Recently, a new product called the Tri-Bar has been introduced as an alternative to the standard weightlifting bar. The Tri-Bar has the same weight, length, and circumference as a standard weightlifting bar and differs only in that the shape of the bar is formed like a triangle with rounded edges. Theoretically, the shape of the bar will enhance gripping comfort and increase muscular endurance. We studied 32 moderately trained males who were free from upper-body injury or limitation. Each participant completed 4 visits to the lab as part of 2 separate investigations. The first investigation was a comparison of straight-arm hang times while grasping a standard Olympic bar or a Tri-Bar revolving handle attached to a weight equal to half the subject's body weight. In both investigations, time was used as a measure of isometric muscular endurance. Differences were determined using a dependent t-test, and a level of significance was set at p is less than 0.05. Mean hang times were significantly longer when the men hung from the Tri-Bar (107.6 seconds) versus the standard bar (95.4 seconds) (p = 0.015). Conversely, in the investigation using the revolving handles, the round bar produced longer grasping times (71.5 seconds) than the Tri_bar (62.6 seconds) (p = 0.000). The results of this investigation indicate that a fixed and stable Tri-Bar may help to increase hang time, but a Tri-Bar free to rotate within the grasp may decrease grasping time in comparison to a standard round handle. With regard to exercises that require isometric grasping, the Tri-Bar may be an effective alternative to the standard bar for increasing isometric grasping endurance.
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Drury, D.G., H. Faggiono, and K.J. Stuempfle. An Investigation of the Tri-Bar Gripping System on Isometric Muscular Endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2004) 18(4): 782-786.