Trap Bar or Hex Bar Deadlift Exercise


Trap Bar or Hex Bar Deadlift Exercise

The hex bar deadlift is what we called a hybrid exercise – a cross between a squat and a deadlift. In any case, it is simple to teach and safer than the conventional deadlift because of the design of the bar. The diamond-shaped trap bar allows you to begin inside and simply stand up with the weight. Unlike in conventional deadlifts, stress can be kept off the back because the athlete can sit more than lean. The hex bar does not require keeping the bar close to the shins and thus eliminates many of the potential hazards of the conventional deadlift.

It raises testosterone and growth hormone levels better than most exercises; it develops general strength and power; it is certainly a compound lift; and, when performed with a trap or hex bar, it is obviously a free-weight exercise.

Hex Bar Deadlift Exercise Instructions


  1. Set the hex bar on the floor and load it with weight plates. Place the same amount of weight on each end of the bar.
  2. Step into the center of the hexagon with parallel handles at your sides.
  3. Squats down and grabs the hand-grips on both sides of the bar. Make sure the hands are placed squarely in the middle of the handles for balance.
  4. Lower your hips, spread the chest, lock the lower back in place, keep the head up with eyes forward, and position the knees directly over the feet. This is the starting position.

trap bar deadlifts proper exercise form


  1. Lift the bar straight up through the power line using the legs.
  2. Once you have stood up completely, the first repetition is complete. You are now ready for the next rep.
  3. Proceed to squat back down, again keeping the lower back locked in, chest spread, and eyes forward.

Main Benefits of Doing Hex Bar Deadlifts

hex bar deadlift vs conventional deadlift

hex bar deadlift vs conventional deadlift

  • Because of the unique design of the hex bar, the weight can be kept aligned with the power line throughout the entire lift.
  • With the hands at your sides rather than in front holding a bar, the trap bar makes it easier to use proper form in the deadlift. Performing the deadlift in this manner enables you to develop maximum power more effectively than a straight-bar deadlift.
  • The hex bar is safer, lowering the amount of vertical force placed on the spine.
  • The trap bar is better for beginners. The technique is easier to learn than that of the straight bar.
  • The hex bar deadlift actually produces higher peak force and power output than a straight-bar deadlift, a fact that may sur­prise some readers.
  • A trap or hex bar with the extended handle grip is fantastic for taller athletes or for those with low-back or hip-flexibility issues.
  • The standard hex bar is also a space saver. It is only 56 inches long, compared to the 86 inches of space that regular Olympic bars occupy. This allows for many hex-bar stations in a very small area. Also, the shorter length of the bar decreases the distance of the weight from the lifter. This gives the lifter more control and balance for a more efficient, higher intensity workout.

Additional Tips For Hex Bar Deadlift

  • To keep back strain to a minimum, you should bounce the weights slightly off the floor when doing repetitions. In other words, don’t pause or relax the lower back muscles in the down position between reps.
  • Furthermore, keep your head up and the chin stretched away from the chest. If the chin touches the chest, the whole body will come dangerously out of position.

Muscles Engaged in Hex Bar Deadlift

The hex bar deadlift (trap bar deadlift) belongs in the multiple-joint exercise category because the hip, the knee, and the ankle joints are mobilized. As a result, the hex bar deadlift recruits many muscles in addition to the lumbar muscles: the latissimus dorsi, the glutes, the hamstrings, and the quads.

  • Primary muscles: erector spinae, gluteals, hamstrings
  • Secondary muscles: trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, forearms

Replacement Exercises

Best replacement exercises:

The deadlift may seem simple, but it is actually a very technical exercise. For this reason it may not be the best way to isolate and therefore specifically strengthen the lower back. Furthermore, it is far riskier for the spine than isolating exercises such as the hyperextension performed on a bench.

If you don’t like deadlifting of any kind, you can easily replace deadlift with any other lower back exercise (erector spinae exercise) from our exercise database.

Summing up

There is no question that the straight-bar deadlift is a great core exercise for any athlete. However, based upon our experience and the results of current research, we believe that the hex bar deadlift is just a bit better. In our humble opinion, there is no better exercise to develop total-body general strength and power than the hex bar bar deadlift. That’s mainly because the trap bar deadlift is the perfect mix between a squat and a traditional straight-bar deadlift, working the quads a bit more than a straight-bar deadlift and the hamstrings a bit more than a traditional squat. As you have already seen reading this post, the benefits to fa­voring the trap bar over a straight bar for deadlifting are numerous.

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