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Top 7 Best Trap Bars (Hex Deadlift Bars)

a man doing trap bar deadlift

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What’s the best bar for deadlift?

It’s not an easy question and you’ll definitely never find unanimous agreement.

The best deadlift bar has always been a dream for lifters, spawning everything from the Texas deadlift bar to the trap bar. Today we’re discussing the latter and how a hex bar (or not, as you’ll see) can be used for deadlifts and more.

Today, we’re going to be discussing the elements of the trap bar – what it’s for and when to use it – and the best hex bar on the market. Read on if you’re looking to upgrade your own home gym, or just want to understand the trap bar better.

Contents

What Is the Trap Bar?

The trap bar, sometimes referred to as the hex bar, is a dedicated barbell for performing deadlifts in a very unique position. The trap bar adjusts the movement significantly and the ‘trap bar deadlift’ (or hex bar deadlift) is so unique that it has its own name.

There are other uses to this barbell that are designed for, which we’ll talk about in more detail later on in this article.

For the meantime, however, the main intention of the trap bar is to take the back stress out of the deadlift to a certain degree. The conventional deadlift as it’s usually performed is a difficult movement to perfect and can stress the lower back in a way you might want to avoid.

The trap bar allows you to train the hamstrings, legs, glutes, and core primarily. Achieving all of this without excessive strain in the lower back is a great benefit if you don’t have the time to train the deadlift with precision. This is especially true when we consider its versatility later on!

What Does a Trap Bar Do?

The trap bar deadlift is the clear and obvious main intention of the trap bar. This movement is synonymous with the piece of equipment and has a strong history in sports, as well as strength and conditioning.

It’s also possible to perform power training with the trap bar since the design makes jumps possible. The research tells us that this kind of power training is effective for building athleticism and is well-regarded among sports and power coaches.

There are some really interesting variations on these movements. A trap bar also provides access to some cool neutral-shoulder shrugs and farmers walks, which are difficult to perform with other forms of barbell, dumbbell, or objects.

For this reason, the hex or trap bar has a lot of uses and can really change the possibilities of your own training.

Top Trap Bars of 2021

1. Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar

rogue tb2 trap bar

The Rogue TB-2 trap bar is an absolute tank of a barbell, weighing in at 60lbs with a variety of additional heavy-duty joints.

The barbell itself is well made and the overall construction is incredibly reliable. This is pretty standard from Rogue and the overall quality is very high – which is a great sign! If you’re going to buy a trap bar you should ensure it will work for the next decade or two.

The price is pretty reasonable for this barbell, especially considering the construction and its relation to other products on the market.

The pair of handles are well-spaced and offer a great variety for your own training. This can reduce the amount of lower back stress, while still offering a deeper setup position. This also allows a really clear and simple way of progressing your trap bar deadlift to the low bars.

It’s also great to see that both sets of handles on this barbell are equipped with high-quality knurling to support grip. There are some inconsistent knurling designs on the market, but Rogue has nailed this one and we’re big fans.

Overall, we think Rogue have once again set a great precedent and standard. This product is a great balance between economy and quality, being relatively strong on both aspects!

  • High quality build with solid welding and reinforced joints
  • Fantastic finish that reduces the risk of rust or cosmetic damage
  • Assurance of quality due to a reliable and recognized brand
  • Good balance of economy and top-notch quality
  • Most expensive item we’ll look at today

BUY AT AMAZON

2. Synergee Olympic Trap Bar

Synergee Olympic Trap Bar

There’s very little reliable content on this barbell since the images are all pre-modeled and don’t provide a clear and honest representation of the product.

Even in this context, it’s clear that there’s no comparison with the Rogue barbell when it comes to the heavy-duty build. This product seems fine, but the joining isn’t as strong and durable as in the Rogue model.

However, this is a significantly cheaper product so there’s a significant economic benefit. This product foregoes the build quality in order to chop a significant amount off of the price tag, though this is questionable if you’re going to be using the trap bar consistently for years to come.

The production quality and finish are lower quality on this product, which is often exacerbated by the poor shipping choices. The finish is cheap and will scratch/dull through use, so be aware of that before purchasing.

The durability of the function is good – the bar works as a trap bar – but the cosmetic finish is very unreliable. This can be fine if you’re not too bothered, but this makes us think you’d likely be better off buying a second-hand trap bar.

  • Pretty good compared to some other economy options
  • Works as a trap bar with happy customers vouching for the quality
  • Rendered models rather than photos of the product
  • Shipping options often let the product down, producing cosmetic damage before it even arrives
  • Doesn’t carry the same reliable reputation that the Rogue trap bar does

BUY AT AMAZON

3. HulkFit Olympic Trap Bar (Open or Closed)

HulkFit Olympic Trap Bar

The open hex bar is a real mystery to us, since it doesn’t achieve much while making the product far more confusing to use. The imbalance in the product is one of our biggest gripes from the start: it’s an odd design choice.

The idea is, perhaps, to free up more space within the hex bar for the knees. The problem is that this defeats the point of the barbell and would be better served by just increasing the size of the inside space.

The regular, closed hexagon trap bar is a much more serviceable product and we’d recommend it over the open design. The hex bar itself weighs 50lbs, with a lighter design than the Rogue bar, and relatively short collars for loading.

There are also some quality assurance issues with occasional rusting and chipping of products, which can really feel like a waste of money. Again, buying a brand new product isn’t much better than second-hand if it’s already scuffed and damaged.

This is paired with the same shipping issues seen with the Synergee bar, which can really pair up to result in a low-quality result. This can be pretty disappointing, even with the economy price tag!

  • The closed trap bar is one of the best economy options
  • The weight is solid, if lighter than the Rogue model
  • Again, awful shipping options mar an otherwise good product
  • Occasional rusting and chipping, though this doesn’t occur in all cases
  • The open trap bar is imbalanced and doesn’t have any real benefits over the traditional, closed model

BUY AT AMAZON

4. Titan Fitness Hex Bar

Titan Fitness Hex Bar

This is a pretty small trap bar that is visibly and historically lower-quality than the standard set by the Rogue TB-2. There are various areas where it struggles to compare, so it’s more comparable with Synergee or HulkFit models.

Unfortunately, the comparison with these products doesn’t speak to the quality of this product. There are concerns from the very start of some poor quality issues that are harder to see – such as the possibility of rusting you can’t see.

This is the lowest price we’ve seen for a hex bar so far, with a lower weight-rating and a lighter construction at only 44lbs. This is theoretically okay, but the weight rating for 500lbs produces a rather flimsy build and isn’t likely to last well.

You might not think you need 500lbs of rating, but that’s false. A product with a better weight rating is going to handle better and wear slower when using submaximal weights – not to mention that you’re not aware of how strong you are able to get in the years to come.

The hex bar is much easier than the conventional deadlift and it’s totally possible for a normal man to perform a conventional deadlift at 400-500lbs in a few years of training. Among particularly talented/driven female trainees, this is also a very low ceiling.

You want a product you can grow into, as well as use from day one. This product might be accessible, but you should buy for the strength you wantnot the strength you have.

If you ever plan on lifting over 400lbs in a trap bar deadlift (very easy with time), this isn’t the product for you.

  • Standard 44lbs so it can be directly compared with your normal lifting on an Olympic standard bar
  • Very cheap
  • Very low weight-rating that will become a problem for any serious trainee rapidly and increases wear even with lower weights
  • You will feel how cheap this barbell is while using it, as cosmetic issues and general flex is much greater than with more expensive products

BUY AT AMAZON

5. CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar

CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar

CAP are a pretty well-established brand with decades of experience sitting firmly in the middle of the pack when it comes to economy strength equipment. This is clear from their trap bar which out-competes some others, while still failing to stand out.

There are some occasional construction problems, but these seem to be isolated, from what we can tell. The severity ranges from cosmetic markings to improperly aligned handles – the latter being a serious problem if it happens to you.

Meanwhile, other complaints include rusted joints which, again, is consistent with other products around this price. The economy is great, but it does leave you with a poorly cared-for product.

There are some complaints about aggressive knurling, but this is part and parcel of use. As this bar is not going to rest against skin elsewhere, this can easily be sanded down or just tolerated (unlike on, say, an Olympic barbell).

Be diligent checking your product when it arrives, as these issues should be resolved by the manufacturer. Overall, a product that wears its price-tag too clearly on its quality.

  • Cheap option on the market
  • Decent enough reputation as an economy brand
  • Aggressive knurling assists with grip
  • “Aggressive knurling” – though we don’t think this is a real con, since that’s just how new barbells work

BUY AT AMAZON

6. Xmark Fitness Deadlift Trap Bar

Xmark Fitness Deadlift Trap Bar

The issue here is, once again, quality assurance and finish quality. There are serious concerns with the finish and storage of this product, which consistently arrives with heavily rusted joints. While rust is familiar, this barbell is clearly the worst so far.

The welds need to be improved markedly to compete effectively with other products. Economy is a good thing for many of us, but it doesn’t make sense when it’s a clear trade-off for a product looking and moving like new.

The specifications for the product are fine, but the significant risk of getting a bunk product with markings and damage aren’t worthwhile.

In these instances, a better barbell like the Rogue option, or an economy choice like Synergee or HulkFit would be better.

  • Unreliable products and a serious problem with poor quality assurance
  • Heavy rusting is more common than in other products
  • With these issues, you may as well just buy a better trap bar second-hand

BUY AT AMAZON

7. Valor Fitness OB-HEX Hex Trap Bars with Multiple Grip

Valor Fitness OB-HEX Hex Trap Bars with Multiple Grip

The OB-HEX looks a bit like a spaceship, and there are some really cool features that we like about it. This is a good start since the design is both well-made and aesthetically pleasing: the joinery and finish are both high-quality.

The rubber stoppers are an amazing addition – though made necessary by the many edges of this bar. A regular trap bar wouldn’t have this feature, but we love it as a mechanism for keeping the bar scuff-free and easier to load.

The positioning of the weight sleeves is higher than you’d expect from most trap bars and make it far less cumbersome to load/unload. The different grip widths are great – women’s standard, men’s standard, and Axle (fat) grips.

However, this does give up the opportunity to change the height of the pull. This is present in most standard-design models. This is something of an issue since this trap bar is lower than most and feels more like a strongman frame than a regular trap bar.

Also, you’re going to struggle to get more than 500lbs onto the sleeves of this trap bar. It sounds like a lot, but this is not an abnormally large weight, so it’s totally possible that you may need to upgrade a few years down the line.

This is a mixed bag: some great improvements while also compromising some of the more conventional features. Overall, we like this product, but it’s not going to function like a traditional hex/trap bar.

  • Valor are a pretty good company in our experience
  • Joints are pretty well constructed and seldom rusted
  • Finish seems durable and well put-together
  • Stoppers are great for avoiding wear and tear
  • Choice of handles is really versatile
  • Single height pull, unlike conventional trap bars with low and high handles
  • More expensive than the conventional trap bar (we quite like the OB-ADJ model for this)
  • Expensive compared to some other, standard hex bars

BUY AT AMAZON

How to Use the Trap Bar?

The point of the trap bar is that it can be used instead of a conventional deadlift, even just as an alternative for lighter days, to reduce lower back stress. This is great if you’re just training for strength and health, but don’t want to dabble in the classic powerlifts (squat/bench/deadlift).

The trap bar allows you to train the hamstrings and glutes, primarily, while shifting some of the movement towards the quads. It also reduces shoulder stress by using handles, and is an easier movement overall when comparing at the same weight.

If you’re already deadlifting, you can use the trap bar as an alternative to allow the lower back to rest. You can totally replace the deadlift with the trap bar deadlift if you aren’t bothered by putting up a big deadlift number.

The trap bar can also be used as an alternative implement for shrugs, again due to the neutral hand position. It’s better positioned for shrugs, too, as the weight sits in-line with the natural movement of the trap muscles.

For every movement using the trap bar, focus on keeping the core tight, big chest, and shoulder blades tucked back and down. The neutral grip position allows you to really retract the lats and keeps the bar in the right position.

Benefits of Using a Trap Bar?

We’ve written a complete guide to using the trap bar, so we’re only going to cover the basics here. For the average gym-goer or athlete, the main uses of the trap bar are simple:

A Less Back-Intense Pull From the Floor

Reducing volume in the lower back is a great way to manage your training. You can train through sore legs or shoulders, but a fatigued lower back can really be a problem for your performance and injury risk.

Keeping it fresh can be tough but the trap bar deadlift may be a good alternative for a deadlift – either as a replacement or a gentler option. This can make programming more suitable.

A More Sport-Specific Movement for Strength and Power Output

If you’re training for something like rugby, there’s value to breaking up your training into hinging and pushing. The Trap bar is a great option for building leg and back strength specific to sports like rugby, sprinting, etc.

If you’re performing trap bar deadlifts, it’s also useful to involve a hinging movement somewhere in training. The combination of trap bar deadlifts and walking single-leg RDLs (lovingly referred to as the death march) work perfectly together.

Great Tool for Getting Your Quads Into the Deadlift!

At a technical level, the trap bar can be a great tool for developing better movement. If you want to build up a better deadlift, the trap bar deadlift is a good learning tool.

The quad-dominance requires you to push the floor with the legs more than a regular deadlift, which can help cue better movement. This carries over to the conventional deadlift – especially the first portion – as well as the movement out of the bottom of a squat.

You need to perform the trap bar deadlift properly to get these benefits, so be sure to pay attention to the details:

YouTube Video

Trains Hamstrings at Middle-Lengths

Beating injuries and staying healthy is often just a matter of being stronger in all the positions that you’re going to put your body through.

The hamstrings are one of the most commonly injured areas of the body. This is even more important when you consider how they tie to the knee and hip, two other common areas for injury. Getting the hamstrings strong, flexible, and healthy is a key player in longevity and strength.

The hamstring is a great “middle length” movement. It strengthens the hamstrings somewhere in the middle of their range, without moving to the absolute extremes seen in the RDL or death march, nor the short ranges of a hamstring curl.

If used properly, the trap bar deadlift can be a great choice for this mid-range, as well as strengthening and protecting the joints. Strength in the core, hamstrings, glutes, and quads all add up to better performance and longevity.

How to Do a Trap Bar Workout?

The best way to use the trap bar is in combination with other exercises in your program. We don’t mean supersets, but rather to make sure that the trap bar is only one tool in your toolkit.

The trap bar deadlift’s shift towards the quads means you need to combine it with other hamstring/hip exercises to cover the things you’re missing out from a conventional deadlift.

We’ve mentioned the death march above, but any long-range movement that stretches the hamstrings/hips is a great choice. We love combining it with single-legged or hip-hinging movements (often both at once, in the case of the death march).

For example, a workout that uses trap bar deadlifts could also use a Bulgarian split squat for the quads/hips, as well as a Romanian deadlift for long-range hamstring/glute work. These are examples, with alternatives like the stiff-legged deadlift, rack pull, hip thrust, and countless others.

Equally, when performing shrugs with the trap bar, you’re performing a very vertical trap movement. This is great, but it neglects the lower traps, so you will want to perform trap bar shrugs after a rowing or pull-up movement. We really like fat grip cable rows, dumbbell rows, or pull ups.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know what a trap bar is for, how/when to use it, and what you’re getting on the market. There is a clear winner for this list – which is refreshing (since it’s very rare). The market is starting to show some interesting innovation but there’s clearly some dumb innovation, as well as some old bad habits from lower-quality products.

Rogue have gained a lot of popularity through their affiliation with CrossFit and their products often sit in the middle of the pack. On this product, however, they stand head and shoulders above most of the competition.

The Rogue TB-2 is clearly the best pick with enormous quality and considered design. The finish is durable and rust-free, the product is well designed with sufficient space and weight-rating, and it embodies everything we want to see in a hex bar.

There’s a balance between economy and quality, with Rogue walking the line perfectly. It might be the most expensive product on our list but the eternal rule here is still true: invest in a better bar and save money on everything else!

Sours: https://theworkoutdigest.com/best-trap-bars/

The Best Hex Bars

Best image of hex bars

Photo: GYMAX Olympic Hex Bar, Folding Trap Bar 56" Chrome Finish Hex Weight Lifting Bar Deadlift Bar with Two-Handle, for Squats, Deadlifts, Shrugs Power Pulls, 800Lbs Weight Capacity (Silver)

UPDATED OCTOBER 16, 2021

To help you find the perfect hex bar, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable hex bars. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.

Buying Guide

Top Rated Hex Bars

If you're looking into finding the best rated hex bar, you should probable check out the Titan Fitness Trap Bar. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.

Titan Fitness Trap Bar

The Lowest Price We Could Find

Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $99.99(last checked this morning), we do not list any other hex bars cheaper than the CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.

CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar

The Hex Bar With the Most Reviews

With at least 104 reviews and counting, the Titan Fitness Trap Bar might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.

High Quality Hex Bars

It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Titan Fitness Trap Bar currently sells for $344.99.

Titan Fitness Trap Bar

Synergee 25kg Chrome Olympic Barbell Trap Bar

Our Bestseller

If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling hex bar: The CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar is the hottest bestseller in this category right now.

Hex Bar Reviews

There are no reviews on hex bars, yet.

Be the first to write a review, or check for additional reviews in the Further Reading section below.

Further Reading on Hex Bars

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about reviews, pros & cons and similar products.

Andrew Heming's Blog: Trap Bar vs Straight Bar D...

Every exercise has pros and cons. To get the One option for deadlifts is the hex or trap bar. Is this better Advantages of Trap Bar Deadlifts. ...

0 persons liked this post.

Source: www.andrewheming.com

helpful or not helpful

Deadlift Alternative 8 Outrageous Ideas And Complete...

Trap bar Deadlift is also known as Hex bar Deadlift (due to its hexagonal shape). The special thing about hex bar Deadlift is its  What scenarios might - Rack pull - Romanian Deadlift - Kettlebell swing ...

0 persons liked this post.

Source: www.alphamale.co

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Trap bar VS regular bar | StrongFirst - Forum for St...

Pros: -Trap bar enables everyone to pull the same way--low hip Cons: -Doesn't necessarily carry over to competition style deadlift Matt, a hex bar DL can be a useful adjunct to training but no more; its leverage is too  ...

0 persons liked this post.

Source: www.strongfirst.com

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Hex bar alternative? - Bodybuilding.com Forums

My gym back in town has a hex bar, which i love to use, since it hits my quads more then leg press, so i tend to switch between the 2. But now at  No Trap baHex Bar VS Straight BaHex bar dead lift vs barbell deadlifBarbell Deadlift... ...

0 persons liked this post.

Source: forum.bodybuilding.com

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Modular Multi Functional Hex Trap Bar - Step Thru Ol...

Modular Multi Functional Trap Bar - Step Thru Olympic Hex Bar – Iron Company ( ICMODFBAR) is available to buy in increments of 1. Modular Multi Functional  ...

0 persons liked this post.

Source: www.ironcompany.com

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What are the pros and cons of deadlifting with a hex...

Registered User. Age: 30; Posts: 1,568; Rep Power: 5246. DumpsterFire is a name known to all. (+5000). what are the pros and cons of  For those who own a hex baTrap bar deadliftBB Hack Squats vs Trap Bar Deadlift ...

0 persons liked this post.

Source: forum.bodybuilding.com

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About this Article

This page about Hex Bars was composed by V. Tobies and published by Alternative.me.
It was last updated on 2021-10-17 09:18:34 and has been viewed 2448 times.

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Sours: https://alternative.me/hex-bars
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Last updated on February 28th, 2021 at 06:33 pm

It’s easy to get carried away when equipping your home gym. A quiet hour alone with your credit card on the internet can often result in quite a few purchases you don’t actually need. For me this is especially true when it comes to training gear!

A quick study of home gym blogs and You Tube channels shows the end result of these types of shopping sprees. Walls full of barbells, unused equipment stacked in the corners, and a good number of things listed on Ebay selling for far less than was paid for them.

Loaded Hex Bar

So it makes sense that when you come across things like a hex bar, you might ask yourself, “is it worth the money?”. Considering the size and cost, this is a great question. And like most questions, the answer will depend largely on you and your specific needs.

Should you buy a hex bar?

For me, the trap/hex bar would be a valuable addition to my training arsenal. Its uses more than justify the price. From safer squats and deadlifts to heavy farmer’s carries, the hex bar is something all home gym owners should at least consider!

Why I Discovered the Trap Bar / Hex Bar

The first time I ever heard of a trap bar was on line. I’d never seen one in a commercial gym. It was something I came across on a training blog when I was researching lifting with a bad back. I had been happily training for quite some time and then injury struck.

I hurt my back (outside the gym, not while I was training) and couldn’t deadlift without serious pain. I also couldn’t squat. I wasn’t great at either movement to start with (that might have been part of the problem), but they were key parts of my programming at the time. They still are.

At first I just did without. I did leg presses. I did single leg dumbbell RDLs. I made do, but I missed those lifts. My results in the gym missed them too. Not only was I enjoying my workouts less, but I wasn’t making the progress I had been either!

So, as with most problems in life these days, I consulted the great and powerful Google. Specifically, “how to squat and deadlift with a sore back?” was the question I entered. After combing through the usual internet type answers, I came across several people recommending the use of something they called a “hex bar”.

What is a Hex Bar / Trap Bar?

If you’ve never seen or heard of a trap/hex bar before, it’s like no other barbell you might have come across. Imagine a straight barbell. Then, instead of a single shaft between the sleeves, replace that with an open center area that has two handles welded to it.

This center section, which is hexagonal or trapezoidal in shape is what give the bar its name. “Hex” short for hexagon and “trap” short for trapezoid. There are a few different varieties, but all of them have this basic design element in common. For ease of reference, I’ll simply call it a hex bar for the rest of this article.

Carried Hex Bar

The open center section allows the lifter to stand inside the bar, placing the weights directly on either side of their body. Since the weights are centered on the lifter’s body, there is no forward or rearward shear force on the spine. Everything is loaded evenly front to back.

This even and much safer loading function is the main reason a hex bar is so useful in home gym applications.

Benefits of the Hex Bar

There are two particular ways the unique design of a hex bar can benefit you.

First, it allows squats and deadlifts to be much safer and easier on your back. With the weights centered on your body, not out in front or behind, the load is carried more stably by your body. You can squat straight down and stand straight up. No unnecessary bending under load. No compensation for the location of the weight is needed!

Second, it allows you to safely and easily pick up and carry a very heavy load. The hex bar is ideally suited for one of my favorite whole body exercises, the farmer’s walk.

Using a hex bar turned out to be one of the best things I’d done in a gym. I asked the gym I was using at the time if they would buy one and they actually did! I started light and worked with the hex bar for quite some time. Incorporating the hex bar into my programming is the single biggest reason I can still squat and deadlift with a straight bar!

I currently use a trap bar for a variety of things when working out. It’s become a staple in my weight training life even though I no longer use it for heavy deadlifting. I use it to warm up for both squats and deadlifts. Then I move on to those movements with a straight bar.

I also use it when I don’t have time to do both squats and deadlifts. It’s a really nice hybrid of both movements. It’s a great way to mix up your training and add in a movement pattern you simply can’t duplicate with a straight bar using a load you typically can’t duplicate with dumbbells!

And of course my absolute favorite use for the hex bar is still heavy farmer’s walks. If you aren’t doing heavy loaded carries as part of your training routine, you are missing out! If you are, there really isn’t a better way to do them than with a hex bar.

Hex Bar Variations

There are couple of variations to the trap bars you’ll find on the market and I think they can make a big difference in the overall usability of the bar. Which one you buy will be determined by both your budget as well as how versatile and easy to use you want the bar to be.

Make sure to check out the barbells (including the hex bar) that I personally use and recommend on my recommended gear page here. 

Traditional Flat Hex Bar
Hex Bar

A flat hex bar.

This is the most basic version of the hex bar. Nothing fancy here. Everything is located on one plane so that when the bar is not carrying a load, it lies flat on the ground.

The benefit of this type of hex bar (at the time I bought it) is that it was the lowest priced option. It wasn’t the design I wanted, but at the time it’s what I could afford. This was the first type of hex bar I ever purchased and I used it for quite some time before upgrading.

You can see the Body Solid hex bar I’m referring to by clicking here to see it over on Amazon.

The hex bar has grown in popularity since I first purchased one. With that popularity comes lower prices and more options. The next type of hex bar is a worthy upgrade to that old flat one I used to have.

Raised Handle Hex Bar
Hex bar with raised handles.

Hex bar with raised handles.

A very simple upgrade to that old flat version was to attached raised handles to it. It might seem like a small change, but it makes a big difference!!!

By raising the handles above the center mass of the weights, the bar becomes much more stable. The weight shifts a lot less and I feel that this design makes the bar much safer.

The raised handles also make the bar easier to pick up and load. This might seem trivial, but if you’ve ever loaded one of those old flat versions, you know it’s not. Picking the bar up to load it is a lot more comfortable with the raised handles.

Lastly, and at 6′ 6″ tall I really appreciate this one, the raised handles mean you don’t have to bend down quite so low when deadlifting or picking up the loaded bar to walk with it. Here again a seemingly subtle difference nets huge improvements in real life use!

If I was to buy this type of hex bar for my current gym, I would look no further than the Titan Fitness model. It’s reasonably priced and well built. Check the Titan site directly when buying their gear as they are almost always having a sale of some type!!!

The Best Hex Bar

With time comes innovation. The hex bar has been no exception. In the last year or so a new version of the hex bar has been released that I think brings it pretty close to perfect!

Valor Fitness Hex Bar

Valor Fitness Hex Bar

This new version adds several key changes. First are feet underneath it combined with raised sleeves. This means the bar can be loaded with plates without needing to lift it off the ground. It’s the equivalent of loading a racked barbell.

This design change makes the bar much more usable and a lot less of a pain in the butt to load. I literally didn’t pull out the hex bar in some gym sessions purely because they are a chore to load and unload.That problem is eliminated with this new design.

Also, in place of a single raised handle, there are 3 on each side. Each handle has a varying diameter. When you use your hex bar for farmer’s carries, this is huge! A key component of loaded carries is grip strength. Having three handle diameters to work with allows you to directly focus on your grip.

Using this type of bar will better work your forearms as well. Larger grips will have this direct benefit. They will also make things a little easier on your elbows. For those with nagging elbow pain, you will really appreciate this difference.

This new design does come at a higher price, but I think it’s worth it. If you look, you’ll see that it seems like one company is making this design but selling it under several brand names. You’ll find this bar under the Titan, XMark, and Valor Fitness brand name.

After closer inspection, these 3 bars are not identical. The feet, how the handles are attached, and the sleeves are all slightly different. For this bar, it seems like the best choice would be the XMark models. You can check its current price on Amazon by clicking here.

Consider the Size

One final note on the hex bar…

It’s big!!! It takes up a lot of space. Both to use and to store. And that’s why I haven’t added a new one to my current garage set up. I simply don’t have the room.

If I did, it would be the Valor model noted above. But since I don’t, I went a slightly different route and picked up the Fringe Sport mini farmer’s walk handles. They aren’t quite the same, but for the size I absolutely love them!

If space is at a premium, definitely check those out as an alternative!

If not, get yourself a hex bar today. You won’t be sorry you did!

Happy Training!!!

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Sours: https://gymcrafter.com/trap-bar-buying-guide/
Ez bar deadlift! Cheap trap bar alternative?

Trap Bar / Hex Bar Shopping Guide

I get asked time and time and time again about the various trap bar options out there, so I figured that it was finally time to put something together for those of you who who happen to be in the market. Here it is! My [long overdue] hex and trap bar shopping guide.

I hope that this guide helps you zero in on the best trap bar for you. With any luck, you will find not only the products that you’re currently considering already in this guide, but maybe even a couple of new options that you didn’t already know about.

If you don’t see a particular bar that you would like some feedback on, leave a comment. At the very least I will give you my opinion. I may also add the bar in question to this guide.


Table of Contents


What to Look For in a Trap Bar

What to Look For in a Trap Bar

The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar with a handful of arrows representing just some of the dimensions / specifications that you may want to pay close attention to when choosing a trap bar for your gym.

  • Check dimensions carefully.  Consider how big of a trap bar you want, and how big of a trap bar you can even store in your gym. Some of these bars are huge, others are more compact; at least relatively compact.
  • Pay attention to sleeve length. If you use basic bumpers and the sleeves of the trap bar that you are considering have only 10″ sleeves, well you’re gonna run out of space long before you max out that deadlift.
  • Do you care if your trap bar is rackable?  Would you actually use it in the rack if you get a rackable trap bar?
  • Are you a pretty big dude? Maybe lean towards a trap bar with 25-26″ distance between the handles rather than those with a smaller ~24″ handle distance.
  • Do you care about dual handles? Do you care if the handles are knurled?
  • Most trap bars are an easy-to-mathulate weight; something nice and even like say 55-lb or 65-lb, but some have a completely random weight; like the TB-1 at 58-lbs.

Additionally, free shipping is NOT free! If you’re buying a trap bar that costs anywhere near $100 shipped (see the economy trap bars section below), you’re not buying a very nice trap bar. These large, heavy bars cost a lot to ship. Matter of fact, the cost to ship Rogue’s TB-1 is more than $100, and Rogue gets (and passes on to us) fairly decent shipping rates. You can imagine how nice of a trap bar you’d be buying if the total cost shipped is less than just the shipping of most other products.


Vulcan Prime Hex Trap Bar (ACRT Spec)

The Vulcan Prime Hex Trap Bar is one of the nicest; if not the nicest; standard-design, trap bars on the market.  This 7′ long, 60-lb monster is manufactured with 1.5″ x 1,5″, 11-gauge steel and has reinforced steel-plate corners for extra strength and durability. It’s big, strong, and loaded with a ton of nice features. These include:

  • true 50 mm Olympic sleeves with chrome plating. No chipping, no rust, and no special collars needed.
  • those Olympic sleeves are solid steel, not hollow.
  • no maximum weight capacity. If you can lift it, the Vulcan Prime can handle it.
  • two stainless steel Vulcan logos that contrast well with the black powder coating, giving the Prime a very classy look..
  • it’s rackable! (in most power racks)

The Vulcan Prime Hex Bar also meets the specification requirements for the deadlift portion of the Army’s new Combat Readiness Test (ACRT)! You Military buyers can buy Vulcan!

The Vulcan Prime Hex Trap Bar

The Vulcan Prime is $379 shipped and that price includes the shipping. It’s certainly not the most amount of money you could spend, but it’s not the cheapest either. Still, this is a super premium piece of equipment; a product that will never let you down or need to be replaced. I have no problem recommending Vulcan Strength or the Vulcan Prime Trap Bar.

Dimensions: 85″ x 28.5″, handle distance: 25″; handle diameter: 33 mm; handle length: 15.5″, weight: 60-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves, capacity: n/a, imported, no on-site reviews yet, $389 shipped


Rogue Fitness TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is a standard-design hex bar that is built with strong, 1.5″ square tubing instead of the round tube steel found on most basic trap bars; exactly like the Vulcan Prime Hex Bar mentioned above. This durable design is able to handle much more weight – so much so that neither Rogue or Vulcan bother providing a max capacity.

Rogue Fitness TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

The TB-1 is massive. It is 89″ long, it has fully knurled 34 mm handles, and it’s finished in a resilient black powder coat. It does not have true Olympic sleeves like the Prime, but this is still one hell of a trap bar,  and the $295 price tag isn’t really at all unreasonable for a bar of this quality.

Still, one does have to wonder if spending the difference for the TB-2 isn’t a better idea. You get the dual handle feature, and a nice even-number weight (60-lbs versus 58-lbs).

Dimensions: 89″ x 28.5″, handle distance: 25″; handle diameter: 34 mm; weight: 58-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves, capacity: n/a, made in USA, 4.7-star rating, $295 pre-shipping (~$425 shipped).


Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar is an ingenious take on the trap bar. It’s a dual-handle, open ended trap bar with built-in bar jacks. It’s well-balanced, easy to load and unload, and there are actually three different handle diameters to choose from (1″, 1½”, and 2″); each finished in bright zinc, and all of them knurled (though the 2″ ‘Love Handle’ is an optional purchase.)

The Kabuki Trap Bar; like all Kabuki products; is loaded with clever features, is aesthetically pleasing, and incredibly expensive. The Kabuki does have machined sleeves which I guess saves your $25 on a pair of axle collars, and you can set the handles to be either stationary or to rotate (well the 2″ handles anyway), but you are looking at about $600 delivered. That is a lot of money for a trap bar.

To be fair, I really like Kabuki bars. I think a lot of thought goes into the development of their products. The prices are outright ridiculous though.

Dimensions: 84″ long; handle distance: 24″; handle diameter: varies; distance between handle pairs: 3″, weight: 55-lbs, 16.5″ loadable sleeves, capacity: n/a, Made in USA, 5-star rating, $549 pre-shipping


Vulcan Pro High Hex Trap Bar

At 75-lbs, the Vulcan Pro High Hex Trap Bar is the heaviest trap bar that I know about. It’s so heavy because it’s manufactured with 2″ x 2″ steel tubing and has true Olympic sleeves rather than just schedule 80 pipe.

Vulcan Pro High Hex Trap Bar

The Vulcan Pro is a super nice trap bar. It has double height handles; both of which are fully knurled, the 16″ long, true Olympic sleeves are finished in resilient hard chrome and do not require you to own specialty bar collars, while the rest of the bar is finished in a black, matte powder coat.

This bar is a beast, and a true contender if you are looking for an end-game, no weight limit trap bar for your gym, and it doesn’t matter if your gym is a commercial gym or in a garage; you will not destroy this trap bar. Sure the $389 price tag is up there, but this is the last trap bar you’ll ever buy, and on the bright side that price does include the ground shipping.

Dimensions: 82″ x 28″, handle distance: 24″; handle diameter: 33 mm; distance between handle pairs: 7″, weight: 75-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves, capacity: n/a, imported, 5-star rating, $389 shipped


Rogue Fitness TB-2 Trap Bar

The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is pretty much the Rolls Royce of trap bars.  This 60-lb, 7-ft long monstrosity is made from 1.5″ square tubing with reinforced corners, has dual handles that are both knurled, and a gracious 16″ of loadable sleeve length. It’s also finished in Rogue’s standard (and resilient) black powder coat.

Rogue's TB-2 Trap Bar

In my opinion, even the $600 Intek Mod Bar isn’t as nice as the TB-2, and the TB-2 is “only” $375. Yes I know $375 is a lot of money to spend on any specialty bar; especially when that price does not include shipping;  but I have no doubt that this trap bar would be the last trap bar that you ever purchased. The TB-2 is going to last forever.

Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar - knurling and finish detail

I highly recommend the TB-2 if it’s within budget. Read those reviews if you’re in doubt. You won’t find a nicer dual-handled, full-size trap bar. The Vulcan Pro High Trap Bar is arguably a better deal since its $389 price tag includes shipping, but the TB-2 is still the Rolls.

Dimensions: 88.5″ x 28.5″, handle distance: 25″; handle diameter: 34 mm; distance between handle pairs: 7″, weight: 60-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves, capacity: n/a, made in USA, 4.9-star rating, $375 pre-shipping


American Barbell Fat Grip Hex Bar

The American Barbell Fat Grip Trap Bar is fairly unique in that it has dual-handles that are both the same, very thick diameter of 1.91″. I suppose this would be great if all you’ve ever wanted was an axle trap bar, but I think the lack of at least one smaller-diameter grip does make this kind of a niche trap bar.

the American Barbell Fat Grip Trap Hex Bar

Outside of the fat handles, the American Barbell has pretty typical specs. The weight looks good, the inner dimensions look good, it has long 16″+ sleeves, and it’s even rackable. It is a very nice trap bar, and the price isn’t even out of control for American Barbell. Still, you’d really have to be into Strongman-style, fat bar training to lean on this trap bar over most the others.

Dimensions: 85″ x 28.5″, handle distance: 25″; handle diameter: 48 mm; weight: 55-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves, capacity: unknown, made in USA, no on-site reviews, $349 pre-shipping


Edge Fitness Systems Rickshaw

Not quite a hex bar, but still basically a trap bar, the Edge Fitness Systems Rickshaw is one very heavy-duty, budget-friendly option you should know about.

Edge Fitness Systems Rickshaw - Walk-in Trap Bar

As Edge puts it, the Rickshaw is a walk-in trap bar that’s easier to load. In addition to using it for deadlifts, shrugs and carries just like you would with a standard trap bar, the Rickshaw offers a little more exercise variety because of its wide, stable stance and elevated handles. Most of us probably wouldn’t base the decision to buy on these bonus exercises, but bonus features are bonus features.

At only $250 before shipping, the price of the Rickshaw is extremely reasonable. Edge has a solid reputation for quality and ingenuity, and while you will wait a few weeks to receive a product from Edge, the word is that it’s always worth the wait. I personally like this option.

Joe Gray has a fantastic one-year-in review of the Edge Rickshaw that you should definitely check out if this product is on your radar. I have included it below for your convenience!

Yes Titan Fitness has a copy of the Edge Rickshaw, but if you respect your garage gym you won’t want that inferior piece of scrap metal anywhere near your other equipment; unless of course you’re already donating all of your gym budget to Titan anyway (shame on you.)

Dimensions: 56″ x 19″, handle distance: 24.5″; handle diameter: 32 mm; handle length: 7″,weight: 55-lbs, 13″ loadable sleeves, capacity: 700-lbs, made in the USA, no on-site reviews, $250 pre-shipping.


Intek Modular Function Bar

The Intek Mod Bar is an open-ended trap bar that can be used for pretty much all the same movements as a standard hex bar; shrugs, deadlifts, carries, presses, and so forth. There’s an optional roll bar that allows you to use it for a few more movements as well;  movements that you’d probably never imagine doing with a trap bar. A squat, for example.

Intek Modular Trap Bar

This thing is an absolute beast for sure;  it’s made with 2″ square tubing and has reinforcing plates on the corners. It weighs in at 65-pounds and is pretty massive at 86″ long and about 30″ deep. It’s a very nice and very strong piece of equipment, and it even has dual handles, but the price seems a little high at $595. It does ship for free so it doesn’t end up being a lot more than say the Rogue trap bars to your door, but it’s a pretty penny no matter what.

Dimensions: 86″ x 29″, handle distance: 27″; handle diameter: 32 mm; distance between handles: 5″, weight: 65-lbs, 15″ loadable sleeves, capacity: 700-lbs, rackable; made in USA, no on-site reviews, $595 shipped.


Bells of Steel Trap Bar 2.0 w/ Rotating Sleeves

The Bells of Steel Trap Bar is a stand-out in my opinion.  At only $247 shipped this trap bar has great dimensions, a 65-lb solid steel frame, a real zinc finish (rather than the decorative chrome found on most lower-cost trap bars), and dual-height handles. The BoS Trap Bar is also equipped with rotating sleeves; a rarity on trap bars.

Bells of Steel Trap Bar with Rotating Sleeves

The BoS Trap Bar has a lot going for it. In addition to the low price and solid specifications, it has a 4.9 star rating based on nearly 20 reviews, it has extremely long sleeves (that outta make bumper plate owners very happy), and the $247 price not only includes shipping, but includes shipping in enhanced packing that will ensure the bar shows up still in its box.

So long as you’re not looking for something super fancy like the TB-2 or the Vulcan Pro, I’m thinking the Bells of Steel Trap Bar 2.0 should be at the top of your list. Though do consider that the BoS Trap Bar has fairly narrow handles at only 25 mm in diameter.

Dimensions: 73″ x 23″, handle distance: 24″; handle diameter: 25 mm; handle length: 12″,weight: 65-lbs, 16″ loadable (rotating) sleeves, capacity: 700-lbs, imported, 4.9-star rating, $247 shipped.


Body Solid Combat Ready Trap Bar

The Body Solid Combat Ready Trap Bar is designed specifically for the new Army Combat Readiness Test. Of the six tests in the ACRT, the deadlift is one of them, and it is performed using a trap bar rather than a standard barbell.

Body Solid Combat Ready Trap Bar

The Army has certain requirements for the size, maximum capacity, and unloaded weight of the trap bar to be used for this test, and the Body Solid CRTB meets these requirements.

As a civilian training for the ACRT, I do not see any advantages of owing this bar over a trap bar that doesn’t meets Army standards, but costs less. That is to say, you can train your pull with any like-sized trap bar and it’s still going to improve your lift. Then again if it just makes you feel better to know it’s to spec, by all means have at it. You lose dual-handles with a bar like this one, but it does have some long sleeves and it may even be rackable in your rack!

Dimensions: 89″ x 28.5″, weight: 60-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves,capacity: 600-lbs, made in the USA, no on-site reviews, handle diameter: 34 mm; $259 shipped. (many dimensions for this bar are unavailable, even through Body Solid.)


XMark Revolving Grip Trap Bar

The Revolving Grip Hex Bar is a style of trap bar that seems to be exclusive to the big box-store brands; companies like XMark, Valor, and CAP.  Rather than being a fully welded unit with fixed-position handles like pretty much every other trap bar in this guide, this design is a bolt-together product that features rotating handles and elevated sleeves.

XMark Revolving Grip Trap Bar

Personally I think this is a clever idea. With each rotation of the handles, the diameter of the handles gets thicker – from 30 mm to 38 mm and all the way up to 45 mm. That largest size at 45 mm is pretty damn thick, and that can make for one heck of a forearm workout. Those elevated sleeves will make loading and unloading the bar easier as well.

The overall size of the XMark Revolving Grip Trap Bar is generous. It is 65″ long, offers 26″ between the handles, and it weighs an even 25 kg; or 55-lbs. The sleeve length is about as short as they can be at only 10″,  but for a bolt-together unit with a 700-lb max capacity, it’ll probably do so long as you’re not using bumper plates.

CAP Barbell makes a similar model for less money, but looking at the specs and details of it I can tell that it’s not built as well as the XMark. If you’re going to miss the standard trap bar and go for something like this, at least avoid the CAP model. Personally I don’t like the idea of an assembled specialty bar (vs welded) either way, and having two grip options like what is found on the dual-grip, fixed trap bars seems good enough. But hey, to each their own!

Dimensions: 65″ x 31″, handle distance: 26″; handle diameters: 30, 38, & 45 mm; handle length: 7″,weight: 55-lbs, 10″ loadable sleeves, capacity: 700-lbs, imported, 4.5-star rating, $230 shipped.


Rep Fitness Trap Bar

Rep Fitness’ Trap Bar is a solid trap bar for the money.  While definitely still an economical bar at only $125 (before shipping), it does feature dual-height (knurled) handles, a good 24″ distance between said handles, an even 25 kg/55 lb weight, and a very nice 16″ of loadable sleeve length (that’s a lot for a basic trap bar).

Rep Fitness 55-lb / 25 kg Trap (Hex) Bar

Like most fully welded trap bars of this size (71″ long), it needs to be shipped freight. This of course makes a $125 bar a bit more than $125. So while I wouldn’t exactly recommend this particular trap bar as a solo purchase, I think it may be an auto-buy if you’re already making a purchase from Rep that will ship freight. It’s really a lot of bar for only $125.

Dimensions: 71″ x 25½”, handle distance: 24″; diameter: 25 mm; length: 14½”, dual handles (6″), weight: 55-lbs, 16″ loadable sleeves, capacity: 600-lbs, imported, 5-star rating, $125 pre-shipping.


Super Economy Trap Bars (Titan / CAP / XMark / etc)

You will find a number of very inexpensive, strikingly similar trap bars scattered on Amazon, the large fitness outlets, and your local box stores. If you look closely enough at the images and specifications of these budget trap bars, you’ll find that they are more or less the same.

I strongly recommend avoiding the low-end trap bars as they have very low max capacities, numerous quality-control issues, poor finishes, and damage issues from shipping. Here are some examples of what you should avoid:

CAP Barbell OB-88HZ:  How nice do you think an $88 Trap Bar (and that includes shipping) will really be? Low 400-lb max capacity, garbage welds, random diameter sleeves that may or may not work with your plates, and a very low-quality finish. Please don’t be this cheap if you care about your training.

Titan Fitness Hex Bar: At $113 it’s a few bucks more than the above-mentioned CAP, but do not be fooled! This is more or less the same bar. It has a low max capacity, Titan’s infamous weak welds and rampant quality-control issues, short sleeves, and a poor, decorative finish. You can do a lot better for not a lot more money.

XMark Hex Bar (XM-3686): I don’t always have a problem with XMark but this particular bar is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. At $150 it’s basically the same underweight, lower capacity bar as the two I just mentioned. It has a small stature, short sleeves, and can only handle up to 400-lbs of weight. It has a nicer finish than the other two, but finish-be-damned on a product that can’t handle even a moderate amount of weight (this is a deadlift bar after all.)

I could drag this list of weak, under-spec’d trap bars on forever, but I think you get the idea. Maybe it’s easier to suggest the following:

Look for 700+ lb capacity, 24″ or more of distance between handles, a total length of 56″ at the very least (more if you want more than 10″ sleeves), a price that isn’t all by itself a giant red flag, and a finish that will actually protect the bar. Read reviews for issues with shipping, uneven sleeves & warped frames, and finish issues or rust right out of the box.


Trap Bar Shopping Guide – Summary

As you can see there is a lot of variation in the trap bar game – short sleeves, long sleeves; knurled or unknurled; single grip or double-handled; fixed or modular, and so forth. You can spend nearly nothing for a piece of garbage that can’t handle even a half-decent deadlift, or you can spend even just a little more and get something that can handle the weight, will last forever, and maybe even offer you more movement variety. Your options are endless.

What do I recommend? Well I think I’ve made it clear that you should avoid the lowest price bars like those you’ll find on Amazon. If you just need something that will work but that does not bust your bank account, go with someone like Rep Fitness. It’s a fine trap bar at a really reasonable price.

My personal favorite is the Vulcan Prime Hex Bar. I like the 25″ handle distance, I like that it has Olympic sleeves and no maximum capacity, and I even like the aesthetics. It’s not dual-handled, but that’s fine by me. If I wanted those dual handles I’d lean towards Rogue’s TB-2 or the Vulcan Pro. Yes all of these are fairly pricey bars, but they are all end game bars that will never need to be replaced – ever.


 

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Tagged as:ACRT trap bar compliant, alternative deadlift bar, American Barbell, best trap bar, deadlift bars, double handled, economy hex bar, hex bar buying guide, hex bar shopping guide, how to select a trap bar, modular bar review, rickshaw review, selecting the right bar, specialty bars, trap bar guide, trap bar review

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Cheap hex bar

The Best Trap Bars for 2021 [Buying Guide]

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See our disclosures page for more information.

After researching and using nearly 30 trap bars, we’ve determined that there is still much to be desired in a trap bar we’d recommend for most people. Despite this, currently, for 2021, our Top Pick for the best trap/hex bar is the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar. It offers the best value among the trap bars currently on the market, although there’s still much room for improvement. This said many would be just fine choosing one of our more budget-friendly recommendations.

The Best Trap Bars

Top Pick: Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar

4.50

Top Pick
Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0
Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

Version 2.0 of the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar features the same general design and dimensions of the original, but with an updated, precision sleeve construction that reduces the starting weight of the bar by more than 25 percent. This makes the TB-1 easier to maneuver without limiting its effectiveness. Simply put, if you want to lift massive weight, this tool still belongs in your arsenal. The Trap Bar's hexagonal design and knurled, neutral grip handles make it optimized for performing deadlifts that put less stress on the lumbar spine–since the load is centered and not off axis like a traditional deadlift. This same benefit makes the TB-1 2.0 a useful specialty bar for beginners, as well as athletes dealing with nagging back issues or rehabbing from other injuries. We manufacture the TB-1 in Columbus, OH, and it's fully compatible with standard Oly plates. Specifications:Neutral Grip Handles, Spaced 25" on center with easy-grip knurling, 1.34" diameterNewly Redesigned Olympic Sleeves: Schedule 80 with Welded Caps, 1.91" diameter16" Loadable sleeve spaceFinish: Signature black powder coatWeight: 58LB (unloaded)

$295.00

Shop deal

The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is our pick for the best trap bar for most people. Despite there being many different trap bar releases recently, the TB-1, in our opinion, provides the best features at a price point that is within reach for most of our readers. This said, we still feel like there are many things lacking in the TB-1 and foresee this bar either being replaced by Rogue, or overtaken by a newcomer sooner than later.

The TB-1 Trap Bar has been around for some time, in fact, it was one of the first specialty bars that Rogue released and although it’s been updated over time, the updates have been minor. We have the older brother of the TB-1 in our garage gym, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar that features all of the same construction and components, but also includes a second handle that allows for deadlifts from a different height.

Initially, we were going to recommend the TB-2, but it’s quite a bit more expensive and the only difference is the second handle that can easily be replicated by deadlifting in a rack or on blocks with the TB-1.

There are a few reasons we’ve chosen the TB-1 as our top pick. The first is it’s made by a company with arguably the best customer service and warranty in the industry. Although we don’t foresee people breaking the TB-1 Trap Bar, it’s nice to know that if any issues come up, including during shipping, you can easily get help having them resolved. This is an issue we’ve seen come up with other trap bars on this list and is inherent in various company structures.

In addition to the customer service, another side note is the TB-1, as with just about any Rogue product, has great resale value. We foresee many companies, including Rogue, updating their trap bars and offering better options at all price levels, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you eventually want to sell the bar you currently have to upgrade. People will always have a desire to buy a Rogue product on the secondary market, and with the US Army adopting them (I’m pretty sure they’ve made a huge order from Rogue, see here, those are TB-1’s in the video.)

The TB-1 Trap Bar from Rogue, apart from what it receives inherently from being a Rogue product, is extremely well made. It’s built to handle any weight you can throw at it and will stay extremely rigid throughout. There is no, I repeat, no whip with any weight on this bar. Rogue doesn’t give a specific weight capacity for the bar, but it has to be well over 1,000 LB thanks to the thick frame and robotic welds.

The entire trap bar is powder-coated. This is less than ideal, especially on the sleeves as we’ll mention on its shortcomings, but they’ve since improved their powder coating from the original bars and it doesn’t flake quite as easy. The powder coat is Rogue’s signature black matte textured powder coat that is seen throughout hundreds of items in their catalog. It works well for the frame of the bar but is less than an idea on the sleeves.

The knurling on the Rogue Trap Bar is sharp! Seriously, it’s one of the sharpest knurls we’ve used on any bar, including the Rogue Deadlift Bar. In fact, in our opinion, it’s sharper than it needs to be and in order to prevent calluses tearing like crazy during farmers’ walks with the bar, we used some sandpaper to shave it down.

Despite the knurling being sharp, it is consistent, uniform, and well done. Rogue uses top-of-the-line HAAS machinery to make equipment as well as knurl barbells, which is one reason their bars are known for having some of the best knurlings in the industry.

One big benefit of the TB-1 that some trap bars miss is that it’s rackable. Those who have never used a trap bar in a rack are missing out. First off, is the obvious benefit of using the rack for trap bars at different heights via spotter pins. Rack pulls are a great variant of the trap bar deadlift and it’s nice to have a bar that can accommodate the movement.

Although this is a great feature, even more than that, we like to use the trap bar for the overhead press. In fact, overhead press with the trap bar is one of our favorite upper-body movements and something we suggest everyone reading this who hasn’t tried it, give it a shot. The TB-1 allows for this type of work due to it being rackable.

The sleeves of the TB-1 are powder coated which is less than ideal, however, they have been updated with Schedule 80 Pipe (we’d prefer they be machined like some of our upgrade picks.) Thanks to the 1.91” diameter, the bar should be able to handle most standard Olympic Collars.

To summarize, although the TB-1 Trap Bar from Rogue could certainly be improved, it is one of the best value trap bars available and the reason we have rated it our top pick among the many other trap bars. We think many could get away with a lower-priced trap bar and would love a trap bar that costs more (see our upgrade picks) but for something that performs well and doesn’t break the bank, this is currently the best option.

Shortcomings, but Not Dealbreakers

The biggest shortcoming of the Rogue TB-1 Trap bar compared with some of the newer trap bars that are coming out is the powder-coated sleeves. It seems extremely silly to powder coat something that is going to have metal plates rubbed against it and cause the powder to flake off. This needs to be fixed, even raw metal sleeves would be better in our opinion.

The other issue with the bar is the knurl. It’s a good knurl in that it is uniform and consistent, but it’s much too aggressive. We greatly prefer too aggressive a knurl on a trap bar versus too passive, but the ideal knurl in our opinion would be what’s on the Rogue Ohio Power Bar.

In addition to the knurl being too aggressive, there are no knurl marks in the center of the handle that allows you to line up even with the bar. This is a major oversight that makes it difficult to line up with the bar evenly.

Lastly, and this is nit-picky, but the logo on the TB-1 is a sticker. Rogue is a premium brand and people paying premium prices like to show off the brand and it helps with the resale value, laser-cut that bad boy or paint it on. Stickers being used on high-end gym equipment always seem out of place.

The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is our pick for the best trap bar for most people. There are a wide variety of trap bars currently available with just about every feature you could imagine, however, with more features comes a higher price. On the other end are lower-priced trap bars that are certainly worth looking at (in fact, in many cases we’d suggest going with one of our budget picks), but lack some of the refinements and durability features of the TB-1.

Although the TB-1 isn’t the best piece of equipment Rogue makes, it does get the job done at a great price. Featuring an aggressive knurl, thick and rigid square tubing, long enough sleeves to load it up with iron or bumpers, a lifetime warranty, and a decent price are what make the Rogue TB-1 our top pick.

In addition to the inherent properties of the bar, it’s also rackable. Some people don’t think it matters if a trap bar is rackable, but those in a home gym know the importance of having equipment that is versatile. Thanks to its rackability (is that a word?) the TB-1 can be used for presses or rack deadlifts in addition to the movements available outside of the rack.

Despite the Rogue TB-1 being our top pick, it could honestly be improved in many ways and we expect Rogue to either update it, or it to be unseated by a competitor rather soon.

Upgrade Pick: Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

4.75

Upgrade Pick
Kabuki Strength Trap Bar
Kabuki Strength Trap Bar

The age-old struggle of loading and unloading plates from your trusty trap bar is over. We are proud to introduce a simple, effortless solution - the built-in bar jack. Our design features 2x nearly inch-thick "legs" with tread to provide grip and stability when the bar is positioned in a vertical orientation for easy loading/unloading. We designed The Trap Bar to allow for an effortless transition from horizontal to vertical position, requiring minimal effort and taking advantage of human kind's earliest discovery - the lever. An industry-first, The Trap Bar by default comes with two sets of machined, knurled grips finished in bright zinc. The grips are easily swappable for your specific training need. Another industry first, the 2" Love Handles are an optional add-on for The Trap Bar that allows for both rolling (the grip will spin freely) or fixed usage. Each set of Love Handles includes adapters to allow for both rolling and fixed use. Visualize a regular trap bar with the low handles (see illustration). The bar is a flat plane, stretching out in the X and Z axis. The handles are typically positioned at the center of mass (COM) and center of rotation (COM), so that if the bar was centrally fixed on two points along the X axis, where the handles are, it would be balanced (assuming its weight distribution is even along the Z axis. In theory, if you hold a regular trap bar perfectly on-center using the low handles, it should feel balanced. Practically speaking, the low handles always feel inherently unstable due to the bar's inclination to dive one direction or another like a teeter-tooter - forcing the lifter to self-balance using their wrists. The higher handles don't have this problem, and the bar is much more difficult to rotate forwards or backwards. For an extreme example of instability, imagine deadlifting on a trap bar with the high-handles, but upside down resulting in the fulcrum, or center of rotation, point being 6" below the center of mass. Any minor shift or movement, and that bar is going to rotate and fall right out of your hands. Our simple solution on The Trap Bar was to introduce a minor 1/2" vertical offset for the low handles, placing them slightly higher than the centerline of the bar. This results in the same effect, but to a lesser extent, as the high-handles - the bar will have a tendency to return to center rather than dive forward or backwards. Think of a teeter-totter - it's an inherently unbalanced mechanism just like a regular trap bar with low handles. Now, think of a swing - with the center of rotation much higher than the center of mass - it will always try to return to center. In an effort to make The Trap Bar as versatile of an implement as possible, we opted to open up one end of the bar while still ensuring it retains a fully-balanced design. This open design allows for much more variation beyond your standard deadlift, including loaded carries, split squats, RDLs, and lunges. Unlike most trap/hex bars on the market, The Trap Bar features machined sleeves with 16.5" of loadable space. To cut costs, many trap bars use off-the-shelf DOM tubing whose diameter is less than a standard olympic sleeve, resulting in them being incompatible with all standard collars. Another side effect of this is that plates fit very loosely on the under-sized sleeves, resulting in lots of shifting, movement, and clanging of the plates. Our sleeves are machined to tight tolerances like any other standard barbell, allowing for a snug fit for plates and compatibility with all standard barbell collars. The Trap Bar is fabricated, manufactured, and assembled in-house at Kabuki Strength Lab, our dual-purpose training space and manufacturing facility in the beautiful Pacific Northwest city of Portland, Oregon. Each bar includes a hand-signed card by the Kabuki Strength employee who assembled it. Built-In Bar Jack to allow easy loading/unloading of plates Swappable Grips with 1" and 1.5" (included), and 2" Love Handles (optional) Balanced Design for both high and low handles. Open Design to allow for a variety of unilateral and carrying movements Machined, full-length sleeves with signature end cap

$649.99

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The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar, in all reality, is our favorite trap bar currently available. We’d love to tell everyone to spend $500+ on a trap bar, but it’s out of the price range for most of our readers who are trying to spend money elsewhere, so that’s why we’ve chosen it as our Upgrade Pick.

To start with, an open-end design is simply better than one that’s closed. There’s not much arguing this, even the manufacturers who don’t yet have an open-ended trap bar would likely admit it’s better and are likely working on their own. The open-end configuration is the eventual fate of nearly all trap bars and will probably be discovered someplace in pretty much every equipment manufacturer’s line-up that is as of now making and selling barbells.

The open-ended design of the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar increases the versatility of the bar, and therefore is better for those in a home gym with less space than a commercial setting. The more exercises you can perform with a piece of equipment, the better for the home gym owner. An open-ended trap bar like our Upgrade Picks can be used for lunges, presses, tricep work, box deadlifts, and more.

Specifically, the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar utilizes a bit of a unique frame geometry by employing square tubing that’s been bent at the corners to make a somewhat seamless frame. Eleiko, with their latest Öppen Deadlift Bar, uses large, round tubing that has been bent in a similar shape. Rogue’s TB-1 Trap Bar, our top pick, features a similar style of square tubing as the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar but instead of being bent, it’s chopped and welded together with extra braces for increased rigidity.

One of the coolest features of some of the latest open-ended trap bar designs is the ability to jack the bar up for loading plates. On each end of the Kabuki, Trap Bar are angled “legs” that feature grooves for the tread that allows the bar to be easily stood up. This feature will have you asking, “why didn’t I come up with that?” as you take a step back and admire the invention; it’s that simple and great of an idea.

The other feature of the Trap Bar by Kabuki Strength that separates it from pretty much every trap bar currently available and makes it our Upgrade Pick is the swappable grips. There are two positions for grips on the Trap Bar, one set of low handles that are ½” above alignment with the bar sleeves (more on this in a second) and one that is set a few inches higher.

Both of these positions have the ability for any of the three grips Kabuki makes to be inserted. Currently, there is a 1” and 1.5” handle that is included with every trap bar purchase, and an optional 2” handle called the “Love Handle” that can be set to be fixed or rolling.

The handles are knurled in what appears to me to be the same knurling pattern as the Upgrade Pick on our Best Powerlifting Barbell guide, the Kabuki Strength New Gen Power Bar. In other words, the knurling on the Kabuki Trap Bar is the same as one of the best power bars in the world. Compared to the knurling on our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1, the Kabuki Trap Bar blows it out of the water. It’s as if the TB-1’s knurling was an afterthought, while on Kabuki’s it was something they spent a lot of time and energy on.

As previously mentioned, the Kabuki Trap Bar shifts the low handles a ½” above alignment with the barbell sleeves. This is unconventional but done for a pretty ingenious reason that could only have been thought of by a 1,000+ LB deadlifting engineer, namely Chris Duffin.

The handles being just a bit higher than parallel makes it easier to balance the bar. Although it wasn’t overtly noticeable if not told of the feature prior, I didn’t experience as many issues balancing the bar as I have with cheaper trap bars in the past.

The last area of focus on the Trap Bar that we like is the machined sleeves. By now, machined sleeves should be the standard on every bar claiming to be “one of the best.” With machined Olympic sleeves, there’s no need to buy spare axle collars or for the weight to constantly be jarring against the sleeve due to too much space between the sleeve and plate hub.

The 16.5” loadable area of the sleeve allows for you to add as many weight plates or bumper plates as you’d like. On the end of the sleeve is a simple and classy etched metal end cap that is in line with Kabuki’s other bars. It’s a beautiful thing.

We used the Kabuki Trap Bar for everything from heavy deadlifts and camber squats to lunges and overhead presses (done with a unique method, more on that later.) Our verdict on the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar is that it’s the best trap bar for people who don’t mind spending extra money. Although we’d love to recommend it to everyone, it’s pricey for a single bar. That said, for those with the cash, you won’t regret it.

RELATED: Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar review

The Upgrade Pick was an easy choice in the latest specialty bar from Kabuki Strength, the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar. Chris Duffin, the creator of the Duffalo Bar and New Gen Power Bar has been on an absolute tear lately. The Trap Bar from his company Kabuki Strength is their latest release, and quite possibly their best yet.

RELATED: Kabuki Strength New Generation Power Bar Review

The number of useful features that are packed into this bar makes you question why it hadn’t been thought of sooner. Combining the open-end design that is by far the best way to make a trap bar along with interchangeable handles that feature the same knurling as their top-of-the-line power bar, this is the last trap bar you’d ever have to buy. We chose the Kabuki Trap Bar as our Upgrade Pick due to its significantly higher price tag, but also a wealth of features. If you have the money to spend and want the best, this is our recommendation.

See our full Kabuki Strength Trap Bar review here.

Another Upgrade Pick: Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar

4.40

Another Upgrade Pick
Eleiko ppen Deadlift Bar
Eleiko ppen Deadlift Bar

Eleiko’s patent pending Öppen deadlift bar is designed for lifting ease, opening the benefits of deadlifting to more people. The open design supports a variety of lunges and carries in addition to deadlifts. The bar easily moves between the upright storage and the horizontal lifting position. It rests on rubber feet which protect the platform and provide ample clearance for unencumbered loading and unloading. Durable chromed sleeves are compatible with all Eleiko discs, and the bar is appropriate for Eleiko platforms and racks Space efficient vertical bar storage allows facilities to optimize training spaces Open design, loading system and grip markings make this bar approachable, easy to use and appropriate for more lifters 0ur unique system allows bumper plates to be loaded without having to lift the bar. Manufactured in Sweden from the finest materials with our signature attention to detail, the bar rests on durable rubber feet that protect the platform and raise the sleeve off the ground for easy loading and unloading of discs and bumpers plates. The Öppen Deadlift Bar solves many issues common to trap bars on the market today which are often difficult to load, cumbersome to use and challenging to store. Our unique open design is approachable and the bar is counterbalanced so users can easily move between the upright storage and loading position and the horizontal lifting position. Length: 2150 mm/84.65 in. Width: 589 mm/23.19 in. Height: 226 mm/8.9 in. Weight: 25kg/55.12 lbs. Warranty: 5 years

$796.00

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The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar is one of the most expensive trap bars and likely specialty bars on the market. It’s also one of the most enjoyable to use and has us questioning where the line is between strength equipment and fine art. Although we wish it was a bit cheaper so more people could experience just how good of a bar it is, we’re glad Eleiko didn’t cut any corners and made a bar worthy of their historic name.

Here’s what we like about Eleiko in general, and we told their Marketing Director this when he asked what we thought about the bar. Eleiko has a high level of execution through simple products. We, as much as likely you reading this love a piece of equipment with a lot of bells and whistles. Adjustments, attachments, customizable options are all things we love, but here’s the issue, the more changes, and features added to a product, the more likely it is for there to be issues.

Think about it, as good as a Leatherman Multi-Tool is, if you just need something cut, a fixed blade is vastly superior. Eleiko recognizes this. Here was Jochem (Eleiko’s Head of Marketing) reply to me, “We try to be the best in the existing categories and deliver outstanding lifetime value through smart engineering.” The Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar is a perfect example of this mission.

What separates the Öppen Deadlift Bar from the competition and the reason it’s one of our Upgrade Picks is not just because of its features, but its attention to detail. Without a doubt, and this may come as a surprise to some, my favorite feature of the Öppen Deadlift Bar from Eleiko is the bar handles.

Rather than using a cheap pipe and having some second-rate knurling used (even the best trap bars on the market do this, for instance, our top pick, the Rogue TB-1) the Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar utilizes what feels and looks like the same steel and knurling as their world-renowned IWF Weightlifting Barbell. In fact, because we have an Eleiko Training WL Bar on hand, we were able to compare and they are pretty much exact.

In addition to the excellent handles, the Öppen Deadlift Bar utilizes an open-end design. This is a similar design as our other Upgrade Pick, the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar, although Eleiko released theirs shortly before Kabuki. This is the design of the future and we foresee pretty much all new trap bars that are released to feature something similar.

Eleiko, instead of using square tubing, utilizes thick round tubing that is then powder-coated to match that of the rest of their new equipment. We’ve said this in other reviews, but Eleiko’s equipment is as much of an art as it is a science. Just as with the Kabuki Trap Bar, the Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar opens up a world of possibilities for movements including Camber Bar Squats that work surprisingly well (oh, and did we mention it’s rackable.)

One of the most remarkable features that Eleiko first introduced to the market was the ability to stand the bar up on its end so plates can be easily slid on. This is much more than a gimmick and is an extremely useful feature. In fact, we wish it was on every bar we have after using it. Eleiko’s jack stand features two rubber bumpers that unlike Kabuki’s are less likely to mark up your platform or whatever surface you’re training on. They also grip well so it goes up very easily.

The Eleiko Trap Bar is a beautiful piece of equipment, however, being Eleiko, it is rather expensive. It’s by far the most expensive trap bar on our list and likely the most expensive trap bar on the market. Is it one of the best we’ve ever used? By far, but, is it worth the cost? We’ll let you decide on that one.

The Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar is an open-end trap bar that is the most costly on our list (and quite possibly anywhere,) but also one of the best. What separates the Öppen Deadlift Bar from the competition is not just in its features, but in its attention to detail. Eleiko introduced the first trap bar with a built-in jack, but in addition to that, the bar is rackable, has chrome, machined sleeves, and the best handles we’ve ever felt on a specialty bar.

As you might expect, the Eleiko is pricey. We absolutely love its features and use it more than any other trap bar, but for the price, it’s unfortunately out of the range for most people. If you have the money to spend, want a rackable trap bar, and like the refinement of Eleiko, you can’t beat the Öppen Deadlift Bar.

See our full Eleiko Öppen Deadlift Bar review here.

Budget Pick: Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar

5.00

Budget Pick
Titan Hex Trap Bar
Titan Hex Trap Bar

This heavy duty Hex Trap Bar from Titan Fitness was designed to be able to be used inside your rack on pin and pipe safety bars, flip down safety bars, or your strap safety system. The hexagon frame measures 49" across, so you can easily rack the bar on your power rack safety system for easy plate loading and a lifted starting position for deadlifts and shrugs. The 1.5" square frame tubing, double gusseted corners, and solid 48mm weight post with 15.75" of loadable space per side give the Hex Trap Bar a stout construction designed to withstand heavy lifting for years to come. The Hex Trap Bar features a dual handle design with a 25" spread for a comfortable lift. The raised set stands 7.5" from the floor for a raised position when lifting. Features: - Heavy duty construction for a stout and durable design for years of heavy lifting. - Dual handle design to add more versatility to your workout. - Raised set of handles stands 7.5" from floor for a raised starting position when lifting. - Frame measure 49" across so you can easily rack the bar on your power rack safety system. - Solid 48mm weight posts for maximum capacity and long term durability. Specifications: - Overall Length: 87.5" - Hexagon Frame Length: 49" - Handle Spread: 25" - Handle Diameter: 1.25" - Handle Length: 24.5" - Weight Post Length: 15.75" - Weight Post Diameter: 48 mm | 1.89" - Weight: 60 LB

$244.95

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If you’re on a budget, or you just don’t feel like spending an enormous amount of money on a trap bar (we don’t blame you) then we would suggest the Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar as our Budget Pick.

The Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar is very similar to the older brother of our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar. We’ve used and abused the TB-2 for years now and still recommend it to many. There are a couple of reasons why we’ve kept the Titan Hex Trap Bar from being our top pick (they were very close) and here’s why:

1. We’ve heard of quite a few issues of people not receiving what they ordered until only after a few months of back and forth.

2. The Hex Trap Bar has no warranty (this is more of a minor reason considering most won’t ever need one.)

3. The bottom handle, the one that will be used most often, has no knurling.

4. The bar is listed as rackable, but reviews do not seem to agree.

Despite these reasons, the Titan Hex Trap Bar is one of the best value trap bars on the market. It features nearly all of the same design elements (not surprisingly) as the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar at a much lower price. So low in fact, it looks like the TB-2 but is priced less than the TB-1.

The Hex Trap Bar from Titan is fully powder coated in a matte black textured powder coat, including the sleeves, unfortunately, and has both higher and lower handles. The knurling on the higher handle has gotten great remarks from those that have used it and is actually somewhat aggressive, although not as aggressive as our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1 (we’re happy about this.) One of the biggest complaints on the bar, however, is the lack of knurling on the lower handle.

Without a doubt, the handle that will be used most often is the lower handle, so why they decided to not knurl it is beyond our understanding (in all honesty, it was likely done on accident.) Here’s what one reviewer said in regards to the lower handle:

“My only gripe is that the lower handles are not knurled. Using chalk definitely helps mitigate that but as that powder coat wears down, not sure how that will hold up with heavy use. Of course, you can use straps but I prefer to train without them. Just seems like a weird design choice.”

Similar comments as these fill the review section of Titan’s website.

One feature of the bar that’s stated, but is only somewhat accurate is the rackability of the bar. Many reviewers have claimed that although the bar fits on safety straps or safety bars, it does not fit in j-cups. Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

“It is technically rackable but is slightly over getting that on the “barbell like” surfaces. What I mean by this is that the collars are about 56″ apart, meaning about 52″ is where I personally would consider rackable. 52″ is where you have the two outside portions of the hex coming together and equivalent to my standard barbel. I can rack it f I use it on the safeties but not if I want to use it on the j-hooks.”

If you’re looking for a fully compatible trap bar that is rackable in a majority of squat racks, this isn’t it. However, as with some other trap bars, it can be used on a variety of safety straps or safety bars.

All in all, the Titan Hex Trap Bar is one of the best value trap bars available. Its features and build combined with its low price create a truly great value. It must be understood, however, that Titan has a reputation for things going missing in shipping or shipping the wrong item. Titan is also an importer of equipment, meaning the bar is not made in the USA, but most likely in China. To some this matters, to others, it does not.

If you want a lot of features in a trap bar at a low price, this is your best bet and our Budget Pick.

If you’re on a budget, or you just don’t feel like spending an enormous amount of money on a trap bar (we don’t blame you) then we would suggest the Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar as our budget pick.

The Titan Fitness Hex Trap Bar is very similar to the older brother of our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar. We’ve used and abused the TB-2 for years now and still recommend it to many. The Titan Hex Trap Bar is a good bar, but as with most Titan Fitness products, it doesn’t come without its quirks. For instance, it’s listed as rackable, but many users have reported it’s not and the bottom handles are not knurled even though the top ones are. Despite this, for the price, this is an awesome trap bar and one we foresee many adding to their garage gym.

If you’re on a budget but still want a trap bar that can compete with much more expensive competitors, this is your best bet.

RELATED: How to Build a Budget Home Gym with Titan Fitness Equipment

Ultra Budget Pick: Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar

4.86

Ultra Budget Pick
CAP OB-91HZ Mega Hex Bar
CAP OB-91HZ Mega Hex Bar

#SPECS - Bar Dimensions: 56"L x 24"W x 6"H. Bar Weight: 75 lb. Weight Capacity 1000 lb #QUALITY - Made of zinc plated 32mm solid steel #ROOMY - 26" between grip handles #FEATURES - Combines raised and flush neutral grips #PRO - For use with Olympic plates

$128.02

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Specialty bars, and therefore trap bars, are used less than Olympic barbells in a majority of home gyms. For this reason, it makes complete sense that you’d want a more budget-friendly trap bar, and the Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar is a bar that packs a lot of punch for its price.

The Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar is essentially the big brother to our Cheapest Pick, the Cap Olympic Trap Bar. Featuring the same geometry, but with thicker diameter steel and therefore greater rigidity, the Cap Mega Olympic Hex Bar does a great job of combining functionality with affordability.

The Mega Hex Bar is made from solid steel that is then bent, welded and bright zinc plated. Bright zinc is a durable and corrosion-resistant plating that is also affordable but should prevent the bar from rusting quickly in an environment with constantly fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels.

The Mega Hex Bar is heavy at 75 LB that also allows it to have a high weight capacity of 1,000 LB. The knurling is as you’d expect for the price, pretty passive and uneven. The sleeves are also what you’d expect for the price–short. In addition to these shortcomings, it also has a closed-end which is less than ideal but is expected for the price.

Overall, the Cap Mega Hex Bar is decent, but when you consider the price, it’s pretty great. If you’re on a budget or just don’t want to spend a ton on a trap bar, but want a bit stronger bar than our Cheapest Pick, then this is what we suggest.

If you can’t afford our Budget Pick, then we suggest the CAP Mega Olympic Hex Bar. This bar isn’t flashy, lacks many features, and has a pretty passive knurl, but despite this, it’s still good enough for most people. Thanks to its rigid design and ability to hold 1,000+ LB, the CAP Mega Hex Bar is our Ultra Budget Pick.

Many, including some of the strongest in the world, such as Stan Efferding have been seen using the Cap Mega Hex Bar and if it’s good enough for them, it likely is for you. Although there are a lot of things we’d like to see improved on the bar, the price isn’t one of them.

Cheapest Pick: Cap Combo Hex Bar

4.33

Cheapest Pick
CAP OB-88HZ Hex Bar
CAP OB-88HZ Hex Bar

Build mass and strength in your legs, traps, back and core with the CAP 2-Inch Olympic Zinc Plated Hex Bar. Made with heavy duty alloy steel and sealed with a durable zinc finish, this CAP hex bar is sturdy and dependable. Built to withstand daily wear and tear, regardless of level of intensity. This trap bar measures 56" in length by 24" wide by 1.5" in height. Target the hamstrings, glutes, quads, forearms, core, and even grip strength by performing various exercises with a trap bar, also called a hex bar. Trap bars put less stress on the lumbar spine, which is especially beneficial for those with back problems. This bar features flush neutral grips with diamond knurling to offer you a non-slip, tight grip when lifting heavy. The grip diameter of this bar is 25.4 mm and weighs in at 45 pounds. With 25 inches of room to move between the handle grips and a 9 inch loadable sleeve length, this bar is built to offer enough room for you to comfortably perform exercises and load your weights.

$84.99

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The absolute cheapest bar we recommend is the CAP OB-89HZ Combo Hex Bar. In all reality, despite being the cheapest bar on our list, for most reading this, this is the perfect bar. Sure, it’s doesn’t have a great knurl, long sleeves, crazy high weight capacity (750 LB), or the option to work in a squat rack, it gets the job done at often times less than $100.

We recognize that most people simply need a bar that works. You may use the bar for pressing every once in a while, but really what you want a trap bar for are deadlifts and shrugs, and this bar excels in both of these areas.

RELATED: Building a Budget Home Gym on Amazon

We actually held a poll in our Garage Gym Community Facebook Group and this bar was the one chosen as the best value trap bar for most people and we generally agree. See the poll here:

We do think that home gym owners could benefit from the increased versatility of a bar that racks like our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1, but even though that bar isn’t nearly as expensive as some of the other bars on our list, it’s still nearly 3x the price as the Cap Combo Hex Bar.

Due to the thinner steel, the bar weighs in at 52 LB unloaded. This leads to a lower weight capacity of 750 LB, more than most will ever even get close to need, and also less rigidity. At heavier weights, the bar does bow somewhat, but not enough to be a huge problem. The bar, despite being a bit cheaper and not crazy strong, is still tough enough to handle some of the strongest in the world like Stan Efferding who uses the bar for farmers’ carries.

If you want a trap bar that will simply get the job done, still has some nice features like handles with multiple heights, and don’t feel like spending a lot, then this is the bar we recommend. You will likely not even notice missing out on many of the other features that the other bars on our list offer.

In a poll on our Garage Gym FaceBook Group, we asked, “What trap bar would you recommend for most people?” A majority of them chose this bar, the CAP Olympic Hex Bar. By far the cheapest bar on our list, but considering it’s a specialty bar, for most, that’s what they want.

Although we wouldn’t agree with everyone who chose the CAP Hex Bar as the best trap bar for most people, we do agree that most could easily get away with owning one of the bars and never consider having to upgrade over the life of their garage gym. The knurling is pretty passive and the sleeve length is short, but during use, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

If you want a trap bar and just want the cheapest one we recommend, this one’s it. And, you’d likely surprise yourself with just how good it is for the price.

RELATED: Ultimate $1,000 Budget Home Gym

Cheapest Pick Alternative: Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar

4.38

Cheapest Pick Alternative
Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar
Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar

Features: - Unique dual handle design for targeting and isolating desired muscle groups - Fits standard 2" Olympic plates - Knurled handles for improved grip - Easy "Flip" design– simply turn the bar over to switch grips - Crafted with all-steel construction - Total Sleeve Length: 9.75" Specs: - Weight: 44 lb - Overall length: 56" - Handle-Handle: 24.5" - Weight capacity: 500 lb

$105.00

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The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar is essentially the same bar as our Cheapest Pick, the CAP OB-89HZ Combo Hex Bar. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were made in the same factory in China or Taiwan.

However, despite them being the same bar (for the most part,) they do often vary in price. A majority of times, the CAP Combo Hex Bar will be cheaper, but sometimes with the right discount code, the Titan Olympic Hex Bar can be had for cheaper (or you could use points you’ve accumulated.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the Titan Hex Bar that hasn’t been said about its twin from CAP Barbell. However, one thing that is different about the bars is that the Titan comes in a hard chrome plating, while CAP’s is available in various finishes from bright zinc to black oxide. The Chrome looks best in the short term but can end up chipping over time.

The Titan Hex Weight Bar is a solid trap bar for those that don’t plan to use bumper plates as it has very short sleeves, or just want something that’s cheap and will get the job 95% of the way. For many, a cheap trap bar like this will eventually be upgraded when they find out how much they like the movements available with the bar, and the Titan can easily be resold for close to what you bought it for on Craigslist.

Want a cheap trap bar? The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar is a great option. Just don’t expect many frills.

The Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar is essentially the same as our Cheapest Pick, the CAP OB-89HZ Olympic Combo Hex Bar, but often at a higher price. The main difference is the hex bar from Titan Fitness has chrome plating, other than that, they’re identical. We suggest checking both sites before buying to determine which bar has the better price at the time because they’re constantly fluctuating.

If you have points with Titan, this is a great option to use them on. It’s a cheap bar with a ton of versatility available.

The Benefits of a Trap Bar

A trap bar is an extremely underrated piece of equipment. Many individuals find the trap bar benefits to be a useful addition to their garage gym, but it’s often one of the later specialty bars that’s acquired; this shouldn’t be the case.

In fact, in our opinion, the trap bar’s versatility, price, and ability to make you strong and fit should be near the top of anyone’s bar purchases outside of the best Olympic barbell.

You should buy and use a trap bar for many reasons, the least of which is the fact that they’re extremely easy to come by nowadays. In fact, out of all the specialty bars currently on the market, the trap bar is one of the most affordable and most available. Nearly every company making gym equipment offers some sort of trap bar, and many offer multiple versions. The large number of trap bars that have flooded the market has lead to lower prices and therefore more attainable for more people.

It must be stated that a trap bar is different from a barbell. A thought that often goes through people’s minds when deciding to buy a specialty bar like the hex bar or not, is, “can’t I just deadlift using my barbell.”

First, there’s nothing wrong with just deadlifting with your barbell; you can get plenty strong. Second, a trap bar is actually likely a better bar for deadlifts than a straight bar. Before you cry heresy, let’s detail the benefits of the trap bar.

Here are five benefits we see of using the trap bar:

Reason #1: The Trap Bar Deadlift is Easier to Teach and Learn than the Barbell Deadlift

That’s right, a trap bar is easier to teach and learn than using the traditional barbell to deadlift with. Here’s the thing, for most people, the more complicated the exercise the worse it will actually be for them. It won’t be worse for them in the sense that it won’t work well, but most people should avoid complications in lifting so they avoid injury and receive most of the benefits from the exercise.

It’s why Starting Strength preaches squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, benching, and if someone really wants to, power cleaning. Snatches and clean and jerks are fun movements, but that doesn’t mean they’re optimal for most trainees.

A trap bar deadlift can be taught to most novice lifters and be beneficial. It’s a big reason the US Army has announced a new physical fitness test known as the Army Combat Fitness Test or ACFT that includes the 3-rep max weight trap bar deadlift as a hallmark exercise. In fact, this is what the military had to say about the reason for using the Trap Bar:

“Trap (Hex) bars are significantly easier (lower injury risk) for untrained Soldiers to learn and execute lifts…To date, we’ve tested more than 500 untrained Soldiers with zero reported injuries.”

If you’re new to training or training someone else who is new to training, the trap bar is extremely beneficial.

Reason #2: High Athletic Transfer to Other Sports and Movements

There have been two studies that show peak velocity and power are higher, independent of the loading, with the trap bar deadlift than an Olympic barbell deadlift.

In the first study titled,“ A biomechanical analysis of straight and hexagonal barbell deadlifts using submaximal loads” it was found that:

“The enhanced mechanical stimulus obtained with the hexagonal barbell suggests that in general, l the HBD (Hexagonal Bar Deadlift) is a more effective exercise than the SBD (Straight Bar Deadlift.)”

In the second study titled, “An Examination of Muscle Activation and Power Characteristics While Performing the Deadlift Exercise With Straight and Hexagonal Barbells” it was found that:

“These results suggest that the barbells led to different patterns of muscle activation and that the hexagonal barbell may be more effective at developing maximal force, power, and velocity.”

In other words, not only is it largely believed that the trap bar has a greater transfer to sports, it’s been proven in peer-reviewed studies. Although the straight bar deadlift is certainly a phenomenal exercise, just because it’s popular does not mean it’s the best.

Reason #3: Low Chances of Injury

Without a doubt, the trap bar deadlift has a lower chance of injury to its users than a conventional straight bar deadlift. Although the deadlift shouldn’t be foregone due to the chance of injury (not deadlifting, squatting, and working out, in general, is likely much more detrimental to your health,) the trap bar deadlift carries less risk of injury. You can also use weightlifting belts to help reduce stress on the lower back and prevent any back hypertension.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that due to the grips being parallel, there’s no need to do a mixed grip. A mixed grip is where one palm is facing inward and the other outward while deadlifting, typically heavyweights. This is done to increase the holding strength of the user when the grip has given out.

A mixed grip, although allows heavier weight to be lifted, it does have a cost. Mixed grip causes a shift in weight to be slightly off-center which can, in theory, lead to muscle imbalances. Worse though, is that a mixed grip has been known to cause more instances of bicep tears in the supinated arm. When you see a bicep tear and roll up into the shoulder joint because of a mixed grip deadlift, it will make you never want to do it again.

In addition to no need for a mixed grip, a trap bar causes fewer hyperextensions because lockout feels more natural. Whenever you see people pushing their hips through and shoulders way back in order to achieve an over-the-top lockout on the deadlift, it’s actually not good for them. It can lead to an increased injury and is much more difficult to do with a trap bar because there’s no weight to balance against.

Reason #4: Different Handle Heights

Most trap bars come with two different handle heights. One that is in alignment with the sleeves and another that is higher up. Everybody’s body is shaped differently. People also have different length levers. The thought that a 7’ NBA basketball player should be deadlifting from the same height as a 5’2” stay-at-home mom is laughable. Different height handles help in this regard.

Not to mention, many strength coaches have recognized that deadlifting from a low height isn’t necessarily better for athletes. On the Tim Ferris Show, Ryan Flaherty, Senior Director of Performance at Nike had this to say about how he uses the trap bar for his athletes:

“I want you to be in somewhat of an athletic jump position. If you imagine looking in the mirror from the side and jumping, and you go to the depth of your jump, and that’s where you’d feel comfortable, look in the mirror and see where that is, and align the handles to that. That’s the athletic position and that’s where I want you to be. That’s where you’re going to recruit the most motor units.”

Reason #5: The Trap Bar is Great for Upper Body Strength

Although many people look at the trap bar as strictly for the lower body, especially deadlifts, it’s also excellent for upper body movements.

Overhead presses, lying tricep presses, rows, landmine movements, and more can all be done with the trap bar. Many forget that a garage gym allows them to get extremely creative without the worry of others looking at them like they’re from another planet. Don’t think the trap bar is just for deadlifts, just likesquat racks aren’t just for squatting. There are a ton of exercises that with a little ingenuity can be done.

Trap Bar Characteristics

Previous to this time in history, there were much fewer trap bar designs. However, with the influx of a variety of designs and companies making those designs, there are now many more things to be aware of when purchasing a trap bar.

We’ve tried to take the most obvious characteristics of what to look for in the bar and use these to guide our recommendations:

  1. Steel
  2. Knurling
  3. Overall Design
  4. Finish

Similar to a barbell, the steel of the trap bar is the most important characteristic. Although it’s not as important in the large scheme of things as the tensile strength of the steel in a barbell due to their being more supporting structures in the trap bar, it still matters.

For instance, an Olympic bar often uses thicker diameter steel than a trap bar. It also has a whip and that whip matters to the properties of the bar. I say this because I think you should consider the steel used, but more than that, you should consider the weight limit of the bar as that will affect how rigid it is during use.

Most trap bars will be able to hold the weight you want to lift if the sleeves are long enough, but some bars begin to bow under the weight and are not only become more uncomfortable to use but also not as safe.

The knurling of a trap bar definitely matters. For those unaware, the knurling is the cross-hatched portion of a bar that provides help for your grip. We say the knurling on a trap bar matters because too often companies will throw a cheese grater knurl or nothing at all on the trap bar (and just about all specialty bars) but the trap bar especially needs a quality knurl. If you expect someone to pull heavy weight without straps, then a good knurl plays a significant role in the completion of the lift.

Thankfully, with some of the higher-end trap bars, companies are realizing the knurling pattern used on the trap bar is worth spending time on. Some of our picks have knurling that is better than 95% of barbells on the market, while some of the more budget barbells still feature cheap knurling.

The next characteristic to be aware of is the bar’s overall design, and this relates specifically to something that is rather new to the industry. For years, the trap bar pretty much looked the exact same as its competition. There would be some minor tweaks, but overall, it retained the same basic shape. There are arguments around who created the original open-ended trap bar, although it appears to be Intek Strength with their Functional Trap Bar (a good bar by the way.) However, what matters most is that since its creation, the design has been copied and reworked many times over.

An open-ended design is simply a better design. With the top of the line open-ended trap bars, they retain all of the benefits of a traditional trap bar and then some. A trap bar that isn’t enclosed increases in versatility dramatically. Suddenly, many more movements are available with a bar that was relegated largely for deadlifts, AND this is perfect for the home gym owner.

The last characteristic of the trap bar to be aware of is its finish. This is an area that could be improved by many companies today in relation to all of their specialty bars, but currently, expect the trap bar to be powder-coated in some manner.

RELATED: Best gymnastics grips for CrossFit

How We Picked and Tested the Trap Bars

In order to gather a comprehensive list of trap bars, we first began with research. This process is now much easier thanks to our Product Dashboard that features nearly every trap bar ever made (with more being added daily.)

In addition to seeing what we had compiled in our database, we sought out manufacturer’s websites, various retailers, and more. As always, we consulted the r/homegym on Reddit, Garage Gym Community Facebook Group, as well as other strength athletes. This included running a poll in the Garage Gym Community group to see what the general consensus was for those with experience.

The trap bars we picked to test in-house were all of the ones we thought had the potential to make the list. In reality, we’ve used in one form or another just about every trap bar that’s on the market, whether that be at other gyms, trade shows, or just ones we have on hand.

It must be understood that the bars in our ranking are based upon our criteria. We didn’t just pick the best trap bar regardless of the price. We wanted to find the best trap bar for most people and then have various spending categories to determine the rest of the hierarchy. It’s easy to find the absolute best, oftentimes you just look for the most expensive; choosing the best for most people while considering all of the factors involved, is much harder.

But, we think we’re up to the job.

So, after some discussion among those on the Garage Gym Reviews team, we were able to narrow down our specifications for what makes a good trap bar to the following list that is ordered in no particular order:

Overall Construction: This is an important spec to be aware of for any piece of equipment and covers a lot of bases. The construction should match the asking price, meaning if a trap bar is expensive, then it should have tighter tolerances, better welds, more precise knurling, etc than one that is less.

Knurling: The knurling of a trap bar does matter. In fact, the knurling on the trap bar should be just as important as what’s on a barbell considering it’s used for pulling. The type of knurling is a personal preference, however, the consistency of the knurl and its breakpoints are what makes a “good” knurl. This said we prefer a more aggressive knurl for a trap bar due to it being used most often for heavy deadlifts.

Open End or Close End: An open-ended trap bar is better than one that’s close-ended. An open-ended trap bar can be used for all of the same exercises as a close-ended bar, but can also do much more.

Bar Jack: Many trap bars today are integrating a bar jack to make it easy to slide on and off weight plates. This is a very useful feature, more than a gimmick, and is considered in our selections.

Finish: Although powder coat is the standard coating for most trap bars today, it’s not necessarily the best. However, the sleeve finish is even more important as they’re much more likely to experience abuse than the rest of the bar.

Price: The price of a trap bar really matters. Considering it’s a specialty bar and you can get 80% of the way there with a barbell, the price weighs much. It’s fine if a trap bar costs more, however, its features should match the offer.

Warranty: Many companies are now offering lifetime warranties on their trap bars. This is great, however, most trap bars have no need for a warranty because they simply aren’t going to break.

During testing, we performed the deadlift, shrugs, jumps, lunges, tricep extensions, overhead press, cambered squats, and more with the various bars. We dropped them from hip height, shoulder height, and from overhead. We weighed them on our scale, tested various plates on the bar, and measured the sleeve diameter for uniformity. Lastly, we asked others what they thought, specifically, “if you had to recommend a trap bar to most garage gym owners, which one would you recommend?”

Frequently Asked Questions About Trap Bars

What is the best trap bar for a home gym?

There’s still a lot to enjoy in a trap bar that we’d recommend to most people. Regardless, the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar is our current Top Pick for the best trap/hex bar in 2021. It is presently the most cost-effective trap bar available, but there is still room for development. Many others, on the other hand, would be perfectly satisfied with one of our more cost-effective recommendations.

Is a trap bar worth it?

Yes. By completing numerous workouts with the trap bar, you may target many muscles. It can work hamstrings, glutes, quads, forearms, shoulders, and other muscles. Trap bars may also reduce strain on the spine, which is beneficial for those who have back difficulties when doing certain activities.

Why is it called a trap bar?

The trap bar, also known as the hex bar, is a one-of-a-kind barbell intended for doing deadlifts in a certain position. The trap bar has a significant impact on movement. The trap bar was intended for shoulder shrugs and was designed to strengthen the trapezius muscles, after which it was called.

How to use a trap bar?

The trap bar’s purpose is to decrease lower back stress by substituting it for a traditional deadlift. This is ideal if you only want to exercise for strength and wouldn’t want to do the traditional power lifts such as deadlifts, squats, etc. During every movement with the trap bar, keep the core tight, the chest open, and the shoulder blades pushed down and back. You may completely extend your lats while maintaining an appropriate bar position in the neutral grip position.

The Competition

Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar: The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is an awesome trap bar and one we often recommend. However, the only difference between it and our top pick, the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar, is that it has a higher set of handles in addition to the ones on the TB-1. If you want our top pick with higher handles, this is a great option. But, if you plan to spend this amount, we’d suggest spending a bit more to get an open-ended bar or waiting for Rogue to release a new model.

Bells of Steel Trap Bar 2.0: This one almost took the budget pick, but it’s just a bit too expensive to compete with the features of our other pick. This is a good bar, read the full Bells of Steel Trap Bar 2.0 review here, but it hits an in-between spot-on features and price that left it off our list.

Sorinex Diamond Bar: The Sorinex Diamond Bar is a great trap bar, as is pretty much everything Sorinex makes. However, it’s very similar to our Top Pick, the Rogue TB-1, but at a higher price point. We’re big fans of the bar, but no more so than the TB-1.

Prime Fitness Trap Bar: Not available for sale yet.

MB PowerCenter DeadSled: We have yet to use this model.

FringeSport Heavy-Duty Trap Bar: This is a great trap bar, but doesn’t offer many better features than others that are available and are at a higher price point.

Edge Fitness Rickshaw: Although a good alternative to a trap bar, it’s technically not a trap bar and does work, but we prefer a trap bar to a Rickshaw type bar.

Power Lift Mastiff Deadlift/Trap Bar: Great trap bar, but very expensive at over $800. It’s also a bit of a process to purchase.

Rep Trap Bar: Basic, no-frills trap bar that is the same as CAP’s at a higher cost.

Synergee Hex Bar: Decent trap bar, but not better than what CAP offers at a lower cost.

Titan Olympic Hex Weight Bar: Good price for a trap bar, but not less than CAP and it’s the same.

Titan Rickshaw: Same reason the Edge Fitness Rickshaw didn’t make the list.

Vulcan Pro High Hex Trap Bar: Good option, but a bit higher priced than other imported bars.

XMark XM-3686 Olympic Shrug Bar: Same as CAP, but this one costs more. No longer for sale.

EliteFTS Rackable Trap Bar: Good bar that is comparable to our top pick, however, it is more expensive than EliteFTS, especially when shipping is considered.

4.50

Top Pick
Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0
Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0

Version 2.0 of the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar features the same general design and dimensions of the original, but with an updated, precision sleeve construction that reduces the starting weight of the bar by more than 25 percent. This makes the TB-1 easier to maneuver without limiting its effectiveness. Simply put, if you want to lift massive weight, this tool still belongs in your arsenal. The Trap Bar's hexagonal design and knurled, neutral grip handles make it optimized for performing deadlifts that put less stress on the lumbar spine–since the load is centered and not off axis like a traditional deadlift. This same benefit makes the TB-1 2.0 a useful specialty bar for beginners, as well as athletes dealing with nagging back issues or rehabbing from other injuries. We manufacture the TB-1 in Columbus, OH, and it's fully compatible with standard Oly plates. Specifications:Neutral Grip Handles, Spaced 25" on center with easy-grip knurling, 1.34" diameterNewly Redesigned Olympic Sleeves: Schedule 80 with Welded Caps, 1.91" diameter16" Loadable sleeve spaceFinish: Signature black powder coatWeight: 58LB (unloaded)

$295.00

Shop deal

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Sours: https://www.garagegymreviews.com/best-trap-bars
Ez bar deadlift! Cheap trap bar alternative?

The deadlift is one of the gold standard lifts in the gym. It’s pretty simple, really: You load a barbell up with weight, grab it with a shoulder-width grip, plant your feet on the floor and lift.

Except newsflash: It doesn’t need to be done only with a barbell. For most average guys and plenty of short guys, barbell deadlifting is natural. But if you’re just struggling with deadlifting form in general, frequently lifting your butt up too early in the movement, there is another option.

That option is the hex bar, and it’s one of the most underrated tools in the gym. This hexagon-shaped piece of metal just may be what you need to fix your deadlift. It’s been around for nearly 30 years, but over the last decade or so, it’s finally started growing in popularity.

That’s as it should be. Because if you’re having trouble with deadlifts, the hex bar is the tool you need. It’ll instantly put your body in position to execute cleaner deadlift mechanics. And if your goal is strength and muscle and you’re not prepping for a powerlifting competition, then deadlifting with proper form is going to serve you in the long run more than deadlifting with the barbell. That, of course, is exactly why I’m going to walk you through everything that makes the hex bar great for deadlifts (and a few other lifts too).

Hex Bars Offer Similar Load Distribution

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As I said (and as you may know from your gym), the barbell deadlift is a holy grail exercise. People are protective of that traditional barbell and oftentimes resistant to changing over to the hex bar.

But look at it from the outside, and this doesn’t make any sense. While hex bars come in many shapes and sizes, in general, they’re the same weight as traditional barbells, they set you up to lift from the same height, and they let you grip them with both hands. They’re just shaped very differently from barbells. But they still have us doing a lift that’s hip dominant (focused on our hips, glutes, and hamstrings. They check very similar boxes to the standard barbell deadlift.

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At the same time, the hex bar is often more joint-friendly, and it also lets us really capture our full-body power, since we’re not fighting center of mass issues. What center of mass issues? That’s up next.

Center of Mass and Why It Matters

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The deadlift is a heavily hip-dominant pattern when done right. The barbell weight is slightly in front of the body, and you have to extend the hips first to pull the weight off the ground, challenging your glutes, hamstrings, and, often, your lower back. The torque of the barbell deadlift results in high stress on the joint systems supporting the movement, especially the lower back.

This varies from person to person, based on such things as limb length and the weight you’re moving. But what’s true is that the hip extension pattern, which is one thing we’re really working to attack on a deadlift from a training standpoint, is altered because the weight is in front of you and is always, at least a little bit, pulling you forward. From Crossfitters to powerlifters to bodybuilders to athletes in general, the very best gym-goers learn to combat that, and that process has its strengths. Battling the barbell deadlift teaches you to activate your lat muscles to keep the bar close to you, and forces you to engage your hamstrings at the start of a deadlift rep.

But not everyone can do this, or should need to focus on it, and that’s where the hex bar changes things up. The hex bar however keeps the weight directly with your center of mass because it lets you step into it. Those few inches matter. Now, the mechanics do not have to accommodate weight being leveraged at an angle away from the body.

Your spinal position will instantly improve. Gravity is now pushing the weight directly down to the floor. Now, you have less to think about when you deadlift. Instead of thinking about how you’ll keep the bar close to your body, you get to think almost solely about standing up and squeezing your glutes (although you’ll want to think about squeezing your lats too). It’s a smoother movement overall from a joint mechanical perspective.

You Can Get Even More Gains

Why do you deadlift? The answer: To attack your glutes and hamstrings. Those are the critical muscles you’re trying to hit, and you hit them by standing up with a barbell or dumbbells. The key thing on a deadlift is to make sure that when you begin the stand-up process, you’re hips are lower than your shoulders (or, in the case of very tall people, at the same height as your shoulders).

This insures that the physics of the move are correct, and that the prime lever point in the deadlift is at the hips. If your hips wind up higher than your shoulders, then the point of leverage often winds up in the lower back. Your lower back isn’t meant to deal with such strain, especially if you’re lifting heavy. But when you’re operating with a barbell, if you don’t lock your lats, it often becomes easier to move the prime point of leverage so it’s directly over the bar. If your technique isn’t perfect, you wind up using your lower back, and taking focus off your glutes and hamstrings.

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This is a less frequent problem with the hex bar, and cleaner technique, especially when it’s done with heavy weight, is going to lead to stronger glutes and hamstrings. You lose nothing with the hex bar, yet you gain control.

What Makes the Hex Bar Work

High Handles

Most people will discount the hex bar because of the high handle option. What is this? Most hex bars offer two handle positions, one that’s a traditional barbell height and one that’s a few inches higher. Using these higher handles allows for a few extra inches of freedom, meaning that, technically, you get to start the lift from a slightly higher position. That means more freedom to start the lift with your hips and knees and minimize lower-back stress.

It also means you’re moving the weight over less distance overall, which is the knock on the high handles. But don’t let that scare you. One 2017 study analyzed the high handle hex bar deadlift and compared it to the traditional barbell deadlift. That research found that there was higher peak force, peak velocity, and peak power with the high handle hex bar deadlift than with the traditional deadlift.

So sure, you’re technically moving the weight over a little less distance. But when you’re moving the weight, you’re doing so more explosively, perhaps because your body’s in a better position to do so. From a performance and mechanics standpoint, the high handle looks like the best option.

Oh, and you don’t have to use the high handles to get benefit from the hex bar either. A 2011 study found that people lifted more weight from the low handle hex bar than they did from a traditional barbell deadlift.

(What’s more important than the height of the handles is the weight you’re using. Always use Olympic-sized weights, so you’re always lifting from the same height. Throwing a pair of 5-pound plates onto the hex bar changes the movement pattern to set you up from lifting lower, but your body may not be comfortable doing that.

Neutral Grip

You’d be surprised what a small turn of the hands can do. The hex bar lets you grab it with a neutral grip, your palms facing your torso. Traditional barbell deadlifts force you into either an overhand grip, or a mixed grip (one hand overhand, one hand underhand). The latter grip produces slight twisting force on the torso. The former can be challenging to hold at higher weights and has its own issues. Both those barbell grips have unintended effects on the humerus, your upper arm bone.

The neutral grip allows a more comfortable braced position through the scapulohumeral region (your upper arm and shoulder area), and this very quietly reduces some stress on your mid and upper back. You don’t need to brace quite as hard with your body (even though you’ll still get plenty of work here).

The body is one long, interconnected chain of muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Any added stress to one area translates stress to neighboring regions. This can affect the weight we lift and the way we lift.

Transition to Everyday Life

That grip translates best to everyday life. Watch how you carry your suitcase. Whenever possible, we very naturally lift and carry items at our sides. This is a small detail, but it helps to get to use this small detail in our lifts. We’re rarely carrying things at our shins, as we do in the barbell deadlift.

Doubling down on grip and weight position, we always lift and carry items from our sides. It may seem like a small detail but lifting, carrying, pressing in the patterns we will use can immediately make an impact in our everyday lives. When we pick up luggage, groceries, or your gym bag from the ground, it's usually at your sides and rarely from the front of your shins. Hammer home the mechanics we will see the most in our everyday lives.

Executing the Hex Bar Deadlift

The hex bar deadlift is simple to do. Your game plan: Load the bar with the desired weight, then step inside of it, aiming to line your shins up with the weights. Grab the hex bar handles, whether high or low in their center. Brace your core, and think about sitting down slightly to engage your hamstrings. Try to turn your elbow pits forward to turn on your lats. Squeeze the handles.

Now, stand up, focusing on lifting with your legs. Squeeze your glutes at the top (don’t overarch your back). Lower the hex bar to the ground with control. That’s 1 rep. Not sure where to start? Aim to do 3 sets of 8 to 10 to get a feel for it. As you get comfortable, you can drop the reps and focus more intensely on power; think 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps.

The Versatility of the Hex Bar

The hex bar isn’t just an option for deadlifting. It also translates well to pushing, pulling, and loaded carry options, with those neutral-grip handles aiding each lift. Experiment with these hex-bar exercises in your workouts.

Hex Bar Row

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From a pulling perspective, the width of the hex bar is ideal for most lifters. We tend to get stuck in a rut of doing neutral grip pulls from a more narrow grip because of the common attachments by the cable machines. The wider grip will mirror the standard pressing width so you stay in a more advantageous glenohumeral position and really test the lats and back muscles to the max. This will mirror the position you might take with a dumbbell row to some extent, although you get to attack the load with both arms instead of one. Think 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. And if you want some dumbbell row wisdom, check out the video below.

Hex Bar Floor Press

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This one’s fun. You’ve likely done dumbbell floor presses before to work on bench pressing technique. Floor pressing with the neutral group of the hex bar is overlooked but very useful. The fact you’re using a neutral grip and the elbows wind up closer to the body creates a nice safe shoulder position. Think 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Hex Bar Loaded Carry

Loaded carries are a great option in any strength and conditioning piece. They’re often done with dumbbells or kettlebells. The hex bar allows you to hold one unified piece, and that eventually means you can pack more weight onto the bar for serious loaded carries. Aim to walk 10 to 20 meters for 3 sets.

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Sours: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a28223184/hex-bar-deadlift/

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At least you still have a sense of humor, - the psychologist laughed. - Unfortunately, such medical procedures are not prescribed yet. However, there is something we can do. She wrote something on a dismal medical stationery. I sent you to the Institute for the Study of Cognitive Functions.



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