Working out regularly can help improve your health and fitness in numerous ways, including strengthening your muscles, improving your mobility, reducing stress, and even boosting your mood.
If you’re looking to improve your overall fitness, but you’re not sure where to start, consider adding trap bar deadlifts (also known as hex bar deadlift) to your routine.
The trap bar deadlift is, in my opinion, one of the most effective core workouts you can do.
It involves using your entire body and replicates many motions often found in daily life.
Trap bar deadlifts require a lot of torso stabilization, which means they’re going to strengthen your abs like crazy.
They also involve a lot of hip extension, meaning they’ll strengthen your hamstrings and glutes too.
This exercise trains your body for all sorts of activities, from sitting down (hip flexion) to picking up heavy weights off the floor (hip extension).
That’s why it’s an excellent choice for every fitness level.
A fit individual will find plenty of ways to challenge their physique with trap bar deadlifts—and so will someone who has never picked up a weight before!
How To Do Trap Bar Deadlifts In 8 Steps
- Put a loaded trap bar in front of you
- Step inside and grip with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
- Push your chest out
- Bend down as far as you can without rounding your back
- Rise until your arms are straight
- Repeat for reps
- For best results, perform trap bar deadlifts before lifting other weightlifting exercises
- Don’t round your back during deadlifts; keep it straight throughout all reps to maximize benefits and avoid injury.
14 Benefits Of Trap Bar Deadlifts
Now let’s have a look at the trap bar deadlift benefits and why you should add them into your strength training.
1. Improved Core Strength
Your core is made up of every muscle that helps keep your body stable. Strengthening your core will make you less prone to injury and improve overall stability, meaning you’ll be able to do more with greater control.
Many exercises will strengthen your core, but using a trap bar deadlift is among one the best.
It directly targets your back muscles and works in conjunction with other core muscles during exercise.
Just because it doesn’t involve lifting thousands of pounds over your head doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful!
The trap bar allows for a good amount of weight to still be used while keeping your spine aligned properly.
This added bonus can help you recover from an injury as well as increase your range of motion for daily activities and athletic endeavors.
In short, trap bar deadlifts not only build muscle—but could also save your spine from unnecessary damage down the road.
2. Better Posture
Not only does it make you stronger, but trap bar deadlifts also have a ton of benefits for your posture.
If you’re suffering from back pain or are simply looking to improve your body alignment, consider using trap bar deadlifts as a key part of your fitness routine.
The unique shape of the trap bar deadlifts puts your core muscles through an intense workout and strengthens your back so that you can maintain better posture throughout all aspects of your life.
And with their squat-like motion, trap bar deadlifts even work well for runners and sprinters who need extra hip mobility.
The benefits go beyond physical health: incorporating trap bar deadlifts into your regular exercise regime will improve self-confidence and allow you to walk around with more confidence than ever before!
3. Safer on Your Back
A trap bar deadlift is a variation on your conventional deadlift, which means it’s also a whole lot safer on your back.
One reason for this is that you’re able to start from a standing position instead of from a bent-over one, meaning there’s less stress on your lower back and spine.
Want to know how safe deadlifts are? Read more here.
Research suggests that trap bar deadlifts are ideal for helping you build bigger hamstrings and glutes—and overall, reduce your risk of injury.
Stronger glutes mean less chance of getting hurt!
While other forms of deadlifting may emphasize some parts over others, trap bar deadlifts allow you to focus on all muscle groups while getting more range of motion in your joints.
This means improved flexibility as well as better posture and alignment throughout your body.
4. You Can Lift Heavier Loads
One of trap bar deadlifts’ most attractive benefits is that it allows you to lift heavier weight.
Since you won’t be fighting to stay balanced, like with a regular deadlift, your technique improves.
As a result, you can lift more weight safely and maintain proper form.
Trap bar deadlifts are an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike who need to improve their strength and technique.
You can start light and work up from there or train heavy right away—whatever you prefer.
Another advantage: The neutral grip also lessens stress on your wrists.
This means trap bar deadlifts are suitable even if you suffer from wrist pain or tendinitis as a result of repetitive movement in other exercises.
5. Easy To Lift With Good Form
The trap bar deadlift is an exercise that not only helps build muscle but can be tailored to fit nearly every fitness goal.
It’s great for improving balance and core strength, which in turn helps protect you from lower back injuries.
The ability to use it with good form also makes it one of the safest lifts out there.
And by being easy to lift with a variety of weights and resistance levels, trap bar deadlifts are more versatile than a lot of people give them credit for.
They are also relatively easy on your body; while they might take some getting used to, they have benefits you won’t find elsewhere when compared against other types of weightlifting.
You should definitely consider adding them to your routine if you want safer workouts and fewer joint issues in later life.
6. Greater Quad Activation
Trap bar deadlifts allow you to drive through your heels and activate your quadriceps much more than with a traditional barbell deadlift.
This means they’re great for those with knee issues.
The two most common forms of knee problems are patellar tendonitis and chondromalacia.
The latter is caused by softening in a portion of cartilage under or around your kneecap. If that sounds painful, it’s because it is.
To reduce stress on your knees, trap bar deadlifts may be a smart option as opposed to squats or front squats.
Though these exercises target similar muscles, research suggests trap bar deadlifts result in less pressure on your knees and lower legs than comparable exercises like back squats.
In one study, researchers found no evidence of patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Moreover, participants experienced increased quad activation and enhanced range of motion compared to back squat control groups.
7. Fewer Limitations On Grip Strength
Because you don’t need to grip a barbell like with traditional deadlifts, there are fewer limitations on your grip strength.
For example, consider someone who has arthritis in their hands or those with long-term wrist injuries.
They’re limited by their ability to grip a barbell because it can be hard to hold onto something that heavy for very long.
With trap bar deadlifts, they can lift as much weight as they can hold onto and slowly lower it.
This is why trap bar deads often feel easier than traditional barbell work.
You don’t have to worry about dropping weights or getting stuck holding an extremely heavy load for too long due to fatigue.
8. It Is A Complete Lower Body Exercise
The trap bar deadlift is a complete lower body exercise that works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
In fact, it’s a better quad-targeting exercise than squats because it allows you to keep a more upright torso position throughout the lift.
What’s more, trap bar deadlifts also activate more core musculature than back squats.
If you want to tone up those legs and get rid of cellulite in your hips then consider making trap bar deadlifts part of your workout routine.
Trap bar deadlifts hit multiple muscle groups in your posterior chain: not just your hamstrings but also your glutes and even erector spinae (low back muscles).
9. No More Bruised Shins
When performing a traditional deadlift or trap bar deadlifts, athletes often find that they end up with bruised shins.
In many cases, these bruises are minor and nothing to worry about.
But for athletes who find that their shin muscles end up bruised after every session, it may be time to make a change in how you set up your stance when performing deadlift exercises.
Instead of standing over a standard barbell, consider standing over something like a trap bar that has built-in safety bars.
If you’re worried about sacrificing weight by using lighter plates on an adjustable version, just have your gym’s maintenance staff cut off some weight plates so you can use them on both ends.
You might feel awkward at first, but once you get used to it—and notice how much less bruising there is on your legs—you’ll never go back!
10. No Imbalances From Mixed Grip
Many people aren’t aware that it’s possible to hurt yourself from deadlifting incorrectly.
Because trap bar deadlifts don’t require a mixed grip, there are no imbalances to cause future injuries.
A mixed grip is better for lifting heavier weights because it allows you to lock in your grip and is quite common with conventional barbell deadlifts.
Having one facing towards you and the other facing away while holding a barbell makes it less likely to roll through your grip.
But lifting like this all the time leads to imbalances in your forearms.
If you notice aches and pains in your body after deadlifting with weight, ask your doctor if misalignment or muscle imbalance might be part of your pain issues.
Some people put their bodies in bad positions while they work out—even to lift light weights—and start overusing muscles and joints when they should be resting them.
Correcting these mistakes can sometimes make an entire world of difference in how much weight you’re able to lift and how long you stay healthy and active throughout life.
Ever tried deadlifts with dumbbells? Read more here.
11. Less Risk Of A Bicep Tear
Unlike most exercises that utilize a straight bar, deadlifting with a trap bar shifts your grip so it is more out in front of you.
This puts less stress on your biceps and elbows, reducing your risk for a bicep tear or other injury to those joints.
In fact, many coaches believe trap-bar deads are actually safer than conventional barbell deads.
Trap-bar variants also place less tension on your spinal erectors and reduce shearing forces across your spine during squats as well.
So if you’re looking for a safer way to train lower body strength and mass without putting undue stress on your body, give trap-bar deadlifts a try.
12. Easier On Your Joints
Because you grip a trap bar with both hands facing forward, rather than to each side as you would a straight bar, it’s easier on your shoulders and lower back, meaning much less pressure on your lumbar spine.
This makes it especially well-suited for people with problems in their upper or lower body that make conventional deadlifting painful or uncomfortable.
It’s also helpful for people who tend to round their backs when they deadlift—it forces them to keep a neutral spine.
If you have trouble holding on to traditional bars because of strength issues, using lighter weight and using a trap bar might help—you can still develop power without straining yourself.
13. Greater Power Output
One study found that trap bar deadlifts resulted in greater power output than other deadlift variations (conventional and hexagonal bar).
Another study revealed that men performing trap bar deadlifts were able to produce more force per kilogram of body weight than when they used a straight bar.
Improved explosive power is just another one of the benefits of trap bar deadlifts.
Have a read of this article to see the difference between deadlifts and power cleans, another great exercise for increasing power output.
14. Improves Vertical Jump
While most people think of trap bar deadlifts as a lower-body exercise, research has also shown they can help improve vertical jump.
A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that doing trap bar deadlifts with heavy weight for sets of three to five reps resulted in a significant improvement in vertical jump performance.
In fact, participants added 1.4 centimeters (0.55 inches) on their jumps, an impressive result for such a short workout period (one month).
There’s also evidence trap bar deadlifts can strengthen muscles in your upper body—including your shoulders and triceps—though more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Sold on the idea of deadlifts with a trap bar? Get your very own one to add to your home gym below.
Click here to get your free copy of my EBook ‘Train Wherever The F*ck You Want’
The trap bar deadlift is a great exercise and as you see from all the benefits of the trap bar deadlift above.
It teaches proper hip hinging, while also strengthening glutes and hamstrings.
In addition to these benefits, it also strengthens traps and upper back muscles.
However, it has one major drawback—it’s not a competition lift!
If you want to compete in powerlifting, trap bar deadlifts are not allowed under any circumstances.
Overall, I like to use them because they feel great and are a safe way to progress from other variations.
But this article is about bashing the traditional straight bar deadlift or any of the other types of the deadlift. All are great for increased muscle mass, so get out there and start lifting!