Hex Bar Deadlift? What is there to know?

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By Jim Turner

The Hex Bar (also referred to as the Trap Bar) is a piece of weight training equipment. Imagine a hexagon or diamond shape made out of metal tubing. At either end of the hexagon, there is a bar coming out where the weight plates are loaded. To make hex bar visualisation a little easier for you, here’s a picture.

Hex bar deadlift

Hex Bar Deadlift Benefits

  1. Reduces the stress on the back 

An Olympic barbell deadlift puts more stress on the back because the bar is further away from your hips. If not done correctly, weight lifters will have an incorrect form which results in injury

Hex bar deadlifts can help you build a robust physique without having as much risk on your back compared to when using a traditional bar. 

When using a hex bar, your hips are right in the middle — resulting in the weight being in the center of gravity. Having a center of gravity reduces the stress on your back and spine because the load is in the middle. 

  1. It’s great for beginners 

The hex bar can benefits beginners, allowing them to use proper form and learn to lift safely. One of the biggest problems with people who deadlift is incorrect form, so learning correctly and safely wouldn’t go a miss. 

Achieving good form with a hex bar is more comfortable than an attempting perfect form deadlift with a barbell, which can take years of practice and perseverance. 

  1. You can deadlift heavier weights

As a result of the reduced pressure on your back, you will be able to lift more weight compared with using a straight barbell. 

You’ll probably find the lifting position more comfortable, which can lead you to be able to deadlift more weight. Bonus! 

We all know that heavier loads, with progressive overload, can lead to more muscle and strength. 

According to Men’s Health, a study reported that lifters suggest they can lift more weight using the lower handle on the hex bar. Peter Roberts also added 60lbs to his overall lift. That’s pretty awesome, right? 

  1. The Hex Bar is Great for Weaker Backs

If you have back issue or existing injury, the trap bar can help you deadlift without causing (if done safely) further damage. You will need to adjust and probably reduce the amount of weight, but they are the best alternative to barbell deadlifts when you have a back injury.

Which Is Better: Hex Bar Deadlift vs Barbell Deadlift

Here’s what Livestrong have to say about which is better: 

Advantages of Hex Bar Deadlifts

According to a study published in September 2017 by the Strength and Conditioning Journal compared the biomechanics of the hex bar deadlift and regular barbell deadlift. The study found that 1-repetition max for the deadlift was higher when performed with a hex bar — so, hypothetically you could set a new PR by increasing your hex bar weight.

Performing hex bar deadlifts helps keep the weight closer to the lifter’s center of gravity and allows the lifter to remain more upright during the movement, which could decrease the risk of injury to the low back.

Hex bar deadlifts also position the forearms in neutral, versus a pronated, supinated or mixed (one side supinated, one side pronated) grip used for conventional barbell deadlifts. This could possibly reduce the risk of injury to the wrist, elbow and biceps.

Read more: Deadlifts for a Bigger Butt

Advantages of Barbell Deadlifts

The barbell deadlift does have some advantages over the hex bar deadlift. Since the hex bar places greater force through the knees, your legs do a lot of the work; this makes the hex bar deadlift similar to the squat exercise. If you want to focus on your lower back muscles more and your legs less than the barbell deadlift is the better choice.

A barbell is also typically more readily available than a hex bar. Even gyms and fitness centres that have a large selection of free weights do not necessarily have a hex bar.

How Much Does a Deadlift Hex Bar Weigh

From taking a look at different brands, hex bars appear to be within the 25kg to 28kg range. If you work in pounds, that’s roughly 55-61lbs. 

How to Incorporate the Hex Bar Deadlift

Using the hex is like using any gym equipment; it should be programmed into your workout and used for a specific reason. The primary use is for deadlifts. However, the trap bar can additionally be utilised for Romanian Deadlifts, Floor Press, Overhead Press, Push-ups (take the plates off and lay the bar on the floor), Farmer’s Walks, Squat Jumps and many more! 

I hope this information helps you with your hex bar journey. 

Would you like to increase your deadlift with the PHAT workout? Check out this article.

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