Hexbar position with the hand on the sides of quads and the back arched resulted in the highest quad activation. Hexbar deadlifts with the hands in front of the shins resulted in more lower back activation.
SUMMARY OF HEXBAR DEADLIFT SUMMARY
· Hexbar position with the hand on the sides of quads and the back arched resulted in the highest quad activation.
· Hexbar deadlifts with the hands in front of the shins resulted in more lower back activation.
When most people work the quads, they often use choose front squats, Bulgarian split squats, barbell squats, or leg press. The seated leg press machine is a great exercise for beginners or those who can’t squat. The seated leg press muscles worked include the quads, glutes, and hip adductors.
When most lifters see a hexbar, they think it’s an upper body workout for the lower back, but new research shows that your hand and back position is extremely important for what muscles are activated. Different hand and back positions can make the hexbar a great quad exercise. By slight changes in joint positions, you can dramatically change muscle activation.
STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFTS VS ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS
Most people consider the Romanian deadlift (RDL) and stiff-legged deadlift (SLD) the same exercise, but the muscle activation is different. RDL involves an upright position and bending your knees. In contrast, a stiff-SLD involves keeping the knees straight. The main difference between the RDL and SLD is the varying degrees of knee bend affect the range of motion and muscles worked in each exercise.
Studies have found that the RDL and SDL work the hamstrings and glutes differently. The RDL is better a better hamstring exercise, whereas SLD is a better glute exercise. (Coratella et al., 2022)
WHAT IS A HEXBAR DEADLIFT?
The hexbar is bar-shaped, like a hexagon. You have two handles, step inside the hex bar and lift the weight. Unlike a deadlift, the hands are placed on the side of the body, whereas with a deadlift, the hands are placed in front of the body. (Malyszek et al., 2017)
THE BEST HEXBAR LEG GROWTH WORKOUT (BACKED BY SCIENCE)
Hexbar deadlifting form can determine whether this exercise is a lower back dominant exercise or a quad-dominant exercise. The hexbar allows for greater quadriceps activation than a conventional deadlift because the lifter can get into a lower hip position. (Lockie et al., 2018) The hands are positioned directly on the side of the body (i.e., neutral grip); in contrast to the conventional barbell deadlift, the hands are positioned in front of the chins.
The easier positioning of the hands by the side of the body and a more upright position allow for more quadriceps muscle fiber activation and less lower back use during a hexbar deadlift. (Martín-Fuentes et al., 2020)
Here is a breakdown of the research studies comparing hexbar deadlifts to conventional deadlifts.
· Camera et al. found that the hexbar deadlift resulted in greater quad activation of the vastus lateralis and less lower back and hamstring activation. (Camara et al., 2016)
· Anderson et al. found similar findings with greater quad and lower hamstring activation but no difference in lower back activity and glute activation.(Andersen et al., 2018)
The Anderson et al. study found that there was similar lower back activation with the hexagon deadlift and the conventional deadlift. However, new research has shown that how you position your hands and back will affect the muscles activated while doing a hexbar deadlift. Different angle positions can affect what muscles are activated performing hexbar deadlifts.
Researchers had subjects position themselves in three different positions.
- Position A: A deadlift-style position in which the back is positioned in a bent position, and the hands are in front of the shins.
- Position B: The back is arched, but the hands are in front of the shins.
- Position C: The back is arched, but the hands are on the side of the quads.