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What is a Weight Collar?

By Phil Shepley
Updated Feb 20, 2024
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A weight collar, or weight lifting collar, is a device that is used in weightlifting to secure weights onto a weight bar. There are many different designs, which can vary in appearance and strength. A weight collar may be designed to fit on a generic type of weight bar, or can be designed to fit only a specific brand or type.

There are several components involved in the type of weightlifting that utilizes a weight bar. The weights themselves are usually discs of specific weights that are made from different heavy materials. They have a hole in the center so they can be attached to the weight bar. A standard weight bar is a metal cylinder that can vary in length, depending on its use. One or more weights are typically placed on either end of the weight bar until the desired lifting weight is obtained.

When a person is lifting the weights, something needs to be used to secure them to the weight bar so they do not fall off if the bar is tilted. This is where the weight collars come in. These devices secure the weights on either side of the bar. They are usually sold in pairs. A set of weight collars may also be necessary inside of the weights on a weight bar, if they are not already built into its design.

One of the most common types is the spring weight collar. This type consists of a spring with two attached handles. When the handles are compressed, the spring portion opens up, allowing it to be placed on the end of the weight bar. The handles are then released, and the spring contracts and secures itself to the weight bar. These are the most popular, and can have metal or plastic-covered handles.

Other types of weight collar rely on different mechanisms for locking themselves onto the weight bar. For example, one variety is a clamp that consists of two circular halves that are opened and closed by a switch. Variations within this type of weight collar are its material, color, and construction.

The mechanical switch can be designed to open up-and-down or side-to-side relative to the weight collar. An even simpler construction of weight collar is a cylinder that will slide onto the weight bar and lock itself. This type has a built-in "unlocking" mechanism that must be compressed in order to remove it from the weight bar. The type of weight collar a person uses will mainly depend on his or her personal preferences.

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Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Jul 31, 2014

You should always put the end locks on the weight bars so that the weights will not fall off. You may not think you need them because you are lifting light weights, but a weight bar can become unbalanced no matter how little or how much weight you are lifting, and once the bar becomes unbalanced and you lose control anything could happen.

When I was in high school, we were lifting weights on the bench press and there were four of us, so we had two guys spotting all the time. One guy was on each end of the bar in case the person lifting needed help.

One guy was lifting and he started to struggle with the weights. One of the guys spotting grabbed his end of the bar and lifted. I was on the other end and I was waiting to see whether the guy would be able to lift the weights on his on. When the other spotter lifted on the bar, the weights on my side slid off and the bar became unbalanced.

The bar flew up and popped me right in the mouth. A few months later and several trips to the dentist and I was as good as new. Always use the weight bar collars.

By Feryll — On Jul 30, 2014

I haven't seen a weight collar with one of the mechanical switches like mentioned in the last paragraph of this article, but I think those are a really good thing to have. Many guys in the weight room where I work out don't use collars most of the time because they think putting them on and taking them off takes too long.

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