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TOP 10 Best Trap Bars & Rackable Hex Bars 2021 + Buying Guide with Reviews
Developing proper deadlift and squat form is a prerequisite for any serious weightlifter.
Learning good form can be challenging using a straight barbell.
That’s why I set out to research and find the best trap bars, because a trap bar allows you to learn good form and technique by positioning your weight on your heels and maintaining a beneficial center of gravity.
After a lot of searching, I put together this list of what I believe to be the top 10 best trap bars.
I included a guide to finding the right trap bar for you, a collection of trap bar workouts and exercises and a trap bar FAQs that will answer your questions.
Review: The Rogue TB-2 trap bar is the model with the raised handles, which makes the starting height about 8 inches higher, so it’s a little easier on your back than a traditional barbell deadlift.
Rogue is famous for attention to detail and this trap bar has it. The welds are smooth and carefully finished, the knurling on the handles has a little bite, without being too aggressive and the matte black finish looks really professional.
Specs: 60 lbs unloaded, 88.5” inches long, 25” inches between handles, 8.25” inch high raised handles.
This hex bar is rackable, so you can use it inside your rack or rig and do rack pulls or just get a little higher off the ground starting point.
I will say this, both of Rogues hex trap bars have a 25 inch width between handles, which is on the wider side, and tend to work better for athletes who are tall or have long arms.
5 inches long and rackable, can use inside your power rack.
25” width between handles, great for tall people or those with long arms.
High quality – smooth welds, perfect knurling, stylish matte black finish.
Non-standard sleeve diameter, standard barbell collars won’t work.
My #1 Pick, a high quality Rogue trap bar with raised handles and a large between handle width.
This trap bar is rackable, which means it is long enough to use inside your rack or rig. This means you can use this bar for rack pulls and much more. If you do not yet have a power rack, check out this list of the best power racks and pick one out for yourself.
Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0
Review: This Rogue trap bar is slightly lighter than the TB-2 because it has no raised handles. It still has the other great features, like the perfect knurling, carefully finished welded seams, and a flawlessly applied coat of Rogues renowned matte black finish.
This trap bar is long enough to use in your power rack and at 25 inches wide between the handles, it is great for large or tall lifters.
Review: The Titan Fitness hex trap bar is a heavy-duty bar that can is rated for more than 810 lbs. It is long enough to use in your power rack for rack pulls and other exercises where you don’t want to start from the floor.
Specs: 85.5 inches long, rackable, 22 inches between handles, 60 lbs unloaded, 810 lb weight capacity, sits 7.5 inches in the raised starting position.
Both sets of handles are knurled for superior grip and the bar sits about 7.5 inches from the ground so it’s much easier to peel off the ground than a standard barbell.
Rackable, can be used in your power cage.
5 inch staring height when set on the ground.
Knurled raised handles.
Does not accept standard size collars.
High weight capacity, rackable and one of the best Olympic hex bars around.
Review: This CAP trap bar is ideal for small spaces because its total length is just 50 inches, yet it accommodates big guys because the space between handles is 28 inches.
It has raised handles and a stand so you can easily load the weight plates.
Specs: 50 inches long total, 28 lbs when not loaded, 28 inches between handles, 500 lb weight capacity, with raised handles and stands.
This is the most affordable hex trap bar I can find and is a good buy for the money, so if you are on a tight budget, get it. But, it is not without its limitations, specifically a lower weight capacity.
Plenty of space between handles for big users.
No knurling on the handle.
Not much room for your hands.
Inexpensive trap hex bar for small spaces and those who plan to lift less than 500 lbs.
Trap bars are also known as hex bars because the center cage of the bar is the shape of a hexagon. You stand inside the hex cage to perform lifts. The reason it is often called a trap bar is because using this bar for deadlifts tends to be better for your traps.
I will explain more about that in a minute, so stay tuned.
There are sleeves on each side of the hex cage where weight plates are loaded.
The trap bar itself usually, but not always, has two sets of handles. One set of handles in on the hex itself, while the other set of handles are raised handles that are welded on to the hex cage.
What are Trap Bar Deadlifts Good for?
A trap bar makes it easier for the athlete to learn proper form and at the same time, allows them to lift more weight.
The hex bar forces you to stand more upright than you would for a barbell deadlift, which places your center of gravity in a more vertical position, encouraging proper form.
Hip Flexion Issues
A standard deadlift, seen here, starts near the end of most folks’ hip flexion range of motion. Some people simply do not have enough range of motion to do a barbell deadlift properly, so they make up for lack of range of motion by flexing their spine.
Flexing your spine during a deadlift is a recipe for back injury and pain, and that’s why many athletes opt-out of the deadlift over time, missing the great benefits of this staple movement.
A raised handles of the trap bar places the bar higher from the ground so most athletes do not need to flex their spine as they peel the weight from the floor, preventing back pain and injury and encouraging proper form.
Keeps Knees Out of the Way
Often, with a barbell deadlift, your knees get in the way, or you must bend your back to get the barbell up and over your knees.
This is especially true for athletes with long legs, whose knees stick out farther in front when bent. Being tall, in the case of doing deadlifts, is not a benefit.
It is MUCH easier for a person with long legs to do a deadlift using a trap bar, since their knees are not in the way.
Trap Bars are Quad Focused
With a traditional barbell, you must always clear your knees while lifting.
Not so with a trap bar, since you stand inside, with the bar surrounding you, your knees do not get in the way.
With a trap bar you can stand more upright, and when you become fatigued, you can shift the load to your quads, meaning your quads get a better workout with the trap bar deadlift than a straight barbell deadlift.
What Factors to Keep in Mind Before Buying?
Handle Width: What is the Width Between Handles?
The distance between the handles determines how large or small of an athlete the trap bar can accommodate.
For example, the TDS Trap Hex Bar with Stand has 28 inches between the handles, so those who are big, tall, or have long arms will be comfortable using it, but a more petite person, especially in they have shorter arms, will feel uncomfortable.
The trap bar can be used for much more than deadlifts!
Here is a list of just some of the exercises you can do with a Trap Hex bar:
Bent Over Rows
Hex bar jumps
Check out this Bull’s Strength video that quickly demonstrates 16 exercises you can do with the trap bar. I love that he’s lifting in Chucks, my favorite weightlifting shoes.
Trap Bar FAQs
Is a Trap Bar Deadlift Easier than a Straight Bar Deadlift?
Yes, in a sense. Let me explain.
Lift More Weight
Most folks can deadlift more weight with a trap bar than a barbell. In a way, this makes the trap bar seem easier.
Easier to Learn
One of my favorite benefits of the trap bar is that it is easier to learn a trap bar deadlift than a barbell deadlift.
When you first learn to deadlift with a barbell, it can be hard to find your balance, since the bar must stay in front which can potentially cause two errors; either losing your balance forward, or flexing your spine.
With the hex bar deadlift your knees are not in the way, so you do not need to maintain as forward a position, putting you in a more upright position where you are both less likely to lose your balance or flex your spine.
What Muscles does the Trap Bar Work?
You can do so many exercises using the trap bar, it’s nearly impossible to list all the potential muscles a trap bar might work.
But, just for sake of answering the question, let’s look at what muscles the trap bar deadlift works compared to a barbell deadlift.
The trap bar deadlift places more emphasis on the quads, since you are in a more upright position as you lift.
It also hits the traps a lot more since you are not bent over as much, and not using your lower back as much during the lift.
Of course, trap bar deadlifts also work the lats, glutes and hamstrings as well.
How Heavy is a Trap Bar?
Trap bars vary in weight quite a bit. I have seen low-end light-duty trap bars that weight 23 lbs on their own. Of course, the max weight capacity on these light-duty bars is lower, usually around 400 lbs.
Heavy-duty trap bars can weigh between 55 and 60 lbs. But they also hold a lot more weight, sometimes as much as 1000 lbs.
Want to see a REALLY HEAVY deadlift using a trap bar? Here you go!
Now that you have seen the best trap bars, and why they are a beneficial addition to your standard barbell routine, it’s time to pick up one for yourself and reap all the benefits this bar has to offer.
Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!