Duffalo Bar Review – What, Why and How to Use It
updated January 1, 2019
The Duffalo Bar is a speciality lifting bar manufactured by Kabuki Strength. For many years, Buffalo bars have been available on the market. However, until now the bar has been less than ideal. This has now changed with the advent of the Duffalo Bar. Chris Duffin has created this breakthrough piece of training equipment by taking a piece of equipment that has been around for a long time and making it the best that it can possibly be.
What is Duffalo Bar?
The Duffalo Bar is sold as a performance squat and bench press bar and is primarily designed for enhanced performance on those two exercises. It is designed to reduce stress in the shoulders, biceps, back and allow you to train through injury.
What separates the Duffalo bar from other buffalo Bars that are on the market is the camber of the bar. With the Duffalo bar you get a much deeper camber. It uses very high quality steel at 210,000 PSI. The sleeves of this Olympic bar are also slightly angled up. This allows you to load the bar with no worries about the weights slipping off.
The knurling on the Duffalo Bar is also exact, allowing for a great feel when you grip the bar and rest it across your traps. The sleeve length on the Duffalo bar is longer than you’d find on a normal Olympic barbell, allowing you to load up as many plates as you need.
The bushing system on the sleeve allows for a very good spin on the sleeves. A big part of this is that Kabuki Strength have used oil-impregnated bronze bushings. This allows the bushing to release enhanced greasing volume under pressure and absorb more oil.
A unique patent pending feature on the Duffalo bar is a screw in hook that attaches at the weight rest. This allows you to attach bands to the exercise that you are performing. This means that you no longer have to struggle with the hassle of trying to stretch the band over the weight plates. This will save you a lot time in setting up your bands.
- Reduces stress injuries
- Allows for higher frequency work
- Aggressive knurling
- Quality manufacturing
- Attachment options
- Easy chain / band loading
- Bench Variation
- Greater range of motion on bench
- Expensive price point
- Shipping a little slow
- Hard to stabilize the bar
- Awkward fitside if a standard power rack
- Attachments cost extra
- Center point creates a wobble on the bench
Because of the amount of camber that you get with the Duffalo Bar, it doesn't sit in the rack that well. The exaggerated arc of the bar will make it either sit upside down or waver back and forth. This will require you to flip the bar upside down to use it.
Obviously this minor negative will not affect your performance with the bar.
To overcome this problem you can modify your j-cups to hold the bar securely in place. Better still, Kabuki Strength, the makers of the Duffalo Bar, could ship the product with a pair of customized j-cups that can be fitted to most power racks to allow for a better hold.
The Duffalo Bar for Squats
The Duffalo Bar provides the following benefits when doing squats:
The curvature on the Duffalo bar allows you to place your hands in a slightly lower position when you're squatting. However, your elbows and shoulders will still be locked in and in the correct position. This slightly lower hand position will allow you to bring your torso and your core into the correct position. This will make it easier for you to get a deep breath of air into your stomach and, as a result, brace correctly for the lift.
The slightly lower hand positioning on the Duffalo bar will also allow you to get back into the proper back, elbow and shoulder alignment if your form starts to break down in the later reps of your set.
When you squat with a traditional straight bar, you are forced to torque back, which places a lot of stress on your shoulders. This can lead to problems such as tendonitis and inflammation in the bicep, wrists and forearms. The bent in design of the Duffalo Bar reduces a great deal of that stress.
If you're squatting multiple times per week, you will find that your shoulders get very taxed. Using the Duffalo Bar means that you will not be taxing your shoulders as much, even when you are squatting low bar.
Reliable Bar Path
The camber on the Duffalo Bar places the line of gravity directly the same as if you were using a straight bar. As a result, it will not affect your bar path. It allows you to train with a safer bar while not messing with your movement patterns at all.
Longer and Wider Bar
The width of the Duffalo bar is slightly more than a squat bar which is allowed in most Powerlifting competition. When approaching a squat bar, your first cue is to grip the bar as hard as possible. The wider bar is a little harder to grip. This means that when you return to your competition bar, you will be able to grip it more powerfully.
The Duffalo Bar is also slightly longer than a standard Olympic squat bar. This provides an increased measure of instability. As a result, you will be force to activate your core correctly and create more tension throughout the entire movement.
The Duffalo Bar for Bench Press
The camber on the Duffalo Bar has four major benefits when it comes to improving the effectiveness of your bench press:
- The camber gives a deficit to the bar that provides you with a greater level of stretch at the bottom of the movement. This extra couple of inches activates your pectorals A LOT more.
- Because you get a greater range of motion, you get more time under tension on each rep. And the more time under tension you get, the better your muscle building capacity.
- The Duffalo Bar is slightly thicker than your standard Olympic bar. This reduces the strain on the wrist, forearms, tendons and elbow joint, thus reducing your potential for long term injury.
- Because the Duffalo bar is cambered, it gives you a slight level of instability. This forces you to worker harder in order to stabilize the bar and recruits the stabilizer muscles that come into play when you are doing the dumbbell version of the bench press.
- The camber on the Duffalo Bar is going to put your wrist in a position that allows you to really to engage your lats and your scapula. This gives you a far better position for benching.
You will find using the Duffalo Bar on the bench press takes a bit of getting used to. This is primarily due to the wobble effect of the camber on the bar. For this reason you will want to get fully used to the bar before loading up to your one rep max.
Who is the Kabuki Duffalo Bar for?
If you already have a decent Olympic barbell and are wanting to venture out in specialty bars, then the Duffalo bar is a good consideration for you.
The Duffalo bar is a very versatile specialty bar, so you will probably want to get one of these before buying a safety squat or multi grip bar. This bar is very comfortable to use and generally feels right when you are working with it. It works just as well for both high bar and low bar squats.
The Duffalo bar will allow you to go much deeper on exercises like the bench press and the overhead press. This will allow you to more effectively hit the target muscle group.
When you start using a great cambered bar, such as the Duffalo Bar, you will wonder why many people still rely on the straight bar.
Duffalo Bar Key Features
- 210,000 PSI Strength Heated Steel
- 55 Pounds
- 30 MM Shaft Diameter
- 19.5 inch Sleeves (3.5 inches longer than standard)
- 96 inch total length
- 2,000 pound load capacity
- Bronze Bushing Sleeve Assembly
- Band and Chain Attachment Point
- Available in Bare Steel, Clear Zinc, Electrolysis Zinc, & Black Oxide Plating
- Made in the USA
The Duffalo Bar will promote longevity. Using it will allow you to squat more comfortably and with better body positioning. It will also enhance your bench press and overhead pressing, providing a fuller, more natural range of motion.
The Duffalo bar works very much like a straight bar in practice. This is in contrast to other specialty bars such as the safety squat bar, which completely change the movement. This means that you will only get benefits in terms of strength and muscle gains by switching out your squat and bench bars to the Duffalo bar. This is not a cheap bar, but it is well worth the money if you are a serious lifter who wants the best.