The deadlift is the most popular compound movement and rightfully so since it’s become the ultimate test by which we measure our strength. Even though the most common method of doing deadlifts is by using the classic Olympic barbell, a majority of people nowadays are taking up deadlifting with a hex bar, that is shaped in the form of a hexagon and you should position yourself inside of it. It also goes by the name of “trap bar”, because a lot of gym goers use it to do shrugs.
Why use a barbell ?
99% of the time deadlifts are executed with an old-fashioned barbell and it is a valid method. That’s the method used in powerlifting meets and it is the way the professionals execute them.
Why use a hex bar ?
Despite the fact that the most popular and common method of doing deadlifts is by using an Olympic bar, as well as the method in which it is done in competitions, many fitness enthusiasts are surprised to find that executing them with a hex bar is far less stressful on the lower back muscles and that it feels a lot more comfortable.
Is it supported by research?
Numerous studies have examined the difference in biomechanics and strength of professional powerlifters when they deadlifted with a classic bar and a hex bar. They have all come to the conclusion that when participants were deadlifting with a hex bar, they could lift an average of around 50 lbs more in comparison to when they were using the classic barbell. It was further concluded that using the hex bar stresses the lower back muscles a lot less.
Doing deadlifts with a hex bar is superior to doing them with a standard Olympic bar, especially when you are lifting heavy loads, in regards to the reduced amount of stress on the lower back muscles.
If the gym you are going to has a hex bar and you’ve been using it for shrugs you should start practicing doing deadlifts with it. You will find that you will be able to lift a lot heavier in comparison to a barbell deadlift, (which puts a bigger burden on the leg muscles) which will ultimately lead to a bigger muscle gain in the long-term.
Even if you are a professional powerlifter, you should consider using the hex bar sporadically since it will aid you in going heavier and get stronger in all muscles in the lower body. Plus, if you’ve already given up on deadlifts because you had lower back pains, using the hex bar could be the fix to get you back on the right track.