Many people, especially those new to deadlifting, wonder if using a hex bar will make their deadlifts better. While some fitness professionals advocate the use of a hex bar, others believe that it's better to do barbell deadlifts.
For those who don't know, a hex bar is also called a trap bar. A hex bar is a hexagon-shaped barbell that allows you to stand in the middle during your lift. It has handles on both sides.
Although some fitness professionals will argue that using a hex bar during your deadlift is considered cheating, doing so yields a number of benefits. In fact, using a hex bar during your deadlifts offers a number of advantages and allows you to perform the movement more effectively.
Benefits of a Hex Bar
One of the key benefits of using a hex bar is that rather than having the weight in front of you during the deadlift, the weight is more centered. Therefore, you are able to lift more weight while at the same time decreasing your likelihood for back injuries. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons why some people shy away from deadlifts is that when done improperly, the risk of back injuries is substantially higher. However, using a hex bar is a lot easier on your back, especially your lumbar spine. Therefore, using a hex bar allows those with past back injuries to do deadlifts with much less fear of re-injuring themselves. Additionally, using a hex bar allows the lifter to have better posture at the start of the lift as well as during the lift itself. With better posture and less stress on his or her back, the lifter is able to increase the amount of weight he or she is lifting. At the same time, using a hex bar forces lifters to engage their leg muscles more during the lift to generate more power.
Furthermore, using a hex bar enables beginners to learn the deadlift without extensive coaching and mobility work. Using a straight bar, on the other hand, can be very challenging and may not be suitable for those lifters whose mobility and form are less than perfect.
In addition to the deadlift, there are a number of other exercises that you can do with a hex bar. One of those exercises is the farmer's walk. The farmer's walk develops grip strength as well as core, leg and upper body strength. Another exercise that you can do with a hex bar is the shrug. The shrug will help strengthen your shoulders, primarily the trapezius muscle. You can also do the hex bar overhead press, which will help strengthen your upper body and, to some extent, your core. If you do your hex bar overhead press while standing, you will be forced to engage your core more. You can also use the hex bar during squats.
As we can see, the hex bar is a very valuable piece of equipment. Therefore, you should definitely use a hex bar for deadlifts, especially if you are new to deadlifting or have previous lower back injuries.