A Static Bar is an essential component for mastering those advanced Calisthenics static holds like the front lever, back lever and the Maltese as well as a versatile tool for all sorts of dynamic exercises like Straight Bar Dips and Negative Muscle Ups. The variety of height settings, from low the floor to around chest-height, gives you many options using the Static Bar. The Gornation Static Bar is the most ubiquitous bar on the market, and we’ll take a very close examination of what they’re shipping to us. Gornation developed this Static Bar with the help of Calisthenics athletes, so our expectations are obviously very high.
What is a Static Bar
The Static Bar is a wide and relatively low top bar supported by wide feet. Its design is meant to allow a large variety of upper-body workouts, chief among them the static holds. The wide base is ideally suited to remain stable, even when your bodyweight is offset to one side, for instance when performing Front Levers. Since your feet can touch the ground, unlike with a Pull-Up Bar, you can continuously do different exercises without having to jump on and grab hold of the bar.
The Gornation Static Bar
This is the most ubiquitous Static Bar on the market to a point where Gornation and Static Bar are almost synonymous, notwithstanding all the other great products by Gornation like their Gymnastic Rings and the Gornation Dip Bars. All that said, going in our expectations were obviously very high for this Static Bar. Gornation has impressed us multiple times in the past and we hope that this Static Bar will impress us again. Spoiler: in some ways it did.
The Setup and Breakdown
Here are the basic measurements and breakdown of the Gornation Static Bar as we received it while noting anything unusual there might be with the basic package.
- Height: 2′ 9″ (lowest) to 3′ 9″ (highest) at five 3″ intervals (85cm to 115cm at 7.5cm intervals)
- Length: 3′ 10″ (116cm)
- Width (floor): 3′ 3″ (100cm)
- Bar diameter: 1½” (38mm)
- Material: Steel, powder coated
- 1 Gornation Static Bar (disassembled)
- 1 Roll of Grip Tape
- 1 Assembly manual
- 1 Bag of many, many nuts and bolts
- Package weight: 21lbs (9.5kg)
Supposed to be in the package but omitted in our case was a wrench tool. This is the first time that a Gornation package came to us incomplete in any way. Luckily, we still had the same wrench tool from a different product of theirs. Otherwise, any adjustable wrench will do the trick just fine.
Assembly was fairly easy. The whole Gornation Static Bar consists of just 3 pieces held together with some nuts and bolts. You use the included wrench tool to put the bars together and take them apart to make height adjustments. It’s a matter of 2 minutes at most. To adjust the bar height, you must disassemble the bars. There is no quick adjustment.
Fit & Finish
The finish was impeccable again, as we’ve gotten used to with Gornation. The 38mm or 1½” tubular steel used is a great compromise between rigidity, comfort and weight. All the parts fit neatly together with no wiggle or protrusions that shouldn’t be there. The powder coating was immaculate and feels very nice to the touch already. You don’t need the grip tape provided and the bar would work perfectly with just your bare hands or with Calisthenics Gloves or some Liquid Chalk instead.
Adding the tape adds another layer of comfort and, importantly, sweat absorption. The tape is of very good quality weave and not too squishy as to be useless. This tape is perfect for those extended Calisthenics workouts where you’re using this Static Bar for longer periods and things start getting sweaty.
The Gornation logo was exceptionally crisp on these bars as well as on the rubber caps on the feet. These caps were robust, thick and felt very durable. They also provide excellent non-slip traction on smooth floors like ours.
Stability & Comfort
We can’t complain about its stability. It only has a slight side-to-side wiggle which you will barely notice while doing your regular bar exercises. Back and front tilt is also minimal, except when you’re doing any exercise that has a back to front momentum to it, like Australian Pull-Ups. These slight stability concerns can be remediated by choosing a lower center of balance by moving the bar lower or by bending your knees 90 degrees (with your feet on the floor), thus placing the center of gravity more directly underneath the bar.
Comfort was exactly where we liked it. The thickness of the bars is just right, the coating gives the right texture, and the addition of the tape was the cherry on top. The bar, tape included, doesn’t cause any undue friction when rotating your closed hand around it. We liked working out on the Gornation Static Bar and find it more than comfortable enough for any bar exercise.
Exercises for the Gornation Static Bar
The Static Bar is a great tool for upper-body development and training for more advanced skills like learning the Muscle-Up. It is easier to work with than a full-length Pull-Up Bar since you can grab the Static Bar from a standing position, while for a Pull-Up Bar you will always need to reach and make a hop or jump to even get hold of it. Here is a collection of great, effective exercises that will give you results using the Gornation Static Bar:
- Back Lever
- Front Lever
- Skin The Cat
- Straight Bar Dips
- Negative Muscle-Ups
- Static Holds
- Front Lever Pull-Ups
- Australian Pull-Up
- Pelican Curls
For any other above the bar exercises, the side-to-side wobble will be felt. If you’re doing slow transitions between static holds this is not a problem. For anything above the bar that has momentum to it, this is not the tool you need. You should then look at the Gornation Parallettes or the Gornation Premium Dip Bars.
General Thoughts About the Gornation Static Bar
We liked the versatility of this bar and the number of exercises you get to do for a modest price. You can immediately see the high-quality fit and finish and this goes down to the details like the very crisp Gornation logos on the bars and the rubber caps.
It was made with the help of athletes, which shines through in its simplicity. It does all the things the athlete needs it to do for a specific set of exercises and then does that very well. It is versatile for upper-body work but for other exercises you will need another tool. That is exactly what the professional athlete would do. Not an all-in-one solution, not a jack of all trades and nothing with too much frill to it.
That said, this is clearly a high-quality product with a lot of potential for the not-so-beginner wishing to progress to an advanced level. We enjoyed our exercises on the Gornation Static Bar, and it performed very well throughout.
The only obvious negative we could find was the slight side-to-side wobble which comes with this type of design. It is a tradeoff between keeping things simple, light and portable and sacrificing a tiny bit of lateral rigidity. If you’re not doing anything with too much back-and-forth momentum (for which there are better tools anyway), then this Gornation Static Bar performs very well.
To eliminate this wobble, Gornation would need to drastically increase the material use, either by choosing a heavier gauge steel or by adding diagonal struts. Neither option is preferable since it would increase weight, reduce its ease of use, increase production cost and the price of shipping, and so on. Therefore, this negative is just a consequence to get the most optimal design overall.
Conclusions About the Static Bar by Gornation
The overall fit and finish are excellent, and the build quality is what we came to expect from Gornation; also, excellent. You get your money’s worth for sure, since the price tag on these bars are quite modest in comparison. We can see why most people, professional Calisthenics athletes included, choose the Gornation Static Bar for their upper body exercises. Anything from Front and Back Levers to preparing yourself for Muscle Ups is possible using this high-quality tool.
Your only concern would be anything with momentum lateral to the top bar (back-and-forth) which may tilt and then tip the bar over. To give it credit, even if one side of the feet comes off the floor, it is still quite a way off to tipping over. It still doesn’t feel all that safe and you should seek out other tools as part of your Calisthenics Home Equipment for that.
Aside from exercises that are less appropriate for this bar, the Gornation Static Bar is a great product for the intermediate practitioner who wants to progress to a more advanced state.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Gornation Static Bar
A few more oft-asked questions about the Gornation Static Bar.
Static Skills or Static Holds in Calisthenics are holding actions where you keep your body in a certain pose that requires physical exertion for some time. Usually this requires you to tense up some or all your muscles to maintain the pose. Static Holds are meant to build muscle endurance first, strength second as well as being a show of competence. Popular Static Holds are:
- Iron Cross (Rings)
- Front Lever
- Back Lever
A Static Bar is a training implement for working out your upper body with either Static Holds or a variety of dynamic exercises. The advantage of the Static Bar is that its top bar is reachable from a standing position, eliminating the need to jump onto it like you would with a Pull-Up Bar, facilitating more extended use, Static Holds without having to reach too high to start and a variety of exercises that required contact with the floor.
You can return your Gornation Static Bar within 30 days after receiving it. They even allow you to test it to see if you like it. They ask no questions or reasons for the return.