How to Trap Bar Deadlift – Form Tips for Lower Body Workouts

The standard barbell deadlift is a renowned strength training exercise, primarily used for building strength and size. However, the trap bar deadlift, also known as the hex bar deadlift, is considered more functional for training the movement due to its natural position for lifting heavy loads off the floor. Unlike the barbell deadlift where the weight is held in front of the thighs, the trap bar places the load at the sides, mirroring the way we carry heavy loads in real life.

Performing the trap bar deadlift requires proper mechanics, as demonstrated by Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. and senior editor Brett Williams, N.A.S.M. To begin, align yourself with the bar, keeping your shins in front of the center of the bar. Push your butt back as far as possible, bend your knees, and grip the handles tightly. Maintain a neutral head position and create tension by squeezing your shoulder blades and turning the pits of your elbows forward. Ensure your hips are lower than your shoulders before initiating the lift by pushing your feet through the floor to stand straight up, squeezing your glutes at the top. On the descent, push your butt back and bend your knees to set the weight down.

Common mistakes to avoid during the trap bar deadlift include incorrect positioning, losing tension created by your posture, and engaging the lift with your hips above your shoulders. It’s essential to maintain proper mechanics and posture to prevent injury and ensure an effective workout.

The trap bar deadlift can be beneficial for people with anatomical issues that make the standard barbell deadlift difficult, as well as those focused on building muscle rather than sport-specific performance. It can serve as a great supplement to standard deadlifts for strength sport athletes.

When incorporating the trap bar deadlift into your workouts, it should be treated as a heavyweight movement and programmed as a leadoff for lower body or pull workouts. Beginners should start with four sets of eight to 10 reps, gradually increasing weight and reps as they become more confident in their pulls.

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