T Nation

Trap Bar Deadlift Grip


Hi all,

Quick question about trap-bar deadlifts:

I'm now at a gym that has a trap bar, and I've been incorporating T-B Deadlifts into my leg days. I like them more than regular deadlifts because I really feel the lift in my legs more than traditional deadlift. However, I've been noticing that I've been feeling a tug/slight strain in (at least) one of the tendons in my left elbow.

It makes me sort of nervous to continue with T-B Deads. I've always deadlifted with conventional grip because of the risk I've heard about regarding tearing biceps tendons with a mixed grip. Does the trap bar neutral grip risk putting a similar strain on those tendons?

Have any of you had issues like that that resolved with a form change or something?



Is it possible that your arms are not straight?

I would suggest you reset each rep - treat it as a 1rep max.


Roll the hell out of that tendon with a lacrosse ball on a table or something, then see if the problem continues. I've done tb dl for awhile and never felt any discomfort you are describing. I think it's independent of the lift, unless you are maybe flexing slightly without being aware of it.

Any chance you are doing tb dl the day after heavy pressing?


Ive never had this problem then again ive only done them once lol - but i do have a slight elbow annoyance and it didnt flare up on them


This is the first thing I thought of. How heavy are you going? Straps?

Edit...Are you 'yanking' or 'squeezing' the bar from the floor?


Thanks for all the replies.

To the yanking v. squeezing, I would characterize it as squeezing while saying that I don't feel that my general approach to the lift is any different than conventional deadlifts.

I've been giving it more thought, and I think that I need to be careful about instinctively rotating my wrists while doing the TBDL. Because I'm used to deadlifting with a conventional grip, I think that I may be naturally trying to rotate my hands as they hold onto the trap bar's neutral grip. Doing so would put additional tension on the elbow joint, thus irritating the tendons. When I do them tomorrow, I'll try to pay more attention to what I'm doing with my hands.


Not a fan of trap bar DLs, but I'd suggest just using straps, should help you to keep your arms limp. Always has seemed to me that many people instinctively bend arms during trap bar deads. The risk of you tearing a bicep is pretty much nil as long as you aren't a dumbass, and as mentioned, don't flex your arms and try to pull the weight up with them.


I was never able to deadlift without back pain until I started using a Trap bar. Haven't had any issues and Ive done them the day after doing a full upperbody workout. I do them with straps and a belt.