Squats are a popular workout that guarantees several benefits if you do it properly. However, many people are opting for alternative exercises due to the complex nature of the exercise, physical requirements, and the high risk of injury, especially without a squatter. One such exercise is the trap bar deadlift, and this article will answer the question can trap bar deadlifts replace squats?
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What is the trap bar deadlift?
The trap bar deadlift is a complete body workout that helps to develop lower body muscle and strength. It is very similar to the conventional deadlift except for the different equipment. A deadlift uses a regular barbell, while a trap bar deadlift uses a trap bar.
Trap bars are hexagonal barbells you step in and pull from the inside. Similar to barbells, you can also load trap bars with weights depending on your weight capacity. Trap bars are gaining widespread acceptance primarily due to their essential benefits. Unlike regular bars, trap bars are designed such that your body does not get in the way when you use them, resulting in more comfortable squats and deadlifts.
Trap bar deadlifts or squats?
Pros and cons of the trap bar deadlift
Deadlifts are inherently a very safe exercise. In the course of a failed rep, it is easier to dislodge the bar without injuring yourself. Because you carry the weights with your hand off the ground, you can simply drop them when you feel you can not go on. However, you have to be careful about how you drop it to avoid damaging the floor, especially if your deadlift heavy weights.
💡 Quick Tip: If you are just starting your weightlifting career and are prone to dropping the weights a little too much, we recommend the Rogue crash mat to help you protect your floors from the impacts of the weights.
Rogue crash mat
Trap bars are also very easy on your back as you stand inside them to do your lifts, pulling them with both hands. Because you stand inside the hexagonal structure, the weight is distributed around your body rather than on your back, reducing the chances of a back injury. Nevertheless, you can incorporate the Powerlifting lever belt into your workout outfit to keep your stomach and back more solid and robust when deadlifting.
In addition to the above, the trap bar deadlift also promises more gains per workout, primarily due to the higher grip you can have on the bar. This grip translates to more comfortable and optimized lifts across the board. As a result, you can expect highly developed quadriceps, glutes, calves, and many more.
The primary challenge you may face with a trap bar deadlift is needing or getting a trap bar. The challenge with owning a trap bar is not limited to how expensive it is because the bar itself is not quite as versatile as the regular bar. The standard barbell can be used for bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and many more. However, you may find your choices limited with only a trap bar.
Likewise, the benefit of an excellent grip with the trap bar may also be your undoing if you are incapable of a firm grip. This may prevent you from getting optimal gains as your hands keep failing long before your legs fail.
Pros and cons of squats
One of the pros of squatting is that you need not worry about grip as the weight rests on your back and shoulders. As a result, you are more guaranteed optimal gains from squats with or without an excellent grip. This leads to highly developed quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, as you can do heavier workouts without worrying about your grip.
Likewise, the squat barbell is relatively cheaper and more versatile. With it, you can perform overhead presses, bench presses, deadlifts, squats, military curls, and many more. As a result, it helps reduce the equipment you need to outfit your home gym. For your home gym, you can try out comfortable barbells like the Titan series cerakote Olympic barbell.
💡 Quick Tip: If you are a weightlifting beginner, it is advisable to use machines rather than free weights because it helps you with several aspects of the lift, including balance and proper form. Try the Leverage squat machine to help you develop your legs without worrying about your balance and posture.
Leverage squat machine
While squats may be a powerlifting workout, it puts a lot of stress on your back, mainly if you do not perform them correctly. Because the weight rests on your shoulders, it stresses your back and can result in back aches and injuries.
Additionally, while barbells are cheaper and more versatile, you need a squat rack to use them. Because the bar is on your back, you cannot as easily drop the bar when you finish with your set. This necessitates using a squat rack to act as a spotter and make your lifts safer.
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Less upper body engagement is another con of squats, as your legs do most of the work. Despite that squats recruit the core to keep stable, your legs do most of the carrying.
Can trap bar deadlifts replace squats?
Going from the pros and cons of both squats and trap bar deadlifts, it becomes evident that both exercises more or less produce the same results. As such, whether you want to replace squats with deadlifts depends on several circumstances.
For example, if you prefer to develop your upper body while developing your legs, the trap bar deadlift may be better for you. Likewise, if the trap bar is a tad too costly for you, you are better off with squats. In addition, if you have an excellent grip, you may prefer the trap bar deadlift, as stronger grip results in more substantial gains.
Regardless of the exercise and gym equipment you opt for, it is essential that you use it safely to avoid any unsafe circumstances and injuries.