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Hex Bar Squats Vs Barbell Squats: Which Builds More Power & Strength?

Barbell Squats

The bar hexagonal (also known as trap bar) is something that is not often seen too much in gyms, and those where you can find one, is usually picking up dust in a corner.

In this Hex Bar Squats Vs Barbell Squats guide, we’ll compare both squats and show you which one to stick to (if that’s what you want).

However, it reports considerable benefits, which can make its use a very interesting option, with added benefits for those who consider training at home. Let’s see some of these, as well as the exercises that can be done with it.

The deadlift with trap bar

Most iron enthusiasts know the tremendous benefits of doing deadweight, an exercise that works in depth almost every muscle of our body.

Running the deadlift with a hexagonal bar may not seem as “epic” as doing a bar, but it has several benefits:

1). Safeguarding the lower back

When performing a traditional deadweight with a straight bar, the bar is in front of our body.

This forces us to bend forward to grab the bar and fight against the force of it, which pulls down, resisting rounding the lower back.

Many are not even able to find the correct starting position, and when lifting the weight it only gets worse.

However, when we use a trap bar , we are literally inside the bar. This makes a huge difference, because by the position we do not need to lean forward so much to grab the bar, safeguarding the lower back.

In addition, we do not turn the shoulders inward, but instead maintain a more natural position. We can do deadlift by putting a lot less effort (and risk) in the column.

2). Higher loads

Thanks to the mechanical advantage offered by the trap bar, you can lift more weight than would be possible with a straight bar.

More weight means more work for the legs, trapezoids, and grip, and it helps to obtain a better result in the development of the same. In fact, this movement can be used to replace the squat as a leg builder, as we will see later.

3). Easier

Many beginners have some fear of dead weight for possible back injuries. And it is certainly an exercise that requires a certain technique to work it safely.

The trap bar offers an easier learning, since the practitioner has to bend less of hips and more of legs.

With the hands at the sides and the legs more bent it is easier to keep the chest high and avoid the rounding of the high back, being easier to maintain the correct form.

Is Deadlift with trap bar a substitute for the squat?

If we have access to a cage or supports to do squats in a safe way, undoubtedly, it is better squats. The depth of knee flexion obtained in a front or rear squat is much higher than what can be achieved by doing a dead weight with trap bar.

However, there are also many who wonder how I can train my legs if I do not have support for squats or cages, or if I train at home?

For these people, using the deadlift with a hexagonal bar can be a very good alternative.

Hexagonal bar

Although this movement does not reach the depth of knee flexion of a deep squat, it produces a greater flex than the conventional deadlift, working the legs harder and making it a more than acceptable substitute.

It also makes it easier to add weight safely to the bar, because if at any time we can not lift it, we can simply drop it. Not in vain, some call the deadlift with trap bar “Squat with trap bar” (trap bar squat).

A few deadweight series with trap bar will give our legs a good job. Then we can finish the work of deep bending by adding a final series of squats with our own body weight (or using dumbbells that we can carry in our hands), to compensate for that part of deep flexion.

Another alternative is to use smaller diameter discs in the trap bar, to lower more and obtain a greater knee flexion.

If you’re considering getting a trap bar for your workouts, you can get them at a good price here: Hexagonal bars (and other material) at a good price .

Other exercises with trap bar

But not only deadweight lives the lifter (or lifter :)), and the trap bar has other uses to offer. Let’s see some.

Trapeze shrinkage

For reasons similar to those of the deadlift, a straight bar is somewhat uncomfortable to do shrug: it is necessary to rotate the shoulders forward or backward, and the bar will rub along our legs. Dumbbell shrugs can be a solution for shoulder rotation, but friction will also occur.

In addition, the fact that the trapezoids are an extremely strong muscle makes a high amount of weight necessary, and of all the alternatives the one that allows to lift more weight with greater ease is the trap bar.

With it we can load our trapezes intensely, and work without the annoying friction, as we can see in the following video.

Rowing with hexagonal bar

When executed well, this movement is an excellent exercise for the back. The movement once again feels more natural than the one made with a bar, and has the additional benefit of reaching a greater amplitude in the upper part (with the bar we would touch the stomach before, but the handles of the trap bar allow a movement of deeper pull).

Movement also helps us to correct ourselves. If the bar touches our bottom, it is that we have not bent enough forward.

Squats with bar: Essential things you need to know

The squat or barbell squat has always been one of the most known and used exercises in the world of training. This complex exercise allows us to work large muscle groups and will give us great benefits if we do it correctly.

Even so, although it is such an extended exercise, there are many myths that run around it. Is it a leg exercise? Is it part of the exercises to get perfect glutes?

Which is the correct technique? We anticipate that it is key in this routine to strengthen the lower train.

Squats with bar: What do we work?

Although many associate it with a purely leg exercise, the truth is that this exercise goes further. And is that the squat involves a large involvement of the quadriceps, co-activation of other muscle groups of the lower body but also of the lower back.

Image result for Squats with bar

In addition, it has been seen that the limiting factor when doing squats with bar correctly is not the legs but the erector muscles of the back.

The squats with bar are an exercise where the back is implied in an important way.

Therefore, we must maintain a correct technique to protect our column and not overload it. We can start with exercise routines that include the one-leg squat to take the position.

If we have problems at the back level it is important that a coach assess you and advise you on whether to continue doing squats or opt for other alternatives, such as these exercises to strengthen glutes.

Squats with bar for glutes, myth?

Social networks are full of clichés and hashtags that paint the squat as the king exercise to develop good glutes. Here is a problem, and that is that the squats work mainly the quadriceps and the lower back.

They also work buttocks, yes, but in smaller proportion.

If we want to work glutes it will be better to opt for other types of exercises where the movement is more horizontal and there is less movement of the knee, such as these exercises to increase glutes.

It is important that, when it comes to getting fit, look for information or contact trained professionals and leave aside the sites of pure disclosure, do it for your health and not waste time!

The technique:

  • To do the basic bar squats correctly, it is important to keep these aspects in mind:
  • Straight back, avoiding bending the back.
  • Keep your back as vertical as possible.
  • The weight of the bar should fall in the middle part of the foot (neither too much at the tip nor too close to the heel).
  • The feet and knees in natural position. Without opening your legs too much or being strictly parallel.
  • Avoid that the knees approach when lowering, nor that the ankles bend.

Main variants

Currently, the use of traditional bar squats is much discussed due to its potential for back injury. Here we propose some variants to try.

Squat with front bar

This demanding variant will force you to keep your back straight while doing the exercise. The cons of this variant are the types of grip, since it can be annoying and even harmful, both on the shoulders and on the wrists.

Squat with hexagonal bar

With a hexagonal bar you can keep your back much more vertical, and you will avoid having a bar exerting compression directly on your shoulders. A perfect option and substitute if you want to work the squat more safely.

Bulgarian squad

The most healthy variant for your spine seems to be the Bulgarian squat. With the back foot supported high, low with the back completely straight and without exceeding the line of the foot with the knee.

Not only will you improve leg strength, but at the same time you will be working on the stability of the core and performing a more transferable exercise to most sports or day to day actions.

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