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8 Ways to Use a Hex Bar in Your Workouts

By Richard McKay March 10, 2023

Table of Contents

Introduction

Looking for a way to add some variety to your workouts? A hex bar may be just what you need. This piece of equipment can be used in a variety of ways, allowing you to target different muscles and get the most out of your strength workouts.

A hex bar, also known as a trap bar, is a type of weightlifting barbell with hexagonal sides. It gets its name from the fact that it resembles a hexagon when viewed from the side. The hex bar is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises, including squats, deadlifts, and lunges.

In this article, we'll show you eight different ways you can use a hex bar in your workouts. By incorporating the hex bar into your routine, you'll be able to mix things up and keep your body guessing. 

What is a Hex Bar?

A hex bar is a type of weightlifting barbell shaped like a hexagon. The hexagonal shape of the bar provides more stability than a traditional round barbell, which can roll and wobble during lifts. This makes the hex bar ideal for exercises like deadlifts and shrugs, where stability is key.

The hex bar also has other advantages over a traditional barbell. First, the hexagonal shape of the bar means that it can be gripped in multiple ways. This allows lifters to find a comfortable grip, which can reduce the risk of injury. Second, the hex bar puts less stress on the wrists and elbows than a traditional barbell, making it a good option for lifters with joint issues.

A hex bar is a great option if you're looking for a versatile and safe weightlifting barbell. It's stable, comfortable, and can be used for a variety of exercises.

8 Exercises That Can be Done With a Hex Bar

Now that we've gone over what a hex bar is, let's look at 8 exercises that can be done with this versatile piece of equipment.

1. Squats

The hex bar allows you to squat with the weight evenly distributed across your body, which reduces stress on your lower back and knees. To do a hex bar squat, simply position the hex bar in front of you and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, bend at the knees and hips to lower the bar to thigh level. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. 

Benefits of Squats:

  • Improves overall leg strength - Legs are the biggest muscles in the human body, so when you work them hard, you will see improvements in other areas, such as running and jumping.
  • Builds strong hips and glutes - Two of the most important muscles for stabilizing the pelvis and powering movements like sprinting, climbing, and changing direction.
  • Increases core strength - When done with good form, squats engage the deep abdominal muscles that help protect the spine.

When adding weight to your squats, start light and gradually add more weight as you get comfortable with the movement. 

2. Deadlifts

The hex bar deadlift is a great exercise for building strength and power in your legs, hips, and back. To do a hex bar deadlift, start by positioning the hex bar in front of you. Bend at the knees and hips to lower your body down to the bar, grabbing it with an overhand grip. Keeping your back straight, engage your glutes and quads as you lift the bar up to hip level before lowering it back down to the starting position.

Benefits of Deadlifts:

  • Builds overall strength - Deadlifts work nearly every muscle in your body, making them a great exercise for building overall strength.
  • Improves posture - When done with good form, deadlifts help to strengthen the muscles in your back and improve your posture.
  • Boosts hip and glute strength - Deadlifts are a great way to build strength in your hips and glutes, which can improve your performance in other exercises like squats and running.

A barbell deadlift can be done with a traditional round barbell, but the hex bar makes it easier to maintain good form. The neutral grip of the hex bar puts less stress on your lower back, and the evenly distributed weight makes it easier to keep your balance.

3. Lunges

Lunges are a great exercise for toning your legs and improving your balance and coordination. To do a lunge with a hex bar, start by standing with the hex barbell positioned behind you. Step forward with one leg, lowering your body down until both knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position before repeating it with the other leg.

Benefits of Lunges:

  • Tones the legs - Lunges work the quads, hamstrings, and glutes to give your legs a great workout.
  • Improves balance and coordination - The act of balancing on one leg while moving the other forces you to engage your core muscles and improve your coordination.
  • Builds functional strength - The lunge is a compound exercise that works for multiple muscle groups at once. This makes it a great exercise for building functional strength, which can optimize your performance in sports and other activities.

When doing lunges with a hex bar, you can hold the bar in front of you or behind you. Holding the hex bar in front of your body will work your quads more while holding it behind you will work your glutes and hamstrings more.

4. Overhead Press

The overhead press is an excellent exercise for strengthening your shoulders, chest, and triceps muscles. To do an overhead press with a hex barbell, start by positioning the barbell in front of you at shoulder level. Grab the bars with an overhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Press the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended before lowering them back down to shoulder level under control. 

Hex bars offer a few benefits for overhead presses. 

First, they allow you to keep your hands in a more natural position compared to using a straight barbell. Second, the weight is evenly distributed around the hex bar, which can help reduce the risk of injury to your shoulders and elbow joints.

5. Farmers Walk

A quality hex bar will have built-in handles to make it easier to grip, making it the perfect tool for farmer's walks. To do a farmer's walk, start by picking up the hex barbell and holding it at arm's length at your sides. Keeping your shoulders down and your core engaged, walk forward until you reach the desired distance. Then turn around and walk back to the starting position.

Benefits of Farmer's Walks:

  • Builds grip strength - Carrying a heavy load in each hand will challenge your grip and forearm muscles.
  • Improves core stability - The farmer's walk requires you to engage your core muscles to maintain balance and stability.
  • Builds functional strength - The farmer's walk is a great exercise for building functional strength, which can help with everyday activities and movement.

6. Shrugs

Shrugs are a great exercise for strengthening your trapezius muscles, which are responsible for stabilizing your shoulders. To do a shrug with a hex barbell, start by standing with the hex barbell positioned in front of you at shoulder level. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Without moving your arms, raise your shoulders up towards your ears before lowering them back down under control.

Hex bars offer a few benefits over traditional barbells when it comes to shrugs. First, because the weight is evenly distributed around the bar, it's easier to maintain good form and avoid injury. Also, hex bars allow you to keep your elbows close to your body throughout the exercise, putting less strain on your shoulder joints.

7. Burpee Jumps 

Burpee jumps are a plyometric movement that can help improve your power and explosiveness. To do a burpee jump with a hex barbell, start by standing in front of the bar. Squat down and place your hands on the hex bar. Drive your feet into the ground and jump up, extending your hips and knees. As you reach the top of your jump, pull the hex bar up so that it comes to chest level. Land softly and repeat for reps.

Benefits of Burpee Jumps:

  • Great for fat loss - Burpee jumps are a great exercise to include in your workout routine if you're looking to lose fat. The combination of the Plyometric movement and the cardiovascular benefits of jumping makes it an ideal exercise for burning calories and fat.
  • Builds full-body strength - The hex bar burpee jump is a full-body exercise that works your quads, glutes, core, arms, and back.
  • Improves power and explosiveness - Because the hex bar burpee jump is a plyometric exercise, it can help improve your power and explosiveness. This makes it a great exercise for athletes who need to improve their performance.

8. Plank Holds

Plank holds are a great exercise for strengthening your core muscles. To do a plank hold with a hex barbell, start by lying on your stomach on the floor. Place your hands on the hex barbell, and then raise your body up to rest on your forearms and toes. Hold this position for as long as you can.

Plank holds can be boring, but a hex bar can make them more challenging and interesting. By holding the hex barbell in your hands, you'll engage your arm and shoulder muscles, making the exercise more challenging. And by changing the position of your hands on the hex bar, you can target different muscle groups.

Benefits of Using a Hex Bar in Your Workouts

Now that we've gone over some of the workouts you can do with a hex bar, let's take a look at some of the benefits of using a hex barbell in your workouts:

  1. Increased Grip Strength - The hexagonal shape of the barbell allows for a more comfortable and secure grip, which can help to increase your grip strength.
  2. Increased Stability - The hexagonal shape of the bar also provides increased stability, which can be beneficial if you are working out with heavier weights.
  3. Increased Range of Motion - The hex bar allows for a greater range of motion than a traditional straight barbell, leading to better workout results.
  4. Reduced Risk of Injury - The increased stability and range of motion offered by the hex bar can help to reduce your risk of injury.
  5. Enhanced Exercise Form - The hex bar can help you to maintain proper exercise form, which is important for getting the most out of your workouts.
  6. Better Muscle Activation - The hex bar's unique design can help activate your muscles more effectively, resulting in better results.
  7. Greater Versatility - The hex bar can be used for a wide variety of exercises, making it a versatile tool for your workout routine.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using a hex bar in your workouts. If you are looking for a way to improve your results, then consider adding a hex barbell to your routine.

Final Thoughts

The hex bar is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises, including squats, deadlifts, lunges, overhead presses, shrugs, and farmer's walks, among others. If you're looking to add a new piece of equipment to your home gym or just want to change up your routine, give the hex bar a try.

You may also be interested in reading:

Best Basic Dumbbell Exercises for Beginners

Simple Home HIIT Workouts using Free Weights


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