T Nation

Considering a Trap Bar

Hi friiends,

For those that dont know, I have sworn off deadlifts and back squats. No matter how hard I try, these only lead to a lower back injury (lumbar pain/SI joint pain/a combination?). All related to previous injuries, ankle surgery and probably also because Im 6’3 and have ridiculous long legs. Im also assuming my hip anatomy is not favourable either.

Anyway Im seriously considering a trap bar. My current gym does not have one, so If I do get one I will most likely have to make the purchase myself and donate it to the gym. (The current gym owners are not keen on spending money).

Anyway, I was just wanted to hear from those with previous lower back injuries that have had difficulties wit the traditional squat/deadlift and that have transitioned on to to trap bar deadlifting.

Worth it? Results? Likelihood of re-injuring myself?


Hard to say since people tend to jack themselves up because of either bad form… excessive weight…over use or just bad freaking luck

One with elevated handles should be good enough or even put the plates on some bumpers to reduce the ROM. Your back should cope easily with that.

We use the trap bar extensively with clients at my gym and high rep, high volume trap bar deads are gain central.

I was thinking more low rep, high weight.


I’d find somewhere you can try one out first, Birdy

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I was thinking that.

I know you have similar issue to myself Yogi-Bear. Have you ever tried deadlifting with a trap bar?


not for years. I do sometimes think about giving it a try but I dunno.

I’ve been doing a lot of good mornings lately. Have you tried those? I’m doing sets of like 15-20 so the load is pretty low, and I’m bracing like fuck on every rep.

I’ve been pretty pleased with the results from that so far, so maybe you could give that a shot

Not really a fan of good mornings. The move looks awkward to me and Im not sure if I am hip hinging correctly.

Anyway Im looking for something to add some strength and power. Feel the need to rip something off the floor.


yeah you can do that as well kid

neither was I, which is why I’ve been so pleasantly surprised.

I actually think my hip hinging, hip mobility and abdominal bracing have all improved as a result.

I dunno; might be worth giving it a shot for a month or two and see if it helps. Might get you back to deadlifting.

EDIT: power cleans? Lighter weight, more upright torso angle.

These have been my results too. My hip hinge improves way more with GM’s than with sldl’s or romanian dl’s. There’s too ways you can do the movement. It can be like a romanian deadlift with the bar on your back or a stiff legged deadlift with the bar on your back. The RDL like GM is easier on the back. They’re both really useful, but if you really want to take stress off your back, take a wide(er) stance, prop some 5lb plates underneath the front of your foot, and do the romanian deadlift style of GM. If you have a safety bar, you can reallly trash your middle and upper back with GM’s.

I have the same problem as you. I think the SI Joint pain is being caused by tight muscles and/or imbalances. I haven’t had the extra money to go get assessed for it though but I feel your pain. Single leg movements for the win. Also, I can’t recall ever having pain down there from heavy trap bar deadlifting.

Hey StevenF,

How long have you suffered from the back pain? How often do you get it? What triggers it? What helps?

How do you normally program your lower body workouts?
Used the trap bar often? I know its not the same as deadlifting, but do you think it would be a fair to swap conventional deadlifts for trap bar?


Sounds like you keep trying to look for the easy way out but sometimes the best results are from getting your form down pack with light weight and then slowly progress heavier. The best way to go.

However I am no expert.


Dude, if you knew the guy you’d know this isn’t the case. Birdy’s in good shape

With all due respect, you are 14 years old. Your thoughts on how the best results do and do not occur will contain limited experience, especially as it applies to a 30 year old athlete.

@theBird Ever consider trying out the car deadlift simulator? Similar loading as a trap bar, but no extra equipment needed. It seems nice on my lower back.

Alex: thanks bro, but I have already tried that approach a number of times.

Yogi B-Bear: thanks for the compliments friend.

T3hPwnisher: that looks good. Although the set-up would be complicated in my gym at the moment, especially when its busy.

Im thinking of searching for somewhere where I can try out the trap bar, and if it all goes well Ill go ahead and make the investment. Also considering maybe finding a trainer who can take me through 2-3 sessions with using the trap bar.


Where in Aus are you?

Perth bro.

You got any recommendations?


I was going to say you can try mine but it involves getting to the other side of the country.

PTC perth should be able to help you out - they have pretty much everything.