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Rack Pulls vs Trap Bar DL


Could I substitute rack pulls with trap bar dead lifts? Or do rack pulls work additional muscle groups?


I think trap bar deads are superior b/c more weight can be used. The angle of traditional deads seems to hit my lower traps and lats more though. I guess it depends on the goal. Athletic endeavors = trap bar.

Edit: same muscle groups worked.


great, thank you


Trap bar deadlifts really aren't even close to the same thing as rack pulls. Trap bar deadlifts are more of a leg movement, whereas rack pulls are meant to blow up your back.

Hence, they aren't the same at all. If your deadlift sucks at lock-out and/or you want more mass on your upper back, do rack pulls. If you want to work your legs more, do trap bar.

Not even sure to say about the above answer, as it seems to have completely skipped over the facts.


That's why I said it depends on the goal. What facts am I overlooking exactly? OP never went into detail of what he's trying to achieve.


I have done some rack pulls with my homemade trap bar on tires . They hit my back nicely.


My goals:

I'm trying to get a bigger conventional DL. The trap bar DLs DO seem to work my legs more, I can tell because I have an old knee injury that acts up a bit after a day of trap bar DLs. This is not really a good thing. It's sounding like rack pulls may be a better route for me.



apples and oranges. theyre both fruit but thats about it.


Rack pulls from various heights will help if you have weak points at those heights.

If youre weak from the floor try deads from a deficit.

Trap bar deadlifts are an OK alternative but the movement is more similar to a squat than a conventional deadlift. I wouldnt rely on it to bring up the deadlift numbers.

Even with that said, if getting a bigger deadlift is your goal you should aim to get strong in as many variations as possible. It can only help.


and if all youre concered with is a bigger deadlift, GTFO of the bodybuilding forum


Being an old guy with 30+ yrs of training and an easily injured lower back, I use a trap bar for leg work AND back work. The trap bar allows me to pull the weight from a point that is more centered with my ankles which allows me to lift more weight than I can with a reg. DL or squat. I am not a powerlifter so I don't care how much I can DL or squat, but I do want to lift heavy weight without killing my lower back.


How about the FACT that rack pulls are primarily an upper body movement, whereas trap bar deads are primarily lower body?

How about the FACT that he asked if he could substitute a lower body move for an upper body move as if to achieve the same results? I suppose you'll recommend substituting hack squats for dips next?


srsly shut up and just lift the fucking weights


Plus, trap bar shrugs ROCK the traps!


I also have a fucked up lower back and as such traditional deads can be painful sometimes, but trap bar deads rarely give me problems. I actually go to my parent's gym one day a week just because my gym doesn't even have a trap bar.


You have problems.


You asked a question, I answered it. You're right, I've got problems.


Saying dumb shit like dips instead of hack squat.
Blowing up when someone thinks along different lines than you.

Rack pulls and trap deads are 80% the same thing. It's not like the trap bar eliminates any back stimulation. True, rack pulls won't do much for your quads, but will for hams and glutes.

This came about b/c the op asked if he could substitute one for the other. When you ask a question like that I'm gonna assume you are a beginner and prolly don't know the benefits of either movement.

Just don't be a fucking douche and jump to conclusions tough guy.


Still, you miss the point. Rack pulls and trap bar deadlifts ARE NOT 80% the same thing. Dips instead of hack squat is essentially the same kind of substitution and trap bar deads for rack pulls, but I guess you missed that point as well.

I blew up? Really?

Jumped to what conclusions...the conclusion that your advice showed an apparent lack of understanding of the two exercises the OP asked about? I'm not the only one that saw that, check BONEZ's first response as well- apples to oranges. He is clearly an experienced and knowledgeable lifter, and said the same thing I did- that you can't compare the two, nor are they substitutes for one another.


I cant agree at all unless youre starting the rack pull very low. Typically a rack pull is done right below the knee to knee height. My knees barely move when I do them. It places huge emphasis on the traps and erectors and forearms. The ROM for hamstrings is so short I consider it completely insignificant.