The trap bar, also known as the hex bar, is one of the best and most versatile bars for weight-training. It can also help you improve your form.
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History of the trap bar
The trap bar was invented, patented and trademarked by a competitive powerlifter named Al Gerard. The first appearance of his hex bar was in September of 1986 as an ad for Powerlifting USA Magazine.
Trap bar benefits
There are several reasons to use a trap bar instead of a traditional barbell. The following are the benefits of using one:
1. Easier to learn
It’s easier to learn because it’s less technical than the traditional deadlift. With the trap bar, it’s easier to keep your torso upright and your back flat. It also doesn’t scrape your shins as the straight-bar does.
2. Better for your back
When you do a deadlift with a traditional barbell, the bar is in front of you. This is why the trap bar is beneficial.
Instead of the weight being in front of you, it’s centered on your body because you have to step into the middle of the bar. Also, this method is more comfortable and the movement feels more natural.
3. Ability to lift heavier
It incorporates more of the quadriceps and activates more muscles which results in the ability to lift heavier. Studies have shown that people can lift more weight with the hex bar. It may also be more effective for reaching peak force, power, and velocity (Source: David D. Peterson, EdD, CSCS*D).
The following are the best trap bars:
- Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0
- Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
- Kabuki Strength
- Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar
Frequently asked questions
Hex bar deadlifts work the glutes, lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps, trapezius, abs, and forearms. This exercise is great for building lower body and core strength.
Deadlifts are the most common exercises that use a trap bar. However, you can do the following exercises shrugs, overhead press, floor press, farmer’s walk, and bent-over row.
If you’re looking for a versatile specialty bar that’ll help you get stronger while avoiding injuries, the trap bar is a great pick. It builds full-body strength and if you play sports, your performance will improve.