How To Trap Bar Deadlift In 10 Steps
I love the Trap Bar for my own training and for a teaching tool for my female athletes.
The trap bar is one of the most underutilized exercises in training. If your goals are to get stronger, become more powerful and build muscle the Trap Bar is a great for this.
Training with a trap bar is a safe and effective way to learn to hinge and deadlift.
Because of the placement of the handles in a neutral grip with two different heights you can lift from it makes the trap bar easier to learn, and a nice progression into the standard barbell.
Because of the positioning of the handles on the outside of the shins and also the higher hand option this makes it much easier and healthier for anyone who lacks proper range of motion, or lack of flexibility for a normal barbell deadlift.
A lot of people think that the Trap Bar is a step down from the barbell or it’s not as effective. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For the average strength and sport athlete or lifter the trap bar is a great alternative to complement the straight barbell in many ways.
As well the Trap Bar compared to the Barbell has some benefits. It’s easier on the joints for a lot of people, and the movement to learn a trap bar is much easier compared to a standard bar.
Let me be clear, I LOVE deadlifts and to me nothing replaces the barbell deadlift, but the trap bar is a great tool in many ways so don’t discount it.
Moving on to the important stuff, let’s talk about getting stronger and lifting Heavy Weights.
When it comes to strength there is a simple acronym I use when teaching all strength training.
Want to get strong fast?
Remember this word => FAST
F : Focus
The lift starts before you touch the bar. Be sure to be focused on the task at hand. Learning to focus your mind is more important than anything before lifting heavy weight.
A : Attitude
How you approach the lift matters. Be confidant, act confident, believe you can do it. If you don’t think you can, you are probably right.
S : Set Up
A good set up makes a good lift. Take some time to play with your set up, don’t rush it. Play with it and find a good set up that works for you. When that set up feels good practice It over and over again.
Strength is a skill, so practice that skill. This starts with the set up.
T : Tension
The magic word in Strength is “Tension” and learning to create full body tension is imperative for maximum strength and reducing injuries.
The more you can learn to “Get Tight” and learn to create full body tension the stronger you will be.
Here is how to do a trap bar deadlift in 10 easy steps.
- Mental Set Up
Before you start your physical set up mentally focus on lifting with proper form and technique. Strength and lifting is as much or more mental as it is physical. Be focused.
- Physical Set Up
Start your set up with your feet. You should stand shoulder width apart. Your shins should in line with where the centre of the bar is.
- Don’t Reach For The Bar
Place your body into a hip hinge position and slowly lower to the bar (don’t reach). We will be extensively focusing on “The Hinge” over the next 6 weeks. I will be posting a video on hinging as well so stay tuned.
- Hinge or Squat
Keep hinging, or change to a squat position depending on your leverage and goal of the lift. Keep moving and building tension like a spring as you grip the bar. Don’t just bend over and grab the bar.
You can also “squat” your deadlift. Since it’s a trap bar and a higher handle for some people going into a squat position will work better than a hinge. Try both and see what one works better for you.
- Get Your Grips
Make sure your hands are even on the bar. Take your time to make sure your hands are even and entered. This is very important for controlling the lift.
- “White Knuckle The Bar”
Grip the bar as tight as possible, another term for this is “White Knuckling The Bar”. The stronger your grip on the bar the stronger and safer your deadlift will be.
- Breath and Brace
Get a big breath and brace your core. By “Bracing Your Core” think about someone punching your stomach. Your initial reaction is to flex/brace your core. We will focus a lot on bracing in Built. Hold your breath during the entire lift. “If The Bar Is Moving, You Are Not Breathing”.
- Push Away The Ground
Before you lift focusing on creating “tension”. Once you take your breath, create full body tension then focus on pushing away the floor. Not picking up the weight.
- Finish The Lift
At the top lock the hips/shoulders and knees and drive your chest up. Squeeze your glutes and your quads at the top. Stand tall in a confident position.
Hold the lift to demonstrate control.
Far too often I see women fight for a lift and as soon as they get to the top they drop it.
Stay with the lift, own it at the top and smile.
- Drop or Lower The Weight
Drop the lift or lower it in reverse of how you picked it up.
Most injuries occur from improper lowering of the weight, not the lift itself. Be sure to lower under control and tension.
Dropping the weight from the top is fine. The focus of the Trap Bar is the upward (concentric phase) not the lowering (eccentric phase).
The trap bar is a very effective tool for strength, muscle and power.
It’s less taxing compared to the straight bar, and for athletes and martial artists the trap bar is a fantastic exercise to add to your program.
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