Trap Bar Deadlift
We love trap bar deadlift because it is an efficient and effective way to load a highly functional movement. Relative to the squat, deadlifting is a hip hinge versus a sitting movement. This is a similar movement pattern we use for bilateral jumping. We hinge down to load our hamstrings and glutes, stabilize our abdominal wall, and contract our hamstrings and glutes to pull our hips forward. Those are the same key muscle groups we utilize when when jump, the biggest difference is how we translate the upward force into our upper extremity. In a jump, you carry the force generated from your lower extremity into the air by throwing your arms up. In a deadlift, our upper body is focused on lifting the bar straight off the ground.
Setup for Trap Bar Deadlift
We agree with Joe Arko - deadlifting is our favorite exercise. It utilizes your glutes, hamstrings, abdominals, and upper extremity while developing functional strength for sport and daily life. In this video, Joe explains why deadlifts are a great exercise and how to setup for a deadlift using a hexagonal bar.
Basic Movement Requirements for Trap Bar Deadlift
Picking weight off the ground, like during a trap bar deadlift, seems fairly intuitive; however, it's important to position yourself and execute the movement well in order to utilize the correct muscle groups and prevent injury. Mike Boyle is a long-time mentor to AFA trainers and is considered the godfather of modern strength and conditioning. In this video, he explains how to program proper deadlifting movement patterns without having to do a real deadlift. In addition, he provides a few movement tests that can identify movement deficiencies. This is important because loading weight onto a deficiency can seriously increase the risk of injury and leads to poorer on-field performance. On the bright side, once a deficiency is identified, proper developmental movements can be prescribed.
Advanced Powerlifting Techniques (Crossover from Straight Bar Deadlift)
Lastly, here is a more advanced explainer video demonstrated by Dr. Layne Norton. He might be a bit more focused on beefing up than we would like our athletes and trainees to be, but he does provide a thorough explanation of sumo style deadlifting technique. We recommend this style for more hamstring focus because the bar bath should restrict your movement in such a way that encourages more deciplined lower extremity execution.