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Center Barbell Knurl — Need or Not?

What is a center barbell knurl? Why would certainly you desire one or not?

When lifting, a center barbell knurl aids stop the bar from slipping on your back while squatting. Additionally, it aids to line up the bar appropriately. Traditional powerlifting movements have a tendency to benefit from a centre knurl, while Olympic lifting or CrossFit training does not. Two the same barbells, one with a center knul, the other without.

What is center knurl for? Why is barbell knurl important?

Barbell knurl supplies grip on the bar. It generally just covers specific portions of the bar as well as is absent where it’s not needed. Simply put, you’ll find knurling where you could grip the bar with your hands, and the bar is smooth where you do not.

stainless steel olympic barbell

I wrote a complete guide to barbell knurl, the different kinds as well as styles available, and exactly how to choose the right knurl pattern for your home gym. Examine that out by go here..
For the post you are reading now, the genuine concern is why you could want knurling in the center of a barbell where you don’t typically grip the bar with your hands.

The Benefits of a Center Barbell Knurl

There are 3 key advantages of having a knurl pattern engraved at the center of a barbell.

  • Squat grip. A center knurl can assist the bar grip your back when back squatting (the bar is held throughout the back of your shoulders). The advantage right here is that it stops the bar from changing or sliding while you squat.
  • Bar positioning. A centre knurl can help make certain the bar is fixated your body throughout a number of different lifts.
    There are some movements (although not commonly usual) that require you to grip the bar at its facility factor. The loaded bar is held in a static setting at your side with one hand and is done for time.
  • Traveling bag holds. There are some movements (although not generally typical) that need you to grip the bar at its facility point. One such motion (that I do as well as enjoy!) is the barbell travel suitcase hold. The loaded bar is held in a fixed position at your side with one hand as well as is provided for time.

I believe it is very important to mention that none of these three advantages are earth-shattering. Putting the bar higher up on your back during the back squat combined with a strong bracing method will keep almost the heaviest bar in position. Bar placement can be attained with a tiny mark or item of tape just as easily as a patch of knurling. And also suitcase holds can be executed with hefty dumbbells or kettlebells instead of your barbell.

Personally, I just select bars with a centre knurl as I do appreciate its advantages. I additionally practically exclusively advise power bars for garage and basement gym proprietors (see why in my article here). Power bars always have a center knurling.

The Downsides of Center Barbell Knurl

With every one of the above said, some scenarios do not gain from a center knurl.

  • It’s uncomfortable on Olympic lifts. You most likely will not such as a center knurl on your bar if you on a regular basis do the seize or the clean & jerk. Throughout these lifts, the center of the bar will certainly massage throughout your chest, making a centre knurl extra unpleasant than a bar without.
  • It can be awkward during a front rack. On front squats, you have actually the bar racked in front of you as well as touching your chest. For some, this can make the presence of a center knurl unpleasant. I don’t locate this to be the instance whatsoever, yet many individuals do, so it bears reference.
  • It can be awkward if you lift without a t-shirt on. I’m torn on this. On the one hand, yes, the knurl will certainly irritate your back while squatting without a t-shirt. On the other hand, I’ve found that a barbel with no knurl slips right off of sweaty skin and would never squat without a shirt in the first place.

I assume that the advantages of a center knurl outweigh the downsides, yet as you can see, it depends on the sort of lifting you are doing. Plus, there is a lesser-known 3rd alternative.

The Pattern of Center Knurling Matters or Not

Most individuals purchasing a barbell see that getting a center knurl is an option. What they typically don’t see is that there is a choice in the type of center knurl you obtain. Some bars have a centre knurl that coincides as the knurl pattern on the rest of the bar. Other barbells have a much more passive knurling.

Many home gym proprietors are not exclusively Olympic lifting. 90% -95% of the motions we are carrying out in our home gyms are powerlifting movements (squat, press, deadlift). With a passive center knurl (smoother and much less harsh to the touch), you get the very best of both globes. It will not aggravate your skin however will still provide the grip and also positioning benefits you want a centre barbell knurl for.

This is among my favorite features of my most advised barbell, the Manta Fitness stainless steel power bar. This set bar can serve almost all of your lifting requires. In my opinion, it’s far better to have one great bar that can serve every one of your demands instead of purchasing two less costly bars, one with and one without a center knurl!

Will the bar be used in CrossFit exercises?

Below is some conversation to help the response to those questions to assist guide you to the best bar to fit your needs.

If you will certainly be predominantly Powerlifting and just sometimes Olympic raising a good power bar will certainly offer you well. The center knurl will aid keep the bar in position on your back during back bows and on your chest for front squats. If you are refraining cleanses and also thrusters you will certainly not need to worry about scraping up your chest. Even if you are using a bar with center knurling for conventional Weight training exercises a center knurl may not bother you, because the variety of reps is not typically that high. As a matter of fact, all certified males’s Weight training bars have a center knurl. However, if you are doing Olympic lifts during CrossFit workouts you may wind up scratching you chest raw.

If you will have separate bars for Olympic and power lifts or of you nearly exclusively Olympic lift, you will enjoy the committed Olympic lifting bars or even the crossbreed bars without a center knurl considering that you will not end up with an irreversible abrasion on your collar bones.

A Qucik Guide to What Kind of Center Knurl is Right for You?

If you are a competitive Olympic lifter or competitive CrossFit athlete, choose a bar without center knurl.

If you are a competitive powerlifter, or you squat really heavy (greater than your bodyweight loaded on the bar), I ‘d advise a hostile center knurl that matches the rest of your bar.
For every person else, which is virtually everyone analysis this write-up, I would certainly advise a standard power bar (see why right here) with a passive center knurl.

Quick Suggestion: If you have a bar without center knurl, yet want some of the advantages, take some fabric tape as well as wrap the centre section of your bar. It’s not quite the same, but it’s absolutely less costly than getting an additional bar!


I want you to spend your money on what matters and not waste it on what does not. Ultimately, while it’s something to think about, the centre knurl isn’t that huge of a bargain. Yes, it has some advantages. However none of those advantages does you any kind of good if you do not initial concentrate on the much more essential facets of acquiring the appropriate bar for you.

In other words, you’ll find knurling where you might grip the bar with your hands, and the bar is smooth where you don’t. When back squatting (the bar is held across the back of your shoulders), a center knurl can help the bar grip your back. During these lifts, the center of the bar will rub across your chest, making a center knurl more uncomfortable than a bar without.

Some bars have a centre knurl that is the same as the knurl pattern on the rest of the bar. In my opinion, it’s much better to have one nice bar that can serve all of your needs instead of buying two cheaper bars, one with and one without a center knurl!


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