Post by Todd Fano
The barbell is quite possibly the oldest, most versatile tool in any gym. It can be used for powerlifting, Olympic lifts, body building or just general strength training. The unfortunate reality of it though, is that some people can’t use it for its vast be benefits. Injuries or certain body types make using the standard barbell simply too awkward or time consuming for efficient training.
So, what is one to do if they find themselves unable to use a traditional barbell, but still want the benefits of doing compound exercises? The answer lies in specialty bars. So, just what are specialty bars? Quite simply, they are bars that have been specifically designed to work around people’s physical limitations while still allowing them to train effectively and intensely.
This will be a three part series covering the three specialty bars that I use both personally and with clients. We’ll begin the series with the trap/ hex bar. The trap or hex bar was invented by powerlifter Al Gerard. He reportedly invented it when he injured is back but, still wanted to perform deadlifts. The outer frame of the bar changes depending on the manufacturer. Some are trapezoid, some diamond, some even square. The one thing they all have in common though, is that the design allows the lifter to position themselves “inside the weight”. This decrease pressure on the lower back. The unique design of the bar also allows the lifter to perform a hybrid squat, deadlift motion.