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Beginners Guide to Trap Bar Deadlift

Hi friends,

Im looking for tips on how to do a trap bar deadlift for the first time. Set-up? Cues? Any particular technique?

Im visiting a gym out of town this weekend which has a trap bar. If I like it I am going to buy one for myself. I don’t do barbell deadlifts or back squats due to a previous back injury.

Thanks in advance.


Squat down, pull the handles together.

As for the bar itself. Keep in mind that you can get bars with and without rotating sleeves. And I wouldn’t be swayed by high/low handles as you can just use blocks. Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the trap bar. I like a roomy one.

And they’re not just for deadlifts - RDLs, shoulder pressing, shrugs, etc are great with a trapbar.


Pull the handles together? As in squeeze inwards?

How about keeping the chest high, shoulders back etc? Should I be thinking “squat down” or do I need to think “hinge down” or do I need to do a mixture of both?


really depends what your doing it for, I like to use a mix of hip hinge and leg drive, This causes a nice blend of stimulus that can contribute to both the squat and the deadlift

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it’s a lot more leg-dominant than a regular deadlift. More like a squat because of your center of balance. The weight is in front of you on a deadlift, and it’s not on a trap bar. So you’ll begin the lift with lower hips and a more upright torso. You will try to squat it up. It’s not going to look EXACTLY like a squat, don’t get me wrong, but closer to that. Do not turn it into a strictly hip hinge movement. Definitely push hard with your legs, particularly at the beginning of the movement. I’ve got a 700+ trap bar deadlift video on my instagram if you want to check it out. my name on there is tiptonstrong.


Echoing flip, think of a quarter/half squat. Try to wedge your hips underneath the weight. Also be patient off the floor, sometimes it takes a second to get moving.

One upping flip by posting my 700+ trap bar pull