Trap Bar Deadlift vs The Straight Bar: Making An Informed Choice

The trap bar deadlift vs. straight bar debate may not seem like a big deal or even a debate at all. You would probably be right on that account. I am of the belief that everything is a tool and has its place. However, that being said the trap bar deadlift is much safer than the straight bar. You may be asking well why is that?

The answer is simple the nature in which the bar is used. The neutral handles provide the athlete using the bar with the ability to move the knees back or forward. Allow the bar to be straight down the middle of the body. This allows the athlete to take any strain off of the lower back that the straight bar just does not allow

Trap Bar Deadlift Variety

Having the ability to add mixture to your training is always a good thing. I know that keeping something simple has been my motto, but when it comes to changing things up from time to time, there is nothing more interesting than the trap bar.

You can use the trap bar for overhead pressing movements, flat benching movements, and the most important aspect would have to be the athlete’s ability to do carries with the trap bar. The opening in the trap bar is large enough that it allows you to move your feet.


Training with a trap bar can be novel to many athletes. It is not something that is a staple in many gyms. Β Training with new tools may be the key to unlocking new potential in athletes. It is also an excellent way to keep training a way more interesting. As coaches, we do not know what training for our athletes to become stale. We want all of our athletes to be enthused to get to the gym and get it done!

Neutral position

As stated in the previous section on safety, the neutral position is responsible for this. However, the neutral position is beneficial in other ways. The neutral position will allow you to get into a more athletic position. A trap bar deadlift is a great tool for athletes to use. It is a safer option, it puts you in a better position, a position that is more beneficial to most sports.

Straight Bar


Almost any athlete who has lifted weights has come across a straight bar. The straight bar is probably the most common tool inside of any weight room. This means that many people know how to use this tool. Knowing how to use a bar is a positive. You will not have to learn a new tool, and you are going to have people around you who will probably know how to complete the movements with a straight bar correctly.

Olympic Lifts

Straight bars are the tools to use for Olympic lifts. Now you would have to have already had some real training in Olympic lifting. If you are new to lifting, do not attempt to do the Olympic lifting. This style of lifting can be dangerous if it is not done correctly. However, if you are trained and know how to train Olympic lifting movements then the straight bar is your real solution.

More Variety

The straight bar is extremely versatile. It gives the athlete the ability to do many upper body movements. You can add in benching, overhead, and rows. The Trap bar deadlift vs. straight bar debate is not even valid when you combine both tools to your training because you now can attack all angles of training.

No Real Learning Curve

As stated before the straight bar is the most common tool in most weight rooms today. It is probably the first thing you will learn how to use when you step into a weight room. That means that you would have already gone through the learning and teaching of the tool.

You should have already received the training needed to complete the basic movements that the straight bar allows you to complete. This is a benefit because you can now move on to making yourself better at the use of this tool as opposed to spending time learning a new tool.

My Opinion

Okay, what do I think about this whole deal? Well if it wasn’t evident in the previous paragraphs I am of the thought process that having both is the best option. Now if I had to choose one I would pick the trap bar deadlift benefits. Here is why. This is the most beneficial tool for athletes. The neutral hand position is the best for athletes. All athletes should have the use of this tool in their arsenal. This will keep the lower back safe while training the rest of the posterior chain.

This biggest downfall of the trap bar is the lack of squatting ability. The squat is one of the best movements for athletic performance and the fact that the trap bar is not able to complete this movement. Β In future articles, We will go through which bar is best for squatting.

So in conclusion, if you have to pick one tool I would choose the trap bar deadlift benefits. However, if you have the means, I would choose both. Having the tools to become a better athlete is better than now having access to anything.

KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.

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