Force, Power and Velocity Greater During Hexagonal Barbell Deadlifts

Pulling power is highly related to sprinting and jumping ability. No lift develops raw horsepower during pulls better than deadlifts. Unfortunately, many athletes use poor technique during the lift by extending the knees prematurely and underutilizing the hip extensors. This puts most of the load on the back muscles, which increases the risk of serious spinal injury. Many coaches recommend a hexagonal (hex) or trap barbell for non-competitive deadlifts because it places less stress on the spine and places the load closer to the midline of the body. A biomechanical comparison of deadlifts performed with straight and hex bars by Kevin Camara and colleagues from the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, found that peak force, power and velocity were greater with the hex bar. Activation of the spinal extensor muscles was lower with the hex bar. The hex bar is superior and safer for building pulling power in power athletes who are not competing in powerlifting. (Journal Strength and Conditioning Research, 30: 1183-1188, 2016)

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