It is great for relieving stress off of the shoulders. But the bar is much more than shoulder relief – it really turns squatting into a different movement.
What most people first notice when using the Cambered Squat Bar is how unstable the bar is. The weight rocks back and forth and forces the lifter to stay very tight and controlled.
While this might sound like a good thing, this makes it the last bar I’d let a beginner use. When someone is trying to learn a new movement, the last thing you want to do is throw more curveballs at them.
The concentric phase of a squat with a Cambered Squat Bar is always interesting. Due to the instability of the bar, you can’t push as fast at the bottom, but you have to push tight; tighter than you normally would (or should) with a straight bar.
This is a great way to remind you to stay tight and push with a controlled and steady force out of the bottom of the hole. For someone that spent their life training with a fast concentric phase, this was a real learning process for me.
But slowing down with this bar allowed me to learn how to squat faster because the concentric phase had to very focused.
The Cambered Squat Bar is also great for good mornings.
The big downside to this bar is that it always seemed uncomfortable on my back. This is in large part due to the hand placement – because your hands are around waist level, you don’t get to form a nice shelf with your upper back to rest the bar. Thus, placing the bar in a low bar position is very dangerous.
Also, because the bar is so drastically different in shape, it can alter many people’s squat form. Not greatly, but enough that it becomes a different movement than a straight bar squat.
Conclusion: A great variation to throw in, but in a traditional lifting program, it may be best used with assistance lifts.
–Above taken from T-nation: https://www.t-nation.com/training/specialty-bars-for-strength-and-size —