Which hex bar is the best?
When it comes to performing deadlifts, nothing beats a hex bar. Ergonomically designed, this weightlifting barbell is designed to improve your form, allowing you to lift heavier weights with less strain on your back. Powerlifters, crossfitters, bodybuilders and amateur gymnasts alike incorporate this tool into their training programs for a variety of exercises.
Whether you’re looking to bulk up or relieve your lower back, a hex bar is a crucial addition to any serious fitness routine. The best is the Cap Barbell Olympic Trap Bar, Shrug Bar, Hex Bar.
What you should know before buying a Hex Bar
What is a hex bar?
A hex bar, also known as a trapeze bar, is a specially designed barbell used to perform weightlifting exercises. The bar takes its name from its design. Instead of a long bar like a barbell, a hex bar has a closed hexagonal shape. The user stands in the center and grasps vertical handles to lift the weights placed at either end of the hexagon.
Benefits of a hex bar
- Bar Path: The hex bar design helps users maintain a straight bar path during their lifting operations. Barbells, on the other hand, force you to adjust your body position throughout the range of motion to ensure linear bar movement. Some lifters prefer the hex bar for this reason, as it allows them to focus on form.
- Lift heavy: Another benefit of the hex bar is grip placement. Most catch bars can be gripped at the level of the weights or in a slightly higher position with raised grips. By increasing the height at which you hold the bar, you can lift more weight. Combined with improved form, this can radically improve your upper back exercises.
- Stop: Grip can be a limiting factor on movements like deadlifts and shrugs. Your wrists often fail before your upper back or hamstrings. A hex bar forces you into a neutral grip that puts less stress on your wrists.
- Lumbar support: Traditional deadlifts activate the posterior chain of muscles in the lower back. If you’re concerned about straining this area, a trapeze bar is a good solution. It helps protect your vertebrae by minimizing stress on the lumbar spine while also recruiting more of your quadriceps.
Hex Bar Exercises
Hex bars are most commonly used for deadlifts. Not only does their design improve form throughout the movement, but their handles fold over so you can lift the bar from the correct height on your own. This makes a hex bar a great tool for beginners who have not yet transitioned to larger plates.
Other common exercises that can benefit from the neutral-grip hex bar include shrugs, farmer’s walks, bent-over rows, presses, and squats.
Hex bars accept Olympic weights that have a 2 inch diameter hole. These are manufactured in the following weight scale per slab: 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35 and 45 pounds. In addition to being the standard for competitive lifting, Olympic weights are the most versatile design because their diameter fits standard (1-inch diameter) weight bars. However, standard weights do not fit Olympic bars.
What you should look for in a high-quality hexagonal rod
The standard hex bar is a closed, hexagonal barbell. But some variations retain the basic ergonomic design while improving other key areas for even more flexibility and ease of lifting:
- twist grips: Instead of a fixed handle welded perpendicular to the frame, rotating handles are hinged with multiple handle options. These allow you to adjust your grip for buoyancy but sacrifice the stability of welded grips.
- Open design: These eliminate one side of the frame so you can do lunges or walk exercises without worrying about your knees hitting the bar.
- Square: By using an open back design, square air strike bars can include additional handles on the parallel edge of the bar. This form is easier to store and remove weights.
Like Olympic barbells, most trapeze bars are standardized at 45 pounds. However, be sure to pay attention to the weight when buying. Fitness brand designs are particularly prone to weight fluctuations, with some weighing as much as 77 pounds.
The weight capacity of your bar is critical as exceeding this limit can lead to injury. Check your weight limit before doing any exercise. Most bars are around 400 pounds, which should be enough for most home exercises and programs. Powerlifters and others training for strength will want a bar that can hold up to 1,000 pounds.
How much you can spend on a hex bar
Depending on their design and characteristics, hex bars typically cost $100 to $300.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hex Bars
How far apart are the hex bar handles?
A Standard hex bar grips are spaced 23 inches apart on average. But they can vary between 20-27 inches. Most users should be able to adjust to this distance without worrying about affecting their form or grip.
Do I need clips for my hex bar?
A You should always lift weights with clips. Whether you use collars or spring clip collars, these are a necessary safety feature that will prevent injury. Clips prevent the weights from sliding around or falling off the bar. If you don’t have a set, look for a hex bar that comes with one.
What is the best hex bar to buy?
Upper hex bar
Cap Barbell Olympic Trap Bar, Shrug Bar, Hex Bar
What you need to know: This is a no-frills standard hex bar perfect for lifting heavy loads.
What you will love: Available in black and chrome, it has three handle options: flush, raised, and combo. The 9-inch loadable sleeve is more than long enough to fully utilize this bar’s 750-pound capacity. Suitable for just about any program, this bar’s 52-pound basis weight doesn’t deviate too much from the standard and is easy to consider when updating your programming.
What you should consider: Some users noticed that the welds weren’t straight on their bars, but had no trouble getting heavy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Best hex bar for the money
HulkFit Olympic 2″ Hex Weight Lifting Bar
What you need to know: With an open back, this trapeze bar does not restrict your movement and increases the number of exercises you can perform.
What you will love: The solid steel HulkFit bar is beefy at 77 pounds. That means you can safely lift up to 1,000 pounds. It features a combo grip design with aggressive knurling for enhanced grip. Together, these factors make this an excellent bar for powerlifters and strength trainers. But all users can benefit from the open design, and despite its size, the bar has a modest 24-inch width between grips.
What you should consider: The sharp knurling might be too rough on non-calloused hands.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
It’s worth trying
Archon Multi Grip Trap Bar
What you need to know: Archon’s innovative design integrates a folding multi-grip into a three-dimensional hexagonal frame, enhancing functionality and ease of use.
What you will love: Like an open-backed pole, Archon’s hex design allows for greater freedom of movement, but doesn’t sacrifice the sturdiness of a closed frame. This is a great hex bar for at home workouts. Its 500lb capacity should be enough for most beginners and intermediate users. And the three-dimensional frame can be rotated for easy loading and unloading.
What you should consider: With its low weight limit, this bar is not suitable for advanced lifters.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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