If you’re a beginner to deadlifts, there are a few types of deadlift bars you can try out. The traditional barbells, dumbbells, and trap bars. The trap bar deadlift is perfect because it creates less stress on your body. It’s also known as a hex bar deadlift because of the shape of the bar. With a trap bar, you can also lift heavier loads.
This is because you’re positioned more upright. A hex deadlift bar focuses more on the lower back and leg muscles, helping with popular Olympic lifts. The straighter barbell deadlift bar builds up the glutes (butt). Though it has to be said, it’s easier to perform a hex bar deadlift. There’s no chance of the bar rolling in your grip, or of the bar catching on your shins.
Whilst you can use a barbell bar and even dumbbells to do deadlifts, by using a hex-trap bar you’ll put less strain on your back. That’s because the load is naturally closer to your central point of gravity. The shape of the bar forces you to take the stress in your legs rather than the back. With the design of a trap bar, you’ll find you can also lift a heavier load. It forces you to lift with your arms to your sides rather than to the front, as you would with a barbell load.
Look for solid welding in the construction of steel bars. That way, you’ll know it’s capable of carrying those heavy plates.
Knurling on the handles is useful too. It means that your palms won’t slip when gripping the bar. Although not everyone likes knurling as it can be harsh on the hands too.
You can find trap bars for both standard and Olympic plates. The trap bars don’t come with plates so you’ll need to buy them separately.
Most trap bars have elevated sleeves for easy access to load your plates. If you prefer to use a barbell bar, then consider buying a deadlift jack bar. These help you to lift up the plates and load them onto the sleeves. This is particularly useful if you like to perform elephant bar deadlifts. This type of barbell bar is longer than the standard barbell so it can be more difficult to load up with plates.
Table of Contents
- Deadlift benefits:
- The 5 Best Deadlift Bars:
- Deadlift Bar FAQs
- What to do if deadlift bar is hitting shins
- How to Use a Deadlift Bar
- burning fat quicker than dieting,
- improving grip strength,
- increasing testosterone which in turn strengthens bones and promotes healing tissue,
- increasing cardio ability so, therefore, decreasing heart disease,
- and so many more.
The 5 Best Deadlift Bars:
Below we review 5 of the best deadlift bars available for sale online. This will help you get a better understanding of whether they’re suitable for your personal needs in your own home gym.
The handles on this bar are quite unique, as they rotate, to give you a variable size grip. You can choose from a 30mm, 38mm, or 45mm width of the bar.
The 10-inch sleeves are elevated, making the lifts easy to load up with Olympic plates. Rubber feet are attached to the tubular steel bar with shock-resistant bolts. This prevents the powder-coated metal from marking the floor.
You can even choose from 3 colors of black, blue or red. This is a bar that will keep you safe as you use it for deadlifts and other exercises, such as shrugs and squats.
Handles are not knurled, even though some advertisers suggest they are. Some users are pointing out that the instructions are a little vague on assembly. Otherwise, this is a solid, safe and reliable trap bar.
Powder-coated, tubular steel bars make this a comfortable bar to grip, though it’s not knurled. Carbon steel bolts ensure safety and stability once the trap bar is assembled. The 9.5-inch x 2-inch lifts will take Olympic plates. Because they’re elevated, it’s easier to load.
The central 32mm handlebars are set at a shoulder-width distance of 29-inches apart. You’ll find them perfectly positioned for lifting heavy weights to fuel your deadlifts. The full bars are designed so that the handle sits on the top, adjoined with a foot bar underneath. Welded to the solid foot bars are steel corner feet. These help to elevates the plates to avoid any damage from scratches and markings to the floor.
These bars are perfect for a full-body workout for beginners. If you want to work on the lower body, use the bar for deadlifts. It won’t take long to expand those leg muscles, using this piece of gym equipment.
This is a Hex tubular bar made of solid steel and covered in quality silver chrome. The handles are knurled so your palms don’t slip during your powerlifting workout. Both 9.75-inch sleeves can take 2-inch Olympic weights.
Here are some suggested combinations of various types of plates: 10 iron grip plates at 45lbs each = 450lbs. Or 6 x 100lbs + 2 x 45lbs + 2 x 35lbs iron plates = 760lbs. Or 4 x 45lbs + 2 x 25lbs bumper plates = 230lbs. Don’t forget to allow for the weight of the bar itself, at 45lbs, when calculating your load.
The bar has two handle options, raised handles for shrugs or flushed handles for deadlifts, depending on which muscles you want to target. If you’re a beginner, this bar is perfect for developing those power-lifting targets. If you’re a seasoned lifter, then use this to lift a heavier load as you build up muscle tone. Even if you have an injury you can use this bar to bring your weights up gradually as you heal the injured muscles or tendons.
This Hex bar comes with an instructive easy to read manual. It also provides excellent advice on exercises that’s as good as any personal trainer could give you.
If you prefer to use standard plates, then this hex-trap bar is ideal. Not only can it take a very heavy load. You can use a variety of plates. For example, using 5 x 50lb plates on each sleeve will give you a comfortable 500lb load. Though it will take smaller plates as well and the choices are vast due to the heavy load it can sustain. It’s easy enough to load the plates as the sleeves are raised.
The tubular chrome-plated handles are both knurled for a better and safer grip. Again, you have choices as you can use the raised handle for lifting, or turn the bar around and use the flush handles.
The bar is high enough so you can perform deadlifts with ease. It’s also great for shrugs and squats. The strong welding makes this a sturdy and safe bar that can take a heavy load. There’s a 24 x 22-inch space within the frame.
This solid steel bar is coated with a silver chrome. As with all the bars we’ve reviewed, it doesn’t come with any plates.
Let’s now look at a classic powerlifting barbell bar, for performing those deadlifts. The Cap Warrior 7-foot barbell bar has 2-inch width lifts for holding Olympic plates. With a handgrip diameter of 28-mm, you’ll find knurled sections on the inner bar, for a safer grip.
The sleeves are 16.3-inches allowing ample room for the loading of multiple plates. This classic steel bar has a whopping 230,00 PSI (pounds per square inch) tensile strength. This means it can withstand a very heavy load. To stop it warping, it has pin bearings and bushings to ensure full safety standards are met.
This is a bar that’s meant for a grueling workout and it’s unlikely you’ll ever outgrow it. With ribbed sleeves and capped ends, the bushings allow for a smoother spin. You may need clamp collars if you regularly drop your bar on the completion of reps.
The steel bar has a hard chrome finish and will not rust. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
Deadlift Bar FAQs
What Muscles Does Trap Bar Deadlift Work?
A trap bar deadlift and be an entire body workout. For the bottom half of your body, the lifts will focus on glutes (butt), hamstrings (back of thighs), quads (front of thighs) and lower back muscles. For the upper half, the lifts will target, lats (sides), traps (back of shoulders). Let’s not forget the grip with the hands, which also affects the wrists and forearms.
How Much Does A Deadlift Bar Weigh?
If you look at the bars we’ve reviewed, they vary between 28-60lbs in weight. It’s important to know the weight of your bar, so you can incorporate it into the total load you want to lift.
Here’s a useful table for calculating how much weight you should be lifting. It takes into account your build and level of skill. A reminder that you must remember to include the weight of the bar when you calculate the weight of the plates.
What to do if deadlift bar is hitting shins
If the bar catches on your shins as you perform deadlifts, then you need to work on your technique because you’re doing it wrong.
First, look at your stance. You need lots of power in your legs for a deadlift, so imagine you’re readying your legs to jump high. Place your feet hip-width apart so they’re not too wide, and not too narrow. The feet and legs are your driving force as you lift, not your arms or back.
Don’t deadlift from a squat position or your shins will be too forward and prone to rubbing from the bar. As you lift the bar, it will glide past the shins if you move your hips back a little.
Grip the bar with straight arms. Your hands should be placed outside the width of the hips as if you’re carrying a heavy bag in each hand. Don’t power-lift through the arms, put the load into your legs and terse torso. As you push out your chest, your back will go straight and not bend in any way. Use the whole foot and not the toes, as you balance your body.
Lift upwards and not backward.
It’s important to also wear the right gear. You’d be better deadlifting barefoot than with soft shoes. You can get deadlift shoes, but basically, you need a hard sole to take the impact. You could invest in deadlift socks and pants too. If working on the technique is taking a long time, protect your knees and shins with deadlift shin guards.
How to Use a Deadlift Bar
1. Step 1 – Grip and Feet
With the trap bar on the floor, stand in the middle with feet hip-width apart. Lower your upper body by bending moving the hips back a little and bending the knees as you go to grip the trap bar.
2. Step 2 – Body position
With the trap bar still on the floor, focus your eyes in front of you and tuck your chin into the chest. Pushing your shoulders back, push the chest forward so it forces the back to straighten and not bend in any way.
3. Step 3 – Beginning the extension
Ready your body as if you are going to take a big, powerful jump. That means your hamstrings (back of thighs) should be tense as you prepare your legs for the movement. Your core should also be tense in preparation for the lift.
4. Step 4 – The Lift
In one explosive movement, drive the body upwards. Make sure the hips move before the knees. Imagine you’re about to wriggle through a tube, your hips would move before the knees. If you don’t move correctly, the load will seem heavier and you may suffer injuries. At all times, keep the back straight and the core of your body tense. Glutes (butt) should be feeling tight too, as you lift.
5. Step 5 – The end of the Rep
Keeping the back straight, lower the trap bar to the floor in the reverse moves to how you lifted it. If you’re a beginner, concentrate on your body’s stance. You must be in control of every point mentioned above, ie extending hips before knees, back straight, hamstrings and core tense. Once the trap bar is returned to the floor, take a deep breath and repeat the rep until you’ve done your first set. Take a couple of minutes rest between each set.
Here are some useful tips on the body’s position as you perform a deadlift
If you’re experienced and training for strength, aim to do around 3-5 reps for each set. However, if your goal is to build up muscle then you will need to up your reps between 5-12.
A beginner should start with a light load at 1 set of 3 reps. You can work up from that. Increase the weight load and do 2 sets of 4 reps, and the same again for 3 sets of 5 reps. Your goal is to get to 4 sets of 6 reps. Always take a few minutes rest between sets and allow the weight to sit on the floor between reps.
Once you’re at this goal it’s time to work out your personal 1RM. Your next target is to increase the weight with each set at 5 reps per 5 sets. Ramp up the load with each rep with the heaviest last. Remember though, if you want to lift a heavy load then you MUST concentrate on your movements and do it right.
There are many benefits to including deadlifts as part of your weekly workout. The stress is always on performing such a power-lift with the correct movements. That’s why using a trap bar not only decreases the risk of injury, but it’s also good for improving posture. There’s no denying that deadlifts are exhausting. If a trap bar makes it easier to perform, it makes sense to invest in one. This is the ideal piece of equipment so you can continue doing power-lifts, with the least risk of injury to your body.
You don’t need to pay expensive gym fees to perform deadlifts. All the gym equipment you need, you can use in the comfort of your own home. There are many different pieces of gym equipment you can add to improve your home gym. A power tower would complement your deadlift bars, as you can then also work on the upper body.
It’s always important to take extra care if you have any injuries from any exercise. For instance, if you have a knee injury, then try using a Marcy Exercise Bench. With soft foam roller pads to position your legs, it means you can continue working out but with extra care. This weight bench is inexpensive means you can perform strength exercises that will target a whole body workout.
This article was last updated on March 13, 2021 .