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Best trap bars for home gym – A quick look
Best – Worth Considering
The deadlift is a full-body exercise that targets and builds strength in your legs and lower back. Trap bars are specialty barbells designed to enhance the deadlift and other upper and lower body exercises.
Trap bars have a unique hexagonal shape. It can put less stress on your lower body muscle groups, especially your spine, during use.
Trap bars can enhance your workout performance and help reduce your risk of injury during challenging movements.
Read on for what exactly trap bars can do for your workout and where you can find the best one for your home gym to meet your needs.
What Is a Trap Bar?
A trap bar, aka the hex bar, is a piece of specialty gym equipment. It can help isolate muscle groups in the lower body. It keeps the weight centered around the midsection of your body during deadlift exercises.
While you use trap bars like a straight barbell, trap bars have an open center in the shape of a hexagon. Thus, the main difference between trap bars and barbells is the shape or design.
To use a trap bar, load the sleeves with your desired weight. Step inside the center of the trap bar and lift it using the hand grips on either side of the bar.
What Does a Trap Bar Do?
You can use a trap bar much like you would a straight bar. But trap bars work your muscles differently.
Trap bars center the weight on your body, helping to distribute the impact more evenly. And because you are more balanced, you are less at risk of injuring your back during deadlifts and power shrugs.
When doing upper body exercises, for example, the trap bar allows you to lift from a more neutral angle. Thus, you put less stress on your shoulder muscles and biceps.
What muscles do trap bars work?
There are many different types of trap bars but their functions are not different. You can use trap bars for many exercises to help you target and work different muscle groups in your upper and lower body.
Some of the muscles trap bars work include:
- Back muscles
The type of trap bar exercises you choose will determine what muscles you work. Choose from lower body exercises such as deadlifts and squats. Or rack your trap bar in your weight rack and perform chest presses with a neutral grip. The options and trap bar exercises available to you are numerous.
Best trap bars that can help explode your strength-building capabilities
One of the best benefits of a trap bar is its ability to reduce the risk of injury. That is what the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar offers.
The dual handle design of the Rogue TB-2 enables injured athletes in rehab or beginners to focus on their range of motion.
It features both low and high handles, both knurled for added comfort and grip stability. Dual handles will give you more exercise options. It also makes it suitable for different types of users.
The high handles sit about 8 inches above the low handles.
The lower handles allow users to reach a better range of motion.
The high handles make it possible to lift heavier weights. The high handles are best for those with less flexibility or those who need less range of motion.
Users can easily switch between both sets of handles by flipping the bar over during a workout.
The distance between handles is ideal for most athletes as the handles will sit comfortably under the shoulders of most users. If the hex frame is too small, users may feel claustrophobic. Too large, and the arms of the user will be too far out, making lifting uncomfortable.
Rogue makes quality home gym equipment. The TB-2 trap bar is no exception.
Unlike many trap bars with 13 inches long loading sleeves, the Schedule 80 pipe sleeves of the TB-2 measure 16 inches long. That should give you plenty of space for loading weight. Interestingly, 16-inch sleeves are what you will find on a standard barbell.
The Rogue TB-2 is also rackable. Thus you can use it for exercises on your weight rack.
But while the sleeves fit Olympic plates, you will need specialty collars for your trap bar. Thus, you should remember to order some of the collars from Rogue fitness when you purchase your trap bar.
The powder coat finish of the Rogue Trap Bars can protect against most wear and tear. But it is not scratch resistant to metal-to-metal contact. You will find that your sleeves will quickly show scratches after loading and unloading weight.
The Rogue TB-2 trap bar is on the pricey side, but Rogue Fitness is known for making quality gym equipment that lasts.
The Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar is a high-quality bar that lifters of all fitness levels can use. The design of the handles makes it possible for even beginners and those with shoulder injuries to use.
It is versatile and rackable, and the build quality will be difficult to match. It is the trap bar to go for if you want the best.
- High-quality build and finish
- High load capacity
- Dual handles at different heights
- Rackable and versatile
- Knurled handles for better grip
- 16-inch loadable sleeve length matches that of standard barbells. Makes it easy to load more weight
- Pricey. Price at the top end of your budget
- Sleeves require collars.
- Price does not include collars
- Powder coating not as durable as intended
Product Weight: 60 pounds | Product Length: 88.5 inches | Product Width: 28.5 inches | Product Height: 9 inches
The Rogue TB-1 trap bar is similar in shape to the TB-2. It measures 25 inches from handle to handle inside the hex shape frame. Most users will find this width comfortable for their needs.
Unlike the Rogue TB-2, the TB-1 does not have dual handles. The TB-1 has only one set of low, knurled handles. Lower handle grips provide the most range of motion during exercises.
The handles will work fine for those without injury and who need a good range of motion. And at almost $100 cheaper than the Rogue TB-2, it seems to be a small sacrifice to make.
Like the Rogue TB-2, the sleeves of the TB-1 will take Olympic-sized plates. But it will require specialty collars to hold them in place as standard collars are not compatible.
Just as with the Rogue TB-2, the powder coat finish will not withstand any metal-to-metal contact. The issue is, however, clearly stated by Rogue Fitness in their specification to make buyers aware. Many users (who ignore the warning) complain it scratches off too easily while reloading weights.
If you are a beginner or do not require the extra features offered by the TB-2 (such as dual grips), the Rogue TB-1 will meet your need. The build quality and materials are as high as you would expect from Rogue Fitness
- Good width for most users.
- Great for beginners.
- Knurled handle grips.
- 16-inch loadable sleeves make it possible to load more weight
- Sleeves need specialty collars.
- Not as versatile as the Rogue TB-2.
- Powder coating finish scratches easily
Product Weight: 60 pounds | Product Length: 89 inches | Product Width: 28.5 inches | Product Height: 3 inches
The HulkFit trap bar provides a decent value for your money for those on a budget.
The HulkFit trap bar has a dual handle grip, with the higher grip sitting a few inches above the lower. Users can easily switch between grips during their workouts to change their range of motion.
The handles are both knurled for comfort and grip stability.
The handles are 23.5 inches apart. That may not be suitable for everybody. Users with smaller frames may find that distance ideal. But those with large palms might find the distance too narrow to lift comfortably.
HulkFit also skimps on the loadable sleeve length. At just 9.25”, many users complain they can’t load enough weight plates for an effective workout. The Rogue Trap bars have 16 inches of loadable sleeves.
HulkFit promises a 1000-pound weight capacity. But most athletes find it difficult to load enough weight onto the sleeves to reach that weight capacity. The length of the sleeves puts a limit on the weight you can load.
Made from sturdy steel and finished with a black powder coat paint, the HulkFit trap bar is durable for long-term use.
If you have a small frame and don’t plan to lift high weights, or if you are a beginner in strength training, you would save a load of cash when you go for the HulkFit trap bar. Experienced lifters may be better off looking elsewhere
- Small hex frame is ideal for smaller people.
- 2 hand grip options.
- Fits standard 2-inch Olympic collars.
- A good option for those on a budget.
- A good option for beginners and those at the start of their strength training journey
- Small hex frame is not ideal for everybody.
- Short loadable sleeves.
- Less weight capacity than advertised.Not suitable for the experienced lifter
Product Weight: 45 pounds | Product Length: 56.1 inches | Product Width: 21.65 inches | Product Height: 5.5 inches
The Synergee trap bar is a good value product at a moderate price point. And the build quality is quite high.
Synergee uses durable 28 mm tube steel for the hex frame bars and handles.
It comes with dual knurled handles for multiple ranges of motion. One interesting feature to note is the two handles have different grades of knurling.
The knurling on the higher handles is not as aggressive as the one on the lower handles. That gives you an option to decide which is best for your workout.
The hex frame width measures about 23 inches from handle to handle. It is on the small side, especially if you have large arms. But many athletes will find the width suitable for their needs.
Synergee’s trap bar advertises a weight capacity of 750 pounds. But the 10 inches loadable sleeves will limit how much weight you can load depending on the type of plates you use.
It is, however, worth pointing out that apart from the trap bars from the like of Rogue Fitness that come with 16 inches, the loadable sleeves of most hex bars are between 9- 9.75 inches. Thus, the 10 inches offered by Synergee is more than that of many other manufacturers.
Another interesting fact is that you’ll only be able to load up to 230 pounds if you use thick rubber bumper plates. You will need Olympic cast iron plates to enable you to load additional weights. That means you will need additional funds for that purchase if you do not own any.
All in all, there’s very little negative to say about the Synergee trap bar. The Synergee trap bar should fit the needs of most lifters.
You can buy the Synergee Trap Bar from Amazon, where you have the option to choose between black phosphate finishing or chrome. Alternatively, you can buy the Hex Trap bar directly from Synergee fitness and take advantage of some of their daily offers and promotions
- Moderate price point.
- Dual, knurled handle grips.
- Fits Olympic collars.
- Good quality build and finish
- Loadable sleeves not as long as on the Rogue trap bars.
- Hex frame may not be suitable for some athletes.
- Not rackable
Product Weight: 44 or 55 pounds | Product Length: 56 inches | Product Width: 23 inches | Product Height: 5 inches
With the CAP Olympic trap bar, expect value but not much else.
The trap bar is made from sturdy 25 mm steel construction with a black powder-coated finish to ward off rust. The welding is just acceptable, but the finish scratches easily.
There is a 25-inch gap between the handles. That is good for most people of average build.
It has dual knurled handle grips that allow you to perform exercises with different ranges of motion. Though some may find the knurling quite aggressive
The trap bar promises a 750-pound weight capacity but that could be limited to how much weight you can load on the 9-inch sleeves.
The CAP Olympic trap bar is compatible with Olympic plates and collars, which will be convenient for most lifters.
Overall, the CAP Olympic trap bar is just okay. You’ll be able to get a decent workout but don’t expect long-lasting quality.
- Great value.
- Sturdy steel construction.
- Roomy 25-inch hex frame.
- Dual handle grips
- Shoddy welding.
- Powder coated finish easily scratches off.
- Short 9-inch sleeves.
- Aggressive knurling
Product Weight: 52 pounds | Product Length: 55.7 inches | Product Width: 24.6 inches | Product Height: 4.72 inches
BalanceFrom Olympic 2-Inch Trap Bar
The BalanceFrom Olympic trap bar is another piece of budget-friendly home gym equipment.
Don’t expect much from this trap bar. It is functional, but nothing special.
The solid heavy-duty steel construction makes the trap bar durable and so it can last for a while.
It’s advertised as having a 1000-pound weight capacity. But, as we have stated a few times, the type of plates you use will determine how much weight you can load, given that the loadable sleeve length is on the short side.
It has dual hand grips (lower and higher) for multiple ranges of motion. Both handles are knurled but not very well. You will need to wear weightlifting gloves if you want a sturdier grip.
The nearly 2-inch bar diameter ensures it will fit most standard plates and collars, meaning you won’t need to purchase specialty accessories.
Common complaints center around the packaging and presentation of the product. Don’t expect a flawless trap bar straight out of the box. You may likely find scratching and a poor paint job.
If you can handle a few aesthetic flaws and limitations, you’ll get an acceptable trap bar at a low price. But the 19-pound weight is an indication it will be suitable for those at the start of their fitness or lifting journey
You can get the BalanceFrom trap bar from Amazon.
- Suitable for standard plates and collars
- Sturdy steel construction
- Dual hand grips
- Poor packaging
- Low-quality knurling
- Poor paint job/scratches easily
- Short loadable sleeves
Product Weight: 19 pounds | Product Length: 56.1inches | Product Width: 21.65 inches | Product Height: 2 inches
The GYMAX Olympic trap bar provides quality, aesthetic appeal, and durability for a comparable price.
It has a durable chrome-plated surface that’s rust-resistance and aesthetically pleasing.
It is compatible with most standard 2-inch plates and comes with two snap spring collars.
The loadable sleeve length is only 10 inches, but GYMAX advertises an 800-pound weight capacity. It is likely this will depend on the types of plates you use.
A notable feature is the handle grips are foldable, making them easy to store.
Both handles have knurling for a sweat-resistant, stable grip.
With just 23” of space inside the hex frame, some users may find the GYMAX trap bar a bit narrow for their needs.
The GYMAX trap bar is simple but reasonably good home gym equipment with a beautiful chrome finish. It does the job well enough at a very reasonable price.
You can buy the GYMAX trap bar from Amazon.
- Low price point
- Foldable handles make it easy to store and transport
- Reasonably good knurling
- Includes two spring lock collars
- Hex frame width only 23-inch
- 10-inch loadable sleeves
- Folding hand grips don’t lock well in place.
- Foldable handles may not be suitable for some exercises
Product Weight: 53 pounds | Product Length: 56 inches | Product Width: 23 inches
The Titan Fitness trap bar has durable, heavy-duty steel with a chrome finish.
While aesthetically pleasing, the build quality is not as good as the trap bars from Rogue Fitness or Synergee Fitness. The chrome finish may rust sooner than many users expect.
Functionality-wise, the Titan Fitness trap bar is comparable to other trap bars on our list.
It features dual hand grips (lower and higher), both knurled, for a sweat-resistant hand grip.
The 25” hex frame is a good width for most users, not too wide, or narrow.
The loadable sleeve length of the Titan is just shy of 10 inches for a 500-pound weight capacity.
The weight and weight capacity are pretty low for a trap bar, and many may find they will quickly reach that capacity within a short time. Thus, many seasonal lifters may find the trap bar will not meet their needs within a short period. That is something to bear in mind before purchasing.
The 2-inch bar diameter is compatible with most standard Olympic plates and collars.
Titan Fitness makes a sturdy trap bar for a low price. But you need to weigh this with your long-term needs and requirements before deciding whether the Titan is the one to go for.
You may decide to go with it now because of the low price. But bear in mind to start making plans to upgrade to one of the heavy-duty trap bars in the near future.
- Good hex frame width
- Decent price point
- Sturdy steel construction
- Compatible with Olympic plates and collars
- Dual handle grips
- Not rust resistant
- A low weight capacity of 500 pounds will quickly fall behind your needs
- Low build and welding quality
Product Weight: 44 pounds | Product Length: 56 inches | Product Width: 22.75 inches | Product Height: 6 inches
The Valor Fitness trap bar has a few unique features not found on other trap bars.
One of these features is multiple rotating grip options.
It has a rotating, knurled handle grip that rotates between 1, 1.25”, 1.75, and 2- inch diameter grip options.
The different grip options will help you find the most comfortable position to work with. That could, in turn, help you lift more weight, or will make the bar suitable for different users.
Another feature of the Valor Fitness trap bars is the rubber stoppers that prevent damage to the floor of your home gym. That is not a regular feature on trap bars.
Although the trap bar offers multiple grip options, it has only one grip position. That means it will only give you one range of motion.
Another feature some users might dislike is the hex frame width. At only 22 inches wide, many will find that unsuitable for their needs.
The 10.25-inch loadable sleeve length is comparable with its 500-pound weight capacity. The design of the sleeves makes it easy to load plates when the bar is on the ground. But the low weight capacity makes the OB-Hex Trap Bar unsuitable for many serious lifters.
In terms of functionality, the Valor Fitness trap bar is comparable to other trap bars on this list.
The price is, however, very close to those from Rogue Fitness, making it a very expensive gym equipment.
We don’t believe the few unique features are significant enough to justify the high price.
Serious lifters will be better off purchasing one of the options from Rogue Fitness. You know what you are getting when you buy from Rogue – very high quality, durability, and exceptional customer service.
- Multiple rotating handle options make it versatile and suitable for different users.
- Raised loadable sleeve.
- Rubber stoppers to protect flooring.
- Solid construction
- Pricey. Price at the high end.
- Narrow hex frame makes it unsuitable for some lifters.
- Requires assembly.
- 500-pound weight capacity too low for serious lifters
Product Weight: 53 pounds | Product Length: 56 inches | Product Width: 23 inches
Factors to Consider When Buying a Trap bar
- Overall Design and Build Quality
Pay attention to the welding and build quality of the trap bars you are considering. Low-quality welding and construction will be more susceptible to wear and tear.
A poorly designed trap bar can be dangerous if it breaks during your workout.
Look for durable materials like steel with a powder-coated finish to prevent rusting.
- Knurling Quality
Look for handles with quality knurling.
Knurling provides good friction between your palms and the bar to prevent slippage.
A well-knurled handle will provide stability and safety during your workouts.
Knurling that is very aggressive could damage your skin tissues.
Look for knurling that will give you a good grip without leaving blisters in your palms.
- Loadable Sleeve Length
Loadable sleeve length will determine how much weight you can load on a trap bar.
Ensure your weight plates are compatible with the trap bars you are considering unless you plan to buy everything from scratch.
- Weight Capacity
Weight capacity can vary between trap bars.
Generally, a shorter loadable sleeve will mean a lower weight capacity.
Ensure the weight capacity is suitable for your needs, especially if you are a heavy lifter.
- Dual Hand Grips
Do you need an extra range of motion during your exercises? If you do then, a dual grip (higher and lower handles) will give you a better range of motion than a single handle grip.
Dual hand grips are beneficial for beginners and athletes recovering from injury.
- Hex Frame Width
The width between handle grips can influence your workout performance.
A narrow width below 25 inches may not be suitable or comfortable for bigger lifters. On the other hand, a width of 25 inches or more may be unsuitable for lifters with smaller frames.
Trap bar benefits
Below are some of the benefits of using trap bars to help build strength and power
- Trap bars put less strain on your back.
Using a hex trap bar during a deadlift exercise puts less pressure on your spine. That is because the axis of rotation is more in line with your spine. Trap bars make it easy to maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
They are also ideal for preventing hyperextension of the spine during a deadlift.
With a straight bar, it is easy to overextend your spine at the top of the exercise. That forces you to counterbalance the weight you are lifting.
With a trap bar, there is nothing to counterbalance. Thus, you prevent overextending your spine at the top of the exercise.
- Trap bars are easy on your shoulders.
The hand grips are perpendicular to the sleeves on trap bars.
The positioning of the handles allows for a neutral grip as opposed to a pronated or supinated grip with a straight barbell.
You put your shoulders in a better position to press in a straight line when you use a trap bar for overhead press.
Using a bar when doing an overhead press puts your shoulders in a better position to press in a straight line. You have more flexibility to do the movement in a way that will not put pressure on your shoulders if you have a shoulder injury.
- Trap bars are much safer for your biceps.
With a straight barbell, you have only three possible hand grip positions during deadlifts: overhand, underhand, or mixed (one hand under, one hand over). These hand positions can put unnecessary stress on your biceps, putting them more at risk for tearing.
The neutral grip on a trap bar reduces your risk of injury because it places less stress on your biceps.
- You can lift heavier with trap bars.
Trap bars distribute the weight you are lifting on both sides of your body. That makes it possible for you to lift much heavier weights than you would otherwise do with a standard barbell.
Lifting heavier weights will help you build muscle strength and power faster.
Is a Trap Bar Worth It?
A trap bar allows you to perform the same movements as a standard straight barbell.
The difference is you have more range of motion, better weight distribution, and can maintain a neutral position.
A trap bar is ideal for those recovering from or who are prone to injury.
It is an ergonomically designed specialty bar that provides a safer, more effective workout environment.
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