Trap Bar Deadlift

My gym recently added a hex bar and I've started to experiment with it a bit. It really seems to put my lower back in more of a neutral position which I really like and, quite honestly, need. In the New Rules of Lifting for Life it's looked at as more of a squat alternative than a DL alternative which I can see. Anybody else use a Trap Bar in place of squats, DL's or both?


  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,771 Member
    Yeah it's more of a...quad-dominant deadlift replacement. The quad dominance will definitely translate more to squats (and vice versa) as a result but TECHNICALLY a squat replacement, IMO no.

    I use it for accessory work since it's easier on the spinal erectors and since my squat is horrifically weak so it has more carryover. That's the theory anyway.

    Also handy as hell for shrugs.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,971 Member
    Depends if you are using the raised handles on your trap bar or not.

    The raised handles makes it a more quad dominant lift, while using the lower handles makes it essentially the same as a conventional deadlift, except for the neutral hand and unobstructed leg positions that can make the trap bar deadlift feel more comfortable than a conventional straight bar deadlift.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    Love the hex bar. I use a lower hip position like a back squat. That's my main squatting lift. More functional for me than a back squat (which i rarely do) since it uses arms, shoulders & grip. I flip the bar over and use the lower handles so i can go deeper.

    I'll also do it with a higher hip position, like a conventional deadlift.. but i prefer barbell DLs for that.

    I'll also walk around the gym with it, like a Farmer's Carry. Awesome exercise that works muscles you didn't know you had. :+1:
  • Willbenchforcupcakes
    Willbenchforcupcakes Posts: 4,955 Member
    I hate the hex bar, mostly because the knurling is brutal on my hands.

    That being said, it's a great way to accumulate more volume without over taxing the lower back.
  • Carlos_421
    Carlos_421 Posts: 5,132 Member
    It's execution is that of a deadlift because you are lifting it dead from the floor. It's effects are more in line with a squat due to the mechanics of the movement.
    That said, it is not a good replacement for either exercise.
    Not for deadlifts because it is a quad dominant exercise (whereas deadlifts require more work from the posterior chain) and not for squats because it doesn't typically allow for a full range of motion (unless you're really tall).

    It is, however, a fantastic exercise for high volume quad work.
  • VegasFit
    VegasFit Posts: 1,232 Member
    I like the trap bar so much I requested my work gym get one. I was surprised that a couple of the guys there weren't familiar with it at all. One of them has back issues and said it's a good alternative for him versus other exercises.
  • VKetoV
    VKetoV Posts: 111 Member
    I'm jealous you have a trap bar because trap bars are perfect for hack squats (weight is centered in line with your body whereas barbell hack squats the weight is behind you slightly). Agreed with the other; trap bar lifts feel more quadricep dominant
  • no44s4me
    no44s4me Posts: 73 Member
    Thanks for everyone's feedback. I still do DL's, Leg Presses, etc, but definitely plan on keeping the TBDL in my routine
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,650 Member
    It is my go-to lower body lift, and I see it as a hybrid squat/deadlift. If you want a really well-rounded lifting routine, I wouldn't use it as a replacement for either... but if you just want to be functionally, every-day-life strong, then I think it can replace either/both.

    I like it because I suck at squats and have some lower back/disk issues that deads can sometimes irritate. Trap bar deads are a good lift for me that I can be fairly aggressive with while still being reasonable safe.