Anyone use the trap bar / hex bar deadlift?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Codger, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Codger

    Codger Brown Belt

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    I can't do the classic squat. My back's fucked and has been for like 20 odd years. And now my knees are going which isn't helping. I used to squat but now I can't - anything more than about 1/2 my bodyweight and I regret it the next day.

    Deadlifting isn't much better either. The closest I get these days is rack pulls from the knee caps. Any lower and the bottom part gives me severe sciatica.

    But I noticed the gym as a trap-bar mostly unused in the corner and I was messing around with it and it seems to solve one of the big problems I perceive as having with the normal deadlift, that being that the weight to too far forward for me. It feels like it places the weight exactly where it should be - over my feet.

    Anyone got much experience training with these things? I felt like it worked the legs, hams, hips and back all at once. So I'm thinking maybe I could use this as my main leg left and supplement it with some reverse DB lunges or even the extension/curl machines.

    Any comments or suggestions welcome....well other than the "just learn to DL / squat properly dude, it will fix your back" comments as I followed this for years and it didn't!
     
  2. TehWeak1

    TehWeak1 Naked eating bacon

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    Trap bar is definitely a good exercise.
    It's actually a lot like a squat.

    Have you tried the front squat?

    What did you do to your back? Have you had it looked at?
     
  3. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    I did before. Its a bit different as the weight isn't in front but on the sides. It feels like a hybrid squat-dead movement.
     
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  4. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    It's a good exercise. You can do more volume than the classic deadlift, and the bar moves faster.

    Also useful for farmer's walks
     
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  5. MilkManUK

    MilkManUK Brown Belt

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    I like trap bars and hopefully will be getting one for Christmas. I can deadlift much more using the trap bar than I can on a conventional bar. Also as stated above, good for farmers walks.
     
  6. dsdoubled

    dsdoubled Brown Belt

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    I guess it depends on what is wrong with your knees and back. Its a hell of an exercise though. Id also suggest maybe adjusting your thinking on training in general though. Maybe (this might sound blasphemous) its time to change up your training and not worry so much about making sure you have the big power moves in there. If you're not involved in any competitive endeavor anymore and really you just want to look and feel good while still having enough "go" to feel like you can handle yourself if you had to, just try and do exercises that don't hurt. When you get some time under your belt training pain free you may be able to go back to the heavier lifts. Im 32 and after a lifetime of injuries (knee, shoulder, neck) I had to settle for really easy stuff for a while. I thought that was as good as it was gonna get. But after doing it for a while and seeking out different methods of improving chronic injuries (certain supplements, ART, prehab stuff) I am thrilled to be able to work out intensely again. Definitely not heavy like when I was early 20s but I enjoy it. Maybe you can shift your focus to calisthenics and high rep stuff for a while.
     
  7. Noodles03

    Noodles03 Green Belt

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    I'm thinking about buying one for trap bar jumps opposed to jump squat.
     
  8. Codger

    Codger Brown Belt

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    I totally agree - you're preaching to the converted on that front. I'm 47 and have a mounting list of injuries and operations from grappling and weights. My entire routine is based on working around injuries. I do a lot of back/pull (pullups, rows etc) and hardly any chest/[push and I pick exercises on the basis of what hurts and what doesn't. That's my interest in the trap bar. I want a free-standing hip hinge exercise that won't hurt. I can work around back and knee pain with the various leg machines but I also want a natural movement in there. I don't intend to be going heavy with it.

    Staying uninjured and enjoying my BJJ and exercise are the goals now. And even the BJJ might have to go soon.
     
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  9. cincymma79

    cincymma79 Silver Belt

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    I read in passing that many people are moving to the front squat instead of the traditional squat. Any validity to that? Does seem to be easier on the back
     
  10. TheLuckiest

    TheLuckiest Black Belt

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    Would depend on your sport I'd imagine.
     
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  11. Mr Mojo Lane

    Mr Mojo Lane Brown Belt

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    I just did the front squat for the first time last week. It is humbling. I couldn't use nearly the weight as a back squat. I think it is better in the long run because the abs are forced to stabilize more than the spine. It was really hard on my wrists, so I bought some straps. I think my abs got a better workout than my lower body, but I am going to keep at it.
     
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  12. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    More quad emphasis with less absolute loading has it's advantages
     
  13. TehWeak1

    TehWeak1 Naked eating bacon

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    Yeah, it does seem to be picking up in popularity. I see it prescribed to those who don't want to squat because of back issues.
     
  14. dsdoubled

    dsdoubled Brown Belt

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    Im curious about your shoulder. Do you know what is wrong with it? What movements hurt? Is it just severe chronic pain? I did an absolute ton of research on shoulder injuries and even wrote papers on them when I was in school. I might be able to suggest something. I pretty much fixed my shoulder .
     
  15. cincymma79

    cincymma79 Silver Belt

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    Well powerlifting was my goal, but general strength and growth are the future for me
     
  16. Codger

    Codger Brown Belt

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    I had an AC joint resection and tendon tidy up back in late august and it's not finished recovering yet. It's better all the time but chest pressing movements still hurt
     
  17. dsdoubled

    dsdoubled Brown Belt

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    That's pretty good considering its just a matter of time before youre feeling better. I had AC joint problems as well. Doing shrugs while leaning on an incline bench seemed to help a whole lot. It helped shorten the distance a bit between the acromion and clavicle. I ran into problems with that too though because I overdid it and ran into some neck/nerve problems. If you try that but don't neglect your lower traps you should be fine. Working the lower traps is a great way to improve overall shoulder health anyway. Did you ever try smith machine bench presses while bringing the bar down to the clavicle area? Youll wana go relatively light but if you try that and find the right angle you could at least work chest. Strengthening the traps with face pulls and the incline shrugs/lower trap work should pay dividends.
     
  18. TheLuckiest

    TheLuckiest Black Belt

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    They're certainly useful for overloading your quads. They also help keep your mobility up. Good to sprinkle in as an accessory loft for sure but I wouldn't just give up back squats.
     
  19. cincymma79

    cincymma79 Silver Belt

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    Hmmm..... So execution question here
    Last time I used one I got up to four plates per side then it started get unwieldy. Hard to balance in the hand. Any usage tips?
     
  20. gspieler

    gspieler Silver Belt

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    Splitting hairs. Unless you're an OLY lifter or PL'er, the point isn't whether you front or back squat, just that you squat. That said, I'm partial to the back squat myself; more PC activation, and greater loads allowing greater increases in hypertrophy and rate coding(IMO).
     
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