There’s a good chance you may have never used a trap bar. Yet if you deadlift, you need to know about these bars. Using one of these takes a lot of stress off your lower back.
Trap bars aren’t just for deadlifts either. You can do shrugs, all kinds of presses, and weighted carries.
This guide will look at the best trap bar on the market. Ready? Let’s get started!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Best Trap Bar
- Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar – Best Overall
- CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar – Best For Beginners
- HulkFit Olympic Trap Bar – Best Value
- Titan Fitness Trap Bar – Best For Power Rack Use
- Sunny Health & Fitness Olympic Trap Bar – Best For Strength Training
- Merax Foldable Olympic Trap Bar – Best Compact
- Valor Fitness OB-HEX Trap Bar – Best For Multiple Grips
- Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar – Best Open Design
- TDS Trap Bar – Best For Standard Plates
- TDS Shrug Cage – Best For Strongman Competition
Reviews – The Best Trap Bars
Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar – Best Overall
Here’s our pick for the best overall trap bar. The Rogue TB-2 is 88” long and can fit inside your power rack. Which means you can use the safety pins for your heaviest sets. This bar has 16” plate loaders and takes Olympic plates.
Also, there’s 25” between the handles. The Rogue TB-2 has knurled flush handles and raised handles. Knurling provides a secure grip.
The raised handles are 8.25” off the ground. This makes the TB-2 Trap Bar a good choice for anyone with back problems. Finally, this bar is made using steel tubing.
- Features 8.25” Raised Handles
- Long Enough To Use In Your Power Rack
- 16” Plate Holders
- The Rogue Website Does Not Mention The Load Capacity
CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar – Best For Beginners
This trap bar is 55.71” long and has a 750lb weight capacity. The CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar is the best choice for beginners. It’s a well-built bar that will fit in most home gyms.
The CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar consists of 25mm solid steel. It has raised and flush handles.
The raised handles and bar design make it easier for beginners to use. There’s 25” between handles, and 9” for Olympic plates. This allows beginners to gradually add plates as they progress.
Yet, the plate holders are not too long, which may intimidate beginners.
- Good Choice For Beginners
- Holds 750lbs
- Solid Steel Construction
- Some Users Have Found That The Coating Flakes Off During Use
HulkFit Olympic Trap Bar – Best Value
Here’s our pick for the best value. The HulkFit Olympic Trap Bar is 56” long and holds 1,000lbs. The HulkFit is another bar consisting of solid steel, not tubing.
At this value range, the HulkFit Trap Bar has many good features. This bar is 20” between handles with 11” plate holders. This bar has knurled raised and flush handles. There’s an open-back design available at extra cost.
- 1,000LB Weight Capacity
- Made Using Solid Steel
- Extra Long Plate Holders
- Some Users Feel The Welding Could Be Better
Titan Fitness Trap Bar – Best For Power Rack Use
Here’s a trap bar that’s long enough to sit inside your power rack. The Titan Fitness Trap Bar is 85” long. Working inside a rack means you can handle heavy weight safely.
This bar holds 810lbs and has solid 48mm plate holders. The frame consists of 1.5” steel tubing. It’s 24” wide to fit easily inside your power rack. The Titan Fitness Trap Bar has raised and flush knurled handles.
- Long Enough To Use Inside Your Power Rack
- Holds 810lbs
- The Plate Holders Are 48mm For Strength
- The Steel Tube Frame May Not Be Strong Enough For Some Users
Sunny Health & Fitness Olympic Trap Bar – Best For Strength Training
This trap bar can handle up to 750lbs. The Sunny Health & Fitness Olympic Trap Bar uses brass bushings on the 9.5” plate holders. This creates a smoother movement by reducing plate spin. This is an important benefit for powerlifting lifts.
That’s why this is our pick as the best trap bar for strength training. Also, there’s 22.5” between the handles. The Sunny Health & Fitness has raised and flush knurled handles. The bar itself consists of all steel components.
- The Olympic Plate Holders Use Brass Bushings To Reduce Spin
- Holds Up To 750lbs
- Features Diamond Knurled Handles
- Some Users Have Found That The Chrome Finish Peels
Merax Foldable Olympic Trap Bar – Best Compact
Here’s a trap bar with raised handles that fold flat. That makes the Merax Foldable Olympic Trap Bar our pick for the best space-saving trap bar. This bar is 56” long and 19.5” wide, smaller than many other bars.
That means it needs less exercise space and less storage space. The Olympic plate holders are 10.5 “ long.
The Merax Trap Bar can hold up to 800lbs. The bar consists of solid steel for strength and durability. The raised and flush handles feature diamond knurling.
- Features Raised Handles That Fold Flat
- Compact Size Allows Easy Use
- You Can Store It Under Your Bed
- The Folding Handles Do Not Lock In Place
Valor Fitness OB-HEX Trap Bar – Best For Multiple Grips
This trap bar is our pick for the best multiple grip options. The Valor Fitness OB-HEX Trap Bar features a patented handle design.
The handles offer 3 positions which allow users to decrease shoulder strain. This trap bar also has rubber stops to prevent floor damage. This makes the Valor Fitness Trap Bar a good choice for home use.
The bar is 71” long with 7” plate holders. Finally, this bar can hold up to 500lbs.
- Features A 3-Position Grip Handle Design
- Reduces Shoulder Strain
- Holds Up To 500 Lbs
- May Not Hold Enough Weight For Some Users
Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar – Best Open Design
This trap bar has an open design so you can walk right in. You don’t need to step over the Force USA Walkthrough Trap Bar. This prevents potential tripping. It also allows users to perform exercises you can’t do with regular trap bars.
This bar also uses ergonomically designed handles. It uses knurled raised handles and flat handles. They also rotate for ease of use.
The Force USA Walkthrough Bar has built-in jacks for easy plate loading and unloading. This bar is made using steel and holds up to 661lbs.
- Open Walk Through Design
- Allows The Use Of More Exercises Than Standard Trap Bars
- Holds 661lbs
- The Handles Are High-Density Plastic – Not Metal
TDS Trap Bar – Best For Standard Plates
Here’s the only trap bar in this guide that will work with standard 1” plates. The TDS Trap Bar will work for anyone with a home gym and standard weight set.
This bar holds up to 1,000 lbs. It has raised and flush handles that are knurled for a better grip.
It’s also chrome plated. The bar is 63” long. If you have a power rack, you should train outside the rack. You can train inside the rack, but without the safety pins.
- Holds Standard 1” Plates
- 1,000lb Weight Capacity
- Good Choice For Home Gym Use
- Made Using Metal Tubing
TDS Shrug Cage – Best For Strongman Competition
This is the only square-shaped trap bar in this guide. The TDS Shrug Cage is built exclusively for Strongman competitors and can hold up to 1,000lbs.
This bar is 25” wide and 29” front to back. It uses 15” plate holders. It’s made using 2” square steel tubing.
The TDS Shrug Cage takes only Olympic plates. It’s designed for various exercises including long stride weighted carries.
- Holds Up To 1,000lbs
- The Plate Holders Are 15” Long
- Designed For Strongman Training
- It’s Not Made Using Solid Steel
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Trap Bar?
What Is A Trap Bar
A trap bar is also known as a shrug bar. Also, it’s often referred to as a hex bar. It has a hexagonal-shaped frame that you stand inside of. There’s a plate holder at each end of the frame.
There are a few trap bars, such as the Force USA, that have an open-back design. All trap bars have flush handles. Many have raised handles. The knurled handles improve your grip on the bar.
For multiple grip options, the Valor Fitness OB-HEX Trap Bar has a patented 3-position handle design.
Why Is It Known As A Trap Bar?
The trap bar was invented in the 1980s by a powerlifter named Al Gerard. He wanted a bar that was easier on his back when doing shrugs and deadlifts. He named the bar after the trap or trapezius muscles.
What Is A Trap Bar Used For?
A trap bar has several benefits over regular straight bars. Here’s a look at the primary advantages:
Helps Develop Proper Form
A trap bar makes it easier to learn proper form when doing deadlifts. A trap bar makes you stand upright more than when you use a barbell. It helps teach correct form by putting your center of gravity in a vertical position. It also allows the use of more weight.
Good For Lifters With Hip Flexion Issues
A standard deadlift begins near the end of the average person’s hip flexion range of motion. Some people may not have enough natural range of motion. That means they can’t do a barbell deadlift correctly. Many users make up for this by flexing their spine. That can lead to back pain.
Yet the deadlift is a cornerstone movement. By using a trap bar with raised handles, lifters can bypass flexing their spine. Done this way, the trap bar allows the use of more weight.
Helps Keep The Knees Out Of The Way
Your knees can get in the way of the bar when doing a barbell deadlift. This is because the bar should travel upwards slightly touching your body. Or, you may have to bend your knees unnaturally to ensure a smooth movement.
If you have long legs, this may be a problem for you. Using a trap bar for deadlifts takes this type of problem out of the movement.
Trap Bars Target The Quads
AS noted, by using a trap bar, you can stand more upright. This makes it easier to shift the weight to your quads.
What Exercises Can You Do Using A Trap Bar?
You can do the following exercises using a trap bar:
- Deadlifts & Deadlift Variations – The deadlift is one of the best exercises you can do. It will work most of the body with an emphasis on the back.
- Shrugs – This exercise works the trapezius muscles.
- Farmer’s Walk – This is a weighted carry that works the entire body. If your grip can take it, it’s a great exercise. The trap bar is a good choice for an exercise like this.
- Bent Rows – This exercise works your upper back, biceps, and rear deltoids.
- Squats – Using a trap bar takes the stress off your lower back. It also supports good form.
- Overhead Press – This exercise works all three deltoid heads and the triceps.
- Push-Ups – This works best using the raised handles. You will have to block the plates. This will keep the bar from rolling while you’re doing these.
If you’re using a walkthrough style bar, such as the Force USA Trap Bar, you can do more exercises.
- Lunges – An open-back design allows lifters to do this quad builder.
- Single Arm Carries – Some lifters like to do weighted carries one arm at a time. The open-back design is ideal for this.
What You Should Consider When Looking For A Trap Bar
Most trap bars have a weight capacity of at least 500lbs. Some, such as the TDS Trap Bar, can hold up to 1,000 lbs.
The average for the trap bars in this guide is 800lbs. The weight capacity you choose will be based on your strength goals. It’s a good idea to choose a bar that can handle at least a couple hundred pounds over your goals.
Some bars, such as the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar, can be used inside a power rack. This means you can set the safety pins and train heavy in complete safety.
Other trap bars are not long enough to use in a power rack. This makes them more compact.
Does your home gym have limited space? What if you don’t own a power rack?
That makes a smaller bar a good choice.
This is the length of the plate holders. Most trap bars use at least 9” plate holders. Some are several inches longer. If you train heavy, you’ll want a trap bar with long plate holders. Our best overall, the Rogue TB-2, has 16” to hold a lot of Olympic plates.
Standard or Olympic Weights
Not everyone uses Olympic plates. Many lifters start with more value-conscious standard plates. If that’s the case, there’s only one trap bar in our guide that takes a standard plate. The TDS Trap Bar is your choice.
If Olympic plates have an advantage, they’re a little taller than regular plates. That raises the starting point of your exercise. In the case of deadlifts, that can mean you can handle more weight. This is because the bar will have less distance to travel.
This is the diamond etching on the handles. Most trap bars have handles that are knurled. This improves your grip on the bar. The knurling may be hard on your hands. For this reason, lifting gloves may be a good idea.
The coating helps prevent corrosion and rust. Many trap bars use a powder coating. Others offer the option of chrome.
Finally, what is the trap bar you’re considering made of? Look for solid steel. If it’s steel tubing, make sure it has enough load capacity. The last thing you want is your trap bar bending under a heavy load.
Have you decided to shop for a trap bar? Do you deadlift using heavy weight?
Then a trap bar will be a worthwhile investment. The trap bar can add a lot to your training.
If you want our best overall, you’ll want the Rogue TB-2. This trap bar is long enough to use inside your power rack. That means safety is not a problem. With 16” plate holders, you can pile on the 45’s. This is a heavy duty bar so it can handle the weight.
If you use standard plates, you’ll need the TDS Trap Bar. This well-built bar can hold up to 1,000lbs. Few other trap bars can match that. You can pile on the 50s, or even 100s, with this bar.
Are you a beginner? Then the CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar is your best choice. It has raised handles that make it easier to learn exercises like deadlifts. It can hold up to 750lbs. Best of all, it’s made using 25mm solid steel.
As you can tell, a trap bar can improve your training performance.
Have you found deadlifts using a regular bar difficult?
Is the range of motion too hard on your back?
Do your knees get in the way of the bar’s travel?
Then a trap bar is a good choice for you.
With our guide, you can find the best trap bar for your needs. Don’t deadlift until you’ve chosen your new trap bar! Happy Training!