What is this Funny Looking Contraption?
It's called a "Trap Bar" and here's why you should be using it...
The "Trap Bar" or "Hex Bar" is used primarily in the dead lift, shrugs and even squats and can be one of the most helpful pieces of equipment you ever use.
Trap Bar Dead Lift
The dead lift is probably the single best exercise ever invented for increasing strength and building muscle. It should be a staple in every program.
However, many people have trouble performing the dead lift properly or have not been trained to do it properly. Proper form is an absolute necessity in the dead lift.
The trap bar dead lift has several advantages over the straight bar dead lift.
- The trap bar dead lift shifts the weight from in front of the lifter to the mid-line of the body removing considerable shear stress from the lower back. The stress is effectively shifted from your lower back to the quadriceps muscles (which is where you want it)
- The trap bar dead lift almost forces the lifter to use proper form automatically. Much of the learning process in the dead lift is learning how to keep the load as close as possible to the center-line of the body. The Trap Bar does that automatically.
- For you trainers, I've known trainers who purchased the trap bar themselves for use in their gym. It's That much easier to train the dead lift with a trap bar.
- With the weight located at the center-line of the body you can typically lift considerably more weight. An experienced lifter can add as much as 50 pounds to the lift.
- The trap bar dead lift prevents having shins that look like this:
Below is a video of a trap bar dead lift.
The benefits to a trap bar dead lift are easy to understand once you try it. The shift in stress and difficulty becomes very obvious.
The trap bar is also great for squats, rows, weighted carries and even presses for many of the same reasons they are great for the dead lift. Link HERE for some unconventional trap bar exercises from T-Nation