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Alternative Bar for deadlift
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:32 pm
My gym has a an alternative bar for deadlifts, I'm not sure what it's called but it's shaped like an octogon and the lifter stands in the center and lifts using handles welded to the frame. I prefer using it because I can keep my back straighter during the lift and I don't worry about scraping my shins. I can also lift a LOT (10-20%) more than in my traditional DLs.
However, from a work perspective it feels a lot like a squat, as my back is stable throughout the lift, and my upper body is primarily acting as a stabilizer rather than a puller.
So my question is: can I use this bar as an adequate substitute for the deadlift? Or should I stick with the barbell?
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:44 pm
It's called a trap bar, or a hex bar. The movement is like a cross between a deadlift and a squat. If you were only doing one exercise, it would be a suitable candidate.
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Glu ... Squat.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Glu ... dlift.html
It's actually a safer exercise for beginners because it encourages better form than a traditional deadlift where the weight is further to the front. It does tend to focus the stress more towards the glutes than the hamstrings so if your goal if to hit the hamstrings, you may want to switch it up. You can always do this version: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Glu ... dlift.html
Re: Alternative Bar for deadlift
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:29 pm
JimKe wrote:So my question is: can I use this bar as an adequate substitute for the deadlift? Or should I stick with the barbell?
They're different lifts, but yeah, you can certainly use the trap bar. I like it myself, mostly because I find the parallel grip easier on my arms and shoulders and the upright position easier on my back. I'm tall (6'4") so bending down to get a barbell off the floor creates a long lever arm for me.
I also prefer to teach people to DL on the trap bar for the same reason. They seem to automatically keep a proper arch instead of bending at the waist to get the bar - like they'd squat down to get two suitcases.
When I program multiple lifts, although it does somewhat act like a squat/deadlift hybrid, it is grip-limited and doesn't take advantage of the rebound out of the bottom that the squat does (unless you turn it into some bounce-the-weight fest). So I put it in instead of a deadlift, not instead of a squat. If you're squatting and deadlifting, this becomes squat and trap bar deadlift instead, say, not trap bar deadlift and deadlift.
Hope that helps.
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:40 pm
Thanks for the input. I think I will keep it in my repertoire, and switch off with the standard DL every so often.