Pros: Versatile, comfortable, can last forever, swivels, light.
I am reviewing The Cap Barbell 18 Hollow bar. I reviewed the
Cap Barbell Pull Down Rope and commented that it wasnt a barbell. Cap has a thing about names. This is not a barbell either. A barbell is a long, straight bar (though some are curved but I dont call them barbells either- the ez curl, for example) that either has weights built on it or you put weights on it yourself.
So what is this?
This, in my opinion, as was the Pull Down Rope, is an essential piece of equipment to own if you have a cable machine at home or use one at a gym. Caps bar is well-made. It is made of seamless double-welded tubing. In addition as you can see from the picture it has textured polyurethane grips. These grips make the bar very comfortable to use. If you forgot your gloves you dont need them. It is 18 inches. That size (versus longer bars) is designed for certain exercises. It is very versatile. I can think immediately of 4 body parts I use the Cap Hollow bar for. It weighs 2 pounds. That isnt heavy but I will explain how to get it on the cable if you are new at the gym and a bit intimidated by equipment youve never seen or if you want to buy it but are unclear as to how to use it.
There is a feature that the Cap bar has. Others probably have it as well. You may have used this bar many times and not even realized it. I've been using the Cap bar and previously others for many, many years and never noticed until yesterday that it turned. If you look closely at the picture you'll see two lines on the inner part of the bar. This allows the bar to swivel. This swivel ability makes this bar very comfortable to use and makes my workouts feel more effective. If you already use this, the next time you do and you do a bicep curl, notice how it swivels unlike a barbell.
How does it go on the cable/pulley machine?
You will start by connecting it to a cable or pulley machine. The reason I separate the two cable and pully- is because when I talk about a pully machine I think of a large piece of equipment which has two sides on which to work. You might also find a single unit with just a cable on it. They work the exact same way. Essentially they are one and the same. Your gym or your home will have machines, such as a pec dec, it will have free weights such as 10, 20, 30, etc. pound dumbbells, and it will have equipment on which you will put weights in whatever size you want. These weights are often put on barbells or machines.
The Cap Hollow Bar will go on a machine that works by pulling the weights with a cable. The cable will have a round metal piece on the end. Attached to that it will have a clip. If it isnt on the cable, look around the floor or on another attachment. The clip opens so you can put the hole on the top of the bar through the clip. If the pulley is high and you are having trouble pulling it down the clip might be in a heavy weight. Just pull it out and then the cable will come down easily and you can attach the bar to it. You can also move the whole cable to various levels and will if you want to make the most of. For example my husband and I work our triceps at different heights with this bar. All this only takes a minute to do.
Can you give me some exercises to use with this barbell?
Yes but feel free to e-mail me, leave a comment or question and I will answer it. The Cap Barbell 18 Hollow bar can be used to work your back, triceps, biceps, and shoulder areas.
The first exercise Ill teach you is called the upright row. This works the trapezius muscles (known as the traps) which are visually right in the center of your upper back. Upright rows also work the deltoids or shoulder muscles. The deltoids have three lobes of muscle called heads- anterior or front, medial or side and posterior or rear. The upright row works the front deltoids. The bar will be on the cable, which should be set so that when you hold it your hands will be straight down. Use an overhand grip holding your hands about 8 inches apart. Lift the barbell straight up keeping it close to your body until it touches your chin. Keep your back straight. You should feel this in your traps. From the top lower it with control and keep on going. You will see people in the gym doing upright rows with a straight barbell, a curved barbell or even dumbbells. In order to work your shoulder area you need to use heavy weights and work in a way I dont like all that much so if you are advanced but are unclear about this, let me know and Ill explain it.
One of my favorites are called Dickersons. These also work the back area. They will be set higher on the cable so you have to reach up a bit to grab the barbell. Standing away from the machine with your back not totally straight but with your arms straight pull the bar down as far as it will go. You will feel this in your back.
Another one that can be down, though this bar isn't my favorite choice, is a seated row. This works the lower latissiumus dorsi (lat) muscles. These are the larges muscles in the back running from below the shoulder down to the small of your back on both sides. The seated row will be done on a cable machine. There are stand alone machines you may see people doing row on as well. If you have equipment at home you may not have a machine. You can sit right on the floor and do a seated row. Attach the bar and pull it to your belly. Keep your back straight. You can lean into it as you return the bar but when you bring it toward you it is important that your back is not bent backward.
Tricep pressdowns (back of the arm) are down essentially the same way with the Cap Hollow Barbell as the Rope. You work them a bit differently. While you are pulling the rope down, you will be pressing or pushing the bar down with this bar. The cable should be at a height that allows your elbows to fit snugly by your sides. You can stand facing the machine or you might have access to a machine that has a pad on it. If so you can stand facing the Cap Bar with your back against the pad. Pull the bar down and hold that position for a couple of seconds. This is most commonly done with your hands facing down. For a change and a little different workout turn your hands the other way so your palms are facing up as you hold the bar. This is a favorite of mine and works the triceps well.
The last one Ill give you is a bicep curl. You will use the bar just as you would if you were holding dumbbells or a stand alone barbell. The cable will be on the lowest position. Bend your knees to reach the bar and as your stand pull the bar with you as you curl your arms. This is effective and a staple in my routine.
Please be conservative with the amount of weight you use. Unless you are reading this because you know me you probably are not a body builder. Injuries do happen. What we are finding out is that of course older people may be more prone to injuries as they workout, younger people, if exercises are done incorrectly will pay with pain and problems later in life. If you perform these (and have asked your doctor if you are just starting an exercise program) with correct form, which is much more important than heavy weights you will be much less apt to hurt yourself. Remember that using muscle to move a weight is far more effective than using momentum. If you have to use your back to get that bar up while doing a bicep curl the bar is too heavy.
Jo Your Personal Trainers Final Thoughts:
Not all attachments are my favorite. I just happened to start out with two-I use the most. I think the Cap Hollow 18 Barbell should be part of your home gym routine. If you belong to a gym start with the bicep curl, tricep pressdowns, or seated row. Upright rows and Dickersons are a little trickier to do with proper form. Good luck, have fun and be careful.
That will be $40.00, please. (Only kidding, of course, hopefully I have taught you something and it is my pleasure.)
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Cap Barbell Pull Down Rope