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Hex Bar Deadlift Variation

November 29, 2017

There are several deadlifting variations, but most people stick with the barbell variations. However, researchers have recorded greater peak output in force, power, and velocity when using the hex bar. There are three distinct variations with the Hex Bar (aka Trap Bar or Diamond Bar) when compared to the barbell: the load surrounding the body, the parallel grip, and the grip height. 

The main variation is having the load surrounding you compared to in front of you with a barbell. This will keep the weight closer to your center of mass. The change in loading position changes our body’s lever and fulcrum system transferring the load more into the legs than the lower back. Supporting this point, researchers found a decrease in lower back muscle activation and greater recruitment of the leg muscles when using a hex bar compared to a barbell. 

The next variation that the hex bar has is a neutral or (parallel) grip. This grip position allows for better shoulder posture due to less internal rotation of the shoulder when compared to a pronated grip (palms facing you) used in a conventional barbell lift. The parallel grip will make it easier to maintain proper scapular retraction (shoulders down and back in their pockets) and thoracic extension (flat upper back) throughout the lift. This grip variation makes the hex bar advantageous for the novice or any one overcoming injuries to the back, neck, and shoulder. 

Most hex bars have the option to use a higher grip position which will shorten the range of motion by a few inches. This allows lifters with mobility and flexibility restrictions to begin to safely deadlift while working on their limitations. The higher grip will also allow you to perform the movement with a more upright posture, enabling you to lift greater loads at a lower risk of injury to the lower back.

To sum it up, the hex bar a great variation to safely use higher loads for novice and experienced lifters. The hex bar is an excellent transition from the kettlebell for a novice lifter and at great plateau breaker for the advance lifter

 

 

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