A biomechanical analysis of straight and hexagonal barbell deadlifts using submaximal loads

Paul A. Swinton, Arthur Stewart, Ioannis Agouris, Justin W L Keogh, Ray Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the investigation was to compare the kinematics and kinetics of the deadlift performed with 2 distinct barbells across a range of submaximal loads. Nineteen male powerlifters performed the deadlift with a conventional straight barbell and a hexagonal barbell that allowed the lifter to stand within its frame. Subjects performed trials at maximum speed with loads of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80% of their predetermined 1- repetition maximum (1RM). Inverse dynamics and spatial tracking of the external resistance were used to quantify kinematic and kinetic variables. Subjects were able to lift a heavier 1RM load in the hexagonal barbell deadlift (HBD) than the straight barbell deadlift (SBD) (265±41 kg vs. 245±39 kg, p < 0.05). The design of the hexagonal barbell significantly altered the resistance moment at the joints analyzed (p < 0.05), resulting in lower peak moments at the lumbar spine, hip, and ankle (p < 0.05) and an increased peak moment at the knee (p < 0.05). Maximum peak power values of 4,388±713 and 4,872±636 W were obtained for the SBD and HBD, respectively (p < 0.05). Across the submaximal loads, significantly greater peak force, peak velocity and peak power values were produced during the HBD compared to during the SBD (p ± 0.05). The results demonstrate that the choice of barbell used to perform the deadlift has a significant effect on a range of kinematic and kinetic variables. The enhanced mechanical stimulus obtained with the hexagonal barbell suggests that in general the HBD is a more effective exercise than the SBD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2000-2009
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Force
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Power
  • Resistance training
  • Velocity


Dive into the research topics of 'A biomechanical analysis of straight and hexagonal barbell deadlifts using submaximal loads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this