Al Gerard designed the trap bar in the late 1980s as a quicker method to shrug, and the trap bar acquired its name from him. And who doesn’t enjoy working on their traps and upper back biceps? A fantastic set of traps is the icing on the cake of a great build, but incorporating trap bar training into your routine may open the door to so much more. 6 Best Trap Bar Exercises That Aren’t Deadlifts.
This post will describe the design of the trapeze bar, the advantages, and five terrific trapeze bar workouts that aren’t deadlifts or shrugs.
Trap Bar Layout
Trap bars often feature two sets of handles: one that protrudes upwards in the shape of a square D from the bar and one that is level with the bar. Furthermore, the bar may be reversed to make either pair available. D-handles reduce the range of motion required to raise you off the ground, whereas level ones increase it. Each side’s heels (where the weight is distributed) are at right angles to the handles.
The trap bar’s hex shape, paired with the heels, helps you to get into the bar, bringing the weight closer to your center of gravity. Lifters who have a history of lower back discomfort or who want to reduce their risk of injury when lifting weights may appreciate this.
Advantages of Trap Bar Exercise
Aside from making it simpler to train your traps hard and heavy, training with the trapeze bar over the bar has other significant advantages.
When compared to a mixed grip on a barbell, the neutral grip on a trapeze bar minimizes the likelihood of bicep rips. This enables you to go heavy without risking harm. Furthermore, the neutral grip is gentler on your forearms and elbows than a pronated or supinated grip, which aids in the development of great grip strength. Our strongest grasp is the neutral grip.
The sheer force on the column is reduced because the axis of rotation is roughly parallel to the weight on each side. This minimizes shearing stress on the spine, which is beneficial if you have lower back pain.
The trapeze bar makes it simple to master difficult exercises such as deadlifts and squats. It’s highly forgiving as long as you have a neutral spine when completing trap bar squats and deadlifts.
5 Fantastic Trapeze Bar Exercises
Trap bar deadlift and shrug variants are fantastic, but they’re not the only exercises you should practice with a trap bar. Here are five trapeze bar workouts that are worth including in your regimen because of their diversity and benefits.
Trap Bar Bentover Row
The trapeze bar row, with its neutral grip and center of gravity more in line with the weight, is gentler on your joints than the barbell version. In addition, the setup is a little simpler. The broader neutral grip will push your upper back muscles to maintain a neutral spine while putting less strain on your lower back. This is a win-win situation for your following profits.
Muscles Worked: forearms, biceps, shoulder blades, upper and lower back, and lats
Benefits: Due to the demands on grip strength and duration spent in the hinge position, this is an excellent auxiliary exercise for deadlifts and pull-ups.
How To Go About It: Enter the trap bar by twisting down and grabbing the D-handles. Row until the rear of the bar contacts your glutes, lifting your chest and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Throughout the workout, keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle. Lower slowly until your elbows are fully extended, then reset and repeat.
Timing Tip: This is an excellent workout for increasing strength and developing posterior muscles. Three to five sets of six reps for strength and two to four sets of 12-15 reps for muscle are ideal beginning points.
Split Squat Trapeze Bar Elevated
Split squats, despite their difficulty, are beneficial to your health. Trap bar split squats are for you if you want to make your split squats even worse. Because you can’t lock your knees because the rear of the bar touches your thigh, the trapeze bar version requires you to keep consistent tension in your legs. This produces ongoing muscle stress for increased improvements and makes split squats even more appealing.
Muscles Worked: Upper back, forearms, quadriceps, and glutes
Advantages: This variant helps to reinforce the proper form. Too many lifters maintain their torsos erect, making the overhead split squat more difficult than necessary. However, if you do not lean forward with this version, your back thigh strikes the trap bar too quickly.
How To Go About It: Place one foot on a bench and the other within the trap bar with the D-handles facing up. Squat forward, grasp the D-handles, then squat down until the back bar contacts your thigh. Then, carefully lower yourself down and squat down before the weight plates strike the floor. Rep as needed.
Scheduling Suggestion: Use the following squats or deadlifts as an auxiliary exercise to enhance strength imbalances and leg drive. Three or four sets of six to twelve reps will be plenty for you.
Floor Press Using A Trapeze Bar
Most floor press workout variants avoid your shoulder joint from externally rotating excessively, which is beneficial if you have shoulder difficulties. The neutral grip trapeze bar floor press is gentler on your upper body joints if you have issues with your wrists, elbows, or shoulders. Another benefit of the trapeze bar floor press is the ability to add weight to the dumbbells for extra strength and muscle.
Muscles Worked: triceps, chest, and anterior shoulder
Benefits: If bench press shoulder discomfort bothers you, the trapeze bar floor press variant allows you to practice the pressing exercise in a pain-free, powerful, and heavy range of motion.
How To Go About It: Install the trap bar on the squat rack with the D-handles facing down and enough space underneath the trap bar. Grab and unload while keeping your wrists neutral and your feet and back flat on the floor. Lower your triceps until they touch the floor, then push back up to lockout. Reset and try again.
Timing Tip: This exercise is best used to increase lockout strength and build muscle. Three to five sets of six to 12 reps work well here.
High Knee And Shoulder Press Using A Trapeze Bar
Barbell overhead presses are fantastic, but not everyone has the mobility and stability to do them. The high knee shoulder press comes into play here. Because powerful overhead presses can induce wrist hyperextension, the neutral grip is better on the wrists and elbows. The high knee posture stimulates your core and hips while also providing immediate feedback on your pressing technique.
Muscles Worked: Hips, hamstrings, lower back, delts, and triceps are all affected.
Benefits: If something strange is going on with your overhead pressing, you’ll receive an immediate response since the high knee posture will drive you out of the position.
Squats With A Trap Bar Overhead
The most significant disadvantage of trap bar squats is the limited range of motion, which permits you to lift more weight. This disadvantage is remedied by standing on a tiny, elevated area and using the low bar handles. This allows for greater knee flexion, emphasizing the quadriceps as a squat should. Although grip strength is required, this is a good alternative if you can’t do belt or hack squats.
Muscles Worked: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, forearms, and upper back
Benefits: Improves leg strength and grip, while the narrower stance of this form smashes the quadriceps.
How To Go About It: Put the little raised surface within the trap bar and step inside. Squat down and hold the low handles while keeping your shoulders down and your chest high. Squat down, keeping your spine neutral, and drive your feet into the floor, finishing with your glutes. Lower to the ground, then reset and repeat.
Scheduling Suggestion: This exercise is best utilized as a supplement to enhance quads and grip strength. Other lifters will be envious of your quads after three or four sets of 6 to 15 repetitions.
How To Go About It:
Set up the trap bar on the squat rack so that you can go beneath it. This should be a little higher than shoulder height. Take a solid kneeling stance and grab the high or low bar handles with your wrists neutral and tight. Slowly lower yourself back down onto the pins after pressing up until your elbows are locked. Reset and try again.
Scheduling Suggestion: You can train for strength with this, but it’s better for muscle growth and improving overhead pressing technique. Three or four sets of six to twelve repetitions are sufficient.