As you might have noticed, I’ve been doing more mini-videos about my daily routines, training regimens, and other thoughts on health. After some initial trepidation and a lot of demand from readers, I find I actually really enjoy doing them. They’re a great way to get a quick take on a topic and give a visual representation of all this stuff I talk about on the blog. They don’t take that long to make. People like them, find them helpful. It’s actually the perfect medium to complement my writing.
Why Do I Love the Trap-Bar (AKA Hex Bar) Deadlift?
It’s a good balance between quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, and glutes—the anterior and posterior chain, in other words. And, you can accentuate each muscle group by making slight variations with your technique.
You can do them with more knee flexion bias—this hits the quads a bit more.
You can do them with posterior bias, keeping your knees straighter—this hits the glutes and hams better.
You can do both in one workout. First one bias, then the other.
You can increase the weight and use the higher grips, allowing you to increase the intensity and shorten the range of motion for safety.
You can decrease the weight and use the lower grips, giving you a deep range of motion.
You can stack weights and stand on them inside the trap bar, giving you an even deeper range of motion. Stack them high enough, and you can turn the lift into a near-squat.
That’s a ton of variation and customization with just one basic movement.
And if I’m feeling like doing some other stuff, it’s right there ready to go. I can do farmer’s walks with the trap bar. Load it up, pick it up, and walk around under load.
I can do bent-over trap bar rows.
I can do shoulder shrugs. Sometimes I’ll even combine the deadlift with the shrug: lift it up, shrug at the top, repeat.
Most of all, the trap-bar feels comfortable in my hands. It feels right when I lift it. It feels like exercise should feel: like I’m stressing my body but not endangering it.
How I Do It
Check out how I do my deadlift session and how I use the handle options for different weight loads.
It’s safe to say the trap-bar is going to be in my arsenal for life. I suggest you get yourself one, or try it out the next time you hit the gym.
What’s your favorite exercise? Have you tried the trap-bar? What’d you think? Got any other trap-bar exercise variations you’d recommend?
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.