Do you want a strength movement that builds a killer body, slays dragons, and gets the girl every time? I know I do. Enter the Trap Bar Deadlift:

What is it good for: By engaging the muscles of your upper back, hips, thighs, lats, forearms the trap bar deadlift helps build a massive amount of strength and muscle.

Why I like it: it’s an easier hip-hinge movement to master than your traditional barbell deadlift.

How to do it: step inside the bar, pushing your hips back and keeping a slight bend in the knees. It is NOT a squat: although a squat movement can be done with the trap bar, the intent here is to hinge in the movement, loading the hips more than the quads. As you can see in the video, my hips push back and my chest comes forward just a little.

Grab the handles, drive through the middle/back of your foot and stand up, squeezing your butt at the top of the movement. On the way back down, initiate the movement by pushing the hips back towards the wall behind you, lowering the bar and breaking the knees as you get closer to the ground.

For STRENGTH: do 3-5 sets of 2-5 reps, with very heavy weight (but weight you can manage).

For HYPERTROPHY: you can build mass in the lower reps and I typically like lower reps in this exercise due to technique, but with the trap bar it’s a bit easier to blow up the reps. Anything from 3-5 sets of 6-12 or so would be appropriate.

For FAT LOSS: use a light weight-something you can easily handle for 10-15 reps. Don’t worry about how much weight is on the bar; instead, focus on executing perfect form on all reps, then keep your rest breaks shorter: 30-90s between sets. By keeping the weight lighter and your rest breaks shorter you can burn tons of calories with this total body movement. But keep in mind: technique above all else!

In other words, you’ll build the strength to climb the castle tower, the muscle mass or “armor” to defeat the dragon guarding your princess bride-to-be, and wash-board abs to make her swoon in your tattered and torn, slightly singed clothing.

Grip it and rip it!

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

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