If you have ever deadlifted before, you will know that the motion can put tremendous strain on the back. Or, it used to. Back before the invention of the hex bar, which helped to take strain off the back while still allowing lifters to lift a ton of weight. This has aided many people in work their back muscles and developing stronger hamstrings over the years. Today, we are going to be taking a look at the best and most popular hex deadlift bars on the market in 2019. We will break down the ins and outs of them, answer any questions you might have, and we will also review the most popular options available. So, let’s get right into it!
Top Hex Deadlift Bars Comparison Chart
|Product||Standard or Olympic?||Weight||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Merax Chrome Olympic Hex Bar||Olympic||50 lbs||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Titan Olympic 2’’ Hex Bar||Olympic||44 lbs||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|HulkFit Olympic 2-Inch Hex Trap Bar||Olympic||45 lbs||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Synergee 25KG Olympic Trap Bar||Olympic||25kg||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Xmark Commercial Olympic Trap Bar||Olympic||55 lbs||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Hex Deadlift Bars Buying Guide
Why a Hex?
A hex bar takes its name from the shape in which it is made into: hexagonal. The shape can also be like that of a diamond as well. Both work, but each have been labeled hex bars. The reason why is because each accomplish the same function. Since the weights are to the outside of the bars, you can hold the hex in the center by grabbing the handles. This stops you from bending over too far, which puts extra pressure upon the spine and can cause all sorts of injuries to occur. It also helps to make sure you don’t slam the bar into your shins, which is going to not only hurt but could also make you bleed. No one wants to have to wear shinguards while working out! Another benefit of it is that it spreads the weight out evenly. This also reduces your chances of injury because it means you don’t find yourself losing balance and having to try and adjust in mid-air. Plenty of studies have been done on the hex bar, and they have been found to be much safer than other form of bars when doing proper deadlifts. In addition to that, they have also concluded that this sort of set up gives you more force. This means you are able to move quicker and move more, which means you can lift more weight and see more results. It’s a win all around with them!
If you have ever been to the gym, you’ll probably have seen at least a few of the weights looking rusty and yucky. No one likes this sort of thing. It happens because the weights haven’t been kept in the best of shape or in the best area. It’s natural to happen over time, but it’s not the most appealing thing to the eye, that’s for sure. If you are going to be buying your own Hex bar you’re not going to want to see this happening. You will want to protect your investment by going with a bar that has some sort of coating to it. This will make sure that rust and other forms of corrosion do not latch their claws into it. There are a lot of different colors that you can pick from as well, so it should be able to fit you, your needs, and your desires as you look to stand out and make progress in the weight room all at the same time.
Standard or Olympic?
Sizing can be a little bit confusing at first when you start lifting, but it’s not all that complicated at the end of the day. There are two main ‘sizes’ to look at: Olympic and standard. The only difference between the two really is the size of the hole. Olympic bars are thicker than the standards are going to be. This doesn’t have that much effect on your lifting, but it does mean that you have to have a certain type of weights. Only Olympic weights will fit for Olympic bars, so you have to check and make sure of what you have or you might end up being sorely disappointed when you do make a purchase. The good news is that most Hex bars are going to be of the Olympic variety and are designed to fit that, so you should be in the clear. Just check and make sure and you’ll be good to go!
Grip is something that beginners to the world of weight training can have a lot of problems with. Heck, even people that have been doing it for years can and still do have issues with it. One of the biggest problems with it is the fact that your hands get calloused and start to hurt. They form these rough, coarse bumps, and it makes it hard to hold the weights. Sometimes, you just feel them forming far before you see them and you just can’t handle it. To get around this, you need what is called ‘knurling’ on your Hex bar. Knurling simply refers to the grip that the bar has. Some bars will be excellent and just to your liking in this regard, while others will not. If you find that you do not like the way your bar feels, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean that you should automatically be looking to replace it with another one. Instead, you can try chalk. This will give you a little bit more comfort. You might have to go a little further than that, however, and if you do, then a pair of gloves will work wonders. I’d prefer this anyway, personally, especially if you are someone that is new to lifting weights and are not used to having callouses on your hands. If you have very smooth, soft hands, this is definitely the way to go until you develop a little bit of toughness there. Comfort is huge with anything, so just find what is right for you. The good thing is that you don’t have to buy a new one if you find yourself uncomfortable. You just need to find what you like and then tailor it to you. You might not even need gloves or chalk, but if you do don’t be afraid to use it. There’s no harm at all, and it has a very real chance of keeping your protected from injury. Just thinking about other things is a recipe for potential danger at times, so don’t let your mind wander by ignoring this issue.
Form Is #1
One of my very favorite trainers has a saying that form is #1. Safety is paramount in the gym, whether it’s your own or a public facility. You don’t want to hurt yourself. You want to have fun, develop better and bigger muscles, and ultimately live longer. The best way to do that is to keep your form perfect. The instant you notice that your form is lacking, you should stop and put the weights down. There is no shame whatsoever in dropping the weight to finish your set or even finishing the set ‘dry’ without weights. That is not quitting. Quitting would be just putting them down and walking away after you couldn’t do it. Quitting isn’t being smart by realizing you are going to injure yourself if you don’t do something. After form, you really need to think about your safety. Form and safety are linked, but they aren’t the exact same thing. For that reason, if you are lifting really heavy weights or are already experiencing back pain, you should really get a belt to wear. A weightlifting belt, actually, is very much recommended for just about everyone if you’re going to be dealing with weights that are either above the waist or are going to put strain on the back. This is just smart. Your form can suffer if you don’t have a belt, which in turn makes you unsafe. Then the cycle repeats. Avoid that at all costs by being smart. If you are unsure of your form, there are plenty of videos online that will showcase proper form. You also can ask someone you trust to show you and watch you to ensure you don’t get hurt. It’s not fun to be out of the gym for a month or two just because you were hard headed. Hex bars are much safer, as we stated earlier, than normal bars, but it doesn’t mean you can just start free styling and doing anything you like with them. Stay away from ‘cheap reps’ and you’ll be going a long, long way toward a healthier you. Make sure to always consult your doctor, too, before you exercise. It’s wise to talk it out and make sure that you are cleared to do things, particularly if you have had health problems in the past. Even if you haven’t, a regular exam can do you a lot of good and keep you in the game longer.
Benefits of a Hex Bar
We’ve looked into a few of the things that a hex bar can do for you, but we are going to break down some specifics here by letting you know just what a hex bar can do that a normal bar will not be able to do for you. There are lots of benefits, so just because it’s not listed here does not mean you will not see it from your experience in the gym!
Much easier on the back
The hex bar, as we have hinted at a lot above, is much, much easier on the back than a normal bar. While we’re going to suggest that you wear a weight belt, no matter what weight you are lifting or your experience level, this is still a major plus to have. Because you are hinging (think like a door, only you are going up and down instead of side to side), you are going to be working the back muscles. That’s just a natural occurrence that is obvious. With a hex bar, you aren’t bending over like you would be with a normal bar. You do still bend over a tad, but you aren’t going to be full on reverse inclining like a lazy boy couch. This means that with a hex bar, you will see more work getting done in your leg muscles. The deadlift already targets the leg muscles more than you think, but this move is even more ramped up with a hex bar. It makes it more like a squat, which will put more of the pressure on your booty. This is a good thing because it means the pressure is spread out more evenly, which means that you have a smaller chance of injury than before. Taking pressure off the back is good. There’s just a lot of people that can’t do it without a hex bar, so if that’s you you should definitely give one a try.
The grip is so much better
We discussed knurling before and how much of an impact it can have on your safety and the amount of fun that you have. But the hex bar is responsible for giving you better grip. The reason why is because of the placement of the handles. Because of the change in places, your grip improves drastically over what you would have with a standard bar. There is no rolling like you see with a normal bar, which means that your hands and your fingers do not rotate. There is no constant fight for you to stick the bar in the same place all the while you are bending down. Not with a hex bar, at least. With a hex bar, you find a grip and stick to it. Without one, you end up with mixed grips. The inverted grip, where one hand is facing up and the other pointing down, is useful in some situations, but it’s not good on the long haul. It can cause a lot of strain on muscles and generally just make you feel out of whack. A hex bar uses your normal arm motions, keeps your posture as correct as possible, and it will not cause you to have to start going into your own gymnastic routine in the middle of your workout!
It’s awesome if you aren’t very flexible
We all know these people, and you might be included. Unless you’re a gymnast like we just joked about, chances are you can afford to be a little bit more flexible. Stretching, doing yoga, and cooling down are very vital and you should be doing one, two, or even all three of those at points. But if you find yourself starting out and you want to deadlift and just can’t, the hex bar is there to save the day. Because of the higher handles than what you would see on normal bars, you are able to bend down further than before and you can do so without risking your ankles at the same time. You get more out of your movements because the flat bar is not in front of you like on a standard bar, which means you get a whole lot more done. One thing most people don’t think about is that the deadlift stretches the muscles of the hamstrings, so this hex bar will not only help you get stronger but it will also help you get more flexible and more able to just move around freely.
It’s super easy to learn
Learning a new move for the first time when you start lifting weights can be tough. Sometimes, you’re a visual learner and have to see it. But on occasions, you might be like me, and you just have to do trial and error until you get it down. You’ll do it over and over again trying to master it. With a hex bar, that process is going to be easier. It might not totally go away, but you will have a much more manageable time learning how to do the move properly. That’s because you don’t have to worry about spinning the bar in your hands, flipping your grip, or any of the other nonsense. You can keep your balance without getting way too far ahead of yourself and then falling on your face. Your movements are more natural with a hex bar because of the way it is designed. Another way the hex bar promotes natural movement is by not allowing you to lean as far backwards. A normal bar is going to allow people to lean back (improper form that you should avoid at all costs). This puts strain on the back and spine and makes it hyper extend, which when it adds up over time will come back to haunt you eventually. A hex bar doesn’t let you do that as much. This isn’t to say that proper form isn’t necessary, because it is, but it’s just to say that you can do things much more naturally than with other forms of bars.
It’s easier for tall people, too!
Because tall people have arms that are usually so much longer than us normal folks, they oftentimes find pushing and pulling exercises to be especially tough for them. For example, a push up all the way to the top and then down is so much harder when your arms are big. If you couple that along with a fairly big amount of mass, then it’s super duper tough. Pull ups are the same way. Longer arms don’t help a whole lot in those endeavors, and a hex bar can help a lot of the pain there. A hex bar is going to make it easier for you to get that pulling factor into your workout without sacrificing form doing another move. This shouldn’t be the only thing you do as far as pulling exercises go, but it’s a good starter move to get you going so that you can get into really awesome shape and feel much better and stronger.
A Couple of Debbie Downers
There are a few things that could possibly deter you from using a hex bar, however, and it’s fair to point out why you might want to steer clear of one. One thing that you should know right off the bat is that hex bars are not used or allowed in official competitions. So, if you plan on being an Olympian or you just want to be in a competition, then you should be focusing on practicing and training with a standard bar that you’ll see there. There’s nothing wrong with using a hex bar in your routine, but if you want to be as best as you can be, then this is the best way forward for you. Another possible downer is that it’s harder for short people. Because a hex bar has a set amount of distance between the two handles and can’t be adjusted, it can be tough for people that are smaller in stature. That is, unless you just so happen to have the wing span of an NBA forward! If you are short and unsure, you should definitely go to a store and try out a Hex bar before you buy one just to make double sure that you’ll like it and be happy with your choice. Don’t worry. No matter what you deadlift with, if assuming you use the proper form and technique, you’re doing a real deadlift! You just might not be allowed to use it in competition is all!
Let’s Review The Top 5 Hex Bars for Deadlifts of 2019!
Merax Chrome Olympic Hex Bar
Ease is already improved with a hex bar, but this bar goes above and beyond with a dual handle design to make your life even easier. It’s great because you can change the handles you use for different exercises, a real improvement. Utilizing a solid steel frame and supporting up to 800 lbs, you can get a whole lot done with this bar that others just wouldn’t allow. The chrome finish used is excellent not only with its looks but also because of the sweat resistance that it provides as well. Closely linked to that is that they will not rust nearly as fast as some others, so that’s a major plus to find for sure. The handles have knurling to them that will make them easier to grip, but you would still be wise to try them out if you can before you give it a go. It’s not the cheapest price out there, but it’s also not the highest, either, so that won’t turn too many away. The one thing that you might find it that it is a little smaller inside, so if you are fairly bulky, this might not be your best choice.
- Will not rust
- Two handles on each side
- Good grip provided
- Not the most space out there
Titan Olympic 2’’ Hex Bar
If you want to spend a little bit less, then the Titan bar is one to take a look at. Also coming with two different handles to help isolate muscles, this bar is going to be good for beginners more than people who have been at it a while. One reason for that is because of the knurling, which is ‘aggressive,’ meaning it’s not the most comfortable. Many won’t like this, but if you’ve just started your journey you will not enjoy it much and will be wanting to replace it as soon as possible with a thicker grip. Another reason is that the capacity is just 500 lbs. This is a lot of weight, no doubt about it, but if you are really moving the weights and are super serious, this might not be enough for you. Once again, it’s just about what your purposes are, so if you are going to be lifting a ton, it’s not for you. One worry was that there wouldn’t be enough space for bigger, wider people, but it does a good job at fitting you in, so no worries there. This is a good option for someone that is just starting out, but it’s not going to be the answer for everyone out there.
- Good price to pay
- Looks great with the chrome
- Fits all shapes and sizes
- Not a ton of weight capacity
- Very rough knurling
HulkFit Olympic 2-Inch Hex Trap Bar
Coming with three choices, two of which are open back to give you more room and freedom to not feel trapped in (get it?), this bar is rather affordable with the normal choice. Unlike the previous listing, though, the price does not correlate with the capacity. This bar will handle up to 1000 pounds, making it an option for all kinds of lifters, both newbies and experts alike. One way they’ve helped aid in your goal of getting more weight into your routine is by extending the loading sleeves. This just means you can load more weights on to lift, putting that capacity to full use. There are multiple positions to place your hands on this device, which helps increase your safety and your range of motion by giving you options instead of a one size fits all approach. The heavy duty steel makeup of them makes them very durable and will keep you happy for quite a while with your purchase. One thing to keep an eye on is the shipping. This product hasn’t shown to be the best when it gets to you, with some finding them to be rusted. No what you want to see for sure, or be spending your money on, either.
- Huge weight capacity
- Very affordable
- Lots of options with handles and designs
- Shipping process is a pain for some
Synergee 25KG Olympic Trap Bar
If you don’t mind paying a little bit extra but you want awesome customer service, then Synergee is a great way to go. They offer to replace yours if any issues develop. On top of that, they have a very high quality product here that offers a ton of benefits. The sleeves are quite long, which allows you to make up for the added weight of the bar, which is about ten pounds heavier than most have been. This means you can lift more weights because there is extra room to fit them on. The raised handles make your life so much easier, and the bar is made out of high quality steel. The grip is knurled and is non slipping to make sure you don’t drop it and get injured that way. The price, as stated is a little higher than some so far, and the other issue is that the shipping is also rough on this one. So you might have to use the customer service indeed on this one, if you choose to go with it.
- Extended sleeve for weights
- Great service
- Raised handles do a great job
- Shipping is not the best
- Little bit pricey
Xmark Commercial Olympic Trap Bar
If you are running a gym, or you just want to have a top notch sort of bar, then this is the one for you. This commercial bar is going to cost more than the rest, but it just looks plain out cool. It’s got a black siding that runs all the way around it and helps it stand out and just looks super classy. On top of that, the handles are amazing as they have a trip-grip to them. This will let you rotate them to the one that you like best, which means there is a very good chance you will find the right grip for you, or at least one you can manage without bringing in other means. The bottom of the unit has rubber on it to protect the floor from getting scratched, which is another bonus from this product. It’s super easy to get plates on and off since the storage area is raised as well. One thing, besides the price, to look out for is that handles are a little bit loose. You don’t even have to use collars on these to keep the weights in place, such is the design of them and the meticulous touches they put into their work.
- Looks awesome
- Don’t have to pick up to load weights
- Three grips to pick from
- Handles are a little loose
- Quite expensive choice
Conclusion And Final Hex Deadlift Bars Recommendations
When you are just starting out in the world of weight training, it can be quite overwhelming. It’s easy to feel confused about what you need and what you don’t need. That’s because it’s so hard to figure out if you really need something and if it works as it claims to. With a hex bar, you get a ton of benefits that will help you achieve whatever your goals might be. Maybe you want to be huge, or maybe you just want to get to the point where you can touch your toes again and move more freely. At the end of the day, a hex bar has the potential to give you a lot more freedom in your life if you put it to use correctly. By matching your hex bar to your specific needs, you can get the most out of your workout time and reach your goals more efficiently than ever before. If you have any other questions, look below at the FAQ’s. If not, what are you waiting for? Let’s hit the gym and get it done!
FAQ’s About Hex Deadlift Bars
Why Are Deadlifts So Popular?
Behind squats, there is probably no more popular exercise than that of the deadlift. Squats are huge because they work muscles that everyone absolutely has to have and also that a lot of people adore. Like the squat, the deadlift targets a number of muscle groups all at the same time, allowing you to get a lot done in a relatively short amount of time. For people that are looking to bulk up and get much, much stronger, this and the squat are going to be the main two moves they do. So, basically it’s got a lot to do with being able to lift a lot of weight compared to other exercises and it’s ability to work multiple muscles at the same time.
How Often Should I Be Deadlifting?
The recommended amount of time you should be deadlifting is once per week. This might not sound like much to you, but there is a very good reason for this. The motion puts a lot of pressure upon not only the body but also the nervous system because it does stress the joints. Even with a Hex bar, you will not want to be doing them too often as they can really take a toll on you. A lot of people do what we call a ‘plateau’ in the fitness world. They will do very well at something for a while, but they will hit a dead point and never be able to reach any higher. This is what happens if you over train a muscle, and it’s another reason you should limit the amount of deadlifting that you do.
Are/Is There Another Name for the Hex Bar?
Yes, there are other names. Chiefly, the name ‘trap’ bar is very common. If you see this out there, then don’t be afraid. It’s just another name given to the same sort of idea. It also will take the pressure of you by allowing you to lift from the center. So if you see trap or hex attributed to a bar, then you’re good to go and will be more protected than a normal bar would protect you.
What Is the History Behind The Hex Bar?
The hex, or trap, bar got its start back in the mid 1980s through a man named Al Gerard. He sought to bring it into the weightlifting world because he felt that it could help be a solution to some of the problems that he was observing. Al was quite a man, lifting as much as 625 on the deadlift into his 40s. This was in spite of never using any drugs, unlike many in that era, and also having to combat some pretty severe back problems. He came up with the idea so that he could protect his back while still lifting heavier and heavier weights. He was using dumbbells one day for squats and came upon the idea. The rest is history, as they say, and here we are today with the hex bar thanks to his desire to find something that worked for him. It’s gone on to become a common sight at gyms and clubs all over the world nowadays thanks to his invention, thanks to doctors and many other weightlifters taking to the idea and running with it to help improve both their lives and the lives of others, too.
Are There Other Exercises You Can Use a Trap Bar For?
Yes, there definitely are. When Gerard first came up with the idea, he went about showing four main exercises that you could do with the bar. In addition to the deadlift, you could also do its close cousin. That move being the stiff leg deadlift. This move sees you lock your knees into place, which further works your legs muscles when compared to the normal deadlift. This move doesn’t need as much weight, since you have no bending and do not want to put too much untold pressure upon the knees, as it’s quite a sensitive spot. The other moves that Gerard pushed in conjunction with his new bar were the shrug and the upright row. The shrug is a classic weightlifting move that targets the upper shoulders behind the neck area. It’s a simple move where you just holds the weight and move your shoulders up and down in a shrugging motion. The upright row works the front part of the shoulders and requires you to start by holding the weights beneath you and then bringing them up with your elbows above the weights. This move has been shown to cause issues, however, in recent years, so you should do some research and think about it before you start doing it. These are some of the other moves a hex bar can be used to do, but there are others you could find when you search online!
What Groups of Muscles Are Worked?
The hex bar allows you to do deadlifts that target a number of key and essential muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, abs, forearms, your lower back, and also your upper back. Because fitness is about how well you can move everything all together, moves like this one are much more preferential than sitting around and focusing on just one muscle group at a time. That might be how you get massive, no doubt, but if you want to be fit and able to move into your 80’s then the best moves are like the deadlift. They allow you to work all sorts of muscles at the same time, allowing you to get a better burn in less time while doing so.
Can Deadlifts Replace Squats?
The answer here is a clear no. No matter who you are, old, young, boy, girl, man, or woman, you need to be doing squats. This is just a necessity for your body. Without them, you’re going to freeze up over time. With that said, you don’t have to use a rack or squat with a bar, even. There are plenty of options available to you. You can use dumbbells, you can go with no weights at all, or you can do plyometric squats. All of those are very adequate options. But you can’t replace them with deadlifts, whether it be with a hex bar or something else entirely.
How Many Reps Could/Should I Do?
This is based on what your goals are from your own personal workout. If you are looking to build up your general fitness, then it’s a good idea to do 3 sets of between 7 and 12. If you can’t get to seven in this scenario, then you need to drop the weight to a point where you can get to at least seven. You should be struggling a little by the last rep, but you should not be to the point where your form is entirely gone. If you want to build up mass, then you can do so by doing 3 or 4 sets of between 4 and 6 reps. The less reps you go, the more weight you can handle. Some lifters will do a mix of the two. They might work on bulk one day, and then definition the next time. By doing that, you can max out and walk your weights up over time. That way you don’t do the same exact weights every single time you work out, which is the definition of a plateau.