EP.55 | WTH is Barbell Whip?

In what scenarios would you want WHIP in a barbell?  What even is barbell whip?  If you aren't familiar or experienced in the world of Olympic Weightlifting or Powerlifting, this concept is probably foreign to you.  In this week's Bar Tip we'll dive into this concept deeper for a better understanding.



In Weightlifting we are trying to put maximum loads overhead, so whip definitely comes into play in an important way.  Barbell whip can be beneficial when catching a barbell in the bottom, such as in the Clean and Jerk.  When catching the bar in the bottom of the movement, you will feel, as well as visibly see the bar bend or flex (especially as the weight increases).  As you come out of the hole, the whip of the bar will help give you a spring when standing up the clean.  What's happening as you stand the bar up is the bar returning to its original straight shape.  Flexing followed by straightening.  


  • Barbell BENDS or FLEXES (You can feel the bar bend as well as see visibly)

  • Most noticeable when the weight INCREASES on the barbell

  • Seen during the Clean & Jerk and Snatch

  • Use the whip to your advantage.  Learning the timing of the "bounce" out of the bottom can be used to lift more weight if done properly.  This comes with more experience.

Weightlifting bars will traditionally have more whip than a multi-purpose bars used in group training classes.  In a class setting for functional fitness, you typically won't see many bars that have much whip because bars used in classes have to be able to withstand constant abuse by members.  Not to say that these bars don't have any whip, it's just that these bars are typically made with a higher PSI steel to make them more durable. 


In the world of powerlifting it usually comes down to preference.  Some like deadlifting with a stiffer bar versus a barbell that has more whip.  In the world of powerlifting competition or if you are trying to pull the most possible weight off the ground, whip definitely comes into play.  

By having a bar with more whip (ex. Texas Deadlift Bar), you are more easily able to pull the slack out of the bar and get your hands HIGHER off the floor quicker.  By the time the weight begins to lift off the floor, you have less distance to cover to the lockout.