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Hex Bar vs. Straight Bar Rows: Which is Right for You?

January 13, 2023 3 min read

Hex Bar vs. Straight Bar Rows: Which is Right for You?

The debate regarding hex bars vs. straight bars for rows can be an ongoing one, with both proponents and opponents of each bar type arguing their case. But the truth is that both types of bars have their own unique benefits and drawbacks and it’s up to you to decide which one is right for your individual needs. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between hex bar and straight bar rows so that you can make an informed decision when selecting the best barbell for your workout.

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What Is a Hex Bar?

A hex bar is a type of barbell with a hexagonal-shaped frame that allows you to perform exercises like shrugs, deadlifts, and rows. The hex shape of the bar provides more balance than a traditional straight barbell, making it easier to control the weight during your lift. It also reduces the strain on your lower back since it distributes the weight evenly across the bar. Furthermore, its design allows you to step inside the bar while lifting, which can help reduce the risk of injury due to poor form.

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What Are Straight Bar Rows?

Straight bar rows are a type of exercise performed with a straight barbell. To do this exercise, you must first grip the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing down). Once you have a secure grip, you will then bend at the waist and row the barbell up towards your chest. This exercise targets your back muscles, including your lats, traps, and rhomboids. It also works your biceps, triceps, and forearms as well.

Hex Bar vs. Straight Bar Rows: Which Is Right For You?

Both hex bar and straight bar rows offer their own unique benefits, and there is no definitive answer as to which one is “best” for everyone. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference and what feels most comfortable for you. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between the two:

Form

Since the hex bar allows you to step inside of it while performing the exercise, it can help reduce the risk of injury due to improper form. With the straight bar, however, you must stand in front of the bar, which can make it more difficult to maintain proper form throughout the entire exercise. Therefore, if you are a beginner or someone who struggles with maintaining proper form while doing rows, the hex bar may be a better option.

Weight Capacity

The hex bar generally has a higher weight capacity than the straight bar, meaning you can lift heavier weights with the hex bar than you can with the straight bar. This is largely due to the hex bar’s balanced design, which makes it easier to control the weight and reduces the risk of injury. If you are looking to increase your strength, the hex bar may be the better option.

Grip Strength

The straight bar requires you to use an overhand grip, which can be tiring on your hands and wrists. The hex bar, on the other hand, allows you to use a neutral grip, which puts less strain on your joints and can make the exercise more comfortable. Therefore, if you have weaker grip strength or wrist problems, the hex bar may be the better option.

When it comes to choosing between hex bar and straight bar rows, there is no clear-cut answer. Both bars offer their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, by considering factors such as form, weight capacity, and grip strength, you can make an informed decision about which bar is best for your individual needs.