This Open-Backed Trap Bar Might Be Your Next Favorite Workout Tool

·2 min read

In MH Strong, Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and trusty trainer compatriots evaluate some of the latest gym gear releases to tell you if they’re worth the hype or a hard pass.

Today, Samuel is joined by fitness trainer Joshua Thompson to test a new innovation on the market, Eleiko’s Öppen Deadlift Bar, to see if it flops or flourishes when fitness pros get to work.

We love the trap bar deadlift, but some standard closed trap bars can feel a bit constricting and tight, notes Samuel. That’s where this premium product from Eleiko (it retails for $799)—attempts to fill the gap, with an open design.

The Öppen bar boasts some pretty impressive specs. Clocking in at 55 pounds, it’s easy to set up, rack, and load and unload, and it holds up to 1,100 pounds. Its main standout feature is how the “open bar allows you to do some reverse lunges,” says Thompson, noting that the regular closed trap, by contrast, hinders you from doing movements that break from the standard bilateral stance, like the reverse lunges.

Indeed, this open deadlift bar really enables the user to do a large range of exercises that they couldn’t with a traditional trap bar. How ‘bout some Bulgarian split squats, or even back loaded squats?

Finally, there’s a handle on this trap bar. “Some [standard] trap bars offer high handles and low handles. There's only one option on this trap bar,” says Samuel. That might make some movements tougher for taller exercisers, since they'll have to bend down lower to grip the handles.

You’ll see what we think of that in the full video—and more of our feedback from how its versatility stacks up to its biggest drawback—and see whether it earns our MH Strong seal of approval.

P.S. For more great gear reviews in the MH Strong series, check out our Preacher Pad video here and Tonal Gym evaluation here.

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