The 10 Best Squat Pads
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in March of 2017. Many people avoid squats for one simple reason: the heavy weight can put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders. However, a good pad can help solve this problem, preventing injury and distributing the weight of the bar more evenly. The end result is less pain and more high-quality reps. Here you'll find options of varying thicknesses and lengths, so there's something for everybody. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 09, 2019:
While many gym-goers remain divided over whether or not using a squat pad is a good idea, the fact is that there should be no issue if you maintain proper form while using one. Squat pads are a great idea if you bruise easily, need to add extra comfort while acclimating to heavier weights, and for cushioning your hip bones during hip thrusts. They're also helpful if you're new to the gym and haven't built up your traps yet, or need time adjusting to the feeling of a bar on your shoulders.
Many of the items on this list are designed to fit any standard or Olympic bar, including those on smith machines, but if you're working with a thicker powerlifting bar, check the specs of the pad you're eyeing or else make sure it comes with safety straps, like the Fit Viva Standard.
When searching for a squat pad, consider the material it's made from, its length and thickness, and the closure method. Those who don't like bulky models will appreciate the Harbinger NeoTek and the Dark Iron Fitness, while thicker options like the Power Guidance should suit others better. If you don't like dealing with Velcro, which can scratch your neck and shoulders and catch on hair and gym clothes, then you'll appreciate the quick-snap design of the Iron Bull Strength.
Squats can be extremely rewarding, but always be sure to use the proper form and adhere to the best safety practices to avoid injury. Don't overdo the weight, wear the proper clothing, and remember to secure weights with clamps.