Multi-purpose, sleek design
Easy to store
Comfortable curved shape that holds grip well
Good weight for most strength training
Fair price point
Some exercises may be ideal with a heavier weight
The 15-pound Bala Beam is as functional as it is stylish, boosting the challenge of most strength training exercises with a design that's comfortable, grips well, and can store in or out of sight. Some strength training enthusiasts may still want a heavier barbell on hand for certain exercises, but the piece is priced fairly and makes for a modern, effective addition to almost any fitness routine.
We put the Bala Beam to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
As much as I love being able to head back to my favorite in-person exercise classes, home workouts are a pandemic-induced habit of mine that I won't soon give up. But having the right equipment is key to a solid sweat session, and my home gym equipment rotation is sorely lacking. Enter the Bala Beam, cousin to the social media-famous Bala Bangles and the company's answer to cumbersome barbells and weights.
Eager to add some much-needed variety into my weight routine, I jumped at the chance to give the beam a try. So did this simple yet innovative fitness device live up to the test? Read on for my Bala Beam review to learn how it held up in my strength training sessions and whether or not you should give it a try.
Best for: Anyone who strength trains and is comfortable with the weight.
Uses: Hand and/or shoulder weights that enhance strength training exercises.
Weight: 15 lbs.
Size range: One size fits all
Material: Recycled stainless steel bar with silicone covering
About the brand: Bala Bangles exploded in popularity after debuting on Shark Tank in early 2020. Today, the Bala brand also makes hand and ankle weights, dumbbells, sliders, and a "Power Ring."
About the Bala Beam
The Bala Beam ($99) is a minimalist, bar-shaped weight. It clocks in at 15 pounds and comes in a variety of aesthetically pleasing colors so you can work it into your strength training sessions and home gym decor alike. The beam is also versatile: hold it in your hands, on your shoulders, or even rest it on your hips to add weight to most strength-building exercises.
The beam is just another option from Bala's cult-favorite, chic workout accessories, which also include the Bala Bangles (starting at $49/pair) and Bala Bars ($55/pair). The company, founded by married couple Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz, creates exercise equipment that's as stylish as it is functional, and the beam is no exception thanks to its multi-purpose, sleek design.
How to Use the Bala Beam
The Bala Beam is the perfect addition to your strength training routine thanks to its versatility. Hold it in your hands for classic arm exercises like rows, presses, and curls, or rack it up on your shoulders to add an edge to your squats and lunges. At 15 pounds, the beam is substantial enough that you'll feel it, but not so much that you're limited to exercises like deadlifts. I found that it was the perfect weight for a lot of my usual strength training exercises, though you may still have to rotate in supplemental weights if you're used to heavier lifts.
The Design: Minimalist and multi-purpose
The Bala Beam is as much a piece of eye-catching home gym decor as it is workout equipment. It's essentially a pretty-looking stick with divots near the middle to grip with your hands or rack on your shoulders. The recycled stainless steel beam is covered in silicone that comes in three versatile shades (charcoal, blush, and sand), making it a much chicer addition to your gym shelf than a bulky set of traditional weights. Added bonus? Since it's flat, the beam is easy to store in or out of sight.
The Feel: Soft and grippy
I sweat when I strength train, so it's important for my equipment to have good grip. And the Bala Beam delivers: the silicone coating provides a solid hold without callousing my skin, and was consistently soft and fast-drying. The same went for when I used the beam on my shoulders, although putting a towel beneath it the first few times you rack up might be wise until your shoulders and neck adjust. On that note, the curves in the beam were well-placed for my body. The divots were about shoulder-width distance, making it a comfortable fit both for exercises where I hold the beam (like rows) and for those where I rack it (like weighted squats).
The 15 pounds were also perfect for my strength level and workout preferences. I tend to go with higher reps and lower weights when I strength train, and the beam was perfect for those types of workouts since it's neither too heavy nor too light.
The Experience: An effective workout where the beam serves its purpose
I put my beam to the test during several full-body strength training sessions. The first round of moves were leg-focused, including weighted squats, lunges, deadlifts, and hip bridges. I loved the beam's versatility: I could place it on my shoulders for the squats and lunges, hold it in my hands for deadlifts, and rest it on my hips for bridges. The 15 pounds were perfect for all exercises except the deadlifts, where I prefer to lift heavier amounts. That said, the design of the beam itself was perfect for deadlifting: No more blistered hands from gripping a textured barbell, just a smooth silicone beam with hand holds built right in.
Next up: arms. I used the beam for narrow rows, shoulder presses, overhead tricep extensions, and bicep curls, and it held up great in both weight and feel. The hand holds were spaced well for me to comfortably perform each of the movements, and the weight was just the right amount to feel my muscles working without having to cut my reps short. My only gripe? I love a good chest or back fly, so I had to put down the beam and opt for a pair of weights to keep that exercise in my rotation.
Last but not least, I incorporated the beam into core exercises like dead bug variations and boat pose. For dead bugs, I held the beam over my chest, lowered it behind me, and lifted it back up to center. This took the exercise to the next level, and I was able to feel it in my core significantly more than I do without weights. The same goes for boat pose: Simply holding the beam while in the position cranked up the intensity without straining my low back or compromising my form.
The Value: Pretty good
When it comes to workout equipment, you want to invest in tools that will enhance many sessions to come, all without breaking the bank. The Bala Beam sells for $99, which is in line with many barbells on the market and is overall a good deal for the quality. There are cheaper options out there if budget is your top priority, but if you plan to use the beam often, you can definitely get your money's worth.
Similar Products: You've got options
Rogue Curl Bar: If you like the Bala Beam's curved design but prefer a heavier weight with the ability to add additional plates, the Rogue Curl Bar ($200) may be right for you. While more expensive and much more akin to traditional workout equipment than home decor, the barbell is compatible with most standard Olympic plates for a serious strength training experience.
Titan Fitness 20 lb. EZ Curl Rubber Fixed Barbell: A budget option, this Titan Fitness barbell ($60) is slightly heavier than the Bala Beam and comes with multiple weights to suit every strength level and workout. The bar features diamond-knurled hand grips that, while likely not as soft as the Bala Beam's silicone design, will help to make sure everything stays in place.
If you're looking to round out your workout equipment with a tool that's as functional as it is stylish, the Bala Beam may be for you. The 15-pound weight is as versatile as your imagination allows, so you can work it into strength training exercises from arms to legs to core (though you may still have to use heavier dumbbells for certain lifts, depending on your preferences). Once you're done with your sweat session, the beam has a minimalist design and is easy to store in or out of sight, making it an easy addition to your home gym.
- Product Name Beam
- Product Brand Bala
- Price $99.00
- Weight 15 lbs.