A fairly simple but very versatile piece of exercise equipment, the Body Bar is easily adapted to yoga, Pilates and toning exercise routines. It’s easy to use and an awesome tool to add an upper body workout element to standard exercises like the lunge or the squat.

Unfortunately, fitness accessories like the weighted fitness bars are often underrated. With a little creativity, the Body Bar can also be a great addition or theme to spice up aerobic workouts and circuit routines.

What is the Body Bar?
The Body Bar is a long, weighted fitness bar or pole wrapped in a thick rubber cushion material that provides grip and comfort. It is available in weights ranging from 3 to 36 pounds.

There are also other versions of this product including the Body Bar Flex, a flexible version of the classic fitness bar made of cushioned fiberglass material that provides 20 to 40 pounds of resistance while bending or flexing the bar.

Body Bar Mini is another version of this product on the market that is about half the length of the original fitness bar. The great thing about the Body Bar Mini is that it gives you the opportunity to incorporate a Body Bar workout in exercises where the longer classic version of the bar would be too difficult.

There are other similar products on the market including the GymStick and the Versa Bar.

Choosing a Body Bar, GymStick or Versa Bar
While the Versa Bar is very similar to the Body Bar, the GymStick is its own creation. The GymStick is very much like every other fitness pole in that it is a cushioned and weighted, but differs in that it has resistance bands that hang down to foot straps.

Users of the GymStick incorporate resistance band exercises with the bar, adding interesting adaptations to standard fitness bar workouts.

Personally, I prefer the basic Body Bar or Versa Bar over the GymStick because I tend to incorporate this fitness tool in circuit workouts where hanging strings or resistance bands might be in the way.

Choosing the Right Weighted Fitness Bar for You
When choosing a weighted fitness bar choose your weight wisely. While 10 pounds may seem light, if you’re incorporating this fitness accessory in a cardio workout, 10 pounds may be a bit heavier than you realize. Using a pole that is too heavy for you may lead to injury.

Suggested Body Bar Weights by Fitness Level

  • Beginners: 3 to 6 pounds
  • Intermediate: 9 to 18 pounds
  • Advanced:  15 to 36 pounds

Incorporating the Body Bar in Cardio Workouts
We can all pick up a long, weighted fitness pole and think of doing squats, lunges and shoulder presses, but with a little creativity, there are so many more options!

Body Bar Cardio-Kickboxing Workout

This video shows how you can adapt the Body Bar into an aerobic kickboxing themed workout. Until you’re comfortable with these fitness pole movements, take it easy and get the technique down before taking it up a notch. Jumping around with a weighted pole may feel a bit awkward and clunky at first!

Total Body Workout with Body Bar

This 10-minute workout mixes resistance training exercises with the weighted bar at an aerobic tempo.

Weighted Burpees

While this video shows the burpee performed with a standard barbell, it is easily adapted to the Body Bar. The benefit of performing this exercise with the Body Bar over the barbell is that the Body Bar is lighter and, because of the cushioning, a bit more easily adapted to fast-moving, dynamic exercises.

GymStick Cardio

This fitness video shows how the GymStick is incorporated into an interesting and dynamic aerobic workout. Note the resistance bad and foot straps and be careful not to trip!