Making the bar you lift thicker may not sound revolutionary but it does change things. Discover the benefits of axle bars to see whether they are for you.
It is worth briefly mentioning that most axle bars don’t have knurling and/or rotating sleeves and top of the thicker handle.
1. Axle bars could help you lift heavier weights
You may be surprised about this first benefit since the extra grip challenge from axle bars makes it harder to lift heavy weights instead. Even though axle bar weights are generally lower.
That being said, this extra grip strength challenge can also offer more strengthening potential in this area. You grow and strengthen muscles by challenging them enough.
In turn, this extra forearm grip strength could help you lift heavier in exercises where this aspect used to be your limiting factor.
This benefit will typically apply to pulling exercises like deadlifts and bent-over rows where the axle bar is extra challenging too.
2. Axle bars add some variety
People who lift weights are likely at least somewhat interested in the health benefits this offers. However, many people also simply enjoy it as a type of activity.
Additionally, even if this does not apply to you, there are ways to make your workouts at least a bit more interesting.
In both cases, the extra variety you get from doing exercises with an unusual piece of equipment like an axle bar can help.
You definitely want to keep how much you enjoy your workouts in mind. Partly because it helps you stay consistent and partly because life is short.
3. Axle bars could improve carry strength in daily tasks
The extra forearm grip strength you can get from training with axle bars is not only useful in the gym.
In your daily life, this aspect of your fitness also allows you to lift and carry things like grocery bags, a couch, furniture, etc. a lot more easily.
Just keep in mind that the opposite of this benefit applies right after an axle bar workout. This is likely not the time to move your newest piece of furniture.
4. You can use axle bars for multiple exercises
Versatility is not the only important aspect of fitness equipment options but at the same time, having this aspect is typically a benefit.
The extra grip challenge of the axle bar is especially helpful in exercises where you already train these muscles to some extent.
Some examples include deadlifts, bent-over rows, reverse curls, and clean exercise variations.
However, you can also consider doing axle bar bench presses, axle bar shoulder presses, axle bar squats, etc.
In these last examples, the benefit of using an axle bar is mostly personal preference or just lacking other good equipment but you could also like a bit more grip muscle engagement.
5. Axle bars could indirectly help prevent falls
As people get older, falling becomes a more common issue with bigger negative consequences (1).
One thing you can do to avoid falling down (in a bad way) is to improve grip strength so it becomes easier to grab a sturdy object and hold on to it.
At first, younger individuals may consider this to be a problem for later. However, grip strength is easier to improve at younger ages.
By doing this with an axle bar (or other tools) you can prevent accidents later in life.
6. Axle bars are relatively budget-friendly
Especially in the specialty barbell category, some fitness equipment options require a good investment.
This can still be worth it but at the same time, you can say that the budget-friendly price of axle bars is typically a benefit.
Even compared to regular barbells, axle bars do not cost that much.
This lower price of axle bars is the result of a relatively straightforward design. There are no turning sleeves and no knurling. Just a thick bar with ridges to keep the weight plates in place.
If budget is an issue, you don’t mind getting into some handiwork, and you don’t mind an extra trip to the DIY store, you could even try to create your own axle bar.