If you’re serious about weight training and upping your numbers while protecting your body from injury, the Trap Bar and its associated lifts can help you lift more weight with less strain on your body.
What Is Trap Bar?
Trap Bar refers to an implement used in weightlifting, and a series of weightlifting exercises that use it to train the trapezius muscles. A Trap Bar apparatus differs from a traditional barbell because the bar has been welded into a shape and the lifter stands inside it. This provides for a better grip on the bar, putting it closer to the lifter’s center of gravity. The Trap Bar is sometimes also called a Hex Bar due to its hexagonal shape.
Trap Bar Workouts: A Recent History
Competitive powerlifter Al Gerard invented and patented the Trap Bar in the 1980s. He invented it as an alternative to the deadlift, which is known to aggravate injuries since he suffered greatly from back pain during his powerlifting career. The Trap Bar gained further acclaim when other professional athletes began training with it and producing weight training numbers that they couldn’t produce with traditional equipment. It has been popular in gyms ever since.
More About Trap Bar Use
Trap Bar use is specific to weight training, and it is especially favored by competitive weightlifters who want to complete many reps without aggravating injuries or damaging muscles prior to competition.
The actual lifts done using a Trap Bar are identical to those using a traditional barbell, though the grip is necessarily a bit different with Trap Bar.
Preparation for the Exercise
To begin using a Trap Bar, start by loading the bar with weight plates. They slide onto the stubs on either side of the bar.
As with any weight training, you may want to have a spotter on hand.
How To Do A Trap Bar Workout
Step into the center of the Trap Bar to begin your workout.
To life the Trap Bar, follow these steps:
- Bend your knees slightly
- Keep your back in a straight, horizontal position
- Grip the bar, then reposition your body so that your butt sticks out slightly
- Perform your chosen lift
Six Trap Bar Benefits
One of the main concerns with consistent weightlifting, especially for powerlifters, is the toll it takes on the body. Trap Bars offer less strain, making them safer and more comfortable for regular use. In addition, Trap Bar lifting offers these benefits:
- Generate more peak force and peak power during a deadlift
- Closer to your center of gravity
- Uses neutral grip, which puts less stress on the shoulders
- No need to learn a mixed grip
- Less chance of spinal flexion
- No hyperextension at lockout
Multiple Variations of Trap Bar Lifts
A Trap Bar can be used for numerous weightlifting exercises. The most popular variants include:
- Dead lift
- Floor press
- Overhead press
- Squat jumps
- Farmer’s walk
- Upright rows
Whether you’re a casual weight trainer or a seasoned pro, Trap Bar use can drastically impact your weightlifting game. Not only can you achieve heavier lifts, but you can do so with less wear and tear on your body.