A Different Kind of Dead Lift: How to Use the Hex Bar

Sometimes it’s called a trap bar, sometimes a hex bar—regardless, it’s one of the most valuable yet often ignored pieces of equipment in the gym.

Trap Bar Dead Lift

There are many ways to perform a dead lift, but few compare to the hex bar method. Because of its unique design, it automatically sets you up for good form from the start. It has a wide neutral grip that encourages a hip-dominate motion that’s particularly good for spinal safety. It also distributes the weight around your body instead of directly in front or behind, like barbell exercises.

How to Use It

If it’s your first time using the trap bar, try it without plates. Set the bar on the ground with the handles up. Step inside the hexagonal shape with your feet a little wider than your hips. With a straight spine, reach down and grip the bar. Drive through the feet and stand up. Lower back down and repeat.

Alternative Exercises

Aside from the dead lift, one very popular use for the trap bar is a farmer’s carry. To perform this exercise, step inside the trap bar and stand up. Then walk for a designated distance and return. Additionally, the “trap bar” moniker came about because you can also perform shoulder shrugs, which is known to strengthen the trapezii muscles.

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