Hex Bar Deadlift vs. Barbell Deadlifts – Introduction
The hex bar deadlift benefits an enormous amount of muscle.
Particularly if you are looking for an alternative to the conventional deadlift, on the one hand, the traditional deadlift is one of the best exercises you will ever do.
Indeed, some say that the deadlift is the king because of its many remarkable benefits.
But what if you’re concerned about lower back pain and want a safer alternative to the straight bar deadlift?
Do you have a better option?
In this situation, the hexagon-shaped bar comes into play, also known as a trap bar.
Hence the names, hex bar, or trap bar deadlift.
- Delavier, Frederic (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 192 Pages - 03/09/2010 (Publication Date) - Human Kinetics (Publisher)
There indeed are those who say that trap bar deadlifts are not deadlifts at all.
However, strongman and powerlifting athlete Alan Thrall explains why he now uses the trap bar deadlift in this video:
- erector spinae muscles
- latissimus dorsi muscles
- gluteus maximus
- hamstrings muscle group
essentially the major muscle groups along the back half of your body besides so many other muscles in your body.
On the other hand, trap bar deadlifts put more stress on the same muscles as the squat.
If you do not care for leg presses or squatting with heavy weights loaded onto your upper back, you can use trap bar deadlifts to target the same muscles as squats!
Trap bar deadlifts serve as a reverse squat as well as for shoulder shrugs.
However, since it targets so many muscle groups as the conventional deadlift, it is fair to say that the trap bar deadlift is also an excellent alternative to the traditional barbell deadlift.
This article reveals the top benefits of a hex bar deadlift that will make you a fit and happy camper.
Hex Bar Deadlift vs. Barbell Deadlifts: Which is Better for You?
#1. Reduce Back Stress
A traditional straight bar deadlift puts more stress on the back because the bar is in front of the body.
On the other hand, the hex bar is a specialty bar where you stand in the middle of the hexagonal bar and grip the side handles with a neutral grip.
The biomechanics of the hex bar deadlift allows you to maintain an upright position while lifting the weight.
As a result, trap bar deadlifts can help you build a more muscular physique with less risk of injury to your back because your hips are right in the middle of the trap bar, so the weights are closer to your center of gravity.
This better position reduces the stress on your back and lumbar spine.
#2. Deadlift Heavier Weights
As a result of the reduced pressure on your back, you will be able to lift more weight than the straight barbell deadlift.
Heavier loads can lead you to get stronger faster with less chance of back injury.
Some powerlifters report adding up to 50 to 100 pounds more weight doing the hex bar deadlift.
#3. Great for Beginners
The hex bar deadlift benefits novice lifters.
Using the proper form for deadlifting and weightlifting, in general, is critical.
Achieving good form with a hex bar is more accessible than a perfect form deadlift with a barbell, which is a higher level of difficulty.
#4. Weaker Backs
The hex bar deadlift benefits people who already have a back issue or injury.
In this case, you can test if doing hex bar deadlifts is possible despite your back injury or instability.
You have a much better chance that you can still perform deadlifts with a hex bar.
They are the best alternative to barbell deadlifts when you have a back injury.
#5. Deadlift Alternative
Trap bar deadlifts benefit the same muscle groups as the conventional deadlift.
Therefore, it is an excellent substitute for the barbell deadlift.
You can still build overall body strength without doing conventional barbell deadlifts.
People ask if another practical total-body exercise can build overall body strength other than the barbell deadlift.
The barbell deadlift is uncomfortable for many exercisers because the weight is far out in front of your body.
And for others, the barbell deadlift is not only uncomfortable, but it even bothers their back, sometimes to the point of potential injury.
While hex bar deadlifts engage the same muscle groups as the barbell deadlift, more stress is on the quadriceps, the front of your legs, and less strain on the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.
Because you will experience less stress on your back, glutes, and hamstrings, you might be able to build even more strength and power by doing hex bar deadlifts.
#6. Hex Bar Deadlift Requires Less Mobility
It is easier to keep your back straight and neutral when doing a hex bar deadlift, which is good news for beginners and individuals who do not have sufficient flexibility.
Hexagonal barbell deadlifts open the door to training for those individuals who do not have the mobility for regular deadlifts, such as people who sit too much of the time but still want to get into shape!
#7. Variety is the Spice of Life
There is no reason that you cannot use hex bar deadlifts for a beginner deadlift workout program.
The trap bar deadlift will allow you to lift heavier weight with less stress on your back.
The trap bar deadlift will also let you train your quadriceps and calves more than you will get from regular deadlifts.
So, add some variety to your deadlift workout by incorporating the hex bar deadlift into your deadlift program for beginner fitness or powerlifting.
#8. Reverse Squats
Due to the muscle groups used with the hex bar deadlift, you might find it a reasonable substitute for squats.
If you do not like loading weight on the back of your shoulder when doing squats, you can opt for the hex bar deadlift to build lower body strength.
#9. You Don’t Have a Coach
Hex bar deadlifts are fantastic if you don’t have a coach or personal trainer to help you master the technical aspects of a standard deadlift.
On the other hand, hex bar deadlifts benefit the coach, too, because it is easier to instruct a new athlete on their form by using the trap bar.
Make sure to start with light weights and to build up gradually.
#10. Stop Hurting Your Shins
One important tip for maintaining good form while deadlifting with an Olympic barbell is to maintain the bar against your shins during your entire lift.
After you grip the barbell, a popular deadlift cue is to imagine that you are attempting to wrap the bar around your shins.
Another tip is to activate your lats, which when you engage your core and lift your chest, the bar will automatically press against your shins.
As a result, it is common to experience bruises, scraping, and even bleeding of your shins if your barbell has medium to aggressive knurling.
However, you completely bypass the problem of how to protect your shins when conventional deadlifting by using a hex bar.
Here is a tutorial for the hex bar deadlift:
Even if you continue to do mainly barbell deadlift workouts, you can still do the hex bar deadlift for variety and to get the feel of even heavier deadlifts.
Do you have additional hex bar deadlift benefits to share?
First, see 11 Steph Curry Deadlift and Training Secrets that explain how the hex bar deadlift rehabilitated his injury-prone ankles and his NBA career!
Next, find out what the 5 Best Deadlift Bars on The Market Today in 2023 for more information and buying options.
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