With an increased demand for at-home workout equipment coupled with stock issues across the board, this past year has shone a spotlight on the need for multifunctional exercise accessories. The Axle Barbell — an ultralight Olympic barbell that’s often used in group fitness classes at boutique gyms — answered that call.
This versatile barbell promises a total body workout and (spoiler alert) it delivers. While it definitely took some getting used to, after three weeks of using it, I was impressed.
The name itself is a little misleading. While you can use the Axle Barbell solely as a barbell, it does much more than that. It’s really a total body piece of equipment that also functions as a core trainer, planking tool and anchor for your feet for ab rolling or similar movements — my favorite thing about the Axle Barbell.
Rather than simply categorizing it as a dumbbell, I thought of it as a tool to help increase stability and target each of your body’s main muscle systems. And the barbell is specifically designed to roll, so your core stays activated through most of your movements, giving you a killer workout.
Setup is quick and easy
The barbell arrives completely deconstructed. The kit includes a 55-inch aluminum barbell (in two pieces), two 5-pound plates, two clamps, two wheels, two foot anchors, a resistance band and an air pump. To get started, I assembled the bar, pushed the wheels on, added the plates and clamped everything into place. The process took only a couple minutes — the most difficult part was using the flimsy air pump to fill up the wheels, but once that was done, I was ready to go.
The performance is impressive
Fully loaded, the barbell clocks in at a light 11.2 pounds. While you can add any size Olympic plates, that weight was enough to get me started. When I wanted more weight for bicep curls or bent-over rows, I strapped on the included resistance band, a convenient touch.
Hovering around 4.5 feet, the Axle Barbell is shorter than most — standard barbells are five to six feet — but it was easy to grip and maneuver and I didn’t miss the extra length at all. While it didn’t blow other barbells away as far as basic functions go, one thing that really made the Axle stand out is that it rests on its rubber wheels, rather than on the iron plates. This made the landing a lot softer and significantly quieter, and it made the whole setup seem less intimidating, especially since the wheels have neon green spokes.
Where the Axle Barbell really shone was in the core workouts. You can use it to increase core effort during planks, ab rolling, or push-ups. The barbell comes with two foot anchors that strap to your sneakers so you can do roll outs or pikes without needing gliders. Every time I used the Axle to focus on my core strength, I left with abs that were absolutely burning — in all of the best ways.
It took some getting used to though. My current utter lack of core strength thanks to too many hour
The Axle Barbell will give you a killer full-body workout
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