The trap bar is an implement used in weight training. It is an assemblage of bars welded into a shape which lies flat in a plane, comprised of:
- A barstock welded into a circular, square, trapezoidal, or hexagonal shape, sized to allow a human to stand in the middle
- 2 (almost always) coaxial stub bars, welded to opposing positions on the outside of the perimeter of the hollow portion
- A set of handles pointing forward and back, welded inside the hollow portion.
The stubs are used for loading the trapbar with plates. The handles are used to hold the trapbar while an exercise is performed. Note that these handles are aligned at 90 degrees to the plate-loading bars.
The trapbar's use in shrugs is promoted by Paul Kelso, in his book Kelso's Shrug Book (2002). However, there is also an entire chapter in the book on training with the trapbar for competitive deadlifting, for which the bar was originally intended. The advantage with deadlifts is that there is no risk of the bar hitting the front of the legs. The grip is also different, targeting the shoulder and arms differently. The advantage with shrugs is for the same reason, as the traps can be targeted directly against gravity, rather than the angle necessitated by the impossibility of having a shrugging bar directly below the body.
Variants are produced by several vendors.