Best Trap Bars
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The trap bar - or hex bar - is one very beneficial piece of equipment to have in your home gym. But in my experience, even though a lot of people want to get a trap bar, it’s usually one of the last pieces of equipment they get – and that’s for those who do eventually get around to buying one for themselves.
If you’re still wondering whether you need a trap bar or not, the answer is yes, you do need one. These babies are incredibly versatile and aren't too rough on your budget.
They are relatively affordable and you have so many options to choose from. If you have the money and want to up the functionality of you home gym, go for it. Get that trap bar.
There are quite a lot of options on the market for you to choose from. Of all the ones I've tried, my favorite so far is the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0.
As we’ll soon see in more depth, this trap bar offers great value and is one of the best you can find out there.
Without any further delay, let’s jump right in. Here are my top picks of the best trap bars you can find on the market.
Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0
Has thick and sturdy square tubing and 16” loadable sleeve space
Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
Has knurled upper handles allowing for slip-free control, sleek black finish, a reasonable height of 9 inches
Titan Olympic Hex Bar
With the dual-knurled handle on this beast, fits standard 2-inch Olympic plates with a loadable length of 9.75 inches
Diamond Pro Hex Bar
Meets all the requirements of the US Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) for a 60 Ib.-trap bar
Body-Solid Olympic Shrug Bar With Raised Handles
Has a loadable sleeve length of 9.75 inches, with a welded collar mount and beautiful chrome finish
CAP Trap Bar
Has a loadable sleeve length of 9.5 inches, has neutrally placed handles and its sleeves are elevated, helping to reduce strain on the back
$ – priced $300 – $400
$$ – priced $400 – $500
$$$ – priced over $500
My Top 6 Trap Bars
#1. Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0
As the update to the original Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar, this piece of equipment is packed full of features that make it worth every cent you spend on it.
One major update that makes it so much better than its predecessor, as well as a lot of other trap bars, is the new precision sleeve design.
The Olympic sleeves on this bad boy make the trap bar easier and more efficient to use.
It has thick and sturdy square tubing and 16” loadable sleeve space where you can pile on your weights.
It doesn’t hurt that this trap bar comes with a lifetime warranty too. Suitable for beginners and professionals alike, the TB-1 2.0 can be used to rack deadlifts or for bench presses.
This trap bar comes chock-full of features designed to make your workout so much more efficient. So, as you may have guessed, it is on the pricey side.
While this is one of the best trap bars out there, it still has quite a bit of room for improvement.
But just as Rogue gave us this second version of the TB-1, we can reasonably expect another update in the near future. Rogue releasing the TB-1 3.0 really wouldn’t be half bad. Especially if it makes up for the minor design improvements that the 2.0 currently needs.
#2. Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar
Continuing in the line of Rogue products comes the TB-2 Trap Bar as the next line of home gym essentials that they continuously pump out.
As the name suggests, it's the follow-up trap bar to the original Rogue TB-1 line, so the 3.0 may not even be needed.
It isn't a budget trap bar, but it's certainly worth the money when you consider how it improves on the TB-1 in nearly every way.
It clocks in at a pretty standard weight of 60lb so it's heavy duty enough to handle the stress of your plates.
One of the major benefits is the knurled upper handles allowing for slip-free control.
Despite being in the higher price range, the features and functionality, along with the trust in the Rogue brand name, makes the TB-2 Trap Bar one of the best offerings I could find.
It's very close in design to the original TB-1 and TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0, but as mentioned, there are slight differences that set it apart. A sleek black finish, a reasonable height of 9 inches, and generous space to stand in, the TB-2 is a bonified star product.
#3. Titan Olympic Hex Bar
Yet another budget bar for the frugal bodybuilder. This trap bar from Titan is one of the bars that combines quality with affordability so strikingly well.
An all-steel bar, it can fit standard 2-inch Olympic plates with a loadable length of 9.75 inches.
One great feature that make this trap bar stand out is its dual-knurled handles.
In my opinion, the presence or absence of knurled handles can make or break a bars quality. I mean, who wants their reps to be interrupted just because of slippery hands?
Knurled handles are the design solution to this problem. With the dual-knurled handle on this beast, your grip is improved without the need for gloves, chalk, or constant towel wiping.
This way, you can focus fully on your workout without having to worry about your hands slipping off the bar.
Another design feature that makes this a pretty good trap bar is that it is specially designed to correct your form as you exercise.
This helps you target specific muscles easily and reduces your risk of getting injured.
#4. Diamond Pro Hex Bar
The Diamond Pro Hex Bar is definitely not a budget trap bar. Regardless of this, it is no doubt still a great trap bar to have as part of your home gym.
It meets all the requirements of the US Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) for a 60 Ib.-trap bar.
This beauty comes with a powder-black finish. This finish helps it to withstand the cosmetic damage of constant use, keeping it looking pretty for a long time.
The Diamond Pro Hex Bar is a great piece of equipment, even if it is slightly more expensive than the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0.
However, I personally prefer the TB-1 2.0 as opposed to the Diamond Pro Hex Bar because of the features that the TB-1 2.0 has. That being said, this trap bar made it to my list for a reason. It definitely knows how to pull its own.
#5. Body-Solid Olympic Shrug Bar with Raised Handles
The raised handles on the OTB50RH Olympic Shrug Bar from Body-Solid make workouts such as shrugs, squats, and deadlifts easier.
These raised handlebars, along with the 9.75-inch loadable sleeve with knurled handles, reduce the tension on your hands and back during workouts to improve grip.
This Olympic shrug bar is designed so that it doesn’t contact your upper thighs and front torso. This makes muscle development more efficient and workouts more comfortable.
At a 600-pound weight plate capacity, with a welded collar mount and beautiful chrome finish, it's both beauty and brawn.
#6. CAP Trap Bar
This trap bar has a loadable sleeve length of 9.5 inches. It is compact and its structure is designed to take up a minimal amount of space.
The CAP trap bar has neutrally placed handles and its sleeves are elevated, helping to reduce strain on the back.
It doesn’t have knurled grips, which makes working out with this trap bar much less efficient as trap bars that do.
However, of all budget trap bars on this list, this has to be the most budget-friendly.
Even though it doesn’t have as many features as other budget bars on this list, it has just enough features to get the job done. And, as previously mentioned, it is quite cheap.
Benefits of A Trap Bar
Trap bars can be used for a wide variety of full body workouts such as deadlifts, shrugs, and trap bar jumps.
It is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment which increases the workout potential of your home gym.
It’s probably worth mentioning that a trap bar is not the same as a barbell.
While a barbell to deadlift is the go-to, a specialty bar like a trap bar is helpful for beginners or those with less range of motion. Also, a trap bar tends to be more versatile than a barbell is.
But you don’t have to just take my word for it. Here are some difficult-to-fault reasons that show how trap bars can be an alternative to a traditional barbell.
1. Easier to Use
Usually, trap bars are designed to make exercises less complicated for even the most beginner-level lifters.
Stance and form are generally better when using trap bars than when using bell bars.
One reason for this is that with a trap bar, a mixed grip is not needed. A mixed grip is one where one palm faces inward (pronated) and the other faces outward (supinated) in an attempt to maintain a steady grip while deadlifting. A mixed grip makes deadlifting feel slightly easier.
However, a mixed grip has its disadvantages. For one, it can theoretically cause muscle imbalance.
Most trap bars on the market have knurled grips which make deadlifts easier and much more efficient.
The knurling of a trap bar is a cross-hatched portion of the handle that provides texture and thus friction which works for an easy grip.
You won’t have to worry about slippery hands getting in the way of your exercise when using trap bars that have knurled grips.
While some barbells also have knurled grips, knurling can be done in different ways and with varying qualities.
Most of the knurled grips on these specialty trap bars listed above are high-quality while quite a lot of barbells – even some of the high-end ones – have cheap knurling.
Additionally, when you’re using a trap bar, you don’t have to try to balance against your weight when trying to do a deadlift.
2. Reduced Risk of Injury
The chance of injury is considerably lower when using a trap bar when compared to a barbell.
As mentioned in previous section, a mixed grip is more helpful with a traditional barbell, but because of how a trap bar is designed, this isn't a concern. A mixed grip can cause bicep tear with too much strain, so this injury concern is significantly reduced.
The design of a trap bar, and its ease of use, is conducive for beginner lifters to learn form in a more controlled motion. There is less risk for rocking which can lead to back pain.
It's also helpful to note that knurled gripping on the handles can dramatically reduce the chance of the bar slipping, which can then catch your knee or shin on the way down.
Barbells are typically more versatile, but it doesn't negate the workouts you can perform with a trap bar. Tricep extensions, bent-over rows, deadlifts, reverse deadlifts, floor press, overhead/military press, squat jumps, and farmers walks are all possible.
In particular, farmers walks are a good exercise to note because it's basically impossible to do with a barbell. A trap bar shares a lot of capabilities that a barbell does, but with those small differences that could help.
The versatility of a trap bar is even more apparent with models that have different handle heights.
A lot of trap bars on the market come with two pairs of handles – one at a neutral level, and another a couple of inches raised above neutral level.
People that are much taller than average would be better off lifting weight from a different level than others who are shorter.