Bending down to pick up a barbell in front of the body places great demands on your ankles, hips, and spine to get into the right position that's conducive to spinal integrity.
I rarely have clients deadlift with a straight bar. There are plenty of safer alternatives for non-powerlifters that don't put the spine in a vulnerable position... and you'll still build strength and muscle. The top choice? The trap bar deadlift.
The trap bar deadlift is my go-to for developing ridiculous strength and muscle gains for my clients without putting their spines at risk.
Why? Weight distribution. Having the handles at your sides requires less mobility to get into an optimal set up and allows you to use more leg strength instead of just pulling with your back.
Yes, the straight bar deadlift is a good lift for anyone who can get into an optimal position without putting their spine in harm's way. But for the masses, this isn't the case.
The trap bar deadlift is a safer alternative that allows lifters to increase their strength and size while greatly reducing the potential stress on the spine.