10 Best Squat Pads | March 2017
We spent 22 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Squats are as close as you can get to the perfect exercise, but many people avoid them for one simple reason: the heavy weight hurts their neck and spine. Luckily, a good squat pad can help solve this problem, preventing injury and keeping you in the gym by distributing the force of the bar more evenly. The end result is less pain and more high-quality reps! When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best squat pad on Amazon.
The Squat Sponge has a grooved channel in the middle, helping you easily position the weight perfectly every time. As you'd expect, it's extremely soft, making it great for those who don't like harder foam. It is very short, though, making it unsuitable for larger users.
- good for front squats
- reduces strain on shoulders
- sets the bar too high on the neck
|Brand||squat sponge barbell pa|
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
This selection from Strength Presents is made from the highest-density rubberized foam available, giving you the maximum amount of padding without swamping you with thickness. It tears easily, however, so don't expect it to last you forever.
- prevents marks in skin
- generous neck indentation
- foam increases perspiration
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
If you're worried about the bar pinching your neck, then this option from Gorilla Fitness will eliminate that concern for you. It doesn't use Velcro, either, so you don't have to deal with it getting caught on your hair or clothes. It can push your head forward, however.
- memory foam molds to your body
- helps with calf raises
- opening is too wide for most bars
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
The Manta Ray has a design unlike any other choice on this list. Made of plastic, it snaps onto the bar and keeps the weight off your vertebrae. It also prevents the arms from moving backwards, reducing shoulder stress. It is twice as expensive as other options, though.
- good for arthritis sufferers
- prevents bar from rolling off
- not ideal for heavy lifters
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
If you don't like the feel of rubber on your neck, then the Yes4All Bar Pad has an Oxford cloth covering that will shield your skin. It's also hand-washable, so you don't have to worry about any funky odors. It does have a tendency to roll a bit while squatting, though.
- easy to reposition
- firm without being overly hard
- velcro barely closes
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
This option from Elevator Fitness is a truly giant sponge, coming in at 18" long and 3.5" thick. That means your neck and shoulders won't feel a thing, no matter how much weight you're putting up. Of course, with a product this big, transporting it can be a hassle.
- very good for the price
- can be used with smith machines
- has a burned rubber odor
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
The Power Guidance has a low-density center groove that really cradles the neck, making it extremely comfortable. By also giving you a designated spot to place your shoulders, it helps keep you balanced and promotes good posture, which can lead to bigger gains.
- great for heavy lifters
- sold in both pink and black
- has a huge amount of padding
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
Bear Strength & Conditioning focused on stability when creating their pad, and it shows. The foam won't spin or roll while you work out, keeping the bar steady and helping prevent injury. It also fits perfectly in most gym bags, so you can easily take it with you.
- prevents loss of circulation
- fits any size bar
- great for lunges
|Brand||BEAR Strength & Conditi|
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
This offering from Iron Bull Strength is made from multiple layers of high-density foam rubber, so it will last for quite awhile without losing shock absorption. It has a quick-snap design, making it easy to put on or take off without interfering with your workout.
- anti-slip matte finish
- secures firmly to bar
- wide enough to use for hip thrusts
|Brand||Iron Bull Strength|
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
If you need a little extra motivation, then Dark Iron Fitness has slogans like "Shut up and squat!" emblazoned on their pads. It's a small thing, but it's still a nice touch - and since these won't flatten out, they'll help you do a lot of squatting indeed.
- nylon doesn't absorb sweat
- company offers lifetime replacements
- stands out in the gym
|Brand||Dark Iron Fitness|
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|