Dumbbells and regular barbells are great, but if you’ve been ignoring that large hexagonal thing in the corner, it’s now time to make its acquaintance. The “hex bar” or “trap bar,” as it’s called, is great for deadlifts and a variety of other exercises.

What is the advantage of a trap bar over a barbell?

When you’re lifting a weight, your center of gravity has to stay over your feet (because if it doesn’t, you fall over). With a regular straight barbell, that means keeping the center of the bar close to your body.

A trap bar is shaped like a ring or hexagon, meaning that its center of gravity is located in the big empty space in the middle. You can do deadlifts without the bar scraping against your shins, and shrugs without it rubbing against your body.

The handles on a trap bar are in a neutral grip, so your hands can be at your sides with palms facing toward the sides of your body. This can be a more comfortable position for some exercises. And the handles are higher than a regular barbell, which means you don’t have to bend down as far when you’re doing a deadlift or other lifts off the floor. These features can all be pros or cons, depending on how you look at them.

How much does a trap bar weigh?

Before you start loading the weight on, you probably want to know how much the bar weighs. (You’ll probably be able to move more weight with a trap bar deadlift than with a barbell, by the way.)

Unfortunately there isn’t a standard weight for trap bars. Many of them are 45 pounds, like standard barbells, but it’s also common to find them in a variety of weights. At one gym I go to, there’s a 45-pound trap bar and a 55-pound one. At my old gym, there was one trap bar, and I stepped onto a scale with it to find out it weighed 69 pounds (nice). Here are a few examples of popular models and what they weigh:

If the bar is labeled with a brand and model on the endcap, you can try googling it. Otherwise, see if you can step on a scale and weigh yourself with and without the trap bar in your hands. As a last resort, you can ask gym staff. In my experience, this is the least accurate method; every gym has a guy who will say “that bar is 55 pounds” regardless of the actual weight of the bar.

If you can’t find out for sure, I’d just pretend it’s 45 pounds, because that makes the plate math the same as a regular barbell.

Is a trap bar deadlift a “real” deadlift?

People can usually move more weight in a trap bar deadlift than with a barbell deadlift, so in a sense, the trap bar is “easier.” (It would be more accurate to say that it takes more weight to be able to reach the same effort level.)

There are two main differences between trap bar deadlifts and regular deadlifts. One is that the handles are higher off the ground. On most trap bars, there is a set of handles that stick up higher than the middle of the plates, and these are called the “high handles.” But you can also flip the bar over and lift it from the same height as a standard barbell. This grip is called the “low handles.” Higher handles will usually let you lift more weight.

The other difference is due to the shape of the bar. With a straight barbell you have to keep your legs behind the bar (because two solid objects cannot occupy the same space), but the open design means that you can position your legs in whatever way they are strongest or most comfortable. For most of us, that means getting our knees a bit forward of the bar’s center of gravity, so that our quads can help push the weight up.

Trap Bar Deadlift vs Conventional Deadlift (In-Depth Comparison)

For this reason, trap bar deadlifts are often described as a hybrid between a squat and deadlift. In truth, they’re more like 90% deadlift/10% squat. We are stronger in a deadlift than a squat, after all, so it’s natural to use a deadlift motion to get the weight off the ground most efficiently.

Ultimately, the benefit of the trap bar deadlift is that you don’t have to think too much about technique. Trap bar deadlifts are popular in sports weight rooms because coaches don’t have to teach football players or basketball players to be excellent deadlifters; they can just tell them to step into the trap bar, grab the handles, and stand up. There’s less of a learning curve, so you can lift the weight and move on with your life.

What can you do with a trap bar besides deadlifts?

Besides deadlifts, the other classic trap bar lift is the shrug. You stand up with the weight, then shrug your shoulders up toward your ears. Thanks to the trap bar’s open design, you don’t need to worry about the bar’s position against your body; just get into a good spot and shrug.

Trap bars are also great for farmer’s holds and carries. This is why “open” trap bars exist, to allow your legs to move without bumping into the edges of the bar as you walk. (You can still do carries with a standard trap bar; just take small steps.)

How To Overhead Press With A Trap Bar

You can also use trap bars for deadlift variations, like block pulls or deficit deadlifts, or Romanian deadlifts. And they work well for bent-over rows and bent-over shrugs.

Finally, you may be surprised to hear that trap bars actually work well for pressing. Yes, it can be awkward to get the bar into position, but if your trap bar can fit into a squat rack, you can unrack from there. (Tip: Rest the bar on the safeties instead of using the J-hooks.) Overhead presses, bench presses, and floor presses can all be done with the trap bar, and you get the benefit of the neutral handles and a longer range of motion because the center of the barbell doesn’t touch your body.

#Trap #Bar #Gym

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