Increase Your Deadlift Strength with These 8 Exercises

The deadlift is one of the best exercises to perform when discussing full-body engagement within a single movement. Now, does that mean you should start deadlifting 7 days a week? No. But, the deadlift is an effective, full-body movement targeting everything from your traps to your lower back and down to your hamstrings.

Not only does the deadlift help build a stronger posterior chain and a stronger body as a whole, the deadlift is a movement that requires mental focus and fortitude. While the deadlift may appears to be simply picking up a barbell and ripping the weight off the ground, the exercise is much more than that.

Increase Your Deadlift Strength with These 8 Exercises

The deadlift is a complicated movement and perfecting your deadlift takes precision, time, and dedication. This lift requires focus and establishing a mental connection with the weight you are about to lift. And, like with any lift, it’s important to perform the lift in a variety of different ways and styles so that you can strengthen your weakness, strengthen your form, and build up the lift up in a smart, effective manner.

With these deadlift variations that go beyond the conventional deadlift, you can keep your deadlift training new and exciting. These 8 deadlift exercises will help you to perfect your deadlift form and strengthen any weakness you may have.

Increase Your Deadlift Strength with These 8 Exercises

8 Deadlift Variations

1. Snatch Grip Deadlift

Setup: Narrow stance with toes pointed straight forward or slightly outward.

The Movement: Set up your stance just like you did for the conventional variation, but with a wider grip. With this movement you want your pointer or middle finger on the smooth ring of the bar. Push your hips down and keep your chest up and back straight. Initiate the pull just the same as a conventional deadlift.

2. Sumo Deadlift

Setup: Wide stance with feet point outward at almost a 45 degree angle.

The Movement: Set up with your shins a few inches away from the bar and in a very wide stance, a good measurement is to line the middle of your shin up with the smooth rings on the bar. Drop your butt down and grab the bar with hands between the legs, keep your hips back and chest up. Push your feet down into the ground, push your hips forward, and lock out the lift. Focus on engaging your glutes and hamstrings in this movement.

3. Romanian Deadlift

Setup: Narrow stance with toes pointed straight forward or slightly outward.

The Movement: Grab the bar with a slightly-wider than shoulder-width grip. Lift the bar as you would with a conventional deadlift movement but this time, hinge at the hip until the barbell is about mid shin, and then drop the weight back down to the ground.

4. Suitcase Deadlift

Setup: Narrow stance with toes pointed straight forward or slightly outward.

The Movement: As the name of this movement states, imagine you are squatting down to pick up the heaviest suitcase of your life. Set a barbell up along your side, get down into a conventional deadlift stance, and grab the bar in one hand. Pick the bar up as if you were doing a conventional deadlift.

5. Deficit Deadlift

Setup: Narrow stance with toes pointed straight forward or slightly outward.

The Movement: Use the same technique as you would to perform a conventional deadlift, but perform the movement while standing on a box or plate so when you are pulling and bringing the weight back down below the bottom of your feet.

6. Block or Rack Pulls

Setup: Narrow stance with toes pointed straight forward or slightly outward.

The Movement: Set up a bar as you would with a conventional deadlift, but have the bar resting on a set of blocks or racks within a power rack so that the weight is already about half off the ground. You want the bar resting around knee to just below knee level. Perform the lift as you would a conventional deadlift. This movement will help strengthen the lockout portion of your deadlift.

7. Dumbbell Deadlift

Setup: Feet slightly wider than hip width with two dumbbells or kettlebells on the floor near your feet.

The Movement: Squat down slightly, hinge at the hip until you can grab the bell, and lift the bell up until you are standing completely upright. Set it back to the ground by squatting slightly and hinging at the hip. Keep the dumbbells close to your body and your arms locked with a slight bend in your elbows as you perform this movement. You can also stand on a mat or box for dumbbell deadlifts to perform as a deficit movement.

8. Single Leg Deadlift

Setup: Feet slightly wider than hip width. Single-leg movement with a slight bend in the knee.

The Movement: Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell and stand straight up, standing on one foot. You should be holding the bell on the opposite side of the foot on the ground. Lower the kettlebell or dumbbells down in front of your down foot as you simultaneously raise your back leg of the ground until your torso and leg are parallel with the ground. This movement requires focus and balance so start with a very light weight until you have mastered the movement.

Brently Rousset

Brently Rousset is an INBA Men's Physique Novice champion and is currently studying to become a certified personal trainer. Fitness has been a part of his life since he was a kid from basketball to surfing to now bodybuilding. Brently is passionate about spreading his knowledge and experience to beginner lifter's looking to start their own fitness journey. He plans on competing for his pro card on the Men's Physique stage within the next year. Brently's true passion is writing and providing others with exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle advice.

You can reach out to Brently and connect with him on the following sites:

Twitter: @BrentlyRousset
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