Alternative Uses for a Trap Bar

March 11, 2013 | Bill DeLongis

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The trap bar, also known as a hex bar, is becoming more popular in weight rooms. It is commonly used only for Deadlifts and Shrugs, but I have found an array of other uses for this piece of equipment.

To vary your routine occasionally, use the following exercises. They will provide a sustained challenge to your muscles.

Trap Bar Jump Squats

For more advanced athletes, bodyweight Jump Squats don't cut it, so I recommend performing weighted Jumps Squats. But when you do weighted Jump Squats with an Olympic bar, you run the risk of having the bar leave your back and crash into your spine. The Trap Bar prevents this from happening.

Trap Bar Farmer's Walks

If you need to increase your grip strength and carrying ability but lack dumbbells heavy enough to challenge your body, try loading up a trap bar and walking with it. Trap Bar Farmer's Walks will strengthen everything from your grip down to your ankles, and all the muscles in between.

Trap Bar Bent-Over Rows

With the trap bar, the weight is closer to your center of gravity instead of in front, so you reduce the amount of stress placed on your spine. Plus, you can still lift heavy, if not heavier, weight.

Trap Bar Neutral Grip Pull-Ups

It's important to switch up your grips from time to time to target muscles differently or bust through a plateau. If you don't have access to a neutral-grip pull-up bar, place a trap bar on top of a squat rack.

Trap Bar Overhead Press

For Push Presses or Military Press, the trap bar is a solid alternative to a barbell or dumbbell. Using a neutral grip may also be more shoulder friendly, especially for athletes who have had shoulder problems.

Trap Bar Dips

If you lack access to a dip bar or it's in use, try a trap bar. Problem solved. Place the bar in a squat rack or on two sturdy objects so you can perform Dips. Make sure the bar is fastened down or in J hooks in the rack.

Topics: EXERCISES
Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
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