- Trap bars, also known as the hex bar, are barbells except with a hexagonal design.
- There are different traps, including an open-trap bar, rackable trap bar, trap bar with two sets of handles, and a thick trap bar.
- Trap bars are a piece of excellent equipment for deadlifts as well as other various workout routines.
- With hex bars, you can weightlift/power lift or deadlift with less spinal hypertension and flexion.
- This specialty gym equipment is effective, safer, and easy to get a hang on!
So you have just started weightlifting or powerlifting, and someone told you that you should train with trap bars.
Now you must be wondering what trap bars are?
Well, if that’s the case, then don’t worry, as you have landed on the right web page!
Trap bars are effective gym equipment that almost every commercial gym has.
With incredible results and fantastic benefits, trap bars should not just be limited to commercial gyms only.
If you have a garage gym or plan to have one, you must get yourself a trap bar!
Continue reading to find out why trap bars are necessary gym equipment for commercial and home gyms!
What Is a Trap Bar?
A trap bar, also known as a hex bar, is a gym specialty equipment used by powerlifters, deadlifters, and weightlifters.
The name trap/hex bar is given due to the shape of the barbell.
Yes, the trap bar is also a barbell but with a different design.
In comparison to the standard barbell, the trap bar is hexagonal.
Unlike the traditional straight barbell, the lifter stands in the middle of the hexagon of the trap bar.
Trap bars come in two handle variations.
One design has the handles incorporated at the same height, just like the usual straight barbel – known as the open trap bar.
On the other side of the spectrum are the trap bars with two sets of the handle; one high and one low.
Due to the hexagonal design, trap bars provide more support and convenience during weightlifting.
The ergonomic design has several benefits compared to your regular barbell and is very effective in strength training and muscle building.
Several muscle groups can be worked out using the trap bars.
The hex bar deadlift muscles worked groups includes the,
- Quadriceps muscles.
- Hamstrings muscle group.
- Erector spinae muscles.
- Abdominal core and Obliques.
- Latissimus dorsi muscles.
10 Benefits That You Must Have Them In Your Home Gym!
Trap bars are the talk of the town these days.
But are they worth investing your money and time?
The proven results and numerous trap bar deadlift benefits for athletes have shown that hex bars should be incorporated into the training without any confusion.
We have listed some of the benefits of a trap bar to decide for yourself whether this specialty equipment is worth a shot or not.
- Easy To Learn
Almost every lifter trained with hex bars has said one thing: beginners must get their hands on trap bars.
Many trainers and lifters believe that trap bars are easy to learn compared to traditional barbells.
A beginner requires at least a few sessions to understand and learn training with straight barbells properly.
It is especially true when it comes to deadlifts.
Moreover, training with a straight barbell requires a great deal of struggle, mobility, movement, and coaching.
Things get tougher with the challenge of maintaining an excellent and proper position from the start to the end of the training.
However, that’s not the case with the hex bars.
Unlike the straight barbells, trap bar training is less technical.
Due to the design, it’s easy to maintain a good position keeping an upright torso and with a flat back.
The innovative hexagonal design prevents your shins from scraping; you can easily put forward your knees and lower/ sit on your hips.
Trap bar training requires little or no coaching.
And obviously, there is a clear cut on the struggle part.
- Minimum Stress On Lower Back
The reduced stress on the lower back makes trap bars heart winners of many lifters.
There are two ways in which the trap barbells minimize the stress on the back.
Due to the hexagonal design, the trap bar weight is centered on the body.
It happens because the lifter steps in the middle of the bar, with sleeveless directly located to either side.
The weight is aligned within the center of gravity rather than placed in front of the body.
With that being said, the trap bar provides a very balanced and centered position, which is essential for training safety.
Long story short, training with a trap bar reduces spinal or back pain, allowing the lifter to train without any inconvenience.
- Minimal Hypertension
There’s always this one guy in the gym doing deadlifting with a straight barbell, and every other guy gets impressed by them.
And after doing the lift, he leans backward.
Frankly, there’s nothing to be impressed about, and DON’T try to be that guy!
Despite knowing that their glutes should be contracted at the top of the lift, they prefer to overdo it.
As a result, there is increased spinal hypertension, which is inviting the injuries with open arms.
On the contrary, with trap bar deadlift, muscles are worked without creating any hypertension on the spine.
It is because the barbell is not in front of the hips.
Instead, it allows you to rise naturally, extending your hips through a vertical position, considered a safe position in the deadlift.
- Little Spinal Flexion
Another exciting benefit of the hex bar deadlifts is the reduced spinal flexion.
Though the hex bar deadlift also produces hinging movements, the spinal flexion is very minimal.
That is why trap bar deadlifts are considered an excellent tool for strength building that allows enough spinal recovery and prevents the risk of back pain and injuries.
- Provides Versatility
With traditional straight barbells, there’s not much variation and versatility in power and weight lifting.
But that’s not the case with the trap bars.
Undoubtedly the trap bars are excellent equipment for deadlifts, but that’s not the full use of trap bars.
Trap bars or hex bars are some of the most versatile training equipment to bring variety to your training.
The training variation may differ depending on the type of hex bar you use, like open-trap-bar, rackable trap bars, trap bars with bigger spaces, or two-handle set trap bars.
In general, with trap bars, you can:
- Deadlifts: Seated, single, jump deadlifts
- Squats: Split, cambered, Zercher squats
- Zercher carries
- Lunges: Zercher lunges and normal/walking lunges
- Presses: Overhead, Floor, and push presses
- Farmer walks
- Heavy Isometric Holds
- Back rows
- Shoulder shrugs
Amazing, isn’t it?
You can also get more creative with trap bar training.
The uncertainty of this one piece of equipment has a great deal of utility.
- Excellent For Shoulder and Bicep Workouts
We all know that power/weight lifting is incomplete without shoulder and bicep workouts.
But shoulder and bicep training with a traditional barbell increases the risk of injuries and exerts much stress on the muscle.
It is because, with straight bars, you get a supinated or pronounced grip.
Unlike traditional barbells, when you train with trap/hex bars, you get a more neutral grip, allowing safe training.
When training with trap bars, your shoulders are externally rotated, the weight is centered along the midline.
In consequence, the shoulders are in a better and safer position.
Moreover, the biceps muscles bear less tear with the trap bar and get enough recovery time after every training session.
- Minimized Risk Of Injuries
Trap bars are manufactured, featuring a unique hexagonal design.
There is a reason why a particular design has been used to manufacture trap bars.
It is to prevent the risk of injuries, muscle tears, and joint pain so that beginners and someone with weak muscles can continue training without any inconvenience.
As mentioned above, the hexagonal shape allows a neutral and firm grip with the weight of the trap bar centered in the middle, in alignment with the body’s center of gravity.
So hence the trap bar dimensions and their particular shape lets you maintain a safe and balanced position, minimizing the risk of injuries.
- Requires Less Mobility
Compared to traditional straight barbell training with a hex, a trap bar requires less mobility and movement.
- Weight Displacement
The ergonomic design of the trap bars displaces the weight to the center.
It means that the lifter has a balanced weight disposition during the lift, resulting in less stress on the body.
- No Need For A Coach
One of the best things about trap bar workouts is that you don’t need a coach hanging around you.
Trap bars are less technical as compared to other weight/powerlifting equipment.
Therefore, With little or no supervision, even beginners can train with the trap bars.
Our Takeaway on Trap Bar!
When you weigh down the risk (cons) vs. rewards (pros) of trap bar deadlifts, you can decide within a minute that trap bars are worth a place in your gym.
This particular weightlifting gym specialty equipment can take your training to the next level from a safety perspective to spinal support, to versatility to effectiveness.
For what it’s worth, in our personal opinion, every weightlifter, powerlifter, or bodybuilder must throw in some bucks for the trap bars.
But remember not to depend on the equipment.
If you want practical training, be mindful of the routine, take proper pre and post-workout meals, rest, and stay consistent.