Commonly termed hex plates, hexagon weight plates are quite annoying to work with for most lifters. They make deadlifting harder than it already is and add nothing but worry to the workout. If your gym doesn't have hex plates, you’re lucky to not have experienced working out with them. However, if you have recently just come across hex plates or you don't know at all why the world is so against them, read on to find out why you shouldn't deadlift with hex plates.
What are Hexagon Weight Plates?
Hexagon weight plates, as their name suggests are plates with a hexagon shape (well, not literally) but they do have flat sides. This is the opposite of the round plates which have no flat sides.
Deadlifting with hexagon weight plates is a problem and a nuisance for most people. Let’s find out why and what you can do to make it better.
Why You Shouldn't Deadlift With Hexagon Weight Plates
Deadlifting with hexagon weight plates is a problem because each time you put the bar down, the plates will roll. They'll either roll towards you and injure you or roll forward and trip someone over.
With standard round plates, you can easily roll the bar back into position even with just your foot. However, with hexagon weight plates, it’s not that simple. You will have to physically re-align the weights each time you set them down, which can increase the time duration of your deadlift sets.
Another problem with deadlift with hex plates is that the weight can “shift” when you pull the bar off the ground. This is due to the gravitational pull on the corners of the weight. This can create instability which can affect your position and form for deadlifting.
Deadlift with hex plates increases the probability of injury both when you lift the bar and when you set it down. This is extremely problematic when the bar is loaded with 3 or hexagon weight plates on each side.
6 Tips to Deadlift with Hexagon Weight Plates Safely?
If you're thinking you’ll just avoid using hexagon weight plates, you might not be lucky all the time. Hex plates are often found in commercial gyms and you might find yourself confronted with one. After all, it is better to work out with hex plates than not work out at all.
If you ever have to deadlift with hexagon weight plates, here are some tips to help you out:
1. Make Sure the Bar is in the Correct Position and Reset it Before Every Rep
To deadlift with hexagon weight plates without injury, you must reset the bar before every rep. This practice will slow you down but it is the only way to begin deadlifting in the right position making sure the bar is aligned properly. Otherwise, having to pull it when it becomes uneven can lead to injury.
2. Deadlift with the ‘touch and go’ method
When you’re deadlifting with hexagon weight plates, a good idea is to use the touch and go method. In this method, while you bring the barbell down, you don’t let go of it and simply begin the next rep after without a pause. This method doesn't let the bar roll as you don't let it come to a stop and hence, it doesn't matter if the hex plates land on a flat edge.
3. Put the Bar Down Slowly and Avoid Fast Pulls
Going slow to put the barbell down will help you be in control and reduce the amount of resetting you may have to do in between reps. When you’re moving slowly chances are you can land the weights on a flat edge.
Not pulling fast and putting the bar down slowly also helps improve your overall strength as you’re creating both eccentric and concentric movements. This means as you pull the bar your muscles are contracting and while you put it down they are elongated.
4. Do Romanian Deadlifts
You can also do Romanian deadlifts when you’re working out with hex plates. While not a true deadlift, it still allows you to prevent any kind of injury since the bar is not brought all the way back down.
5. Consider Rack Pulls
Like the Romanian deadlifts, rack pulls are another option when working out with hexagon weight plates. In this, you can position the rack as low as possible allowing you to put the bar almost to the floor. However, the plates still don't touch the ground and you can get a full range of motion as well without any worry.
6. Use Hex Bumpers
Lastly, if you have no choice but to avoid deadlifting with hexagon weight plates then a good bet would be to use hex bumpers. You can wrap these around the hex plates to convert them into round plates.
However, keep in mind that the hex bumpers come with their own weight, which you should adjust while deadlifting and they can be expensive. So while they’re not a perfect solution they can still help you workout with hex plates conveniently and avoid having to change your gym.
If you’re really uncomfortable working out at a commercial gym, consider setting up a home gym in 2022. Here are the best readymade deadlift platforms you can get for your home gym. We bring you the latest information in fitness and home gym so follow us to stay updated!