The trap bar is becoming more and more popular. It can be found in college athletic weight rooms as well as big box gyms.
It has gained a lot of popularity for it’s ability to allow people to deadlift who may not be as proficient in the straight bar version. Because you are stepping “inside” the bar, it allows the load to be placed closer to the point of “rotation” or the hips. By shortening the lever arm, or the amount of load placed on the lower back, it makes it a much safer variation.
Check out this video of the “traditional” use of the trap bar.
Feels good to be back in the "lab" moving some heavy stuff. No real plan for the next 3 weeks before another vacation so decided to play around with some banded trap bar deadlift. This is using a concept called accommodating resistance. Basically the top of the lift or "lockout" is more difficult than the bottom of the lift. It requires you to really focus on keeping your "drive" all the way through the top.
But the trap bar isn’t confined to just picking up heavy stuff off the floor. Check out a few more ways to utilize this specialty bar.
Trap Bar Bent-Over Row
The bent-over row is a one of the best exercises for building upper back strength and muscle. The only problem is the stress it also puts on the lower back. Due to the weight basically hanging out in front of the body, the lower back can be taxed and limiting the ability of your upper back to work.
The trap bar bent-over row helps take much of the stress off the lower back. Because the weight can be held closer to the center of mass of the lifter. Also, you can use a staggered stance with the trap bar bent-over row which helps reduce the stress off the lower back and will allow you to lift more weight.
Trap Bar Squat Jumps
Want to jump higher?? Trap bar squat jumps can help. Using the trap bar makes adding load to your jumping much easier. Typically people would hold dumbbells at their sides and that can become sloppy as the dumbbells are free to move. The trap bar keeps the weight more stable and allow you to possibly use more weight.
I spent most of my teenage years looking up "jump programs" to increase my vertical for basketball. I even talked my parents into buying me those ugly jump shoes. Man do I wish I knew then what I know now. Good old fashion getting strong and fast is the key. I started focusing on power production in my last phase of training and saw about an inch gain in vertical jump height. Now this phase I am going to implement some weighted jumps…as well as try and get rid of some of the extra weight increasing my gravitational pull😂. The trap bar is a great way to add resistance to your jumps. You get the triple extension of the Olympic lifts without the technical side of things. In high school I could dunk two hands…now I have to be warm and conditions have to be right to get a one-handed dunk. Time to change that!
Trap Bar Chest Press
The typical straight bar bench press can be troublesome for people with shoulder issues. The trap bar can help those who struggle with shoulder problems but still love to bench press.
The neutral grip of the trap bar is much more shoulder friendly than the traditional bench press. Here is a floor press variation.
Trap Bar Overhead Press
Like the bench press, using the straight bar can be painful with the overhead press. The neutral grip for the overhead press can allow some people to still press overhead without irritating their shoulder.
Trap Bar Farmer’s Walk
If you know me, you know I love loaded carries. The trap bar is the perfect implement to load up heavy on carries.
Dumbbells can become cumbersome, the heavier and the larger they become. They can affect your walking gait as they may bounce off your thighs.
The trap bar helps keep the weight way from your body and allow you to walk unimpeded. Load em heavy and get to walking!