Trap bar deadlift exercise

Trap bar deadlift

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Gluteus Maximus
  • Synergists: Quadriceps (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius), Adductor Magnus, Soleus
  • Dynamic stabilizers: Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius
  • Important isometric stabilizers (not highlighted): Wrist Flexors, Upper and Middle Trapezius, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids, Erector Spinae, Rectus Abdominis, Obliques
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand inside a loaded trap bar with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat and grasp the handles of the trap bar.
  3. Take a deep breath.


  1. Keeping your torso upright and your arms and back straight, exhale as you lift the trap bar into a standing position.
  2. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders back.
  3. Inhale as you return the trap bar to the floor by first pushing your hips backward and then flexing your knees.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The trap bar deadlift is a great exercise for overloading your glutes, legs, back and forearms; strengthening your core; improving your functional fitness; and developing total-body strength.
  • The trap bar deadlift is easier on your lower back than is the barbell deadlift. With the barbell deadlift, because the bar is straight, you have to hold and lift the weight in front of your body, forcing your lower back to do a lot of work. In contrast to the straight barbell, the trap bar (also known as the hex bar) is a hexagonal bar that you can load at each side and stand inside of before lifting. The design of the trap bar shifts the weight so that it is in line with your center of gravity. This allows you to pull the weight straight up vertically, which puts less stress on your lower back.
  • Keep your torso upright and your back, neck and arms straight.
  • Keep your feet flat and your feet and knees pointing in the same direction.
  • Do not hyperextend your back at the top of the movement.
  • Start light and add weight gradually.
  • To perform a deeper deadlift, turn the trap bar upside down and use the lower handles.
  • When lifting a very heavy weight, you can wear a support belt to protect your lower back.
  • To improve your grip, you can use gym chalk or wrist straps.
  • Also known as the hex bar deadlift.
  • See also the kettlebell deadlift, the barbell sumo Romanian deadlift, and the dumbbell deadlift.

Trap bar deadlift video

In this humorous video, popular YouTuber and powerlifter Alan Thrall provides a detailed demonstration of how to perform the trap bar deadlift.


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