How To Do Trap Bar Squats Properly

The trap bar squats also known as hex bar deadlift is a variation of deadlifts that uses a special bar shaped like a hexagon. This allows you to step inside the hex bar and carry the weight around them.

This is a good option for deadlift beginners because the bar has handles on the same level as the weight and another pair slightly above it for easier lifting.

How to do trap bar squats:

Required equipment: a hex bar, additional weights to add.

  • Begin by loading the hex bar with your desired amount of weight and stand in the middle of the hex bar.
  • Keep your posture upright with your neck in the same neutral position as your spine. Your shoulders should be directly above your hips.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bend your knees. Evenly distributing your weight across both your feet.
  • Keep your arms long on the sides of your body. Tense up your hips, shoulders and core and lower your body into a half squat towards the hex bar handles.
  • Go down by hinging your hips and bending your knees, grab the hex bar and engage your back muscles by making sure your elbows are pointing backwards.
  • Make sure you feel a stretch in your back and your hamstring and quads, if not raise your hips a bit higher. This is your starting position.
  • Push your feet through the floor and begin your upward movement. Squeeze your glutes and let your hips move forward naturally.
  • As you ascend keep your arms long until you stand back upright and squeeze your glutes at the top. Ensure that your shoulders are directly above your hips.
  • Start the downward movement by lowering the hex bar making sure it remains centered. Hinge at your hips and bend your knees and lower your back towards the floor.
  • Once the wight hits the floor the repetition is complete.
  • Repeat this motion for ten reps in a set of three ensuring to keep your core engaged throughout the workout.

MUSCLES WORKED BY TRAP BAR SQUAT

Trap bar squats primarily target your quads, lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Each worked at different points in the exercise motion.

BENEFITS OF DOING TRAP BAR SQUATS

REDUCES LOWER BACK PAIN

The exercise works and strengthens your lower back this enables it to be able to withstand more load and easily support you during the day.

This will over time reduce and eliminate your lower back pain.

INCREASES BONE DENSITY

Trap bar squats being a form of resistance training it is proved to increase your bone density, especially in the targeted areas.

This is due to your bones being exposed to external resistance will cause your body to produce more cellular components to strengthen your bones to adapt to this external stress.

BURNS CALORIES

The exercise requires a large amount of energy to perform this causes your body to burn calories and fat throughout your body to assist in energy production.

Growing bigger muscles over time will also help you burn fat, due to your increased muscle density, your body energy requirements will go up.

ALTERNATIVES TO TRAP BAR SQUATS

BACK HYPEREXTENSION

This is a dynamic exercise that strengthens your back and lower body while engaging your core as well.

How to do back extensions:

Required equipment: An extension machine (usually located at your local gym)

  • Begin the exercise by positioning yourself properly on the back extension machine, and locking your feet on the platforms.
  • The thigh pad should be at your pelvis and the lower leg pad should be at your ankles. Keep your legs hip-width apart with your ankles, knees and back in a straight line.
  • Tense up your core and ensure your neck is in a neutral position with your spine. Tuck in your chin. This is your starting position.
  • Place your hands lightly on the side of your head or crossed drawing an x on your chest. Make sure you are comfortable and not in any pain.
  • Bend at your hips to slowly in a controlled manner lower your upper body. Do not let your angle go past ninety degrees, for this will strain your back.
  • Squeeze your glutes, hamstrings and quads to begin to pull your upper body up back until you reach your starting position.
  • Pause at the top for two seconds before repeating the motion.
  • Repeat this motion for fifteen reps in three sets, getting off the machine after each set and taking a thirty-second break.

PISTOL SQUAT

The pistol squat is a variation of the single-leg squat. The exercise works the muscle in your legs like your calves, quads hamstrings and your lower back as well.

The exercise not only builds your lower body strength and explosiveness but also balance.

How to do a pistol squat:

Required equipment none:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slightly bend your knees. You should have an upright and tall posture.
  • Lift your left foot slightly off the ground, and evenly distribute your weight on your right foot to create for yourself a stable position.
  • Tense up your core and extend both your arms forward fully. This is your starting position.
  • Begin your downward movement by slowly bending your hips, ankle and knee of your right foot. Your left leg should be extended in front of your body.
  • Lower your body as far as you can go maintaining an upright pelvis position. At the bottom of your squat, your left leg should be parallel to the floor.
  • Pause for two seconds at the bottom and push your right leg into the ground to start your upward movement.
  • Ensure while moving up your chest stays high until you return to your starting position.
  • Repeat this motion for then reps in a set of two.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE DOING TRAP BAR SQUATS

COLLAPSING YOUR KNEES

Letting your knees collapse during the exercise will put a strain on them and cause you to damage your ligaments.

Instead, point your knees in the same direction as your toes.

ROUNDING YOUR LOWER BACK

Rounding your back places stress on your lumbar spine which may lead to lower back injury if constantly repeated.

Instead, maintain a flat and neutral spine as you squat.

CONCLUSION

Trap bar squats are a great gym exercise for beginners who want to build their lower body or even for those who are experienced.

It is a great exercise to add to your routine that you will not regret

 

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