T-grip bars are a fairly new and very innovative tool, one that not enough people know about. I myself had no idea how beneficial a T-grip bar truly is... and I was surprised by what I learned. T-grip bars are one of the least expensive components that a training facility can add to its arsenal of gym equipment, yet some may be hesitant to purchase them because of they, like I was, was uneducated about its true value. In this article, we will explore why these bars were created, the ways that T-grip bars differ from other bars, the benefits of T-grip design, and the way that you can maximize your workout with them.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the man who invented T-grip bars. He is a fitness enthusiast who has worked in many gyms over the years and saw lots of equipment evolving with modern day technology. This newer equipment was designed to be more biomechanically advanced to promote injury prevention. The most commonly used equipment (such as straight bars) may lead to shoulder discomfort after many years of use. Recognizing the need for a different product is what first inspired Mr. Fitzpatrick to design an alternative / more functional bar for free weight training. Wah-lah, you have the T-grip bar.
Here is how T-Grips were designed, in Tim’s own words:
"The original T-Grip bar design was from a quick 30-second sketch I drew on a notepad of the bar. The bar was what I visualized making for myself to avoid pain and discomfort in my shoulders due to years of bench pressing and overhead pressing using straight bars. To avoid issues with my shoulders and joints I would do the pressing movements with dumbbells by turning them inward (parallel grip) as an alternative. This was to enable the shoulders and joints to be in neutral and be able to get through the same workouts. The first time I turned the dumbbells inward marks when my ideas began for the T-grip bar. Soon after that first sketch, I began a search for anything similar to what I had in mind, but nothing I saw was unique or had any impressive innovation. With my experience with design, development and basic biomechanical knowledge, the original concept turned into multiple versions of the original bar. After it's creation, I knew nothing would compare or come close. Next the patent process began... Fast forward past a long drawn out phase of design, engineering, and prototyping to the first bars that were getting made... I would walk the bars one at a time into gyms in New York City uninvited and ask if I could leave the bar for a free 30-day demo for trainers and members to try out. After the 30 days, the gym could buy it or I’ll take it back no questions asked, I very rarely got them back and always received positive feedback. That’s where it all started…"
The success of the T-Grip design is because of careful intentionality in design. These bars are superior over all other neutral grip/multi-grip bars because they are the only ones to come with an “EZ-Curl” option. Additionally, T-Grips are strategically designed without a bulky middle section that most bars have. The straight middle section of T-Grips contour around your body as you lift, which gives you unlimited lifting options and maximum range mobility. Accessing a wider range of exercises with this bar will help you build muscle faster and more efficiently than with a traditional bar, which is why it is a great purchase for an at-home gym.
At first, these bars are intimidating because they look extremely different than traditional lifting bars. Their different design, however, provides lifters the opportunity to work muscles in a new way and prevent injury that commonly comes along with heavy lifting. In fact, T-grips are held with a neutral grip, which is more of a natural movement than the straight grip we use while holding a straight bar. This grip takes unnecessary stress off of common problem areas such as the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The way other bars are designed can limit the range of motion that you are able to cover. A T-grip bar, conversely, gives you unlimited options for use, as is therefore extremely versatile. For this reason, a T-grip bar can be an extremely beneficial tool for those performing rehabilitation exercises; you get the same great workout as a straight bar, but proactively prevent new injuries from occurring.
All T-Grip Bar are available for purchase here: https://americanbarbell.com/collections/t-grip-bars