Long Bars, Short Bars, Mini Bars?

By | November 24, 2019


A common question when working with clients in the pool is “Which is harder the long bars or the short bars?”  

The answer to the question depends on the exercises that you will be doing and the goals of your exercise program.  Understanding the equipment and the differences will help you choose the appropriate tools to make your workout the most effective.  
Using bars with more buoyancy will create more resistance when trying to move them through the water.  This will make these types of exercises more difficult.  However, exercise where you are in the hanging position will be easier with more buoyant bars because they will provide more support and stability.
Using bars with less buoyancy creates less resistance when trying to move them through the water.  Less buoyant bars will make these types of exercises easier.  The less buoyant bars will make exercises more difficult in the hanging position.  The reduced support and stability will require your body to work harder to maintain alignment therefore challenging your core muscles more.
Example of progression from easy to difficult using equipment for an exercise that requires you to move the bars in and out of the water vs. a hanging exercise.
Pump and Walk
Mini Bar → Short Bars Level 1 → Short Bars Level 2 → Long Bars

Splits and Spreads
Long Bars→ Short Bars Level 2 → Short Bars Level 1 → Mini Bars

Equipment


Long Bars
Long bars provide the most buoyancy, therefore they will give you the most support and resistance.  

Short Bars Level 2
These bars have slightly less buoyancy than the long bars.  They will be a little easier for exercises that require movement through the water and slightly harder for hanging exercises than the long bars.

Short Bars Level 1
The level 1 short bars have less buoyancy than level 2 short bars and long bars.  They will be easier for exercises that require movement through the water and more difficult for hanging exercises.

Mini Bars
Mini bars provide the least amount buoyancy.  These bars will be the easiest for exercises that require movement through the water and the most difficult for hanging exercises.  

Blog post by Eric Chandler.

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