9 hex bar benefits in strength training

Not all gyms have them, but hex bars which are modified barbells that allow you to do squats and deadlifts with benefits that

The specialty bar is great for building strength and explosive power while also minimizing risk of injury (when compared to a standard barbell).

hex bar dealift

If you are looking for an alternative to the conventional deadlift, the traditional deadlift is one of the best exercises you will ever do.

What is a hex bar?

A hex bar, aka trap bar, is a hexagon-shaped bar. By standing inside this open shape, the weight being lifted is aligned with the centerline of your body. This position makes movements like deadlifts and carries easier and safer to do.

Exercises you can do with a hex bar

The trap bar deadlift is the most popular exercise using the hex bar. Other exercises you can use the trap bar include:

  • Farmer’s carry
  • Bent over row
  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Shrugs
  • Shoulder press
  • Squats

Most of the exercises are lower body exercises, but the shoulder press and bent over row are upper body exercises that can be done with the trap bar. Depending on the bar, it can weigh anywhere between 45 and 75 pounds without any weight plates added.

Hex bar benefits

Although you can use the hex bar for several different exercises, here are nine hex bar deadlift benefits:

Less stress on your back

Deadlifting and squatting with a trap bar also reduces the spinal compression inherent in loading an Olympic barbell on your back. 

Another significant factor is that most people tend to hyperextend their back at the top of the deadlift. A trap bar allows you to naturally avoid hyperextending your back at the top of the lift by locating the load on your centerline instead of in front of you.

You can lift heavier weight

If you’ve ever performed trap bar deadlifts, you probably noticed that you were able to lift more weight compared to conventional barbell deadlifts. This is largely due to the weight placement being to the side instead of out in front as on a conventional barbell.

Weight is centered

For most trap bar exercises, the weight is generally going up and down in line with your body. It’s not in front of you like with a conventional deadlift.

Trap bar deadlifts can be more user-friendly to those who have struggled with lower back pains or sensitivities because you are performing them standing in the center of the load rather than behind it.

Combines the squat and deadlift

The trap bar deadlift can replace both barbell squats and deadlifts. The hex bar deadlift movement includes both squatting and hinging at the same time.

It’s versatile

Most people think of the trap bar for hex bar deadlifts, but you can do more than deadlifts. You also can do squats, carries and hip hinge exercises.

Perfect for beginners

Barbells can be intimidating to those who are new to weight training. However, you don’t need a great understanding of biomechanics to use a trap bar. You stand in it and you pick it up.

Neutral grip handles

When training with a straight barbell, your hands are often placed in an unnatural position. As you bring the bar closer to and further from your body, the natural motion of your hands is to turn to a more neutral orientation.

Using a bar with neutral grip handles like a trap bar, you take strain off your wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Easy to lift with good form

The neutral grip and the design that places the center of gravity in line with your feet instead of in front of the body puts you in a better position to lift with proper form and makes it easier for you to keep a neutral spine.

Handles are higher

The hex bar has higher handles than a traditional straight bar with 45 lb plates.

Steps to do hex bar deadlifts

hex bar straight leg deadlift
  • Put a loaded trap bar in front of you.
  • Step inside and grip with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Push your chest out.
  • Bend down as far as you can without rounding your back.
  • Rise until your arms are straight.
  • Repeat

Tip: Don’t round your back during deadlifts. Keep it flat/straight throughout all reps to maximize benefits and avoid injury.

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