How The Hex Bar Squat Improves Strength & Stability

hex bar squat

Using a hex bar for your squats can change things up with this massive lift.

Squatting is something we all know we absolutely need. We often talk about our upper bodies as if our legs don’t exist. You can’t blame us though, can you? Our upper bodies are what everyone sees. Those bulging bis, that horse-shoe shape popping out with our massive tris, and of course, that shredded six-pack you’ve been waiting to show off. But our legs need attention.

Aesthetically, having big legs makes it look like you know what you’re doing. No one will envy a massive upper body if you have chicken legs. Trust us on that. But a great exercise like the hex bar squat has the ability to boost your gains to new heights and offer great benefits to your physical health as well.

Using a hex bar is an awesome way to switch things up and move away from the traditional barbell. Hex bars offer great versatility and can aid in many facets of multiple lifts. By standing in the middle with the weight dispersed evenly around you, you work to tackle more weight while still reducing back stress. Great for beginners, using a hex bar builds grip strength, allows for proper form, and is a nice alternative to learn down the line once you start lifting huge weight.

Let’s take a look at the hex bar squat and see what it can do for our goals. From what it is, to muscles worked, the benefits around it, and how to do it, the hex bar squat is one exercise you absolutely cannot ignore. When it comes to boosting your gains, you deserve the best out of your routine and this exercise can fire up those muscles to do just that.

Trap Bar Deadlift

What Is The Hex Bar Squat?

The hex bar squat is a fantastic way to build explosiveness and strength in the body and requires not much different of a movement than the hex bar deadlift. With the hex bar, it works to distribute the weight around so you take less load off the low back. For squats, it will allow you to pack on weight so you see some real growth start to take effect (1). It also forces you to hold better form, thus teaching you how to properly lift big weight and offering a great alternative to the barbell squat as you nail down better muscle memory.

Muscles Worked

With the hex bar squat, you work those lower body muscles like your quads and hamstrings greatly. Of course, your glutes will get some work done, as well as your calves and smaller stabilizer muscles that work for support and posture. By engaging your core throughout the entire exercise, you work to build some core strength as well. While it may not provide for that shredded aesthetic, look towards more core isolation exercises for that.

strong man

Benefits Of This Exercise

Builds Lower Body Strength & Size: The hex bar squat is one to really boost lower body strength and size by allowing you to pack on weight to work your muscles greatly, while also doing so safely.

Increase Core Strength: By keeping your core engaged, those abdominal muscles do see work get done as well. This will help when it comes to increased support and that much needed stability (2).

Promote Better Form: The hex bar can work on proper form which is what you want out of all your exercises. This is especially true when you switch back over to the traditional barbell squat.

Great Alternative Exercise: For those looking to mix up their workouts, this serves as a great alternative exercise to toss in the mix to see some real change happen. Plus, it will target your muscles differently so you get the most of every workout.

strong legs

How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing the hex bar squat:

Load the hex bar with your desired amount of weight and step into the middle. Get a good, firm grip on the handles and squeeze your core as you get ready to explode up. Push through your feet and lift the bar with you, keeping an neutral back. As you perform the squatting motion, remember to keep tight form and gently lower once all reps are completed. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Featured Hex Bar

We wanted to share with you a great hex bar coming from American Barbell. This is a high-quality and durable bar designed to give you the best chance at seeing some serious growth and real gains.

American Barbell Hex Bar

American Barbell Hex Bar is great for those looking to switch up their deadlift training. An effective tool for heavier lifts, this is perfect for those looking to advance their deadlift and PRs.

American Barbell Hex Bar is a great bar when looking to switch up your traditional deadlift while also allowing versatility with a number of exercises. This bar works to reduce stress on your low back given that you stand in the middle as opposed to slightly behind. Keeping the bar closer allows you to engage different muscles and have a more effective workout. While you don’t need a rack, this bar is fully rackable and fits all Olympic plates. The bar is 85’’ long with 16’’ loadable sleeves and weighs 40 lbs. Knurled handles ensure great grip and this hex bar is a great variation when looking for something different than a barbell while getting the same benefits.

Price: $310.00

Check out our list of the Best Barbells for more great lifting products!

Wrap Up

The hex bar squat is one of those exercises you need to try for it will really build muscle while keeping you safe and lifting properly. As a seriously effective lift, the hex bar squat has potential to really boost your power output and explosivity. The hex bar as a fitness tool is awesome for it allows for great alternative exercises and can really promote solid form and the potential for growth. Give this exercise a try and see what it can do for your gains today.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Lockie, Robert G.; Lazar, Adrina (2017). “Exercise Technique: Applying the Hexagonal Bar to Strength and Power Training”. (source)
  2. Hibbs, Angela E.; Thompson, Kevin G.; French, Duncan; Wrigley, Allan; Spears, Iain (2008). “Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.