The Definitive Guide to Choosing Barbell Collars

The Definitive Guide to Choosing Barbell Collars

In the realm of weightlifting, safety reigns supreme. Whether you're a seasoned lifter or just starting out, one essential piece of equipment you don’t want to overlook is the barbell collar.

Olympic barbells, specialty bars, and weight plates may get most of the attention, but none of it matters without a good set of barbell collars to hold it all together.

These seemingly small accessories play a crucial role in strength training — and with the recent release of the new easy-twist TwistLock™ collar, it’s clear that barbell collars have come a long way over the past few decades.

But what options are out there? How is each one unique? Which weight collars are best for you? And how can such a small piece of equipment play such a huge role in the safety and effectiveness of your workout? Keep reading to find out.

What is a barbell collar?

First of all, what are barbell collars and what do they even do? Essentially, a barbell collar is a device that is placed on a bar sleeve to prevent weight plates from sliding or shifting unexpectedly.

Why are barbell collars important?

The importance of barbell collars cannot be overstated, especially during intense lifting sessions. Without proper collars, weight plates can loosen and slide off the barbell, which can result in injuries and damaged equipment and floors.

And even if your weight plates don’t fully fall off your barbell, they can shift while you're working out. This creates an unbalanced load that can throw your balance off and affect your form in ways that can lead to injury and less effective movements.

That's where barbell collars come in. These little devices fasten to your barbell outside of your weight plates to keep your weights locked in while you work out. That means you can focus on proper form and technique without worrying about plate movement.

Simple, right?

Not so fast. Now that you know what a barbell collar is and what it does, how do you choose the right collars for you?

What are the different types of barbell collars?

So you’re outfitting your home gym and aren’t sure which barbell collars to choose.

That’s understandable. For such a small piece of equipment, there are a lot of options out there and some key differences you’ll want to pay attention to.

In many ways, the collars you choose will come down to personal preference and circumstance, so you’ll want to educate yourself on what makes each collar unique.

Some of the most common types include...

Spring collars

These OG collars have been around for decades and feature a spring-loaded mechanism that clamps onto your barbell sleeve to keep your plates in place.

Spring style collars are a good budget-friendly option and are intuitive to use. They’re best suited for lighter lifting as the plates may still shift if too much weight is added.

Clamp collars

Also known as Olympic collars, barbell clamps use a lever mechanism to tighten around the barbell sleeves, offering a more secure hold than traditional spring collars. They can take a bit more effort to clamp and un-clamp but do offer a secure hold for heavier weights.

Screw-lock collars

Screw-lock collars use a screw knob to tighten the collar around the barbell. These collars are a dependable option that can be used with heavier weights.

Added features

Innovation in barbell collar design has led to the introduction of additional features intended to enhance user experience. A couple of notable features to consider include:

Built-in magnets

Some barbell collars come with built-in magnets that can make a huge difference mid-workout. These magnets allow you to stick your collars on a rack to free up your hands so you can switch out weight plates. And they make an easy way to store your collars on any stainless steel surface for next time.

Knurling and finger-grips

Collars with knurled surfaces or finger-grips offer improved grip for easier on and off. This can make a big difference when your hands are sweaty or covered in chalk.

Quick release design

Some collars feature a quick-release mechanism for rapid removal, ideal for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or circuit workouts where fast transitions are essential.

TwistLock™ Collars: A look at the latest innovation in barbell collars

Like we mentioned earlier, barbell collars have come a long way, and with the introduction of the newly released TwistLock™ Pro collar, weight collars are only becoming faster and more user friendly.

These lightweight collars push the limits of fast and easy with patented easy-twist technology for extra quick transitions between sets — a must during high intensity workouts. No screw knob, no levers, no spring handles. With a quick twist of the collar, your plates are set.

Equipped with strong Neodymium magnets, they can be stored on an upright to free up your hands while you switch out your plates and are crafted with a heavy-duty aluminum build with medium volcano knurling for an easy grip, even with sweaty or chalk-covered hands.

By prioritizing safety and innovation, Titan Fitness empowers lifters to push their limits with confidence, knowing that their equipment is up to the task.

In Conclusion

Now that you know a bit more about what’s out there, hopefully you have more of an idea of which barbell collars will best suit your needs. But whichever collars you choose, now you know why investing in high-quality barbell collars is not something you want to skimp on.