LOVE IT!! Worth the price and then some. Using this pad completely relieved the pain from the bar when doing hip thrusts. I didn't think I could lift more, but when the pain vanished I was able to immediately and dramatically increase the weight. I guess it's true: when you're experiencing too much pain from the bar it seriously reduces engagement of the posterior chain.
As I believe others have remarked, if you try to roll the bar along your body, the pad will pop off. This could easily be prevented with a quick close/open strap around the middle. The material is a very high quality dense foam that's going to take a long time to break down. The exterior surface is extremely smooth, and yet I have a hunch that on bare sweaty skin (e.g., shoulders while doing squats in a tank top) the pad won't slide down the back much, if at all. I haven't tried it yet.
The thickness of the pad I received is 1.5", not 1.25" as in the product title and description. That is, there's a full 1.5" of padding extending out from the bar in all directions. Some reviewers have asked about the size of the tunnel in the middle. On mine, the tunnel is 7/8" diameter when you hold the slit in the pad closed. During actual use, the pad doesn't need to be completely closed, so you could use it on a bar with a slightly larger diameter. According to Wikipedia, the diameter of the grip area on a men's Olympic barbell is 1.1" (28 cm). That's what I use the pad on and it works great for me. A standard non-Olympic barball is the same size in the grip area, sometimes 1" instead of 1.1".
If it helps you use this information, I am a biological female with long and varied weight lifting experience. I am aggressive in my training and sports. I have a temperament with high pain acceptance. My mind feels it and doesn't care; but the brain does! Do yourself a favor and try out this pad. Much better than any pad I've ever seen at any gym including gyms with a great reputation among power lifters and body builders.
So I just got this today and of course Mondays are always leg days. So I was so excited to Squat today. Latley I haven't been so excited about my squats as the bar has been killing me and I haven't been able to increase my weight although for the last few weeks I was feeling stronger and ready...so I threw this on today and started with my weight I've been doing. GAME CHANGER! My squats felt great, my neck and upper back felt great and my neck felt amazingly supported. So I upped my weight by 20lbs and did the same amount of sets and reps. What a huge difference this makes...HUGE. I'm so excited now to be doing squats again. I feel like I just discovered my new favorite exercise. We will see how it holds up over time, but it was well worth every penny and I am so excited about the difference this made in my workout.
I love this squat sponge and feel like I'm better protected from the bar than those who are using the gym-provided pads. It works with both squats and hip thrusts although you have to place it 'just so' with the hip thrusts otherwise it may dig into the groin area in a way that is quite distracting! Would be beyond 5 stars if there was a way to keep it from popping off the bar during set up on my lap.
We are so happy that we purchased this squat sponge. It honestly is the best one we've ever used! Be aware that the design is such that it does not fully close around the bar, but that does not affect its utility in providing cushioning or ability to stay in place. We both use the heck out of this for squats as well as glute bridges. It provides superior cushioning compared to anything else we've used before.
High quality bar pad. Purchased per the recommendation of a fitness blogger I follow for use with barbell hip raises. This pad stays on the bar very well and provides excellent cushioning during lifts. Protects my hips even with a lot of weight on the bar. Huge upgrade from what they have laying around my gym.
Best sponge ever to use for back squats and heavy hip thrusts. There is nothing else like it! I would always have pain and soreness from where the barbell sat on my spine and hips during my lifts, even using regular pads and even adding extra padding for hip thrusts! When I use this, I don't ever experience pain; during or after. Highly recommend.
Love it!! Love it!! I'm back to free weight squats again! The older I got the more the bar was hurting my neck. The little pipe insulator they have at the gym caused the bar to slip off one side of my back and ....not good. The squat sponge allows me to use the squat rack with no worries. If it's leg day the squat sponge goes to the gym!
This pad is one of, if not the best, padding I have ever used. The pad bars you see in most gyms are pretty pore in quality and they're small so it's almost like you're not even using the pad. Appreciation to Bret Contreras who recommended using one when performing hip thrusts and glute bridges. Now I can do hip thrusts in the gym with little difficulty! Highly recommended!
I bought this after reading a review from Bret Contreras. While I don't use it for squatting, it's the perfect amount of cushioning for doing heavy barbell hip thrusts. I no longer have bruises on my hip bones!