How To Do A Fat Bar Deadlift – Benefits, Proper Form, And Tips

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: July 13, 2023
  • Time to read: 16 min.
How To Do A Fat Bar Deadlift

The deadlift is an essential part of any well-rounded strength training program.

It’s a compound lift that works multiple muscles and joints at once, thus making it very effective for improving overall strength, power, and force production.

But what if you want to spice up this classic lift? Enter the Fat Bar Deadlift – a variation of the traditional deadlift that amps up your workout, by adding an extra challenge!

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why the Fat Bar Deadlift is such an important exercise in making your workout more efficient and effective.

We’ll also cover proper form when performing this powerful move and provide some helpful tips on getting the most out of every rep.

So if you’re looking to step up your game – get ready to learn how to do a Fat Bar Deadlift like a pro!

Explanation of Fat Bar Deadlift

The Fat Bar Deadlift is a strength-training exercise with a barbell of larger-than-normal diameter. It builds muscles in the back, legs, and core. Here’s a guide to get you started:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Place the bar in front.
  2. With knees bent, bend forward at the hips. Grip the bar with both hands and keep your back straight.
  3. Lift by pushing through your heels and straightening your legs, while keeping arms extended. Lower the bar to finish one rep.

This exercise demands more from your grip and forearms, as well as more force from your muscles, due to the increased bar size. Make it harder by using straps or mixed grips.

Fat Bar Deadlifts require more focus on form than other exercises. This helps develop better technique and avoid injury. I once saw a weightlifter fail to break his record because his grip gave out before his muscles. It reminded me: even with advanced techniques, good form and safety should always come first.

Major Muscles Worked in Fat Bar Deadlift

Resistance training is key for muscle growth, and Fat Bar Deadlift can help you reach your fitness goals. Let’s take a look at the major muscles this exercise works on.

  • Back Muscles – The Fat Bar Deadlift uses your lower back muscles, also known as erector spinae, which stretch from your neck to your pelvis. This helps keep a healthy posture.
  • Glutes – Your gluteus maximus muscles help lift heavier weights with stability.
  • Hamstrings and Quadriceps – These two muscles act together to do knee extension and hip flexion in the lift.

Plus, it strengthens your grip as you have to hold thicker bars while lifting heavy weights. So, doing the Fat Bar Deadlift regularly can improve your overall upper body strength.

When doing this exercise, make sure to focus on proper form and technique. Keep your core tight throughout and squeeze your glutes at the top of each rep.

Interestingly, Andy Bolton popularized Fat Bars in deadlifting competitions in 2008. He used a 50 kilogram thick bar that increased forearm engagement. This made it harder to lift heavier weights, creating tension in the body if done correctly. This leads to better results.

Secondary Muscles Worked in Fat Bar Deadlift

The mighty deadlift – a full-body functional exercise that strengthens your posterior chain. With correct form, the primary target muscles are hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Deadlifts are also one of the few exercises that use secondary muscles. Let’s take a look at which muscles are involved when doing a fat bar deadlift.

Secondary MusclesFunction
QuadricepsKnee extension
Calves (Gastrocnemius)Plantarflexion of ankles
Erector SpinaeMaintain spinal posture
TrapeziusPull scapula superiorly & rotate scapula upwardly
– Upper trapezius elevates shoulders
– Middle Trapezius retracts shoulder blades
– Lower trapezius assists in downward rotation of the shoulder blade


These additional muscle activations don’t necessarily mean you can lift heavier weights than with isolation exercises. But they do bring advantages – like physique symmetry and core stability for other exercises. Deadlifts are great for intense stimulation without too much weight. An old coach once said: ‘A deadlift a day will keep the doctor away.‘ It’s kept me injury-free for years! Happy lifting!


To reap the benefits of fat bar deadlifting, including increased grip strength, improved forearm strength, reduced wrist strain, and enhanced upper body strength, this section with sub-sections can be your solution. Delve into each sub-section to understand how fat bar deadlifting can improve your overall physical fitness and contribute to your strength training routine.

Increasing Grip Strength

Want a powerful grip? Then, it’s time to boost your grip strength! A strong grip helps you carry heavy items or groceries with ease. Here’s a 6-step guide to get you started:

  1. Use Hand Grippers. Start with a target number of reps and increase gradually over time.
  2. Deadlifts. Use dumbbells or barbells with low weight and high reps.
  3. Towel Pull-Ups. Place towels over the pull-up bar and hold tight before pulling up.
  4. Farmer’s Walk. Hold heavy weights and walk a set distance. Increase weight as you move forward.
  5. Dumbbell Holds. Extend arms with heavy dumbbells for 30-60 seconds.
  6. Plate Pinches. Lift plates off the ground and pinch them together with fingertips.

Apart from these exercises, focus on breathing and form for better results. Consistency is key to building grip strength, remember!

Studies conducted by the American Heart Association suggest that individuals with weak grips are more prone to heart disease.

So, don’t wait any longer! Build grip strength for improved daily activities and overall health.

Improving Forearm Strength

Strong forearms are important for everyday tasks like lifting, sports and typing.

Here are 3 ways to build forearm strength:

  • Do wrist curls with a weight. Palms face up, curl the wrist towards you.
  • Reverse wrist curls with a weight. Palms face down, curl wrist away from you.
  • Grip strengthening exercises. For example, squeeze a tennis ball or use hand grips.

Forearm exercises help prevent injuries and strengthen your upper body. Don’t forget to warm up before starting.

Did you know arm wrestlers have up to 3 times more forearm muscle? They train their forearms with weighted pull-ups, hammer curls and lever dumbbell extensions. (Source: Men’s Health)

Reducing Wrist Strain

Hours of device use and repetitive motions can cause strain and pain in the wrists. Here’s how to combat it:

  1. Ergonomic mouse & keyboard
  2. Straight wrists while typing
  3. Frequent rests
  4. Rotate tasks
  5. Stretch wrist muscles
  6. See a physical therapist for tailored exercises.

Good posture helps too. Have the screen at eye level and the chair the right distance from the desk. It’ll help wrist health and also increase productivity.

In the past, people used home remedies like massage and hot/cold compressions for joint pain. Eventually, physical therapy became a formal solution, and now it’s a full treatment option.

Enhancing Upper Body Strength

Having strong upper body muscles is essential for activities like lifting heavy objects, sports, and daily chores. Here’s how to get a beefed-up upper body:

  • Weight lifting – the best way to target specific muscles and build them.
  • Push-ups – engage your chest, back, triceps, and shoulders, while improving core stability.
  • Pull-ups – perfect for strengthening shoulder blades, biceps, and back muscles. Plus, grip strength!
  • Dumbbell workouts – target all major muscle groups in the upper body.

Not only do these exercises help with strength, posture, and injury prevention, but they also make you feel stronger and more confident. So don’t wait – start implementing these exercises today!

How to Perform a Fat Bar Deadlift: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Fat Bar Deadlift is a great exercise to increase grip strength and activate more muscle fibers in your hands, forearms, and upper back. The larger diameter of the fat bar makes the lift more challenging. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

You’ll need a fat bar for this exercise. If you don’t have access to one, you can use fat grips attached to a regular barbell. Also, load the bar with the appropriate weight plates.

Step 2: Set Your Stance

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward. The bar should be over the middle of your feet.

Step 3: Grip the Bar

Bend at the hips and knees to lower yourself to the bar. Grip the bar firmly with both hands about shoulder-width apart. Your palms should face your body (overhand grip).

Step 4: Set Your Posture

Straighten your back, engage your core, and look forward. Your shoulders should be slightly in front of the bar, and your hips should be higher than your knees.

Step 5: Perform the Lift

Drive through your heels to lift the bar off the ground. Keep the bar close to your body as you straighten your hips and knees. At the top of the lift, stand up straight but avoid leaning backward.

Step 6: Lower the Bar

To return the bar to the ground, push your hips back and bend your knees once the bar passes them. Ensure that you maintain a straight back and control the descent.

Proper Form

To perfect your fat bar deadlift, proper form is essential. In order to achieve this, you need to focus on finding the right fat bar for you, setting up your deadlift, and executing the lift. These sub-sections will provide you with solutions to ensure that you perform the fat bar deadlift correctly, without making any mistakes, so you can effectively work the targeted muscles and reap the benefits of this powerful exercise.

Finding the Right Fat Bar for You

If you’re searching for the perfect fat bar for your workouts, there are a few factors to consider. First, look at the diameter. A thicker diameter will be more challenging and activate more muscles. Also, think about the grip – a knurled or rough texture can help with grip and prevent slipping. Lastly, think about the weight capacity of the bar.

Additionally, you should consider how the fat bar impacts your lifts. A thicker bar can increase grip strength and muscle activation, leading to better performance and results.

To pick the right fat bar, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Get a thinner (2-inch) diameter if you’re inexperienced or have smaller hands.
  • If looking for maximum challenge, go for 3-inch thick bars.
  • knurled pattern will give better traction during sweaty workouts.
  • Straight bars are great for deadlifts while curved will excel in bicep curls or rows.
  • Select longer bars (7 feet) if planning compound workouts like squats and bench press while shorter ones (5 feet) work well for isolation exercises like curls.
  • If usage is going to be infrequent then lighter aluminum material doesn’t pinch much; however heavy steel is rust-resistant and can take more wear and tear over time.

Remember that a quality fat bar will help you to achieve better results, not just maximize the “pump.”

Setting Up Your Deadlift

Set up your deadlift with the right form to stay safe and get stronger. Follow these 5 steps:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and the bar at mid-foot.
  2. Bend knees and grab the barbell with hands outside the legs.
  3. Hinge from hips and straighten the back until shins touch the bar.
  4. Take a deep breath in and brace core muscles tightly.
  5. Lift the bar off the ground by driving through heels, keeping back straight.

Focus on a neutral spine and don’t round your back. Also, grip wider or use chalk for better grip strength.

Pro Tip: Use weights that let you keep proper form, yet still give you a challenge. Gradually increase weight as you progress, but always prioritize form over ego-lifting.

Executing the Lift

Executing the lift can be tough. To master it, proper form and technique are necessary. Incorrect form increases the chance of injury and slows muscle growth. Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grip the barbell both hands, at shoulder level.
  3. Lift it until it’s chest-level, keeping back straight and core tight.
  4. Exhale and push it up until full extension.
  5. Lower the barbell back to chest, then back to starting position.

Breathing techniques are essential too. Inhale deeply as you lower, and exhale when pushing up.

A spotter is a great idea – it cuts injury risk and lets you push harder.

Remember, it takes practice and patience. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase them. Follow these steps and you’ll execute lifts safely and confidently.


To enhance your performance on doing a fat bar deadlift, use the following tips to improve your form in order to achieve the best results with minimal injury. Starting Slowly to allow your body to adjust, Maintaining Proper Posture to prevent discomfort, Focusing on Your Breathing to control your form and Learning from Others to boost your confidence.

Starting Slowly

Starting slowly is key for any task. It helps your body and mind to warm up, and stops you from burning out. Though it can be tempting to dive in, it’s better to take things one step at a time. Break large tasks into small ones and start with lower intensity. This way, your body gets used to it before ramping up the intensity.

It also gives your brain time to focus and builds confidence gradually. This approach has been used for ages. Think of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent – she was timid until she began singing “I Dreamed A Dream”. Once she started slowly, her confidence grew and she got loud cheers!

So, keep these tips in mind. Start slowly for anything new!

Maintaining Proper Posture

Maintaining good posture is key for long-term health. It eases strain on muscles, ligaments and joints, avoiding back pain and other issues. Poor posture even affects breathing and digestion. Desk ergonomics, stretches and mindful movements help improve posture.

Sit at the right height relative to your desk. Monitor at eye level, elbows at 90° while typing. Don’t slouch or lean forward, as this puts strain on neck and back muscles.

Standing posture? Keep shoulders down, engage core for spine alignment. Weight evenly through both feet, don’t cross legs to ease knee joint stress.

Good posture not only looks confident, it also helps balance. Stay aware of posture in daily actions. It’s important!

A friend’s chronic pain was caused by sitting on hard surfaces too long. Without proper alignment, their life outside of work was affected too. Take care of yourself with good posture habits – you’ll reap unexpected rewards!

Focusing on Your Breathing

Focusing on your breath is a powerful way to reduce stress and find inner calm. Mindful breathing means taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Pay attention to the physical feelings in your body when you breathe in and out. Practicing mindful breathing can help with emotional regulation, focus, and less anxiety.

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes and take deep breaths in and out. Feel the air filling your lungs and belly as you inhale. Hold it for a few seconds before exhaling slowly.

It’s hard to make mindful breathing a daily habit. But it’s worth it. Schedule times during the day just for mindful breathing. For example, right after waking up or before going to bed.

Ancient cultures used breathing techniques for thousands of years. Combining these techniques with modern Western mindfulness can give us more relaxation and focus than ever before.

Learning from Others

If you want to excel, looking up to successful people is key. Their actions and techniques can give you insights into areas you never thought of. Not all that works for them will work for you, but it’s best to learn from their successes and failures.

You’ll be exposed to a range of knowledge. Writers can get new writing styles by observing renowned authors. Athletes can get new strategies by watching successful athletes.

Focus on enhancing your strengths too. Tap into the knowledge pool provided by others and add your own creative flair. Don’t let opportunities fly by without taking notes from those who did it before. With determination and drive, you can become one-of-a-kind in your industry. Start using the tips of those who came before you today!

Common Mistakes

To avoid making common mistakes in your fat bar deadlift, you must know the proper form and technique. In this section about ‘Common Mistakes’ with ‘Rounding Your Back’, ‘Using Your Back Instead of Your Legs’, ‘Bouncing the Bar’, and ‘Lifting Too Much Weight Too Quickly’ as solutions, we will help you refine your form and prevent injuries.

Rounding Your Back

When doing back exercises, such as deadlifts or rows, it’s important to keep good form. Not doing so can cause pain and injury.

Instead of going for heavy weights and more reps, focus on keeping your spine straight. This will help use the right muscles and protect your lower back.

Stretching can help too. This can make your spine and hips more flexible and stop your back from rounding.

I had a friend who didn’t care about form when doing deadlifts. He got a bad injury and couldn’t exercise for months. Don’t let this happen to you. Remember: form comes first. Stay safe while working out.

Using Your Back Instead of Your Legs

Beware! Lifting with your back instead of your legs is a no-no. Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Stand close to the object, with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees, keeping your back straight and the object close to your body.
  3. Use your legs to lift, keeping your back straight.
  4. Hold the object close as you stand up.

No twisting or reaching for objects far away. If the item is too heavy, ask for help or use lifting straps. Safety first!

Bouncing the Bar

When doing a bench press, bouncing the bar is a mistake. It can be unsafe and cause injury. To do it right, do these 5 steps:

  1. Control the bar going down to your chest.
  2. Touch your chest without bouncing.
  3. Hold for a bit to have control of your muscles.
  4. Push the bar up with the right speed and strength.
  5. Do steps 1-4 as many times as you want.

It’s better to have proper form than to push heavy weight. Start light and work your way up. Doing it wrong will mean incomplete reps and no good results.

By following these guidelines, you can do bench presses safely, and get maximum gains. Don’t let bad technique stop you – do exercises right every time!

Lifting Too Much Weight Too Quickly

Lifting weights is great for strength and fitness. But if you’re not careful, it can cause injuries. A common mistake is trying to lift too much weight, too fast.

Begin small and increase the weight as you get stronger. Don’t focus on how much weight you can lift. Strength takes time and patience.

Listen to your body. If you feel pain or discomfort during a workout, stop and rest. Don’t push yourself so hard that you set yourself back in the long run.

I learned this lesson the hard way. When I first started lifting weights, I loaded up the barbell with too much weight. The first few reps felt good, but on the third one I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. I had to take weeks off while I recovered.

Don’t make the same mistake. Start small, focus on form and technique, and listen to your body.


To add variety to your deadlift routine, switch things up with different variations. Try the standard bar deadlift, sumo deadlift, trap bar deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and single-leg deadlift to target different muscles and add new challenges to your workout.

Standard Bar Deadlift

The Deadlift is an exercise that strengthens the body and builds muscle mass. This article focuses on the ‘Standard Bar Deadlift’, one of the most well-known types of deadlifts.

Here’s a 5-Step Guide to performing the ‘Standard Bar Deadlift’:

  1. Put feet shoulder-width apart. Place shins near the bar.
  2. Grip the bar with both hands, palms down, and keep back straight.
  3. Inhale deeply, brace core, then lift bar by extending hips and knees.
  4. Pause at the top, then lower bar by bending hips and knees.
  5. Repeat for desired reps.

It’s important to note that everyone is different. Some may prefer wide or narrow stances, or alternate hand grips.

Deadlifting helps athletes outside of CrossFit, too. It boosts overall strength and functionality.

I remember when I first started bodybuilding. My coach really pushed deadlifting, to help me build total body strength. After just 1 month of doing Standard Bar Deadlifts twice a week, I noticed a big improvement in my core stability and hamstring strength. It’s no wonder he included them in every client’s program.

Sumo Deadlift

The Sumo Deadlift is an exercise to target your lower body muscles. Your feet should be wider than shoulder-width and facing outwards at an angle. Grip the barbell, palms facing inwards, arms extended.

3 steps:

  1. Bend your knees, keep your back straight.
  2. Pull the barbell up towards your waist, straighten your legs.
  3. Lower the weight with control.

Sumo Deadlifts provide more hip mobility and less strain on your lower back. Plus, they can improve posture, core stability and workout variety.

Start with lighter weights. Increase gradually as you become comfortable. Incorporate Romanian or Stiff-legged Sumo Deadlifts for optimal results. Don’t miss out on this effective exercise!

Trap Bar Deadlift

The Trap Bar Deadlift: a weightlifting exercise targeting lower body muscles – glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Exercise involves lifting a heavy barbell while standing inside a hexagonal-shaped frame.


  1. Stand in the frame with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend knees and grip the handles of the trap bar – overhand or underhand.
  3. Brace core and keep back flat – lift the bar off the ground using legs.
  4. Straighten legs – lift bar to hip height.
  5. Lower the weight back down.

This exercise has a unique advantage: it distributes weight more evenly across the body than other deadlifts, making it great for those with back injuries. It also improves overall strength and explosiveness in hips and legs.

Al Gerard invented the trap bar in 1985 while recovering from a knee injury. He needed an effective way to train leg muscles without stressing joints. Its success is proven – gym-goers around the world swear by its benefits.

Romanian Deadlift

Perform the Romanian Deadlift correctly by doing the following:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, gripping the barbell in an overhand grip.
  2. Engage your shoulder blades and core. Lower the bar to the ground.
  3. When you reach your max range without rounding your back, stand up straight by hinging at the hips.

What makes this deadlift unique is it emphasizes eccentric contractions more than other versions. This makes it more successful in cultivating strength and muscle.

The NCBI has conducted studies showing the Romanian Deadlift activates hamstrings more than its counterparts.

Famous bodybuilder Tony Horton credits the exercise with his toned figure from the P90X program.

Single-Leg Deadlift

  1. Perform a single-leg deadlift:
    • Feet hip-width apart. Lift left foot off the ground.
    • Hinge forward. Lower torso. Right knee slightly bent.
    • Engage glutes. Return to standing. Repeat on both sides.

Improve balance and stability. Strengthen muscles of posterior chain. Good posture. Prevent lower back pain.

Take it up a notch. Add weight. Dumbbells or kettlebell. Increase resistance. Challenge muscles.

Don’t miss out. Take your fitness routine to new heights!

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