A new study published ahead of print in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicates that there may be a distinct advantage to using multiple bars for submaximal and maximal effort deadlifting. Researchers compared the kinematics and kinetics of the common deadlift exercise performed with a standard barbell and a hexagonal barbell.  A hexagonal barbell allows the lifter to stand within the frame of the barbell which can more evenly distribute the load.

 
Researchers assessed 19 male power lifters who executed trials with loads of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80% of their predetermined 1 rep max.  Researchers analyzed that data and concluded that athletes using the hexagonal barbell deadlift were able to lift a heavier 1 rep max on the than the standard straight barbell.  Maximum power measurements were taken and researchers found there was significantly greater peak force, peak velocity and peak power produced during the hexagonal barbell deadlifts.  Researchers assume that the design of the hexagonal barbell may … “significantly alter the resistance moment at the joints analyzed resulting in lower peak moments at the lumbar spine, hip, and ankle and an increased peak moment at the knee”.
 
Overall the results of this study demonstrate that the stimulus of the deadlift can be augmented by the choice of barbell.  Strength and conditioning coaches should note this enhanced stimulus created with the hexagonal barbell and determine if this deadlift variation would be beneficial based on their training objectives.  
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