Both the deficit deadlift and the rack pull can work to increase back strength (lower, upper, and traps). The deficit deadlift has a lifter placed at a greater mechanical disadvantage, often challenging the lower and middle back greater than rack pulls, which place greater stress and demands upon the middle and upper back/traps.
The deadlift is the ultimate test of overall body strength. While the main way to do deadlifts is using a standard Olympic bar, more guys today are doing deadlifts using the hex bar, which is a hexagon-shaped bar that you stand in the middle of. It’s often referred to as a “trap bar,” since many bodybuilders do shrugs with it.
Deadlifts and Rack Pulls essentially have the same motion, at least at the tail end of each exercise. The deadlift is a lift that is seen in competitive powerlifting competitions, the rack pull is not. The deadlift also has a greater range of motion, from the floor and lifted up off the ground until the lifter locks out their hips with the motion.
The snatch-grip deadlift can pack size onto your traps, upper back, hamstrings, and glutes. A wider grip is the most obvious difference. Most lifters can master it after just a few workouts. The snatch-grip deadlift can carry over to increased strength off the floor with conventional deads.
I've tried the hack lift several times looking for different ways to challenge the quads. Here's the thing: If you have shorty arms (like me), the barbell hack squat, and less so, the Jefferson squat/dead, setups make it very challenging to maintain spinal extension.
This article will compare and contrast the trap bar and straight bar deadlifts and make a pitch for the trap bar deadlift as the better option for the majority of lifters. Barbells are straight hunks of metal that let you load weight on each side. To deadlift a barbell, you stand behind the bar, grip it, and rip it.