this unique bar design hold the
key to bench pressing without
shoulder pain? Plus, find out what
OTHER exercises this
bar can be used for - you'll be
When you hear the name "Football
Bar," the first thing that
pops into your head is probably
a drinking establishment with big
TV's on every wall with football
this is NOT that kind of bar...
Football Bar is a barbell designed
with a very specific purpose in
mind...to make it possible for football
players with all-too-common shoulder
injuries to bench press again.
bar itself looks like a regular
straight bar with two "bubbles"
(sort of loops in the bar). These
bubbles have three short diagonal
bars in them in a pattern that looks
angled bars change how the shoulder
joint functions during the bench
press movement. It results in a
more neutral grip, which is designed
to be easier on the shoulder joint
during the bench press movement.
DOES THE FOOTBALL
I read the excellent testimonials
on the Football Bar site and was
very impressed with how players
who thought they'd never bench again
were able to find a groove with
this bar and really make progress
on the exercise.
somewhat bad shoulders myself (not
through injury but through anatomy
- they're just not put together
all that well), I wanted to test
the Football Bar to see how it would
feel on my shoulders.
I do regular flat barbell bench
press, I generally don't get shoulder
pain right away - it generally happens
only when I do it too much or push
it too hard. In fact, my whole first
year training, I was unable to flat
barbell bench at all - I would feel
a sharp pain in my shoulder whenever
I unracked the bar. I did dumbbell
bench press instead so my shoulders
could find their own groove.
I set up the Football Bar in my
rack to test it out.
the thing...for me, I actually found
the angled grip to be MORE painful
on my shoulder joints than the standard
grip. This is totally contrary to
the experience of almost everybody
who has used this bar.
played around with the grip and
grip width a little to see if I
could make it feel better but was
unable to. For my particular (and
no doubt bizarre) shoulder anatomy,
the neutral grip didn't work well.
I DID find, however, was that when
I lightened up the weight and focused
on really feeling the pecs work,
I actually got MUCH greater pec
activation with the Football Bar
than I could with the straight bar,
especially in the inner pec area.
was still some tension in the shoulder
joints for me, but the increased
tension on the pecs was substantial.
just to be clear, I actually DO
believe the bar would be good for
most people with shoulder injuries.
A neutral grip SHOULD allow for
reduced tension and torque in the
shoulder joint. For me, that doesn't
seem to be the case.
don't want to slant your opinion
of the usefulness of the bar based
on my own messed-up structure (to
give you an idea, when I hold my
arm directly out to the side and
rotate it, I can hear and feel continuous
grinding and popping...and this
is without any injury to the area).
to give the Football Bar a fair
test, I moved from bench pressing
with it to seeing what other exercises
could be done with it.
is where the Football Bar REALLY
shines, in my opinion.
creator of the bar mentioned to
me that it works very well for Front
Squats. So I set it up in the rack
and got myself under the bar for
let me tell, it worked GREAT
for Front Squats.
bubbles and diagonal bars sit right
on your shoulders, creating a wide
base of support for the bar. It
eliminates any tendency for the
bar to roll and really helps distribute
the weight over a great area, making
the exercise more comfortable (it
can only be used for the crossed-arm
setup, just fyi, if you've ever
done Front Squats).
I tried it for Barbell Curls. The
position your hands end up in will
be more of a Reverse Curl but let
tell you...GREAT again. You can
focus on different aspects of the
upper arms depending on which direction
you hold the bar.
set the bar on the floor and lay
down in front of it, reached back
and grabbed it for Lying Tricep
Extensions. LOVE it for this exercise.
The angled bars allow for a neutral
grip in this exercise, which really
targeted the long head of the triceps.
I felt this one VERY strongly -
my triceps were like Jello after
a few sets.
are just a few of the exercises
I used it for - there will be a
link at the end to a page with all
the exercises I tried out with the
exercises I wouldn't recommend the
Football Bar to be used with would
be Deadlifts and Shrugs, though.
The structure of the bar (with those
bubbles I mentioned), means you
have to keep the bar a few extra
inches away from your body, will
can put extra torque on the lower
bar itself is constructed EXTREMELY
well. It has a very solid feel to
it and will be able to support more
than enough weight for whatever
you use it for (rated to 500 lbs).
Football Bar, while not working
great for ME on the bench press,
I believe has great potential for
those with shoulder injuries. The
diagonal structure of the grips
allow for more neutral positioning
in the shoulder joint, which SHOULD
be easier on a normal shoulder joint.
Football Bar is also very versatile
which, for me, more than made up
for the small shoulder discomfort
I experienced with it. The range
of exercises that are actually better
when done with the bar makes it
a good investment.
see the Football Bar in action,
WHERE GO I GET
A FOOTBALL BAR?
get yourself a Football Bar and
to learn more about it, click the
fyi, they're not cheap ($300) but
if you've got the money and are
interested in a very versatile and
effective piece of equipment, it's
a good investment.
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