There are surprisingly many specialty barbells out there. Discover the benefits of earthquake and bamboo bars to see whether you should use them.
First of all, earthquake and bamboo bars are very similar. The main difference is that the ends for the weights are slightly different. Bamboo bars have one groove on each side to slide in the resistance bands with weights.
On the other hand, earthquake bars have multiple edges on each side to hang resistance bands with weights.
Bamboo bars tend to take a bit longer to load. The benefit of this is that the weights are secured better than the earthquake bars.
Both bars require you to hang some type of weight attached to resistance bands on each side. Because the bars are so light you likely need the help of someone when loading the weights to prevent them from tipping over.
Additionally, keep in mind that you don’t want to load the earthquake and bamboo bars too heavy. Both due to the limited weight capacity of these bars and how challenging they make the exercises.
That being said, the training benefits of earthquake bars and bamboo bars are very similar. This article will go over the most important ones.
1. Earthquake bars work stabilizing muscles more
While exercises typically work a few specific muscle groups the most, there are also often secondary stabilizing muscles at work.
These help you go through an optimal trajectory and keep you balanced.
The way you attach weights to earthquake and bamboo bars and their own flexibility make it so the resistance you use bounces around a lot.
This makes it so your stabilizing muscles have to work harder than in the same exercises with more stable equipment.
For example, the earthquake or bamboo bar bench press is a popular way to use these specialty barbells.
In this exercise example, you will work your scapular muscles, middle deltoids, latissimus dorsi, biceps, and a variety of forearm muscles more compared to a regular barbell bench press.
If you also use your earthquake and bamboo bar for other exercises, the stabilizing muscles you work more can vary.
Besides working different muscle groups to a larger extent, you also engage different muscle fibers in the main target muscles of the exercise.
One important thing to note is that this different muscle engagement is not a benefit of earthquake and bamboo bars for everyone. For certain training goals, this is not desired.
2. Bamboo bars can help prevent or recover from injuries
You may wonder what the specific results of working your stabilizing muscles to a larger extent are.
First of all, only strengthening your bigger muscle groups without paying attention to your stabilizing muscles tends to increase your injury risk.
By working these a lot with earthquake and bamboo bars you tend to reduce this risk.
Secondly, even if you got to the point of injury, working your stabilizing muscles in small amounts can speed up your recovery. Completely sitting still is often not optimal.
3. Earthquake and bamboo bars change things up
Even if you mostly love the more standard health and visual benefits of resistance training, you could also do these workouts because you enjoy them to some extent.
If lifting weights is as much of a hobby as something you do for health, making your workouts even more enjoyable can be a nice benefit.
One way to do this is by using different pieces of fitness equipment. This adds some freshness to the regular barbell or dumbbell exercises you typically do.
For example, you can give earthquake and bamboo bar squats a try instead of the regular barbell back squats which is amazing but also somewhat standard.
Additionally, if earthquake and bamboo bars help you avoid injuries, they allow you to do your hobby more often.
This benefit does not only apply to earthquake and bamboo bars but it is another positive point that potentially makes these specialty barbells more worth it.
4. You can use earthquake bars in multiple exercises
Even if you really enjoy a piece of exercise equipment or even if it really benefits your workouts in important ways, a one-sided purpose tends to be a downside.
In simpler words, being able to use your fitness equipment investments in multiple ways is typically a positive point.
Earthquake and bamboo bars may not be as versatile as barbells and dumbbells but it is still fair to say you can use them in a nice amount of exercises.
The most popular example is the earthquake and bamboo bar bench press.
However, you can also consider doing shoulder presses, squat variations, bent-over rows, upright rows, bicep curls, (lying) tricep extensions, etc. with these specialty barbells.