Hex Bar Squat or also called Trap Bar Squat is not your typical barbell variation as it explosively works on your muscles and it is among the best exercise for workout enthusiasts or lifters with back problems.
The work out offers balance and stability as it centers the weight to the hip joint. Doing squats with weights is a dose that most dread but highly need due to its fast build up benefits to the muscles.
The hex bar is a workout equipment that is gaining popularity due to its benefit of using more weights that would rather be a challenge when used in a barbell.
It may sound too good to be true but Hex Bar Squat is a more comfortable and stable exercise than most squat variation because weight is distributed fairly all round which relieves the back from doing all the stabilization.
HOW TO DO HEX BAR SQUAT PROPERLY
Just from its name, you already have a clue as to how a hex bar looks like and how it works. Not confusing the technique with deadlift, you ought to go down low in a squat position with thighs parallel to the floor.
For any assistance or injuries, inform your trainer/gym instructor.
- Load the hex bar with weights that best fit your fitness strength and stand in the middle of the hex bar with feet shoulder – width apart. This is your starting position
- Assume a squat position with thighs parallel to the floor and grip on the handles on your sides firmly. Brace your core and keep a neutral back.
- Push through your feet and explosively go up as you lift the bar with you. Go up to full length with bar firmly held and hanging around your thigh area.
- Return to your squat position in a smooth motion maintaining a systematic breathing pattern. Make sure the weights do not rest on the floor for more than a second, maintain a touch and go motion.
- Repeat the motion in 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO HEX BAR SQUAT WORK
The quadriceps are strong muscles that are located at the front of the thighs and well known as knee extensors and hip flexors. The muscle has 4 sub-components that together help with leg movements.
From the squat position, the muscle helps you go up to a standing position by stabilizing you and straighten the knees.
Having strong and well-developed hamstrings is a good way to protect your thighs especially if you are an athlete because injuries for these muscles are quite frequent and some are severe.
Stretching and working the muscles helps to develop and strengthen them, which lessens the possibility of severe injuries and tearing.
We all desire a curved and strong butt. Squats in general have a reputation to uphold when it comes to helping develop a strong and built glute muscle. Adding weights just fastens the development and strengthening process.
Being one of the strongest and longest muscles in the body, glutes help form the hips and butts, which helps us cushion the bones when sitting down.
These muscles located at the back of your leg help you flex your foot at the ankles and lock your knees when squatting. Well-developed calves increase momentum and endurance on your legs especially when working out.
Forearm flexors help in muscle flexion and extending the digits of the hand. Developing the forearm flexors helps strengthen your hand muscles, which improves your grip when lifting heavier loads and weights.
HEX BAR SQUAT BENEFITS
LOWER BODY DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHENING
In most accounts, having a bulk and well-developed upper body has more votes than a well-developed lower body, aesthetic purposes right? However, having a balanced developed body is more beneficial and presentable.
Lower body strengthening and build up goes a long way since most workouts require strong legs and thighs in order to perform the workouts effectively. Strong lower body muscles protects you from common injuries like strains or muscle tears.
SAFE FOR YOUR BACK
Weighted squats prompts you to use your back muscles fully to stabilize and protect your spine from the tension and stress. Hex Bar Squat distributes the weights fairly to the hip joint, which reduces the tension on the back and gives you balance.
For any back problems, this workout can be your go to as it helps you maintain your squat routines and gradually help you return to form.
FAST ADDITION OF MORE WEIGHT
With the weights distributed all-round the bar fairly, this offers more balance and stability when lifting it and allows addition of more weights progressively.
More weights equals increased chances of fast development and bodybuilding.
ALTERNATIVES TO HEX BAR SQUAT
As much as you are seating, leg curl is a workout that tests your leg muscle endurance and strength.
How to do it:
- For any assistance with the set-up and workout, consult your trainer/gym instructor. Use weights that best match your fitness ability.
- Sit on the padded bench and place your legs below the top padded lever so that it sits below the knees and for the lower lever, place your legs over it that it is just below your calves.
- Grasp the handles on your side and keep a straight back. Create tension on the cable machine by slightly pushing your legs forward to lift the weights off the stack. This is your starting position.
- In an inhale, lift your legs straight so they are parallel with the floor and hold the position.
- Pull the padded levers down to your starting position in an exhale. Do the movement in a fluid motion to help maintain a good breathing pattern.
- Relax for a second and remember not to stack back the weights until you finish your first set. Maintain cable tension throughout the set.
- Do desired sets and reps as per your strength.
HEX BAR SQUAT MISTAKES TO AVOID
Rule number is to always maintain a neutral spine when working out. This means that the back is straight and muscle braced to avoid any injuries from the tension and movements.
USING EXCESS WEIGHT
It may feel safe to add more and more weights but excess weights may lead to muscle tears and strains. Severe cases may occur where muscle tendons tear away from the bone and ball up, which may require surgeries to rectify. Use weights that will not strain your muscles.
Lower body muscle development are as important as the upper body muscle developments and Hex Bar Squat helps develop the muscles and embrace bulk thighs and strong glutes.