For people new to weightlifting or who are unfamiliar with the gym, the first time you see a hex bar, you’ll probably be a little confused. Once you learn a little more about them, though, you’ll realize that they’re actually a pretty important innovation in weight-training. Hex bars originated from Al Gerard, a powerlifter in the 1980s who was looking for a way to avoid causing lower back injuries while deadlifting heavy weights. Today, it’s become a much-lauded tool for lifters to use to perform back friendly lifts while continuing to get the benefits of training.
If you’re thinking about buying one, we’ve composed a list of the six best hex bars of 2017. Before we start looking at our reviews, let’s take a little more time learning about hex bars, why they’re important, and what to look for when buying one.
Top Hex Bars Comparison Chart
There are a lot of lifts that can put a lot of pressure on your back and cause damage that could haunt you for the rest of your life. That’s where a hex bar comes in.
What exactly is a hex bar?
You’ve probably seen serious lifters using hex bars at the gym, but maybe you’re not exactly sure what they do. A hex bar is shaped like a diamond or an elongated hexagon. On either end of the long sides is a bar where the weights are attached. You stand in the center and grab onto handles that are positioned on either side. This eliminates the need to lean forward and shortens the distance between the lifter and the weight, reducing pressure on the lumbar spine and significantly reducing the chance of injury. It also keeps the weight spread evenly and centered so there’s less chance of injury.
Studies have shown that not only is using a hex bar safer, it actually produced more force and velocity. A hex deadlift allows the weightlifter to do more weight, faster, over a longer distance. It’s a low-cost way to increase safety while also getting an effective workout.
What should I look for when buying a hex bar?
If you want your hex bar to last a long time, make sure it has a finish that will prevent rust and corrosion. Some coatings are available in a wide range of colors so you can pick the one that suits your personality or just the one that stands out the most.
Standard vs Olympic Weights
The biggest difference between standard and Olympic weights is the size of the hole. Olympic bars are thicker than standard ones, so the hole in the center of the weights has to be different, too, in order for them to fit.
Most hex bars are designed to fit Olympic weights since those are the kind that is preferred; but, if you have standard weights, make sure you get the right kind of hex bar or they won’t fit.
Knurling is the grip that’s etched into the handles. Some knurling is finer than others. Sometimes, you might need to use chalk while other times, you’ll need gloves. You might not need anything at all if your hex bar has a knurling you like. Make sure you’re comfortable holding onto you hex bar so you don’t injure yourself.
While hex bars are much safer than standard bars, always be careful. If you feel that you’re still having some back pain or if you’re lifting an exceptionally large amount of weight, please check into getting a weight belt to help.
Now that we’ve looked at little more at hex bars and what you need to know to buy them, let’s get to know the six best hex bars of the year…
Best Trap Deadlift Bar Reviews
This best-selling hex bar is now available with Accu-coat specialty coating. It uses an industrial/military grade material that makes the bar rust proof, corrosion resistant, and extremely durable. No need to worry about your grip, the accu-coat has a solid gripping surface that’s easy to clean. It’s also available in a range of colors so that you can add even more personality to your lifting routine.
The Custom Olympic 2-inch Combo Hex Bar is made of solid steel and either zinc plated or covered in the Accu-coat color of your choice. They’re designed to accommodate 2-inch plates and can hold up to 750 pounds.
CAP is a trusted brand whose products are exceptionally durable They’re been in the business for a long time – thirty years, in fact – so they’re definitely earned their reputation and are continuing to innovate.
- Accu-coat for a rustproof, corrosion resistant finish
- Good gripping surface
- Multiple colors available
- A little unpolished and rough in appearance
The TDS Standard Shrug/Hip Bar is a little more expensive than some of the others that we looked at, but it’s one of the few hex bars available that is able to take standard 1-inch plates. This is a well made, durable bar that gives you plenty of standing room because of its wide, open diamond shape.
It’s knurled and chrome plated and this durable finish is not only great for grip but will also help keep the bar free from corrosion so it will last a long time. It has a 1000 pound capacity so you’ll be able to lift just about any amount with this bar.
One thing to think about before buying the TDS Standard Shrug/Hip Bar is what kind of weights you have. If you have older, standard sized weights, this might actually be one of your only hex bar options. Which is okay, because it’s a great product! That said, if you’re going to upgrade your weights or if you have an Olympic set, this hex bar might not be the best choice.
- Wide, open shape for plenty of space
- Knurled grips
- Made for standard weights
- Can not fit Olympic weights
A hex bar is going to do the job right even without any special features, but the Valor Fitness Super Hex Trap bar adds a few extra features that you might find help your lifting even more.
Because of the unique design of this bar, the weight is kept centered which helps prevent back and leg injuries. This bar allows you to add weight quickly and easily. It holds the weights up and off the floor when you put it down so you can just slide off and on the weights to adjust how much you’re lifting. That said, this hex bar is compatible with 2-inch plates only. There are also rubber stoppers on to bottom to protect your floor from scratches and other damage.
The handles here are unique. The rotate and allow you to choose between three sizes – just small, medium, and large. This hex bar is shaped like an octagon and gives you a lot of room so you don’t feel cramped and can enjoy your lifting more.
- Rubber stoppers to save your floor from scratches
- Rotating handles
Another option for someone who owns Olympic weights, the Power Systems Hex Bar is a well made, zinc plated bar that is great for any level athlete. It’s solidly made with a good, durable finish. The knurling grips are just about perfect, allowing you some grip without hurting the palms of your hands. You may not even need to use chalk if your hands are dry and you tend not to sweat. You may need to consider using gloves when lifting if the knurling hurts your hands.
This bar holds up really well and won’t severely rust or corrode, even if it’s primarily used outside. The welds are great and the finish is durable. Another good thing? The dual handlebars give you more options to figure out how you’re most comfortable using a hex bar to lift.
- Good knurling grips
- Very basic compared to other hex bars
If you’re looking for a hex bar that can hold a lot of weight and is a heavy duty piece of equipment, the CFF Monster Hex Squat & Deadlift Training Bar is a beast capable of holding up to 1500 pounds. Each sleeve has fourteen inches of load space. It’s steel construction and black powder coat finish makes it long lasting and durable, able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
It has three different sets of knurled handles and four bullrings if you’re looking for something you can attach a harness to. This is a really spacious hex bar with plenty of room so you won’t feel like your legs or knees are going to hit the bar.
This hex bar really is in a league of its own. If you’re really serious about weightlifting and haven’t been able to find something that can handle the sheer amount of weight you need, the CFF Monster Hex Squat & Deadlift Training Bar is one you have to check out.
It’s a little on the expensive side, but it does come with a lifetime warranty. This should be the only hex bar you’ll ever need to buy.
- Three different handles
- Four bullrings
- Can hold 1500 pounds
The Gorilla Strength Rackable Hex Bar is a little different than the others we reviewed because they are all handcrafted by a small family owned and operated business in Kentucky. The owners started by running a small gym, which they had to expand from a storefront in a mini-mall to a whole new facility. They make all of their own equipment. This hex bar was so popular, they’re sharing it with other gyms and anyone else who’s interested in owning one.
The frame is made of two-inch thick steel. There are no knurled areas so you might need to get some gloves if you prefer something with a little better grip. It has a sixteen-inch loading space so you can get quite a bit of weight on here. The Rackable Hex Bar is proudly made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Constructed out of thick 2-inch steel
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The CAP Custom Olympic 2-Inch Combo Hex Bar has a special accu-coat finish that protects the hex bar from the elements so that will last a really long time. You can also pick from a few colors so you can find one that is uniquely you.
If you need something that will work with standard plates, TDS Standard Shrug/Hip Bar is one of a few options and certainly the best. It’s chrome plated for durability and knurled for grip.
Valor Fitness Super Hex Trap Bar has a few unique features to it, like the way the weights sit on the bar so you can easily change them, the rubber stoppers to prevent damage and the rotating handles that provide you with several grip options.
For a solid, well-made option, Power Systems Hex Bar is another great choice for a bar that will last a long time. It’s durable thanks to its zinc plating. The knurl on this one might be a little uncomfortable if you have a more sensitive grip.
For a beast of a hex bar, there’s the CFF Monster Hex Squat & Deadlift Training Bar. It can hold up to 1500 pounds and has a black powder-coated steel construction that will last and last. This is a little expensive comparatively, but it comes with a lifetime warranty and positive reviews from its customers.
And finally, the. Gorilla Strength Rackable Hex Bar, made by a small family who just loves working out and sharing their passion with other people. The two-inch thick steel frame is a popular choice and also comes with a lifetime warranty.
If you’re a seasoned weightlifter or if you’re just getting started, a hex bar is a valuable tool. We brought you reviews of six of the best that are out there right now so you can do your research and decide which one is right for you.
Check out our review of deadlift shoes to get the most out your strength training!