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The Low-Setting Trap Bar Deadlift for Squat Strength

If you’re looking for ways to improve your squat strength without actually having to do more squats, integrating the low-setting trap bar deadlift into a 4-week training block is a great way to do it. This may seem a little counter-intuitive because of the “deadlift” label, but trust me, it works. Here’s why…

The position of your body in the low trap bar deadlift is actually closer to that of a squat or leg press. For this reason, it allows the lifter to recruit a good mix of anterior (quadriceps) and posterior (glutes and hamstrings) chain muscles.


To give you a better idea of why this works, check out the similarities between a low trap bar deadlift and a leg press.

low trap dl

Another reason I like the low trap bar deadlift is that it enables the lifter to “feel the ground.” A cue we often use at BIM when discussing squats and deadlifts is to think about pushing the ground away from you as you lift. As soon as you understand how much force you can apply on the ground, the real progress starts to happen. It also helps you understand how to create the appropriate amount of tension through your legs and the rest of your body; a huge aspect of squatting.

Here’s an example of a 4-week training block

Monday Thursday
Week 1 4 Sets of 6 Reps 4 Sets of 6 Reps
Week 2 3 Sets of 6 Reps 3 Sets of 6 Reps
Week 3 5 Sets of 6 Reps 5 Sets of 6 Reps
Week 4 2 Sets of 6 Reps 2 Sets of 6 Reps

Try integrating the low-setting trap bar deadlift into your next program, then go back to squatting to see how you’ve progressed.


Chad Cardoso


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