The Tib Bar is a piece of exercise equipment designed to strengthen the tibialis anterior muscle.
This muscle runs along the lateral side of the tibia bone (located on the shin) on each leg.
When the tib muscles are weak, it can contribute to common injuries such as shin splints, knee pain and limited ankle mobility… so strengthening them is certainly worthwhile.
The problem, however, has been that tibialis exercises have usually been based on bodyweight movements and it’s been difficult to progressively overload the muscles effectively, like you would for strengthening other muscle groups…
That is, until HGG created the Tib Bar.
This simple, but clever, piece of equipment allows you to add load to tib raises, which makes strengthening the muscle more efficient.
And stronger tibialis muscles, bring with them a whole host of benefits, as we discuss in this article.
Looking to Buy a Tib Bar?
We’ve got you covered… grab an exclusive 10% discount at HGG (the original Tib Bar manufacturer and the only one we currently recommend) by using the discount code “FITNESSDRUM” at checkout, or click the button below. They ship worldwide and have excellent customer support.
At a Glance – Tib Bar Benefits
- Progressive Overload Training
- Improved Stopping Power
- Speed, Agility and Quickness
- Vertical Jump
- Ankle Mobility
- Reduce Knee Pain and Shin Splints
- Portal and Budget Friendly
Progressive Overload Training
Progressive overload training is proven to be highly effective at building muscle. Yet, the tibialis muscle has largely been ignored from this logic, due to the difficulty to activate the muscle with weights.
The Tib Bar overcomes this challenge, by providing a simple way to add resistance during repetitions and sets and leveraging the benefits of progressive overload training.
You can decide what weight to select (we would suggest opting for very light to start with) and over time, naturally increase the weight you use… helping to strengthen the muscle in a safe way.
(You can “technically” add resistance to tib raises by using a resistance or therapy band, but you’ll find the range of motion is often compromised and keeping the band stable on your foot can be trickier than you’d hope for. It’s also harder to measure the increase in resistance compared to weight plates on a Tib Bar… and the amount of resistance you can apply is capped much lower than with free weights).
Improved Stopping Power
One of the main functions of the tibialis muscle is to help with sudden stopping (known as “stopping power”). This is incredibly useful in sports, whereby athletes often need to stop suddenly (e.g. to change direction).
When your tibialis is stronger, it means less force is transferred to the knees and ankles, helping to reduce the risk of injury. In contrast, weak tibialis muscles mean your knees and ankles often take more of the force, and this is a common cause for injuries to these joints.
Speed, Agility and Quickness
Stronger tibialis muscles will have a big influence on speed, agility and quickness. This ability to decelerate and stop without pain helps athletes change direction more meaningfully during sports which can lead to improved performance.
Attributes such as speed, agility and quickness are incredibly valuable in all sports and a stronger tibialis muscle is a hidden secret when it comes to achieving this.
Our guide on SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) training equipment showcases other equipment useful for this too.
The tibialis anterior plays a key role in balancing our body, including when we walk. The process of lifting your foot off the ground and bringing it back down all requires the tibialis anterior to be activated and engaged.
This ability to better stabilize the foot during walking and running ultimately means better balance and reduced risks of falls.
Better dorsiflex of the ankle and improved stopping power can contribute to a much better vertical jump. This is one of the big reasons “Knees Over Toes” workouts (which include the use of a Tib Bar) have become so popular amongst athletes like basketball players… who can see first-hand the impact of a stronger tibialis anterior muscle.
As well as a higher vertical jump, athletes can often improve their landing… adopting a “softer” land from high jumps. This is because the tibialis anterior is better prepared to lower the foot in a more controlled manner. For professional basketball players, this ability to protect the ankles and knees from the impact of continuous jumping can ultimately extend careers and avoid injuries associated with repetitive impact to these joints.
The tibialis anterior works alongside the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to help move the foot up and down from the ankle joint.
A stronger tibialis anterior means you can move this more meaningfully and with more power. Tib Bar raises also help to strengthen the other muscles, tendons and ligaments around the ankle, leading to better functional movement.
This means better movement from the ankle, which can impact everything from walking to doing heavy squats.
Improve Ankle Dorsiflexion
“Ankle Dorsiflexion” simply describes the movement of the toes towards your knee. This is an important movement path, yet is rarely practiced in gyms and workouts. In contrast, Plantarflexion (pointing your toes) is easier to train and often gets included in workouts and exercise routines (by training the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles)… which leads to muscular imbalance in the lower leg.
Reduce Knee Pain or Shin Splints
Knee pain and shin splints are common issues that the Tib Bar can directly help to prevent.
As previously mentioned, a stronger tibialis anterior means that the knees, shins and ankles absorb less impact during physical activity, such as walking, running and jumping.
This ability to withstand more impact means there is a higher threshold during physical activity before there is a risk of injury.
A study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine by Reber et al., found that strengthening the tibialis anterior through active training could help increase the fatigue threshold of the muscle during physical activity… i.e. you can do physical activity for longer or more intensely before you reach the fatigue threshold (which is the point when you risk injury).
Whether you’re competing at the highest sporting level, or simply looking to walk the dog without feeling pain, the ability to improve the fatigue threshold in the tibialis anterior is shown to have significant benefits for potentially preventing common knee, shin and ankle injuries.
Portable and Budget Friendly
The final benefit of the Tib Bar is that is portal, lightweight and budget-friendly. We’ve used and reviewed some of the most exciting fitness products to launch over the last few years, including smart rowers (e.g. Avrion and Ergatta rowers), treadmills, bikes and workout mirrors… but these all come at a premium cost.
In terms of the impact a Tib Bar can have on someone’s overall movement and fitness… the product is extremely well priced, giving anyone the opportunity to benefit from it.
Strengthen the tibialis anterior improves lower body movement and helps to avoid potential injuries to the knee, shin and ankles.
The Tib Bar is a simple yet effective way to achieve this, and allows you to apply load to the tib muscle whilst also benefiting from full range of motion.
Using a resistance or therapy band, as well as doing bodyweight tibialis exercises is also effective… but won’t bring quite the same level of benefits.
As with any sort of physical exercise, take things nice and slow to begin with and speak to a Physical Therapy first if you have any existing injuries, as other treatment might be needed.
If you’re looking to buy a Tib Bar, our review of the best Tib Bars includes our first-hand experience using the top brands out there.