The Trap bar, also named the Hex bar is the hexagon shaped weight bar that is specialized for performing deadlifts and shrugs.
It has several advantages over the barbell when performing deadlifts, making it a more effective exercise:
1. Less Spine and Back Stress
When deadlifting with a Trap Bar you are standing in the middle of the hexagon and holding onto the handles on the side of you; this makes a big difference on your back and spine stress. Because of your position and the design of the bar, hinging forward to grab the bar is not necessary. All you have to do is keep your arms straight down by your side.
2. Heavier Load
With the leverage and mechanical advantages you gain from being inside the hexagon, you’ll be able to lift significantly more weight than you would with a straight bar.
3. Great for Beginners
Those new to the deadlift exercise usually have a problem hinging from their hips. The Trap Bar allows beginners to squat down a bit more to grab the bar and gain confidence with the exercise movement. By having your hands down your side, it’s much easier to keep your chest up and upper back from rounding, and this has a direct impact as to what happens in your lower back as well.
How to Perform a Trap Bar Deadlift:
(Works Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings)
1) Step inside the hexagon bar with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly closer.
2) Slightly bend your knees.
3) Keep your chest up and pull your shoulder blades back and down with your arms straight down by your side.
4) While keeping all the weight on your heels, push your butt & hips backwards. Hinge down and grab the bar but do not allow your knees to drift forward.
5) Stand straight up and finish the movement by squeezing your glutes at the top.
Nichelle Laus (www.nichellelaus.com) is a fitness expert, owner of Optimum Training Centre, and a mom to 4 young boys.