Take a look around any gym the next time you’re there and you’ll likely see plenty of people performing a deadlift. Although easy form for some, it can be a challenge for others, so using an accessory like a hex bar can be a gamechanger if you know how to do it.
How much does a hex bar weigh? A hex bar weighs between 50lbs and 70lbs or 22kgs and 32kgs, with slight variations depending on the size and design. These hexagon shaped bars are designed to help with weightlifting and ensuring you have the right weight and size will make the lifts easier.
If you’ve never utilised a hex bar before and want to know what all the fuss is about, we’ve got the guide for you. We’ll look at the purpose of these bars and what benefits they can bring to your weightlifting game, so read on to get the basics.
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The Basics of a Hex Bar
A hex bar is a common implement used by weight trainers, and it’s sometimes referred to as a trap bar. The bar is named as such because it focuses on training the trapezius muscles, and it gained its hex bar nickname because of the shape of the bar itself.
A hex bar is made of steel and features a bar stock that’s been welded into the hexagonal shape with ample space for someone to hold it and stand in the middle of the bar. There are two coaxial stub bars on opposing sides which the plates get loaded onto, and then a set of handles to grip onto while using it.
This bar was invented by a famed powerlifter, Al Gerald, as he searched for a way to improve his deadlift form and make shoulder shrugs easier to perform. Today, hex bars are still utilised in gyms around the world and can be implemented with all kinds of weightlifting moves including trap bar jumps, trap bar deadlifts, stiff leg deadlifts, upright rows, overhead presses, and more.
Should You Use a Trap Bar or Hex Bar?
Whether you’re brand new at the gym or have been lifting weights for years, you’ve likely seen a few guys making use of a hex bar before. You might have even considered putting one to the test yourself but weren’t sure if it’s right, and we’re here to tell you that it’s well worth trying out.
With the main purpose of assisting with deadlifts, utilising something like a trap bar that improves your form and makes it easier to lift more is essential. The trap bar or hex bar is the accessory to help you do just that and with a much needed upgrade from the traditional Olympic bar that so many people are still clinging to.
A trap bar can be used for more than just deadlifts so you have a lot of freedom for how you put it to work. What is known is that we’re capable of lifting heavier weights with one of these implements, and anything that results in better gains for less effort is bound to be a good thing.
What is a Hex Bar Deadlift?
The deadlift is one of the most common lifts among gym-goers and it’s a hip dominant move that has the weight of a barbell just in front of your body with the hips bearing the brunt of the work at the beginning. Not everyone finds it so easy to perfect the technique or do it with minimal stress on their joints, so adding a hex bar into your next deadlift can help.
The goal of a hex bar is to keep your weight directly in the center as you step into it. Even just the slightest movement change of a few inches will improve your posture, form, and where the weight sits, which means an easier time performing deadlifts and a better angle to do them at.
Benefits of Deadlifting With a Trap Bar
To see the true capabilities of what a trap bar can do for your deadlifts and other moves, you need to witness the benefits. These are just some of the reported advantages one will find when they make the switch to a hex bar in the gym.
- Less stress on your back
It’s no surprise that weight lifting takes its toll on your body and when you’re performing a deadlift, a lot of this stress is found in the back. Studies have found that the positioning of the body and the assistance that a trap bar offers means less stress was reported in the back of the lifters who used one.
- Heavier lifts
By far the biggest benefit of using a trap bar is that you’re able to lift more weight when you do. According to a report in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants were able to lift around 50lbs more than they usually could without a hex bar, which is a phenomenal amount.
- Better form and technique
One of the key components of weight lifting is getting your technique down pat and it can be hard to do when your physical stature just doesn’t match the bar. Using a hex bar or trap bar improves the posture and angle that the bar is held at which is better for your form overall.
- More comfortable
When you’re feeling comfortable in the gym while weight lifting, there’s a better chance you’ll be able to stick to it for longer. Using a hex bar reduces stress and makes workouts more comfortable which means you can do twice as much without feeling burnt out.
Although their primary use is to assist with deadlifts, a hex bar can be implemented into all kinds of lifts and moves in the gym. With this one device, you’ll be able to improve trap bar jumps, overhead presses, upright rows, and more, so it’s a truly multipurpose device.
Which Hex Deadlift Bar Should You Buy?
Shopping for any piece of weightlifting equipment requires a lot of thought so you can ensure it’s the right fit for your budget, lifting goals, and physical requirements. Here are a few features to consider if you’re thinking of adding a hex bar to your gym kit:
- Size: The weight and dimensions of a hex bar should correlate with your physical stature and what you plan on lifting. The common weight for one of these bars is between 50lbs and 70lbs, so anything in between there is ideal.
- Ergonomics: Look for a bar that’s designed for your comfort and getting the best positioning and posture. Powder-coated sleeves, hand grips, and physical shape will all dictate how comfortable and easy it is to hold.
- Capacity: Some hex bars are rated for their weight capacity and if you know how much you plan on lifting, this is the best guide. The shape of the plates you use may also need to be considered when choosing a bar.
Lifting Made Easy
It’s never going to be a walk in the park performing a deadlift, but you can certainly improve your form and technique when using a hex bar. Provided you choose one that’s the right size and fit for your body, you’ll notice an instant improvement in how you’re able to lift in the gym thanks to the hex bar.
There are loads of techniques and accessories out there designed to help you lift weights more easily, and no matter your skill level or weight range, you’ll find them useful. To learn more about the various tools of the trade, read on for some FAQs about weightlifting accessories and our expert answers.
Do I Need Gloves for Weight Lifting?
Some gym-goers feel more comfortable using gloves for weight lifting, although they’re not a necessity. Weight lifting gloves offer benefits like getting a better grip on the bar and reducing soreness and fatigue, and they can be particularly helpful for newcomers to the activity.
Why Do Powerlifters Chalk Their Legs?
A powerlifter might apply chalk to their legs to reduce the friction of the bar coming into contact with their skin in that area. When the bar is lifted, it glides past the legs without getting stuck, which makes the lift easier to execute, and this is a common process for experienced lifters to use.
What Equipment Do You Need For Weight Lifting?
There are lots of ways to practice weight training, including the standard barbells, bars, benches, and weight plates, or less traditional methods like training ropes and kettlebells. The best approach for you is one that suits your fitness and strength level, and workouts that you can execute with the correct form and technique.