Often called “shortie” in gym lingo, short barbells are a great piece for your home gym, especially when your space demands more compact pieces of equipment. It is also suitable for certain exercises that do not require a squat rack or power cage. Consider it as a younger brother to the standard Olympic bars.

While it has no whip, short barbell training still targets your biceps, lats, and core and boosts your athletic performance. Aside from building muscles, you can also use a short barbell for cardio exercises and improve your posture. 

There are plenty of short barbells today, but the Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar is the best. At only 12 pounds in product weight, this short barbell packs a punch in a small package as it comes in a chrome finish that holds up to 250 pounds and accommodates weight plates with a 1” center hole. 

Let’s get to the review.

Best Short Barbells at a Glance

BEST OVERALL
Sunny Health & Fitness 60 Inch Threaded Chrome Barbell Bar
9.7
Sunny Health & Fitness 60 Inch Threaded Chrome Barbell Bar

The Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar comes with an ergonomic design so that you can perform full-body workouts with ease. It also features star-locked collars to prevent weight plates from sliding off.

BEST POWERLIFTING
BalanceFrom Olympic Barbell
9.5
BalanceFrom Olympic Barbell

Due to its solid steel construction and chrome finish, the 5-foot BalanceForm Olympic Barbell is built for power lifts. It offers multiple knurling positions and lengths for optimal safety and convenience.

BEST BUDGET
Sporzon! Olympic Barbell
9.1
Sporzon! Olympic Barbell

The Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell is budget-friendly but has many features. It’s made from solid steel, fits standard weight plates, and accommodates dumbbell plates.

Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar – Best Overall

What we like

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Supports 250 pounds
  • High-quality materials and construction
  • Threaded ends

What we don’t like

  • Doesn’t support 2” Olympic plates
  • Screws tend to get loose over time

With all the features the Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar offers, it clearly deserves the number one spot in our review. It’s a 60” solid chromed steel bar with threaded ends, knurled grips for a slip-free hold, and coated with chrome to prevent rust. 

The Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar only weighs 12 pounds and measures 1” in diameter, making it a compact and convenient option for users who have small home gyms. It has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds and is compatible with weight plates with 1” center hole. 

One noteworthy feature of the Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar is its start-locked collars. This feature prevents weight plates from sliding off or moving too much during your workout, so you can remain safe and prevent injuries. 

Although the Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar doesn’t accommodate 2” Olympic plates, we still think that this shorter bar is a must in every home gym.

BalanceForm Olympic Barbell – Best for Powerlifting

What we like

  • Supports 700 pounds
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Supports different exercises, such as overhead presses and bench presses
  • Accommodates different plates

What we don’t like

  • Not very good for full-width snatch grip
  • Expensive

Looking for a shorter barbell ideal for CrossFit games, Olympic lifts, or extreme powerlifting? Then the BalanceForm Olympic Barbell is perfect for you. Unlike other shorter barbells, this one can hold up to 700 pounds (yes, you’ve read that right) and are chrome plated with solid steel construction for repeated and heavy use.

The BalanceForm Olympic Barbell also offers different knurling positions and lengths for better handling, enhanced safety, and more convenient workouts. It has a 2” diameter that accommodates all standard weight plates with 1” and 2” holes, as well as dumbbell plates. This short barbell also offers variety because you can buy one with a length of 5, 6, or 7 feet.

The high-quality materials and construction of the BalanceForm Olympic Barbell are also worth noting. It’s made from commercial-grade alloy steel with a chrome finish. These features prevent corrosion.

Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell – Best Budget

What we like

  • Versatile for different workout styles
  • Chrome-plated for guaranteed durability
  • Supports 700 pounds
  • Supports weight plates with 1” and 2” holes

What we don’t like

  • Weight capacity might not be ideal for heavy lifters

The Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell makes it to our review because it’s one of today’s most affordable Olympic barbells. You can use this Olympic bar for CrossFit and traditional strength training. Unlike a full-sized Olympic barbell, the Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell weighs 5 pounds. 

This Olympic bar is constructed using sturdy steel material and is chrome-plated to warrant durability. It has a maximum weight capacity of 700 pounds and features multiple textured grip positions, so you can easily perform different exercises.

The Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell has a 0.97” bar end diameter that accommodates standard plates with 1” and 2” holes. You can also use dumbbell plates with this Olympic bar for more challenging sets of the overhead press, squat reach, and side bend.

Marcy 2-Piece 47″ Threaded Super Curl Bar – Best Versatility

What we like

  • High-quality construction
  • Supports 200 pounds
  • Furnished with spinlock collars for safety
  • Knurling isn’t overly aggressive

What we don’t like

  • Collars tend to get loose
  • 6” loading sleeves, which can be short some users

Do you want to upgrade your squat racks by using a curl bar? Still on the lookout for a curl bar that can support tons of exercises? If you answered “yes,” the Marcy 2-Piece 47″ Threaded Super Curl Bar is the one for you. This one’s versatile because it’s compatible with standard plates and facilitates precise contact of your hand to the shaft for a superior hold. 

The Marcy 2-Piece 47″ Threaded Super Curl Bar only weighs 12 pounds and can hold up to 200 pounds, making it an excellent option for beginner and experienced lifters. This curl bar boasts a high-quality steel construction and is reinforced with chrome plating to prevent the accessories from sticking to the bar. 

One feature we love about the Marcy 2-Piece 47″ Threaded Super Curl Bar is its knurling because it improves your grip as you lift weights. Its textured handgrip also guarantees a comfortable hold and prevents the bar from slipping even as you sweat.

Elevens Olympic Curl Weight Bar – Best for Beginners

What we like

  • Supports 300 pounds
  • Knurling is just right
  • Heavy-duty and sturdy
  • Collars spin freely

What we don’t like

  • End bars don’t seal completely

For anyone trying out barbell training for the first time, the Elevens Olympic Curl Weight Bar is a must-have. This bar is great for beginners because it has a curved shaft to minimize injuries and lessen stress on the wrist. It can also have a maximum weight capacity of 320 pounds and only weighs 18 pounds. 

The Elevens Olympic Curl Weight Bar is a great investment for beginners because it’s durable — thanks to its solid steel stainless construction and black manganese phosphate finish. This bar measures 47” in length in total, has a sleeve length of 7”, and a shaft length of 32.5”. It features a slight angle so that you can place your arms in a more natural position. As a result, you’ll stay comfortable as you perform curls. 

There’s nothing more important than having a well-aligned bar when it comes to weightlifting. The knurling on Elevens Olympic Curl Bar ensures that you have the leverage and grip strength necessary for optimal performance during your workouts while also preventing any slippage so all of those hard-earned reps won’t go unnoticed!

AKT Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar – Best Splurge

What we like

  • Supports 265 pounds
  • Comes with two solid steel nuts to lock bumper plates in place
  • Offers diamond knurling for solid gripping 
  • Lightweight but durable

What we don’t like

  • Doesn’t support Olympic plates
  • Nuts tend to loosen

If you’re willing to spend money to complete your home gym, you should definitely get the AKT Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar. This bar is more expensive than most standard and Olympic bars because it’s worth every single dollar. This bar is made from alloy steel with a chrome finish and has a load capacity of 265 pounds. 

With the AKT Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar, you can enjoy center knurling, non-slip handles, and heavy-duty threaded rod end. This bar is also compatible with 1” and 25mm weight plates, making it a superb option for muscle training and weightlifting. 

The AKT Weightlifting Straight & Curl Bar is made to support standard weight plates, not Olympic plates. But this isn’t a deal-breaker, especially if you have standard weight plates in your home gym.

Cap Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar – Best For Heavyweight Training

What we like

  • Wide knurling length (13”) to accommodate larger hands
  • Supports 500 pounds
  • Accommodates 2” Olympic weight plates
  • Durable

What we don’t like

  • Doesn’t come with collars
  • Rotating sleeves tend to get loose over time and need to be tightened regularly

The Cap Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar is different from other Olympic bars primarily because it’s built for heavyweight training. This bar is made from high-quality solid cold-rolled steel with a black powder coat finish and has a load capacity of 500 pounds. You can also get a full-body workout with this bar as it supports a wide range of exercises ranging from bench presses to squats and everything else in between. 

The Cap Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar has a 9.75” sleeve length, 28-millimeter shaft diameter, and 2” sleeve diameter. It has a PSI tensile strength steel of 63,800 and can accommodate 2” Olympic plates. It also features medium-depth diamond knurling for improved grip and rotating sleeves to reduce pressure on the forearms and wrists. 

Although the Cap Barbell 5-Foot Solid Olympic Bar doesn’t come with collars, we believe that the other features compensate for this minor issue.

Holleyweb Olympic Threaded Chrome Bar – Best Knurled Grip

What we like

  • Supports 500 pounds
  • Excellent knurling
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Durable

What we don’t like

  • Not ideal for larger users
  • Sleeve length can’t accommodate bigger bumper plates

If you’re looking for a bar that offers the best knurled grip, we highly recommend the Holleyweb Olympic threaded Chrome Bar. This boasts a 28mm grip shaft with a 1.2mm medium-level knurling. Unlike standard barbells, the Holleyweb Olympic threaded Chrome Bar has a peaked diamond knurl pattern that creates an excellent gripping surface, improving grip experience and better friction. 

The Holleyweb Olympic threaded Chrome Bar also offers superior specs. This bar has a 70,000 PSI tensile strength steel made from commercial-grade metal with corrosion-resistant powder coating. It only weighs 20 pounds but has a maximum load capacity of 300 pounds. 

The needle bearing and sleeves of the Holleyweb Olympic threaded Chrome Bar are also different from other standard barbells. The sleeve of this bar are friction welded, which means they’re stronger and more durable than most Olympic barbells. The rotating sleeves of this bar also have needle bearings and brushing that provide a smooth spin. 

The dimensions of the Holleyweb Olympic threaded Chrome Bar are similar to women’s Olympic barbells, making the bar unsuitable for larger users.

Sentuca 5-Feet Barbell Weight Set – Best Durable

What we like

  • Supports 500 pounds
  • Durable yet lightweight
  • Comes with barbell clamps to keep your bumper plates secure
  • Accommodates all Olympic weights

What we don’t like

  • The grip feels a little uncomfortable
  • Paint chips after weeks of use

Add the Sentuca 5-Feet barbell Weight Set in your home gym today, and we guarantee you, you won’t need to purchase another straight bar for years. The Sentuca 5-Feet barbell Weight is the most durable on our review because it’s specifically designed for durability due to its alloy steel construction and chrome-plated finish. 

The overall length of the Sentuca 5-Feet barbell Weight is 60” and boasts a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds. It also offers a diamond knurled surface for a secure grip during your lifts and only weighs 21 pounds for easy storage and transport. With the Sentuca 5-Feet Barbell Weight, you can do high reps of lat rows, standing curls, skull crushers, and Olympic lifts without worrying about the stability of the bar and your safety. 

Some users complained that the grip area of the Sentuca 5-Feet barbell Weight is uncomfortable and can cause blisters. Fortunately, wearing gym or fitness gloves can solve this problem.

Synergee Commercial EZ Curl Olympic Bar 47″ – Best Ergonomic Design

What we like

  • Supports 450 pounds
  • Well-made brass brushings that don’t rust easily
  • Ensures comfort due to its ergonomic design
  • Supports different exercises

What we don’t like

  • Shorter sleeve length 
  • Knurling is too aggressive

The Synergee Commercial EZ Curl Olympic Bar 47″ was built with an ergonomic design to avoid injuries by reducing stress, friction, and fatigue on your wrists. Unlike most Olympic barbells, the Synergee Commercial EZ Curl Olympic Bar 47″ comes with curves that allow your wrists and elbow to maintain a more natural position when working out. The special angled design of this bar also helps build your forearms and upper arms while stabilizing muscles. 

The Synergee Commercial EZ Curl Olympic Bar 47″ is also strong and versatile because it’s made from high-quality steel with a black phosphate finish. It has a maximum load capacity of 450 pounds and can hold heavyweights to make your extensions, rows, squats, and curls more challenging. 

Because the Synergee Commercial EZ Curl Olympic Bar 47″ sleeve length is on the shorter side — only 6.25” — this bar might be ideal if you like to lift heavy. But if you’re only going to lift using lighter weights, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Our Verdict

The Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar features are the reasons why it’s the best short barbell. We love how this bar is compact and lightweight but can still support up to 250 pounds. This bar’s high-quality materials and construction also warrant durability, which means that it can withstand high reps of extreme workouts. 

The BalanceForm Olympic Barbell is another bar that’s hard to beat feature-wise. It’s one of the best short barbells any powerlifter can have because it supports 700 pounds, accommodates different plates, and is made from the best materials.

Buying Guide: What To Look For In A Short Barbell

Buying a shorty bar is tough, especially if you’re buying one for the first time. The number of options available can be too overwhelming that you’ll see yourself clueless on how to find a great bar. 

If you’re experiencing this dilemma, this buying guide is for you. Here, we’ve listed down some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a short barbell. 

Weight Capacity

Before choosing shorter barbells for your home gym, consider their weight capacity. Putting on weight plates that exceed the weight capacity of the barbell might result in bending or irreparable damage. Assess how much weight you usually lift, and make sure that the short barbell supports it. 

Length

Shorter barbells come in different lengths (5 or 6 ft.), and the right length will depend on the type of workout you perform every day. Pick a barbell with a shaft length that enables you to work out with ease and in high reps. 

Handle

Buy a short barbell with anti-slip and textured handles. This feature allows you to hold the bar with ease and prevent it from slipping from your hands even when you sweat. This also guarantees your safety as you’ll be at lesser risk of accidents and injuries. 

Sleeve

Look into the sleeve of the short barbell you’re eyeing to buy. This is an important consideration because the barbell sleeves reduce the torque on the weight plates, allowing you to lift easier and remain safe when lifting weights. 

A high-quality barbell features spinning or rotating sleeves that improve comfort and minimize injuries. Rotating sleeves also make it safer for your wrist, elbow, and forearm as you lift weights.

Material and Finish

To warrant quality and durability, invest in a shorter barbell with a metallic coating, such as black oxide, chrome, and zinc. Short barbells with metal coatings are also less prone to scratches, rust, and other damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

A short barbell is often called a “shortie”. They come in a curved (EZ) type or straight bar. Both bars can support barbell training and a wide variety of lifting exercises. 

There isn’t a definite number for this but, a short barbell typically has a 52” shaft length between collars. In this list, our shortest barbell is the Marcy 47” Threaded Curl bar which supports up to 200 lbs.

On average, a shorter bar can weigh anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds. 

Our review highlights that the Sunny Health & Fitness 60-Inch Threaded Chrome Bar is the best. It supports full-body workouts, secures weight plates using star-locked collars, and offers light knurling. This short bar is also compatible with 1” weight plates and can hold 250 pounds! 

Aside from the size, using a shorty bar can target more muscles because it requires you to lift while maintaining a closer grip. This lifting stance is more challenging to control, which means you’ll need to use more muscles in your body to complete a lift. The more you lift using short barbells, the more toned and strong your muscles get. 

Most users of the Goplus 400Lbs Olympic EZ Curl Bar mentioned that the bar is too expensive for its price. So instead of buying Goplus 400Lbs Olympic EZ Curl Bar, opt to invest in the Marcy 2-Piece 47″ Threaded Super Curl Bar. Marcy’s curl bar provides more value to your money, it comes with two spinlock collars to secure up to 200 lbs. of weights, and the knurling is just right. 

In general, the 15k Fringe Sport Shorty Barbell is a great bar because it fits on all standard racks and has a load capacity of 400 pounds if you use iron plates. But we think that the Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell is a better option because it’s cheaper and can hold more weight — 700 pounds! The Sporzon 5-Foot Olympic Barbell can also support dumbbell plates, while the 15k Fringe Sport Shorty Barbell doesn’t.

When using short barbells for the first time, take note of these tips to prevent injuries and ensure the efficacy of your workouts:

  • Proper technique is essential: If you’re lifting weights for the first time, have someone look after you, whether a gym professional or an exercise psychologist. Never attempt to lift on your own.
  • Start slowly: Don’t get frustrated if you only get to lift a few pounds during your first week of lifting. Once your muscles, ligaments, and tendons get used to the weight, you can eventually add more plates to your barbell.
  • Don’t hold your breath: Refrain from holding your breath as you use short barbells as this can prevent your body from circulating oxygen, causing strain on your muscles. This can result in muscle spasms, sprains, and injuries. 

Pay attention to your form: Maintain a strong form when lifting weights using short barbells. This means working out all of your muscles, standing tall, and engaging your core. Never hunch your shoulders and hold tension in your neck as these put unnecessary strain on your muscles.

To ensure the safety and efficiency of your barbell training, maintain your short barbells by following these tips:

  • Remove the chalk out of the knurling: Ideally, you should get rid of the chalk out of the knurling every day or after every use. Chalk left on short barbells can absorb humidity and hold it on the steel, resulting in rust. 
  • Thoroughly wipe your bar: Wiping is one of the easiest and best ways to maintain short barbells. This task should be performed after brushing the bar using a light coat of 3-in-1 oil. Simply spray the oil onto a microfiber cloth, wipe down the whole bar, leave it overnight, and then wipe again in the morning. 

Check the barbell sleeve regularly: Most short barbells already have oil in their brushings or bearings, which means that you don’t need to oil them regularly. However, if your shorter barbells don’t have this feature, look for the small holes in the sleeves and pour oil once or twice a month. This allows the sleeves to spin freely, making it easier for you to attach and remove plates.

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