from 5-6 feet in length.
Also, these bars come with a unique design with built-in shoulder pads and handles that make you more comfortable and stable during movements. A squat rack is necessary to have a full experience with these bars.
Furthermore, the shorter length allows you to maneuver with it and reduces strain on your shoulders.
5. Trap Bar/Hex Bar Length
A trap bar, often referred to as a hex bar, comes in all different sizes. Typically, the standard trap bar is around 5 to 5 feet long.
They feature two elevated handles on both sides, giving you a more neutral grip during movements like shrugs, farmer walks, and deadlifts.
The length can vary from bar to bar based on the specific design and the manufacturer.
6. Deadlift Bar Length
Deadlift bars are a bit longer and more flexible when compared to standard barbells.
They are typically anywhere from 8 to 9 feet long, giving you more whip and bend during deadlift movements.
With the increased length, you will have a wider grip and a bigger range of motion, which is extremely important for competitive powerlifters or those focusing on their deadlift training.
7. Women’s Barbell Length
Women’s barbells are made so they are slightly shorter in length compared to standard barbells.
Furthermore, they are from 6.5 to 7 feet long.
Women’s barbells are lighter in weight, come with a thinner diameter, and feature a more comfortable grip that is made to cater to women due to anatomical differences and strength levels.
8. Safety Squat Bar Length
Safety squat bars are uniquely designed with a handle in front and a padded yoke.
These safety bars are shorter than the standard ones, ranging from 5-6 feet long.
Due to its shorter length, you can control it better and have a better balance when doing squat movements, which can be excellent for lifters with shoulder or mobility problems.
Apart from getting a safety squat bar, think about also adding a squat rack since it can help you tremendously when doing squats.
9. Swiss Bar Length
Swiss bars, also commonly known as multi-grip bars or football bars, come in all different sizes from 5 all the way up to 7 feet in length.
Generally speaking, swiss bars feature multiple neutral grip handles that allow you for different grip positions during exercises like overhead press, rowing, and bench press movements.
The varied grip gives you versatility and is excellent for targeting most muscle groups.
10. Ez Curl Bar Length
Ez curl bars are shorter than the standard ones and are specifically designed for triceps and biceps exercises.
They can be found anywhere from 4 to 6 feet in length.
It is worth mentioning that the ez curl bars have a wavy shape that gives you a more comfortable grip and reduces strain on your wrists when doing curling movements.
11. Cambered Bar Length
Cambered bars, which are also known as arc or vow bars, have a curved shape.
The length of these is between 6 to 7 feet.
They are primarily used for exercises like bench presses and squats, providing you with a different range of motion while targeting several muscle groups.
12. Log Bar Length
Log bars are commonly used in strongman training, and their length can range anywhere from 5 to 7 feet.
Also, their shape is cylindrical and thicker in diameter when compared to standard barbells.
You can use great exercises like log clean and press, log deadlifts, and log carries, which all simulate the feeling of lifting a log.
13. Tsunami Bar Length
Tsunami bars, also called earthquake bars, are specialized bars made for flexible shaft length.
Their length is different for every barbell, ranging from 6-7 feet.
In addition, the flexible shaft creates instability when exercising, which challenges, even more, your stabilizer muscles and improves your coordination and overall strength.
14. Earthquake or Bamboo Bar Length
Earthquake or bamboo bars are made from bamboo or from some kind of flexible material, and they are 5-8 feet long.
These bars will create a significant oscillation or whip during movements, requiring you to have greater stabilization.
Also, earthquake bars are used for rehabilitation or to add some variability to your strength training programs.
15. Axle Bar Length
Axle bars are also commonly known as fat or thick bars and are typically 7 feet long.
Compared to the standard barbells, they have a much thicker diameter, challenging your grip strength and forearm muscles.
They are commonly used in strongman training and can be loaded with Olympic-sized weight plates.
16. Freak Bar Length
Freak bars are specialty bars that have a unique and unconventional design.
Their length can vary depending on the specific design and how they are meant to be used.
The freak bars may have unusual shapes when compared to other barbells and attachments that provide a different stimulus to your training and target specific muscle groups.
17. Buffalo Bow Bar Length
Buffalo bow bars are often referred to as buffalo bars or cambered bench press bars and have a distinct arch shape that makes them unique.
Their length can typically range around 6 to 7 feet in length.
These buffalo bow bars are mostly used for exercises like bench pressing, allowing you to have a more natural hand position while also reducing any potential strain on your shoulders.
18. Curl Bar Length
The curl bar belongs to short barbells and it is specifically designed for doing exercises for the biceps and triceps.
Also, the length of these can range from 4 to 6 feet.
Curl bars are smaller than the usual bar. It is worth noting that curl bars have a wavy or zigzag shape so you can have a more comfortable grip and reduce the strain on your wrists overall while doing curling movements.
19. Fixed Barbell Length
Fixed barbells can be seen in all kinds of different lengths depending on the weight range and which set they are from.
However, these barbells have weights permanently attached to them, eliminating the need for additional weight plates.
The convenience of these fixed barbells is a huge benefit since they can be found in almost any commercial gym and are used when doing exercises like overhead presses, lunges, and curls.
What Length Barbell Do I Need?
You need a barbell length that will correspond to your sports and activity preference. If you are powerlifting, you should choose the powerlifting barbell. If you are an Olympic lifter, then the Olympic barbell is for you.
It is simple since many activities already have different barbell models on the market. However, if you are unsure which barbell to pick, always pick the standard one since you can never be wrong with it.
Why Do Barbells Have Different Lengths?
Barbells have different lengths to accommodate the sport or the purpose that they are made for. Not only does the length vary in barbells, but also weights and designs.
The traditional standard barbell is made so it is used for a small bench press which you can fit in your gym or in any area where you tend to train.
Most people with their own gym don’t have enough room to store a whole 7 feet long Olympic bar and therefore are more likely to get a smaller one.
Standard barbell lengths will vary a lot depending on which brand makes them or for which fitness routine is being used.
Olympic weightlifting bars are all the same size, length, and weight.
Additionally, this ensures that loaders can easily take off and on weight plates to the bar when competitions happen.
It also makes sure that the weight bar itself stays consistent so that the competition lifts can be deemed legit if someone does a clean snatch or jerk.
The same applies to powerlifting bars, which are made to withstand a heavy weight of 1000 pounds, which is why they are 8 feet.
They come with longer collars to help them load on both sides for this purpose.
What Barbells Are in Commercial Fitness Centers?
A standard bar and an Olympic barbell are in commercial fitness centers. Apart from them, you can also find accessory bars like the Ez curl bar there.
Furthermore, specialty bars that are most commonly used for powerlifting and Strongman won’t be found in most commercial training facilities.
That is because of the price, which is a bit more than some standard bars or lower-end Olympic barbells, and besides that, most people that are competing with them prefer to train in specifically designed gyms just for powerlifting.
What Is the Best Length for a Barbell?
The best barbell length is between 5 and 6 feet. However, there are several options to choose from that are around 120 to 180 cm long for normal weightlifting.
If you plan to do a bench press, first of all, you should find a space on a barbell stand and choose the length you want, which is, on average, between 180-220 cm.
However, if you want to get barbell bars that are for one-handed loading dumber, they are, of course, much shorter, and their length is 35 to 40 cm.
What Is the Best Barbell Length for a Squat?
The best barbell length for a squat is 7 feet or approximately 213 cm. This is typically the standard length that is used for most exercises.
Furthermore, this length will allow for sufficient space to load the bar with weight plates while still giving you enough space so you can grip the barbell.
Also, the squat is a compound exercise that will target muscles in your lower body, including your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quadriceps.
With the longer barbell, you get more balance and stability when you do a squat, allowing you to have a perfect form and optimal muscle engagement.
Since the 7-foot barbell is the most common option, it is crucial to consider your body dimensions and individual preferences.
Some lifters may prefer a bit shorter barbell, like a 6-foot barbell, especially if they have a shorter wingspan or a narrower stance. For most people, using a standard 7-foot barbell when doing squatting movements is advised.
First of all, you need to prioritize that you have a comfortable grip, stability, and proper form when you pick, and finally, select the barbell length for your squat.
You need to ensure that you can easily hold a barbell while having a secure grip and maintaining a stable and strong position during a squat movement.
What Is the Best Barbell Length for a Deadlift?
The best barbell length for a deadlift is 7 or 8 feet. That is the length that will ensure you have enough space to load plates onto your barbell while having ample room to grip the bar.
Furthermore, the deadlift is a compound exercise that targets several muscle groups, including your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, and improves your grip strength.
With a longer barbell, you get more stability and balance when you lift, allowing you to optimize muscle contraction and have a proper form.
While the 7-foot barbell is an option that is commonly used, it is important to think about your body and your individual preference before using any bar.
Some shorter lifters might prefer a shorter barbell, like a 6-foot option, especially if they have shorter wingspan and narrower stances.
However, the standard 7-foot option will suit most people and is the safest option if you intend to do deadlifts.
What Is the Best Barbell Length for a Bench Press?
The best barbell length for a bench press is 7 feet. This is the most common size which can be found in any commercial gym and will suit the majority of individuals.
If you plan to use a bench that has attached barbell holders, you need to measure the width of the power rack to the edges outside of the steel tubing.
When you do that, you will see what size barbell will be your best option.
The shoulder of the barbell, where you slide weight plates up against the sleeves, should be further apart than this measurement so that the collars are just on the outside.
With this, there is no interference when you power rack the barbell and when you want to unload and load weight plates.
What Is the Best Barbell Length for a Shoulder Press?
The best barbell length for a shoulder press is 7 feet. With this size, you will get to have enough space when holding a barbell and to have a safe and comfortable grip while performing exercises with a proper form.
The longer barbell will give you the ability to be more balanced and stable during any movement and allow you to do controlled and effective overhead presses.
How Long Is a Standard Barbell in CM?
A standard barbell is 180 cm long. Also, standard barbell size can vary depending on the brand or fitness routine it’s being used.
How Long Is a 15KG Barbell?
A 15 kg barbell is 200 cm long. Length and weight are not strictly correlated, so you can have shorter and longer bars with 15 kg.
How Heavy Is a 120CM Barbell?
120 cm barbell is 6.5kg. You can also find other weights that could be heavier or lighter for this size, depending on the manufacturer.
How Long Is a Short Barbell?
A short barbell is 4 to 6 feet long. They can be used for various exercises like bicep curls, upright rows, tricep extensions, and other isolation exercises.
What Barbell Length Should I Start With?
You should start with a standard-length barbell.
When you get the standard one, getting used to the movements will be much easier, unlike if you would get a bigger one like Olympic sized.
First of all, this standard size is widely available and a very commonly used choice, making it easier to find compatible equipment and accessories.
Standard barbells are also more affordable than any custom or specialized length.
Let me know which barbell length suits you the best and what is your favorite exercise to use it with.