Trap/Hex bar and exercises with it

Antti

> 4k Posts
I'm considering getting myself a trap/hex bar since there's one on sale.

What kind of exercises have you done with one?

I'm not that keen on the trap bar deadlifts. Sure, I believe it's a good exercise, but I don't like the idea of buying the implement for just one exercise. I also think the exercise would be secondary to deadlifts with a barbell.

I think loaded carries and shrugs could be nice to do with the hex bar. What's your experience like? And how would those exercises with the hex bar compare to done with simple handles? The handles would still be cheaper and much easier to store.

I suppose I could do presses with the trap bar, but I already got kettlebells for it, and I believe they're mostly heavy enough for the job. Still, nothing wrong with having the option.

Am I missing some exercise or some point about the bar? I would really, really like to start doing some properly heavy carries.
 

ShawnM

> 2k Posts
Depending on the design you can do rows and presses rather easily. Loaded carries are great with it as well. I would buy a Olympic size plate loaded dumbbell for heavy carries, a farmers implement or a short, Rogue fat bar instead of a trap bar for carries. The Rogue short fat bar would work fine and you can do other stuff with it.
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
Depending on the design you can do rows and presses rather easily. Loaded carries are great with it as well. I would buy a Olympic size plate loaded dumbbell for heavy carries, a farmers implement or a short, Rogue fat bar instead of a trap bar for carries. The Rogue short fat bar would work fine and you can do other stuff with it.
You find loaded carries are great with the trap bar but would still prefer separate bars for carries?

I've looked at the Olympic dumbbell handle as well, but I wonder if it gets uncomfortable to walk with, with the plates hitting the legs, though that's just me assuming with no experience. Maybe I should man up. But the dumbbell handles would be the cheapest and the most storable option, and I would imagine them having a lot of use outside the carries and shrugs.

Speaking of the olympic dumbbell handle, what's it like to use with big plates, the whole 450mm circumference?

I hadn't thought about a fat bar, but some kind of fat grips for the occasional use. Rogue is pretty pricey around here, though I'm planning on having a look if they have any good sales come Friday.
 

Geoff Chafe

> 2k Posts
I used my Trap Bar quite a bit. It was well worth the $150 I paid for it.

Just about any exercise you can do with a power bar you can do with a Trap Bar. I like Floor Press a lot. No one mentioned that. It hits the triceps differently and a neutral grip press is good for a change.

Dumbbells are good but grip is a limiting factor. They want to roll out of your hand. The Trap Bar allows you to go much heavier because it’s easier to hold on to.
 

MikeTheBear

> 1k Posts
If you've ever watched a farmer's carry in a strongman competition, near the end of the carry the athletes generally walk faster either because of grip fatigue, trying to get a good time, but probably for both reasons. Once they cross line, they drop the handles they are using, but because of momentum, it takes them a bit to stop. The danger in using a trap bar is that if you do this you will trip over the front support. That would be the only disadvantage.

Here is a unique exercise using the trap bar for a snatch. I personally would not do this but maybe it'll work for you.

 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
What kind of exercises have you done with one?
Trap Bar Power Jumps

One of the benefits of the Trap Bar is for Power Training.

Research has demonstrated that Trap Bar Power Jumps produce Power Output that is comparable to Olympic Movements. Source: Optimal Loading Range for the Development of Peak Power... : The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research . 29(6):1627-1632, June 2015.

Let me reiterate from my past poet that the Kettlebell Swing is an excellent method of developing Power Output; it also rivals the Power Output of the Olympic Lifts; adding an Eccentric Component that develops the Stretch Reflex.

The Trap Bar Jumps is simple. compared to Olympic Movements. This allows coaches and lifters who lack the knowledge on Olympic Lifting Technique less of a learning curve; they can immediately begin Power Training.

I don't like the idea of buying the implement for just one exercise.
Specialty Bars

I have some understanding about your concern over buying one bar for one exercise.

However, Specialty Bars allow you to train the muscle from a different angle, as a means of increasing Limit Strength, Hypertrophy, Power, etc.

Before moving on, let me recommend the Double Handle Trap Bar. It allows your more options.

Secondly, the Trap Bar allow you to employ a Multitude of Exercises.

1) Traditional Trap Bar Deadlifts, as you know, is more of a Squat Movement rather than a Deadlift Exercise.

2) Stiff Leg (Slight Bend in Legs) Trap Bar Deadlifts allows to to work the Posterior Chain from a different angle.

3) High or Low Trap Deadlifts: As per Chris Thibaudea (Strength Coach)

a) "The High Handle allow you to use more weight which means more stimulation on the upper back and traps but a bit less emphasis on the glutes and hams."

b) "The Lower handle is a great way to build the whole lower body: glutes, quads and hams specifically. But since you use a bit less weight it doesn't overload the traps as much."

4) Banded Trap Bar Training: It's fairly easy to attach and use Bands with the Trap Bar. Video below.

The Trap Bar Ascending Strength Curve

Trap Bar Squat/Deadlift are Ascending Strength Curve Exercises; harder at the bottom, easier at the top.

The first 1/3 of a Trap Bar Squat/Deadlift is overloaded; the muscle fiber are innervated, which increases Strength. The remaining 2/3 of the exercise is under loaded; fewer muscle fiber are innervated, developed.

Attaching Band ensure the muscle are worked through a greater range of motion; greater Strength is acquired in the remaining 2/3 of the exercise.


Overall Perspective

I have the Double Handle Trap Bar. It is one of my cooler toys.

Kenny Croxdale
 
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Antti

> 4k Posts
I have both a limited space and a limited budget when it comes to training equipment, I don't know which one is worse. So getting something is always a trade off - it means I can not get something else.

The trap bar I was having a look at does have two handles.

I'm sure the trap bar is a good tool, it can give a nice bit of variety to the typical lifts. At the moment I'm the most interested in the loaded carries. That exercise is something I can't do in the gym, though the gym doesn't have a trap bar either. So the big question is how good the trap bar is for carries, and secondarily how good it is for other lifts, and what all kind of lifts I can train with it.

The power jump sounds interesting. I hadn't ever heard of it or thought of it.
 

MikeTheBear

> 1k Posts
Don't you think that's rightly called a trap bar pushpress as shown?

-S-
Now that you mention it I'd say it's somewhat of a hybrid snatch into a push press. You could also call this a "poor man's double KB snatch" for the person who does not have 2 KBs of the same weight but has access to a trap bar. As I mentioned, I posted this exercise because someone may find it useful. It seems odd to me and not something I would do.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
I love the trap bar for deadlifts and farmer carries, as well as weighted jumps as a power alternative to swings or olympic lift variations. Dumbbells can be used for the weighted jumps too, so not as necessary for those. Don't see much use of it for much else honestly. Great tool for those first two jobs though IMO
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
...weighted jumps as a power alternative to swings or olympic lift variations.
Trap Bar Jumps and Olympic Movements

Trap Bar Jumps and Olympic Movement are similar in nature; both primarily emphasize the Vertical Jump.

Thus, for sports that employ a lot of Vertical Jumping, such as Basketball and High Jumpers, these two movement are more Sports Specific.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings emphasize and develop primarily the Horizontal Component in Sports, such as Long Jumps.

The Kettlebell Swings have an Eccentric Component, develop the Stretch Reflex, as do Trap Bar "Vertical" Jumps.

Dumbbells can be used for the weighted jumps too,...
Great Point

Dumbbells can be used for Vertical or Horizontal Jumps

Kenny Croxdale
 

H. Mac

Double-Digit Post Count
My trap bar has been a great “bang for the buck” even though I use it for only three exercises.

For deadlifts, using the high and low handles with either large or small plates allows a lot of variation in the starting position, and in choosing whether to focus on the back/lats or the glutes/hams. And the high handles allow me to use greater weight than I could with the low handles or with a barbell. These two factors more than justify the trap bar purchase price.

For farmers walks, dumbbells tend to swing and also tend to hit my legs, both of which are distracting, and the trap bar eliminates these distractions.

And for shrugs a trap bar is tough to beat.
 

GeoffreyLevens

> 1k Posts
I got a pair of 20" loadable dumbbell handles (2" plates) from CAP for about $25. One of them needed a shot of 3-In-1 in one of the sleeves and of course they don't spin like those on a $1000 barbell, but for the purpose, excellent. They're rated for 150 lbs each. So far I'm only using 10 lb plates which only jiggle my legs a wee bit. I do have chopstick legs which helps give clearance... Have not tried them w/ 25 lb plates but suspect they will still be pretty serviceable for carries.
 

KIWI5

More than 300 posts
I finally bought a trap bar- after only a few days testing, I am in love. Loaded Carries, Deadlifts, Pendlay Rows, OHP, Banded Deadlifts, Floor Press they all feel great. I gave up barbell OHP and Bench press due to some shoulder issues/impingement, but the Trap Bar seems to allow me to practice these again. I can't wait to really load up for some insane weight farmers walks (well, insane weights in relation to my strength...). I'm putting together an Easy Strength cycle that will focus almost entirely on the trap bar. Great way to start off 2019. Edit: And Shrugs. Of course.
 
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adam80

Triple-Digit Post Count
I haven't used my trap bar much but I bought it cheap and am happy to have it there as an option. A few weeks ago, I started using it for loaded carries and they're tough going. I don't have much experience with weighted carries and the forearm burn is real when doing them with the trap bar. I'm going to start a 3 day a week training plan soon and add the trap bar carries at the end as a finisher. It should be interesting to see what type of effect they have.
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
@Antti

Eleiko has released their open-design trapbar, which enables a few more exercises than a "conventional" trapbar.

The video is quite helpful in understanding the design concept. There are also a few exercises mentioned that would not be able with a closed trapbar.

Öppen Deadlift Bar | Eleiko
That is an interesting design. But I'm afraid I can't justify the price.

When it comes to the original trap bar question, I never got one, but a couple of powerlifting bars instead. Maybe I will get one in the future. I am planning on joining a gym with one, but they also got other tools for carries. In any case, I believe I will get my share of use of the trap bar at the gym.
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
I gave up barbell OHP and Bench press due to some shoulder issues/impingement, but the Trap Bar seems to allow me to practice these again.
The Swiss Bar was like a miracle cure to my chronic shoulder issues from barbell pressing, no doubt for the same neutral grip reason as the Trap Bar
 

damogari

> 1k Posts
You find loaded carries are great with the trap bar but would still prefer separate bars for carries?

I've looked at the Olympic dumbbell handle as well, but I wonder if it gets uncomfortable to walk with, with the plates hitting the legs, though that's just me assuming with no experience. Maybe I should man up. But the dumbbell handles would be the cheapest and the most storable option, and I would imagine them having a lot of use outside the carries and shrugs.
As Geoff already mentioned the thing with the Olympic dumbbells used for carrying is that they will roll out of your hands, just like the barbell on double overhand deadlift, surely limiting the weight/distance for carries. That why bars for farmer walks have handles, to prevent the rolling.

In the case of farmer handles vs trap bar, the handles are obviously moving independently making the whole carry more difficult, especially on turns. Trap bar is more stable, but usually wider handles placement brings challenges on their own. If you are interested in strongman competitions you should definitely consider buying farmer handles because of specificity of farmer walks. Otherwise (which I believe is your case) trap bar seems much better option because it can be used in much more exercises.
 

Nate

Triple-Digit Post Count
Trap Bar Jumps and Olympic Movements

Trap Bar Jumps and Olympic Movement are similar in nature; both primarily emphasize the Vertical Jump.

Thus, for sports that employ a lot of Vertical Jumping, such as Basketball and High Jumpers, these two movement are more Sports Specific.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings emphasize and develop primarily the Horizontal Component in Sports, such as Long Jumps.

The Kettlebell Swings have an Eccentric Component, develop the Stretch Reflex, as do Trap Bar "Vertical" Jumps.



Great Point

Dumbbells can be used for Vertical or Horizontal Jumps

Kenny Croxdale
Do you recommend landing with weight or releasing it as you come down from trap bar jump? Wondered about impact of landing. Maybe that eccentric is useful?
Thanks! TB Jumps and Power Swings might make a good combination for dynamic effort.
 
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