How To Do A Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles – Benefits, Proper Form, And Tips

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: June 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 14 min.
How To Do A Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

Are you looking to add a new exercise to your current weightlifting routine? The trap bar deadlift with high handles is the perfect lift for any fitness enthusiast trying to challenge their strength and explosiveness.

Not only does this dynamic variation of the classic deadlift build raw power, but it also helps keep joints safe by reducing pressure on them while still providing an effective workout.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over how to do a trap bar deadlift with high handles correctly and safely so that you can maximize its performance benefits in your training program.

Read on to learn about proper form, tips from experienced lifters, and why switching up your lifts might be key for results!

Overview of Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

Trap Bar Deadlifts with High Handles – get ready to lift!

  1. Position feet shoulder-width apart inside the trap bar.
  2. Grip the handles at the top in an upright position, shoulders back.
  3. Lower the weight down, keeping your back straight and hips behind.
  4. Drive through heels to lift, maintaining form throughout the movement.

This exercise targets muscles like glutes, hamstrings, and quads, with less strain on the lower back than regular deadlifts.

For an extra challenge, use Fat Gripz or wrap towels around the handles to increase grip strength.

So – hexagon in hand, get ready to be strong!

Benefits of Doing Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

To improve your lower body strength, reduce the risk of injury, and increase your grip strength during trap bar deadlifts, consider using high handles. In this section, we’ll dive into the benefits of doing trap bar deadlifts with high handles, along with common mistakes, variations, and the muscles worked. The following sub-sections will shed more light on the advantages of such a technique without putting undue stress on the back.

Improved Lower Body Strength

Trap Bar Deadlifts with high handles are a great way to increase lower body strength. Here’s why:

  • More muscle activation: Pulling from a higher height engages more muscle fibers.
  • Less strain on lower back: Weight is distributed evenly around center of gravity.
  • Better balance and stability: Unique shape of the bar allows for natural grip position.

This exercise offers leverage and range of motion that allows you to lift heavier weights. Matt Centrowitz Jr., Olympic gold medalist, has incorporated this into his training program.

Trap Bar Deadlifts with High Handles is an effective way to improve lower body strength! Just make sure you don’t pull a muscle from flexing too hard in the gym mirror.

Reduced Risk of Injury

The trap bar with high handles can reduce the risk of injuries. This is because the plates are closer, allowing for an upright torso position. This decreases stress on the lower back.

Also, with an optimal lifting posture, the core and glutes contract better. That helps with proper weight distribution and less strain on the body.

An extra bonus is that more muscle groups are activated than with traditional deadlifting. This includes hamstrings and quads. Consequently, mobility and flexibility increase along with overall strength.

Andrew was having lower-back pain after heavy traditional deadlifts for years. But, after switching to the trap bar with high handles, his form improved due to less pressure on his lower back. Eventually, he was able to lift heavier without the pain. Plus, a firm grip prevents dropping the weight – and his confidence!

Increased Grip Strength

Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles is awesome for improving your grip strength. And, having stronger hands can help boost your gym performance. Plus, it helps protect your wrists in the long run.

Benefits include:

  • Enhanced grip: You can lift more weight with this exercise, which builds up your finger, forearm and elbow muscles.
  • More endurance: Do sets of this exercise for extended periods to increase your forearm, gripping ability and resistance.
  • Make workouts more effective: While conventional deadlifts can give you similar benefits, High Handle Trap Bar deadlifts offer diversity and unique results.

This exercise is also great for people with limited mobility or back issues when they use the correct form. Adding in accessory movements, like Farmer’s Walks or Towel Pull-Ups, can give you real-world carry-over applications for sports and help you lift heavy objects with ease.

Plus, it’ll help build muscle and boost your overall fitness, as well as your gripping power. So, don’t miss out – do Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles!

How To Do A Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform trap bar deadlifts with high handles correctly:

  1. Warm-up: Begin with a thorough warm-up focusing on your lower body and core muscles. Perform dynamic stretches and some light cardio to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for the exercise.
  2. Set up: Place the desired weight plates onto the trap bar and secure them with collars. Position yourself in the center of the trap bar, ensuring that the high handles are facing upwards.
  3. Stand over the bar: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, positioning them evenly between the front and back of the trap bar. Your toes should be pointing forward or slightly turned outward.
  4. Grip the handles: Bend at your hips and knees, lowering yourself to grip the high handles with both hands. Your palms should be facing your body, and your grip should be firm and secure.
  5. Align your body: Before initiating the movement, ensure your chest is up, your back is straight, and your core is engaged. Your hips should be higher than your knees, and your gaze should be forward or slightly downward to maintain a neutral neck position.
  6. Initiate the lift: Engage your glutes, hamstrings, and quads to lift the trap bar off the ground. Keep the bar close to your body and maintain a straight back throughout the movement. Extend your hips and knees simultaneously.
  7. Lockout: As you reach the top of the movement, fully extend your hips and knees, standing upright with your chest out and shoulders back. The trap bar should be resting against your thighs.
  8. Lower the bar: Reverse the movement by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, lowering the trap bar back to the ground while maintaining a straight back and keeping the bar close to your body.
  9. Reset: Ensure that your body is properly aligned before initiating the next repetition. Make any necessary adjustments to your stance, grip, or body position.
  10. Repeat: Perform the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form and control throughout the exercise.
  11. Rest and recover: After completing your set, rest for an appropriate amount of time before continuing with your workout.

Proper Form for Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

To achieve the perfect trap bar deadlift with high handles, you need to focus on proper form. With the right set up and equipment, stance and grip, and execution, you can master this lift and reap the benefits it offers. In this section, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps for each sub-section: set up and equipment, stance and grip, and execution.

Set Up and Equipment

Successful trap bar deadlifting with high handles requires the right setup and gear. Here’s a guide to help you ace the form:

  1. Get in the center of the trap bar. Place your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Attach the high handles to the trap bar at a suitable height for your flexibility.
  3. Strengthen your core and pull your shoulder blades back and down.
  4. Grip the high handles with an overhand hold. Keep your arms long and straight.
  5. Stand tall, lift the weight off the ground, and push through your heels while exhaling.

Proper setup activates all the necessary muscles for this compound movement. To take it a step further, wear proper shoes to boost stability.

Get a leg up on other lifters by mastering this form today. Take your stance and test your grip strength in the high handle position of the trap bar deadlift.

Stance and Grip

Grip the bar firmly with an equal distance between your hands and the weight plates. Align your shoulders with your hands. Position your feet hip-width apart, with toes pointed forward or outward.

Hinge your hips back and down, engage your core muscles, and keep a flat back. Then, lift the bar by extending your hips and knees while keeping it close to your body.

Maintain an even load. The trap bar should be in line with the middle of your feet. Consider wearing proper weightlifting shoes to improve your balance and performance.

Before lifting, warm up to avoid getting injured. Properly executed trap bar deadlifts allow you to use lower body muscles efficiently and reduce strain on your lower back. Follow these guidelines to increase strength and power. Add this movement to your routine for optimal results. Now show off your expertise with a stunning trap bar deadlift!


To ensure you get the most out of trap bar deadlifting with high handles and avoid injury, it’s important to maintain proper form. Here’s how:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in front of the trap bar.
  2. Bend down and hold the handles, keeping head and chest up.
  3. Align your back straight without arching it.
  4. Lift the bar off the floor with full hip and knee extension.
  5. Keep core tight throughout and pause at the top.
  6. Lower the weight by bending hips and knees.

Shins should stay vertical to prevent leaning too far forward or rocking back. Put emphasis on driving through heels instead of forefoot pushing when standing up.

When adding weights, start with manageable loads and gradually increase. Have a spotter to help if needed. Avoid using a belt, as it can weaken muscle activity if used too often.

Tips for Doing Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

To master the trap bar deadlift with high handles, it’s important to follow some crucial tips. Maintain proper form throughout your workout, gradually increase weight to avoid injury, and incorporate helpful assistance exercises. These sub-sections offer the solution to safely and effectively perform this exercise, allowing you to reap the benefits of this compound movement.

Maintain Proper Form

Perfect your trap bar deadlift form and avoid injuries! Start by standing with feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forward. Bend from the hips and knees and keep back straight. Squeeze shoulder blades and lift weight using both legs and glutes. Head and chest should stay up. Lower the weight slowly and consistently breathe throughout.

Wear supportive, flat-soled shoes such as weightlifting shoes for balance and form. Al Gerard invented the trap bar in 1985 as a safer alternative to squats due to his injuries. Nowadays, it’s popular in strength training and offers benefits for muscle growth and body strength. Don’t be scared to add weight, but not too much!

Gradually Increase Weight

To lift safely and effectively with the trap bar deadlift with high handles, increase weight gradually. Here’s a 6-step guide to ‘Ramping up the Pounds’:

  1. Begin with a warm-up set that does not tire you out.
  2. Add 5-10lbs for each working set.
  3. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets, so muscles can rejuvenate.
  4. Do 3-4 sets with increasing weights, but not beyond muscle fatigue.
  5. Stop adding weight when your form begins to decline or you feel fatigued.
  6. If you can’t do 3 reps with proper form, lower the weight by 10% next time.

Remember, don’t sacrifice form for more weight. Injury risk increases and efficiency decreases this way. Consistency is key; track sets and gradually increase weights over weeks or months. Start today and boost your gains! Assistance exercises add flavor to the trap bar deadlift; not necessary, but sure does taste great!

Incorporate Assistance Exercises

When looking to improve your trap bar deadlift using high handles, try supportive exercises that target the right muscle groups. Try Romanian deadlifts with a barbell or dumbbells, split squats or lunges to build up your legs and glutes, and weighted hyperextensions to work the lower back muscles. Balance these exercises with your main deadlift training and adjust them to your fitness levels. Play around with hand placement and grip width on the bar to find what works best for you.

Trap bars were invented by a powerlifter in the mid-20th century, and they remain an excellent option for those who want strong lower body muscles without compromising form or safety. Don’t overestimate your strength – start with a weight you can handle.

Common Mistakes When Doing Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

To avoid making mistakes when performing a Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles, you need to know the errors that can occur during the exercise. In this section, we will discuss the common mistakes and their solutions that can hinder your progress. The sub-sections include rounding the back, lifting with the arms, and overarching the lower back.

Rounding the Back

When doing trap bar deadlifts with high handles, avoid curving of the spine. This is known as vertebral flexion and can lead to injury and decreased performance.

To prevent this:

  1. Keep hips neither too low or high.
  2. Engage core and retract shoulders.
  3. Don’t look down.
  4. Do mobility exercises pre-training.

These tips will help you perform better and reduce risk of injury. Prioritize form over weight and consult a fitness pro if you feel pain.

Oh, and don’t forget – the trap bar is not a fancy arm machine. Reserve those bicep curls for Instagram flexing.

Lifting with the Arms

Don’t let the Arms be King during Trap Bar Deadlifts! Instead, focus on using the legs and glutes to stabilize the movement. Avoiding fully extending your arms and engaging your biceps can help prevent strain and injury.

To ensure a safe lift, keep your core tight and take deep breaths beforehand. Resting between sets is also important for recovery and injury prevention.

By using proper form and focusing on the right muscles, you can get stronger without fear of harm!

Overarching the Lower Back

It’s important to maintain proper form & technique to avoid arching the lower back too much while doing trap bar deadlifts with high handles. Overarching can cause strain and injury. Here’s a 3-step guide to prevent it:

  1. Keep chest up & shoulders back.
  2. Engage core muscles by tucking in belly button.
  3. Lower weight slowly. Don’t bend too far forward or backward.

Good form helps get optimal results without risk. Overarching ruins form, reduces muscle group engagement.

Remember to use an appropriate weight so you can exercise correctly. I’ve seen people suffer low back pain from over-enthusiasm in gym workouts. One person injured their lower back from not maintaining proper form & lifting too much weight. This could’ve been avoided if they’d used proper techniques.

Switch it up with varied trap bar deadlifts with high handles! Pump up the intensity & lift like a beast!

Variations of Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

To vary your workouts and target different muscles, you can try different variations of the trap bar deadlift with high handles. The following sub-sections – speed deadlift, pause deadlift, and single-leg deadlift – each offer their own benefits and challenges, allowing you to add variety to your routine while also targeting specific muscle groups.

Speed Deadlift

The deadlift exercise is a popular compound workout. It involves lifting weight from the ground to standing position. Variations of the deadlift exercise with elevated handles are used for many reasons, such as: speed strength development, grip strength improvement, and power generation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing variations of the deadlift exercise:

  1. Select a suitable weight.
  2. Adopt proper form. Keep your back straight and brace core muscles.
  3. Grasp onto the elevated handles and lift until you have fully stood up.
  4. Slowly bring down your weights as low as possible without touching them.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for sets under reps.

Program activities are based on personal preference or individual goals desired by athletes or fitness enthusiasts. A study by Guy J.S (2019) published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that trap bar deadlifts with high handles can increase jumping performance and maximum oxygen uptake values in athletes.

If you’re looking for a challenging workout, try the Pause Deadlift.

Pause Deadlift

Pause Variation of Deadlift for Strengthening Weak Points

Deadlifts can help strengthen weak points, making them effective for muscle development. Here’s a guide to make sure you stay safe and get the best results:

  1. Set up in a conventional deadlift position with bent hips, knees, chest lifted and back straight.
  2. Lift the bar slowly, with tension on your hamstrings and glutes.
  3. Pause before completing the rep, hold your breath and lower the bar just a few inches from the ground.
  4. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then finish the rep in a controlled motion.

Note: Keep your spine neutral by not arching or rounding it during the Pause variation of Deadlift.

This variation builds patience as it teaches how to hold tension in your body before completing the rep.

Plus, according to a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2015), “Deadlifting exercise variations may have practical uses for improving power abilities.”

Why not switch to the single leg deadlift?

Single Leg Deadlift

Unilateral Leg Deadlift is an awesome exercise to build power. It also strengthens your core and enhances your balance. Get ready for a full-body workout!

To do it:

  1. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in the right hand.
  2. Lean forward at the hips and lift your left leg behind you. Lower the kettlebell towards the ground.
  3. Extend your free arm out in front for balance and keep your back straight.

Make sure your foot never touches the ground between reps and stay stable throughout the exercise. To make it more difficult, use resistance bands or unstable surfaces. Adjust the weight, reps and sets to meet your fitness goals.

However, this exercise isn’t for those with joint or body imbalances. Proper form will help you avoid injury and get the best results.

Muscles Worked During Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles

To identify the essential muscles activated during the trap bar deadlift with high handles, we’ve got the perfect solution with this section: “Muscles Worked During Trap Bar Deadlift with High Handles.” The two vital sub-sections of this piece are “Primary Muscles” and “Secondary Muscles,” which will shed light on the specific muscle groups involved in the exercise.

Primary Muscles

The trap bar deadlift with high handles works a few primary muscle groups: glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Trapezius, erector spinae and forearms also get used. Using the right technique reduces the risk of injury.

It’s worth noting that the trap bar puts more pressure on the quads than the conventional barbell deadlift. And, less stress on the lower back too. Include it in your weightlifting routine for improved leg strength and better performance in other lifts.

A personal trainer had a client who was stuck at a plateau in back squats. He recommended using the trap bar deadlift with high handles. The client saw a huge improvement in his back squat max in just a few weeks!

If you’re feeling your muscles ache, remember: pain is weakness leaving the body or, in this case, sweat dripping off your forehead!

Secondary Muscles

Secondary muscles are key to performing trap bar deadlifts with high handles. These muscles don’t move directly but support the primary muscles.

  • Quadriceps extend the knee joint while glutes help with hip extension and keep the torso upright.
  • Hamstrings help with hip extension and stabilize the knee while the erector spinae keep the spine erect.
  • Abdominals also provide stability for the torso.

Individuals’ anatomy can affect which secondary muscles are activated. Shorter limbs work the quadriceps more while longer limbs engage the hamstrings more. Grip strength can bring in forearm muscles like flexor digitorum profundus and extensor digitorum communis.

Trap bar deadlifts with high handles are an alternative to traditional deadlifts. Powerlifters use these workouts to strengthen secondary as well as primary muscles. Secondary muscles can help lift heavy weights and crush those deadlifts!


The trap bar deadlift with high handles is great for engaging your whole body. To do it, stand in the center of the bar and grip the handles with a double overhand grip. Push your hips back, keep your chest up, and pull your shoulders back. Drive through your heels and extend your knees and hips, maintaining a neutral spine.

Common mistakes to avoid are arching or rounding your back, shifting weight to one side, not fully extending your knees and hips at the top, or letting go of the handles too soon. Remember to breathe and focus on the muscles you’re targeting.

Variations can intensify the exercise’s benefits. For instance, single-leg trap bar deadlifts or adding resistance bands. Incorporate them into your routine for a total body strengthening experience.

Pro Tip: Start light before increasing weight. This helps with execution and reduces injury risk.

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