a man doing a trap bar deadlift

Trap Bar Deadlift Benefits

The trap bar deadlift targets multiple muscle groups and provides numerous benefits. This exercise uses a hex barbell and has been shown to be safer than other deadlift variations while working more muscles. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of trap bar deadlifts, how to perform them, and what muscles they target.

What are Trap Bar Deadlifts?

Trap bar deadlifts are a full-body exercise that use a hexagonal barbell with wider grip and resistance distribution, making it safer and more effective than other deadlift variations. This exercise uses almost every muscle in the body, but only specific pull-type muscles generate most of the force. The trap bar deadlift is easier to learn and has lower spinal pressure compared to other workouts that apply the same force to your body. It also engages trapezius muscles more than any other deadlift variation and may outperform them due to its unique benefits.

Trap Bar

What is a trap bar and how does it differ from traditional barbells? The trap bar, also known as a hex barbell, has a unique shape that allows for greater flexibility in resistance distribution. This means that the exerciser can lift more weight with less risk of injury to the lower back. The neutral hand positions on either side of the center bar also provide additional safety.

The unique shape of a trap bar allows for greater flexibility in resistance distribution, resulting in lifting more weight with less risk of lower back injury.

Why use a trap bar for deadlifts instead of a traditional straight barbell? By using a trap bar, you engage more muscles than other deadlift variations and have lower spinal pressure due to perfect form mechanics. Additionally, it's easier to learn proper technique with the hexagonal shape which makes it ideal for beginners or athletes recovering from connective tissue ailments.

Who can benefit from using the trap bar for deadlifts? Anyone looking to improve their overall strength conditioning and daily life can benefit from incorporating this exercise into their routine. Additionally, those who want to prevent accidents or reduce lumbar pressure should consider switching from traditional straight bars to the safer alternative provided by hexagonal shaped bars like the Trap Bar Deadlift.

Trap Bar Deadlift Muscles

The trap bar deadlift primarily targets the muscles of the lower and middle back, shoulders, buttocks, and front upper limb. These muscles differ from those worked during other types of deadlifts due to the neutral hand positions on either side of the hexagonal barbell which allows for a lower risk of injury and higher maximum weight load. However, when performing this movement you must avoid common mistakes such as sagging knees or lifting too heavy with poor form.

To target specific muscle groups with this exercise, individuals should focus on engaging their core stabilizer muscles while utilizing proper breathing techniques to increase blood flow. Additionally, performing trap bar deadlifts for at least 3-4 sets can lead to muscle growth in both primary and secondary movers as well as improve cardiovascular health and mind-body synchronization.

How to do Trap Bar Deadlifts

Proper form and technique for performing the trap bar deadlift:

  • Load hex barbell with weight proportional to your strength level
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees and toes pointed outward
  • Grip both handles neutrally and firmly before pressing thighs
  • Brace core and neutralize spine before raising torso, hips, and hex barbell

Tips on how to gradually increase weight and reps over time:

  • Start with little or no weights for novices to instill proper form
  • Increase weight in small increments (2.5-5 lbs) each week
  • Utilize a spotter or trainer when increasing maximum lifts


    Note: It is important to ensure proper blood flow pre-workout through warm-up exercises such as jumping jacks or light stretching. Taking creatine before the workout  may also help boost workout performance.

    Benefits of Trap Bar Deadlifts

    a man flexing his back muscles after doing a lot of trap bar deadlifts

    The trap bar deadlift offers unique benefits that set it apart from other deadlift variations. Firstly, it has a lower risk of injury due to the hexagonal barbell's positioning and loading of the spine, shoulders, and knees. Secondly, it activates the trapezius muscle more than other deadlifts. Finally, its natural mechanics make it easier to learn and reduce spinal pressure compared to traditional barbell lifts.

    In addition to these benefits, the trap bar deadlift works almost every muscle in the body while only a few primary muscles generate most of the force. This exercise is an excellent option for individuals looking to increase their strength and improve cardiovascular health while minimizing injury risk.

    Accident Prevention

    Reduced risk of lower back injury, increased stability and balance during lift, and minimized strain on the knees are just a few benefits of the trap bar deadlift. This exercise uses a hexagonal barbell for added safety and upper body conditioning. The unique weight distribution and positioning of the barbell surrounding the exerciser reduces pressure, mechanical strain, and tensile stress on most joints during each rep. It is an excellent option for beginners or those recovering from connective tissue ailments due to its more natural form cues that prevent spinal stress, lumbar or thoracic spine extension, hip adduction while activating trapezius muscles dynamically throughout each repetition.

    Activated Trapezius

    • Strengthening and development of trapezius muscle group
    • Improved posture due to activation of upper back muscles
    • Enhanced grip strength through isometric hold

    The trap bar deadlift engages the trapezius muscle group more than other variations, leading to strengthening and development. This activation also leads to improved posture by engaging the upper back muscles.

    Additionally, the isometric hold required during trap bar deadlifts enhances grip strength. This exercise can be especially beneficial for athletes or gym-goers looking to improve their overall performance.

    Low Spinal Pressure

    Compared to traditional deadlifts, the trap bar deadlift puts less pressure on the lumbar spine. This decrease in spinal pressure leads to a lower risk of herniated discs or other spinal injuries. Additionally, due to the centered position of the bar, exercisers have better control over weight distribution which can lead to improved form and reduced risk of injury. These benefits make trap bar deadlifts an ideal choice for individuals looking to reduce spinal stress during their workout routine.

    Mechanics Simplicity

    Mechanics simplicity is one of the top benefits of trap bar deadlifts. With its hexagonal barbell, it requires less energy to maintain proper form, making it a more accessible exercise for beginners. This also means there's no need for additional equipment like lifting straps, making it simpler and easier to perform than other deadlift variations. By using a wider grip and resistance distribution, the trap bar deadlift ensures increased efficiency while reducing injury risk due to its unique design. For those looking for an effective yet simple workout routine that yields results without compromising safety or mechanics simplicity, the trap bar deadlift is an ideal choice.

    Bottom Line

    Incorporating trap bar deadlifts into your workout routine can lead to significant gains in strength and muscle mass. This exercise targets multiple muscle groups and can be adjusted to fit different fitness levels. To reap the full benefits, it's crucial to prioritize proper form, gradually increase weight over time, and experiment with variations such as single-leg or deficit trap bar deadlifts.

    In addition to building overall physical performance, incorporating a pre-workout supplement like caffeine or beta-alanine can help boost energy levels and delay fatigue during heavy lifts like the trap bar deadlift. However, it's important to remember that supplements should be used in conjunction with a well-rounded diet and consistent training regimen for optimal results.

    James Freeman


    Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.