How to fix an uneven barbell during squats

Learn how to fix an uneven barbell during squats

In powerlifting, the squat is a fundamental movement, but an uneven barbell can compromise movement efficiency. This explainer video and post will explore why an uneven barbell occurs during squats and provide practical solutions for powerlifters at all levels. 

As a personal trainer specialising in powerlifting, I bring expertise in addressing such issues both online and in-person. This is an example of the evidence based coaching and training that I provide either face to face in our gym in Taren Point or online.

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The Challenge of an Uneven Barbell in Powerlifting

In powerlifting, the squat is a fundamental movement, but an uneven barbell can compromise movement efficiency. This post will explore why an uneven barbell occurs during squats and provide practical solutions for powerlifters at all levels. As a personal trainer specialising in powerlifting, I bring expertise in addressing such issues both online and in-person.

 

Identifying the Cause of an Uneven Barbell

Mobility and Anatomical Differences
An uneven bar during squats can be due to mobility differences in the shoulders, anatomical asymmetries, or muscle bulk differences. Our bodies are not perfectly symmetrical, which can affect how we grip and balance the bar.


Strength Imbalances
Strength disparities between the left and right sides can also lead to an uneven barbell. Eg pulling the bar down harder on one side versus the other


Grip and Bar Position
A common issue is an uneven grip or bar placement on the back. This can be due to a lack of awareness or an inability to position the bar symmetrically due to physical constraints.

 

Practical Solutions to Correct an Uneven Barbell

Correcting Bar Placement and Grip
The first step is ensuring the bar is centered on your back. This can be done by checking your reflection in a mirror or using video feedback. Ensure your grip is symmetrical, and adjust as needed.


Addressing Elbow Position
Uneven elbow positioning can tilt the bar. Work on aligning your elbows to ensure both are at a consistent angle and height relative to each other

Enhancing Body Awareness
Develop a greater awareness of your body’s position and movement during the squat. This may involve slowing down the movement (tempo squats) to better feel your body in space

Continuous Practice and Adaptation
Consistent practice with a focus on maintaining an even barbell is key. Over time, your body will adapt to this corrected form, potentially resolving underlying issues contributing to the imbalance.


Utilising Accessory Exercises
While the primary focus should be on practicing the squat with proper form, accessory exercises can be helpful in addressing specific weaknesses or imbalances.

 

Mastering the Squat with a Balanced Barbell

Correcting an uneven barbell takes time. Consistent exposure to maintaining an even barbell when squatting can eventually correct the multiple issues which may be contributing to the issue.

Paul Attard
Paul Attard

Paul is the founder and head coach of SPC Performance Lab. Paul has been coaching since 2014 and has worked with all different types of people. From first timers learning the basics, all the way up to the experienced power-lifting competitors.

He tailors his approach depending on the needs, goals and experience of the individual. Paul has extensive theoretical and practical coaching experience.

- Masters of Sports & Exercise Science (Strength & Conditioning)
- Bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sports Science with First Class Honours
- Competed and won multiple natural body-building shows & power-lifting competitions.
- Held an Australian power-lifting record.

Free advice

SPC Performance Lab is a gym in Taren Point in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney NSW. It is a private gym that offers strength training, powerlifting and body building training. The gym is open 24 hours, 7 days a week with membership options that include casual or regular visits.

Paul also provides a choice of personal training one on one or the option of online coaching.

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