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Customer & Industry Expert Comments...

I have been going to the local Y  for years and always had trouble with any squats, not to mention heavy squats, because I had a tendency to lean forward when squatting  I do not have a lot of padding on my neck and I  feared the bar was going to slip off my back and pull my arms backwards and the bar slide down my back and using a pad on the bar just made it worse, it pushed the bar further back. This caused great stress on my lower back trying to hold the weight and it increased my fears greatly. THEN THE " Y" GOT A MANTA RAY.  No more back pain, my back could stay straight, no more leaning forward and what a secure feeling. I went up 100 lbs immediately after I started using it and no fear of losing the bar. I could concentrate on the squat. Improved my form immediately. Once I lost my grip on the bar and was able to balance the bar just with the manta ray. Great product. I am now squatting 475 with absolutely no neck issues. Couldn't, and wouldn't squat at any weight, without it. 
Carlo  C.
Boulder, CO

I used the Manta Ray all through my high school years playing football
at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, AL. We are one of the top
teams in the state every year. Each squat rack was equipped with its own
Manta Ray. I am two years out of lifting and started back about a month
ago. My last max in high (c. December 2006) school was about 475 lbs,
and I was sorely disappointed when I maxed out in early January this
year (2009) and was able to get 385. I could have done more if the pain
weren't so immense from the bar. I cannot wait to order one of these
amazing inventions for myself, as well as a Sting Ray, as I have added
front squats to my routine.

Coley Dains
Tuscaloosa, AL

Could I squat without a Manta Ray?  Of course.  Did I?  No.  I haven't been squatting in years for the same reason most everybody else doesn't.  They're hard, painful, and a big pain in the neck.  I take my lifting fairly seriously and I could tell I was lacking something. That thing was the "king of all exercises."  We've all heard that "If you don't squat, you don't really lift."  I truly believe this, and I am glad I am squatting again.  Squat day is actually my favorite lift day of the week now.  Thank you.
                   -Tony Smith


I use your Sting Ray device to do crunches. I set the bar on the pins in
my power rack so that there is just enough room to slide underneath on
my bench. The Sting Ray supports the bar at the height of the clavicles.
I cross my hands to hold the bar.
My lower back stays flat on the bench, breathing is not impaired and
balance of the bar is easy. It is much better than holding a dumbbell on
the chest and it is easy to microload.
At the moment I am using 43 kg for 15 reps and I increase by 1 kg per week.


John Boyles (UK)

It's very rare indeed for me to be so impressed with a product that I'll bother to write the manufacturer and tell them so, but I just had to express my appreciation for this simple, amazing product.

A number of years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. Several of the disks in my neck were deteriorating, which resulted in temporary impingement of some nerves and consequent pain and partial paralysis in certain muscles.  With lots of physical therapy and time the symptoms eased and I was able to return to the gym about a year ago, though I assumed my days of serious lifting were over.
Recently I tried to get under the bar for the first time since my return. I have very large traps so I'd never had any discomfort squatting in the past, but now I was unable to even get into position under the bar without tremendous discomfort to my neck and delts. I was about to give up when I saw a Manta Ray on the floor. I'd always eschewed sleeves and pads, but I figured it was worth a try. The moment I lifted the weight using the Manta Ray I was amazed at how comfortable it was. It was a bit of an adjustment to have the weight spread evenly on my traps for the first time, but it made a world of difference. I could squat without any problem! My center of gravity was further backward than I was used to, but that made it even easier to balance at the bottom of the movement. What a remarkable innovation this seemingly simple piece of equipment is!
Thank you for giving me back my squat!
Michael S. Felmar, Esq.

 I am 41 years old and have been training since I was 13.  I did not begin doing squats until I was in my late teens but hated them because of the pain the bar caused on my neck.  I was always very strong with my legs but would take squats in and out of my regular routine because of the discomfort.  Over the years, I tried every bar pad out there.  Some made it harder to do a squat and maintain proper form, others didn’t help at all.  Then I discovered the Manta Ray.  From the first time I used it I knew that I had found the answer.  I found it prior to my first natural bodybuilding competition over 11 years ago.  I have now had that one Manta Ray for over 11 years now and am a testament to healthy living and hard training.  With the help of the Manta Ray, I have terrific leg development and pound for pound, my legs are stronger than anyone else I see in the gym.  People think I am 25 years old.  I am 5’6” tall, weigh 155lbs and with the help of the Manta Ray squat 405lbs for sets of 8.  This is 100% drug free!  I can also attest to the quality of the product because I have owned mine for over 11 years and it still looks like new.  It gets tossed around the gym, I encourage others to use it and I promote the product all the time.  My local YMCA will be ordering one soon!  Thank you for a great outstanding incredible product.

Raymond Gendreau

ANBC Colonial Classic Overall Champion

Fall River, MA

This is my second Manta Ray (lost mine at the base gym). great product. I have a spinal cord injury with a metal plate attached to my spinal column.  Your product has allowed me to do squats safely and pain free!  Everyone who has tried it is amazed.  It allows you to concentrate on the exercise...

Thanks, Steve

I got my Manta Ray yesterday,

I must say when I got the little box in the mail,  I thought there is no way this thing is big enough to help me.  But I tried it this morning and it was fantastic.  I wish I had bought it years ago when I first saw it on the web, but I never saw anyone actually use one in the gym so I put it off.  Now I can do more squats because the bar does not tear up my neck and shoulders.  Its a great product, much better than an ordinary pad.

Manta Ray and Sting Ray

I have owned both for a few months now. What do I notice when using
them? Nothing! That's the point; all I have to think about is working my
legs, not about how the bar is hurting me. All my friends who have tried
my Manta Ray agree that it really helps (none of them do front squats,
so they had no comment on the Sting Ray). I also do Smith machine calf
raises using the Manta Ray.
Thanks for two excellent products.
Gene M.

Dear Advanced Fitness,

    Your product has changed my perspective of leg workouts entirely, and for that I thank you. Though I have been body building for quite some time, squatting heavy was never my fortè due to poor form and a tall figure; if the pressure was not on the balls of my feet, it was on my lower back and neck. Due to said pressure, a neck strain began to develop which ultimately forced me to take a week off from weight training.
    During my recovery I came to the conclusion that "feeling the burn" during squats should not be this antagonizing, and thus I discovered your product. Having received and tested such a device, I can safely comment that the Manta Ray is the most valuable piece of gear for squatting, bar none. 
    Within the first week of using the product my form began to improve, with less of an emphasis on whether or not I was squatting correctly and more of an emphasis on the intensity of the exercise. The wide stance to which I had become accustomed grew narrow, and the range of motion during the exercise increased dramatically. I could now squat with confidence and precision, for leg day was no longer a day to be feared!
    In short, my sincerest thanks is extended to you. Without your product, the incredible gains I have made performing squats would never have been possible, and I would have most likely given up squatting ages ago if it wasn't for the Manta Ray. You have truly discovered the catalyst for the perfect squat.
Best Regards,

B. P. Rosenbloom

"The Manta Ray is truly a revolutionary and unique product. It is THE ONLY product on
the market that allows me to squat without any pain or discomfort along my cervical,
thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. It is a 'must have' for any serious weight training
enthusiast even if it cost three times as much as Advanced Fitness charges...kudos
guys, you have a winner here."

Warmest regards,

Bruce Kneller
Author - Muscle Media, MuscleMag, Testosterone Magazine

[See his article in Testosterone Magazine at:]

       Thank you very much for creating the "MANTA RAY".  I just finished using it for the first time, and I can't tell you how pleased I am with it after one day.   I did more sets, reps and weight.  It is very comfortable.  I don't like to work out very much unless I can do heavy (for me at age 58) squats (the best overall exercise)  and calf raises.  The stress on the wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, knees, hips and back were too much before I used the "MANTA RAY".  The "MANTA RAY"  forces you to do these exercises in a more correct manner.  With no stress you can concentrate on doing the movement correctly and don't have to fight the bar  to keep it in the right place, and I didn't have to worry as much about keeping my balance.  I can't wait for my next leg day.  I also found it very good for doing windmills with a bar.  The "MANTA RAY" and a good lifting belt are the 2 most important things anyone who works out can own..     Thank you again for the most innovative product I have ever used, in over 40 years of working out.  Also thanks to Dr. Frederick C. Hatfield for recommending the "MANTA RAY".  I may have just bought a bar pad and not gained anything, except maybe a little comfort had it not been for all the positive feedback, especially from "Dr. Squat".            JOHN K.,    HIALEAH, FL


Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D., MSS International Sports Sciences Association

Click here for the complete article.
Return to Hatfield Home Page

Squatting With The Manta Ray®

The Manta Ray® is a shoulder girdle support manufactured from indestructible hi-tech molded plastic. It clips to a straight bar and completely eliminates the discomfort of the 1” round bar pressing on your 7th cervical vertebra, or the sharp knurling ripping your flesh. I personally LOVE this thing, and if I don’t have a Safety Squat Bar™ (see below) to use, I ALWAYS have my Manta Ray®. In fact, it is a device I instruct all ISSA-certified personal fitness trainers to use for their clients. My belief is that ANYTHING that makes squats more comfortable is great because a perennial problem with squatting has always been that people just don’t like them! They’re uncomfortable to newcomers and ironheads alike! The Manta Ray® solves this problem exquisitely.

I had been away from lifting and just got started again and crushed by back and shoulders with only 180 lbs.
Just received the Manta Ray and Sting Ray combo.  WOW!   Now I can feel the leg muscles working and NO PAIN!  I'm very happy to have found your product, thank you.

Manta Ray is great! I've been lifting my entire life, and at 41 nothing is
getting easier. Just when I was thinking about using the Smith machine or
just doing leg presses for my leg routine I noticed a guy at the gym using
Manta Ray. I did a few sets and bought one a few days later. No pressure  or
pain on the spine, neck, upper back area even squatting with 300 lbs. Things
like this help serious athletes avoid injuries and keep making gains. Keep
up the good work. 

Many thanks, John M. (NY)

Subj: wow, mantaray

Received my Manta Ray yesterday and put it into use right away...
The first sensation was the bar was going to falloff my back, then 
it just seemed to sort of stop and stay. The pain relief on my neck 
and shoulders was great. The squats felt better and seemed easier then
ever!! This has to be the best piece of equipment I have found in a long
time. Thanks.

Somerdale, NJ

To whom it may concern,

I recently have purchased the wonderful "Sting Ray" front squat
attachment. It works wonderfully and I definitely plan to purchase the
"Manta Ray" for the regular squat!! 

Thank you!! 
Waterville, ME

~ I'd like to take a second to rave about the manta ray...

Recently I've made some theoretical leaps in kinesiology the test-use of which has me into personal records on each successive bout of every exercise.

Normally that would be wonderful, but when my squats reached 405 - stress to the traps and C7 was worse than anything happening to my legs. Indeed the neck took the longer to heal. ( Personally, I found pads and towels to be worse than the bare bar, but over 400 something new had to give.)

I managed to run down a manta ray and the very first use was fantastic. It felt natural immediately and although there was slight bruising at the high intersection points - there was zero Pain - either at the time or later. Clearly squat bouts can be recovered from more quickly as the neck and traps are no longer being damaged. That was at 425... my second week using that weight. Again, the difference in pain caused / not caused to the neck cannot be overstated. This is a brilliant device.

My next bout with the manta, (and this is 100% lifetime drug free) I went on up to 445 -- and ran into a new problem. My preference for shoes, Reebok Hexalites, are giving out under that kind of weight, squishing at the heel and trying to drop me over backwards! My next immediate upgrade I think will be to some Otomix hooving for squat days. 

This may be a common problem (too much success using the manta ray). - Your site and theirs might consider partnering. -

Smiles, and again congrats on a great product.

Westley M
Marietta, GA

                                                               [From a post on the newsgroup Oct. 29, 1997]

I also got a new Sting Ray.  Just brilliant, creative thinking!  Great to see something so simple to work so well.   Before the SR, the other front squat device was about $160, and really cumbersome.  I use both:  Start off with the SR then more onto the MR.  Don't think that blue-plastic string thingy is gonna last, though...

Dan Duchaine, 

[Editor's note (mid 2001...)  The string thingy lasts!]

    My freshman year in college, I tore one of my shoulders apart in a
hockey game.  I underwent surgery later that year, and although I healed
extremely well, I found that my shoulder joint was ridiculously inflexible.
Needless to say, I was in so much pain every time I tried to perform a
low-bar squat that I was usually in tears by the end of my workout.  I knew
I needed to do a lot of heavy squatting for the sake of my hockey career, so
I was in a jam.
    My dad heard about the Manta Ray from a friend of his, and knowing
that I was having difficulty with squatting he bought one for me.  I was
pretty skeptical at first (having always held a very purist view of
free-weight squatting--i.e., I thought that any kind of special squatting
"device" was strictly for the weak and wimpy), but because I was in so much
pain I gave it a shot.  It was a God-send.  Not only did the Manta Ray give
me the ability to do free-weight squats in spite of my bad shoulder, I also
found that the squats I did with the Manta Ray were far superior (with
regard to form) than any low-bar squats I had ever done.  Within weeks I
began to notice that my legs had grown considerably in both size and
strength, and I was running and skating faster than I ever had before.  I
also was able to stop feeling sorry for myself and find new determination
and excitement about lifting and playing sports.

Tim B.
New Canaan, CT

Dear Mark,
    As mentioned in my e-mail, I am returning the first Manta Ray which you sent to me last month.  You recently mailed me a second Manta Ray specifically molded [with a bigger bar groove] for a Body Solid Smith machine, and the fit on the second one is perfect on the squat bar.
    I would like to compliment you and your company on its personalized customer service.  After I expressed my concern about the first Manta Ray having too tight a fit on my Body Solid Smith machine, I just assumed I would not be able to use it.  Instead, I received a second, "custom fit" product after a phone conversation with you.  Your knowledge of your product, its compatibility with other exercise equipment, and your individualized customer support is exemplary.
    In response to your e-mail, I would highly recommend that you talk to Body Solid about offering the larger size bar groove for their Smith machines.  The groove you cut for my Manta Ray was perfect, and for the first time, makes heavy squatting comfortable on their Smith machine.  I would be happy to endorse your product to them, if that would be helpful  to you.

I recently picked up a Manta Ray from this web site, and let me tell
you it is a great product. I have always wanted to squat, but could never
handle the bar pressure on my back. The manta ray totally handles this
problem. Thank you for putting out a good, solid piece of equipment.

See you!
Chuck K.

Dear Advanced Fitness, Inc.

Our kids have found that the Manta Ray takes the pain off their back & shoulders & transfers it to their legs.  They have also found that once positioned properly the Manta Ray forces them to do their squats with only perfect form.  As a coach I feel it is simple to use & a very safe & beneficial tool.

Steve Carroll
Head Football Coach
Mayfair High School
Lakewood CA

I have recently purchased the Manta Ray through Larry Scott and it has worked very nicely in my squatting routine.  The Manta Ray distributes the weight through out my shoulders which allows me to concentrate more on my exercise and not the discomfort of the bar digging into my shoulders.  There is one point I disagree on.  You claim it may take 2 -3 weeks to find your groove.  It took me one set and I believe anyone who performs squats on a regular basis would feel the same.

Thank You.
Dennis C.
Lake Alfred, FL

Dear Sirs,
I recently purchased your Manta Ray squatting device after reading about it in a popular fitness magazine. Upon first using the device, just as you advised, the equipment felt uncomfortable and a little awkward. After i used the device for a couple of workouts it began to feel natural and I began to notice my legs were getting a "pump" like they never did in the past with me using the old "towel" for padding.
I think you have an excellent product and I would, and will, recommend it to my friends. Thank you!

Don H.
Williamson, West Virginia

I am now in my 44th year as a football coach. The Manta Ray is one of the very best items my teams have ever used. 
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT to all coaches! Advanced Fitness, Inc. is a very innovative company that is 
completely trustworthy.
                                                                                                                                        God bless you,
                                                                                                                                        Coach Mojo Hollowell
                                                                                                                                        Henderson, KY

Dear Mr. Pittroff:

I felt compelled to write your company to tell you that I have been very pleased with the results I have achieved using the Manta Ray.  Before I started to use the Manta Ray, I hated to do squats.  The bar across my back constantly caused pain.  Wrapping a towel around the bar helped reduce the pain but, I constantly worried about being centered under the weight and the bar's position on my back.  Now that I use the Manta Ray, I can concentrate on my form and not worry about my positioning or pain.  My lifting partners have tried the Manta Ray and have all purchased it for themselves.

Kristopher L.
Mainville, OH

Comment = I utilized a "Manta Ray" last weekend in a high school weight room during a wrestling tournament and have never imagined that a single piece of equipment could make such a loathed exercise feel so incredible. Burn to failure is completely possible with out the association of Pain TO Failure concept.
I wish I would have found one of these when I was a teenager wrestler and not watching my teenage nephews wrestle.

Great invention, someone DESERVES to be a millionaire!!!!

Portage MI


The Manta Ray is the best piece of equipment I've ever bought, every gym
should have one.
We appreciate your quick response to the mixup. (We originally ordered the Sting
Ray by mistake instead of the Manta Ray).

Shannon. B. and Mike G.

This is a wonderful product... I'm surprised more gyms do not have them... however, I am so sold on this that I am buying one for my own personal use!!!
Great idea!!!

Kenneth B.
Jefferson LA

I have worked out with a manta-ray several times and totally enjoy it, 
I usually work 350-380 for reps on squats without the manta-ray. But when I work with the ray i can take it up to 440-480 for 8-10 reps.
But my workout partner that has it moved on to California so I got to get one of my own.

This thing is great!

DS, Texas


I had read great reviews in m.f.w. ( about the Manta Ray 
and I thought someday I would order one and check it out. My Manta Ray 
showed up the other day and I just wanted to tell you that its awesome. Squats
have never felt this comfortable, you have one very satisfied customer here.

Georgetown TX

Thank you for your product. I own a Manta-Ray already
and have been using it for almost a year now with
great success - I am adding Front Squats to my routine
now but can't keep the bar up where it belongs then I
found out you have one for that squat as well - I
can't wait to try it!

Thanks again!  Chris
St. George UT

The guy I was squatting with yesterday had the Manta Ray.  I was squatting
400 lbs and this protected my neck much better than the $20 neck rolls.  I
look forward to using this on all future leg  days.  Nice design!

Michael G.
Northbrook IL

Subj: Manta Ray product...

I had used the subject product at a local gym and appreciated it
immensely.  I received my own in the mail yesterday and squatted last
night.  It was great - no bar/bone pain any more.

Thank you for making this product.

Monte M.
De Leon Springs FL

Subj:  I love it...


I've been using your Manta Ray for several years, and can only imagine the
amount of harm to my spine that I have avoided, praise God. I lift
reasonably heavy for a 53-year-old (1400 lb leg presses, 765 lb shrugs) but
even more importantly, I try to lift with good form to build muscle. So
when I start stacking on the plates to squat, I do not want to be worried
about cracking a vertebrae with the weight on the bar. I want to concentrate
on the *perfect squat* (which I've not achieved yet; I think squat is one of
the ultimate art forms). I fully recommend Manta Ray to everyone in the gym
who watches me squat. Not using one is simply not very bright.

Mahalo nui loa,

Pat Conner
Hawaii Advertising
Kona, Hawaii

Dear Sir:

I have very recently purchased the MANTA RAY SQUAT. And,  would like to
share with you my first experiece using the device on the squat and lunges.
To be quite honest, only if you try this WONDER, and only then one could
give an opinion.

Today was my first day that I squated using the Manta Ray, and was not able
to get the number of reps I had done in my last week´s workout. However, and
to my delight I felt that the effort I use to feel on my lower back suddenly
was shifted to my legs,  specifically to my thighs where it is supposed to be felt.
I am certain that due to the new posture that the device makes you adapt it
is logical to expect to have to lower a bit the poundage lifted until one
becomes accustomed to this new proper form of lifting.

If I can say it in one statement, I t would be: " Thank You kindly for
making my bodybuilding life more enjoyable."  Because weight lifting without
squatting would be like loving and not being loved back.

Shortly I will place another purchase for my son before he goes to college.

  From a very satisfied customer. 

Yours Truly,

I got my Manta Ray today and I will make this short and sweet,
I love it, it is the best and I recommend it to everybody who squats.  Give
it a real honest to goodness try. It is the first time I squatted without
neck pain ever. This thing really rocks. I am not being paid to write this,
but I would gladly work for Adfit as a guinea pig or a lackey of some sort
if you ever needed one.

Awesome product

Kevin Picco

Härnösand Sweden

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