Barbells are great for many exercises but sometimes you just want to get it out of the way. A barbell usually lives on the power cage or in a corner but there are better and safer options that help you keep your gym tidy.
To safely store a barbell when it’s not in use, a horizontal or vertical wall rack is the best and most compact option. Make sure the barbell is clean and dry before storing. Storing a barbell in a location with low humidity helps prevent corrosion.
Check out the best options to store your barbell safely below.
1. One Piece Vertical Barbell Holder
This type of barbell holder is very simple and easy to use. They’re a single piece of metal that mounts on the wall. There are a few prongs coming out from the baseplate that are just far enough apart to accommodate the shaft of a barbell but not wide enough to let the collar through. So the barbell rests on the collar.
You can get them in different sizes that can accommodate different amounts of barbells. There are models for 1, 2,3 and more barbells. Most home gyms only have a single barbell so a small one will do perfectly fine. However, having space for upgrades in the future is never a bad plan and if you don’t hang a barbell on the open spot, you can use it for cable attachments, gloves and resistance bands. So even if you don’t have more than one barbell, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something to hang on a bigger holder.
Wall mounted barbell storage is the best solution for most people. This takes the barbell off the floor and gets it out of harm’s way.
2. Horizontal wall rack
If you don’t mind mounting two pieces, these horizontal wall racks are a good solution. These don’t hold the barbell up by the collar but just let the shaft rest on the hooks. This is actually a little better for the barbell. If you hold it up by the collar, the bearing in the sleeve takes a sideways load it isn’t really designed for. That’s the theory at least. In reality there are plenty of commercial gyms that store their barbells vertically without any issues.
Horizontal wall racks come in different sizes. Varieties that hold one, two or more barbells are commonly available. As said, it’s always good to have extra space.
When mounting this rack, you have to be careful to mount both sides at the same height otherwise your bars will rest at an angle.
3. Floor Standing Barbell Holder
Don’t want to mount anything on the wall and have to store the most amount of barbells in a small floor space? These are basically squares with a few holes in them to stick a barbell into. Common sizes can accommodate 5 and 9 bars.
With this type, pay attention to the sleeve size on the barbell. The holes in the holder are usually for 2”sleeves. Most Olympic style barbells have 2” spinning sleeves. However, if the part you slide the weight plates on is the same diameter as the shaft, it likely has 1” sleeves. Since the holes in the holder are 2” in diameter, a 1” bar will be very loose and not stand up completely straight.
4. Large A-frame Barbell Holder
For people that want to store a large amount of barbells horizontally and don’t want anything that goes on the wall, an A-frame barbell rack is the best option.
This is a rack that stands on the floor and has many hooks on both sides so you can store up to 8 bars on this rack. This is a great option for gyms that have classes that use barbells. It does take up quite a bit of space but it’s the best option to store a large amount of barbells horizontally.
5. Multifunctional gym organizer
This looks a lot like the one piece barbell holders you can see in spot 1, 2 and 3. This one is designed to take all kinds of gym equipment. Gyms often have a lot of things that are small and relatively light and don’t have their own place.
Think about cable attachments, gloves, resistance bands, chains, barbell clips, etc. A gym organizer can be used to store barbells just like the ones above but are at the same time designed to be used for storage for other items that don’t have a home in the gym yet. Other barbell holders can do the same thing, this one is just designed with the idea in mind that you’re probably going to hang other things on it anyways.
6. Barbell + Plate Storage rack
Need a place to store your weight plates and barbell on at the same time? There are racks that combine both. They usually have wheels on one end and a handle on the other so it’s easy to move around. Have your barbells and plates in the garage? With this rack you can easily roll everything outside in one trip. Working out outside will be much easier.
This solution isn’t as good if you’re just looking for a simple barbell rack but if you want something mobile and that includes weight plate storage, this is it.
Need a separate weight plate storage solution? Click here for the best options
Why use a barbell storage solution?
Why not just lean your barbell in the corner? Well, many home and even some commercial gyms use that solution every day. There are a few drawbacks to doing that though;
- Damages the wall: A metal bar rubbing against the wall is going to scratch the wall. No matter how careful you are, it will start looking messy at some point.
- Can scratch the barbell sleeves: A concrete or brick wall will scratch the points where it contacts the barbell. This can leave nasty marks on the sleeves and leave sharp edges.
- Leaves barbells in a vulnerable position: If something falls against the barbell, it’s relatively easy to bend it. When a barbell is on the wall, it’s unlikely something will hit it. On a vertical rack, the bars fall over before they’ll bend.
Of course if you have a power cage and you leave the barbell on that all the time, that’s fine.
Best way to store barbells
Barbells aren’t cheap and of course you want to treat them right so they stay in good shape. How can you properly store a barbell? There are a few things to keep in mind;
- Humidity: Barbells are made from steel which corrodes. Of course high quality barbells are made from stainless steel or coated with something corrosion resistant. But many barbells rust quite easily. Make sure you put the barbell away dry and in a dry place. Wipe off any sweat and keep an eye on the humidity in the room. If you want to store your barbell in the garage or basement, it can be worth it to take it into a room with better climate.
- Clean: Get rid of any dust and dirt before you put your barbell away. It just attracts bacteria and mold which you’ll have to clean off later on.
- Safe: Especially when storing a barbell for a long time, make sure it’s in a safe place where heavy things can’t fall on it.
Horizontal storage where the bar rests on the shaft is a little better than vertical. The idea is that the bearings in the sleeves aren’t meant for sideways loads. So storing it on a side would be a bit worse for the bearing than horizontal. In practice, home gym and commercial gym owners just use what kind of storage suits them best without problems. A high quality barbell will last for decades no matter direction your store it in.