4 variations of the dumbbell deadlift or deadlift (videos)

Many wonder how to build muscle faster with exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. 

There are many polyarticular exercises to help you gain more muscle. And you've probably heard of the deadlift or dumbbell deadlift in this case. This exercise can of course be performed with a bar and discs, but it must be recognized that dumbbells are much easier to use at home.

Let's discover different variations of the deadlift and the muscles used.

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Why deadlift or deadlift

If you practice bodybuilding, you must have heard of this exercise. Like squats, bench press or pull-ups, it is one of the best movements to solicit a maximum muscle groups the same time.

Whether for women or men, this exercise is very complete and requires fairly substantial inter- and intramuscular coordination.

Which simply means you'll have to learn how to execute it perfectly before trying heavy lifting. If the deadlift can effectively stimulate many muscle fibers, as its name suggests, it is a risky exercise if you do it wrong.

Build muscle without hurting your lower back

Performed in muscle strengthening with moderate loads, the risk is much lower. That's why women shouldn't be afraid to learn this movement, which in addition to strengthening the glutes quickly, will also firm up their thighs.

For men, as said above, this exercise is essential for those who want more volume. In addition, it helps prevent back pain and lower back pain. Indeed, deadlifts teach you how to lift heavy loads from the ground and make your lats and legs stronger.

It is also very important to develop your explosive strength for all sports that require good relaxation.

Another advantage of this exercise is that it helps to burn body fat effectively since it requires a large energy and calorie expenditure by working the whole body.

Different Variations of the Dumbbell Deadlift

Besides the classic deadlift as a basic exercise, there are other interesting variations for your bodybuilding sessions at home.

Adjustable dumbbells 40kg

1. Classic deadlift with 2 dumbbells

In the basic deadlift position, with the feet slightly shoulder-width apart, the following muscles are engaged:

  • Quadriceps
  • gluteus maximus
  • Lumbar (erector spinae)
  • Trapezes
  • Dorsals (to a lesser extent)

How to do

  • Take a dumbbell in each hand on each side. Stand with your knees very slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the hips and knees, lower your chest until it's almost parallel to the floor. Your back should not be round, but your spine should remain straight. Your neck should also stay aligned with your back.
  • Keep your arms stretched out to the sides. You need to descend fairly slowly, in a controlled manner.
  • From this forward bent squat position, raise yourself up without changing the shape of your back. Contract your glutes while extending the hips and return to the starting position.
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Video exercises

Classic version of the dumbbell deadlift with the hands in neutral position or hammer grip. It's a bit like a series with a trap bar:

A variation of the classic deadlift with the hands pronated in front of the legs, as if using a long bar.

Note that with this position, the major difference is that you lose a little amplitude at the level of the knees. However, it is the right technique if you want to use heavy loads.

You can also make deadlifts with one dumbbell if that's more comfortable for you. However, you will have a smaller range of motion.

2. Romanian Deadlift

The straight-legged romanian deadlift is a variation that works on the hamstrings and glutes.

Unlike the previous ones, where we had a bend in the legs in addition to the hips, it is a deadlift with the legs stretched out or very slightly bent (knees not locked).

Testoprime

How to do

  • Hold the dumbbells just above the knees with the palms facing the body in an overhand position
  • Keep your chest contracted, your back flat and your feet well anchored to the ground
  • Bend at the hips to lower the dumbbells in front of the shins as much as your flexibility allows
  • Strongly contract the hamstrings and glutes to return to the starting position

The tilt is done at the hips, when pushing the buttocks back. We lean at the same time the bust forward, without rounding the back!

Thus, the buttocks and hamstrings are more stressed, rather than the back. This is an excellent flexibility exercise for the back of the thighs, but be careful not to take heavy weights and to maintain the correct posture.

3. Sumo deadlift

With this variation, you will discover how to strengthen more the inner thighs and the quadriceps. This movement also allows you to lift heavier throughout the exercise.

For the sumo deadlift, we are going to take the starting position of the Japanese sumo, with a leg spread wider than shoulder width. The tips of the feet and the kneecaps are oriented outwards.

How to do

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells palms facing back.
  • Rotate the toes outward 30 to 45 degrees.
  • Lower yourself by bending your hips and knees. The bust leans forward while keeping the back straight.
  • Contract your glutes as you push through your legs to return to a standing position.

As with the previous exercises, this one can be performed with one dumbbell. You'll also lose some range at the bottom of the movement, but that's okay if it's easier for you at first.

4. Deficit deadlift

This is not a full-fledged exercise, but an advanced variation that will be used by athletes with very specific goals. Unlike the sumo deadlift which can be used with ease by most athletes, the deficit deadlift should be reserved for certain people.

Deficit deadlifts are simply deadlifts that are performed on an elevated surface. This position causes an increase in the amplitude at the bottom of the movement.

Traditionally, they are done on a raised surface of 5 to 10 centimeters with a lighter load of 10 to 25% than that used for the classic version.

The benefits of this version

Some of the many benefits of the deficit deadlift include:

  • Increased explosive strength and time under muscle tension
  • Improved lifting posture
  • Strengthening of the posterior muscle chain (especially the glutes, hamstrings and lower back)
ALSO READ:  9 bodybuilding exercises without equipment for your session

An example in this video with a guy using 2 straight benches for a sumo deadlift:

How to build muscle without injury

Like the squat, the deadlift is a very complete exercise that can help you achieve a great physique. But, you are going to have to execute it perfectly. Indeed, if you don't have a good execution, the risks are as high as the benefits, and you can cause low back pain or even a herniated disc.

I therefore strongly urge you to go there in such a way very progressive, and to look at you in profile in front of a mirror, with a small load or empty. This way, you can check the placement of your back and test your sensations throughout the exercise.

Except for the stretched legs variant, the movement always begins by first soliciting the legs, then going up with the back still straight.

Here is a brief reminder of the safety instructions:

  1. The back must in no case be rounded, always remain straight and flat, even slightly arched
  2. You must inhale as you go down, and hold the breath while you lift the dumbbells and bring them back up. Exhale at the end of the movement
  3. Keep the shoulders slightly back, feeling the ribcage open
  4. Contract the abdominal strap to maintain good posture

These instructions must all be observed!

Have someone check your movement, and don't go too fast if you're just starting out. it is better to go gradually and slowly, but surely.

What equipment for the dumbbell deadlift

The ideal for training at home remains the use of adjustable dumbbells. Indeed, they give you the following advantages for your deadlifts:

  • They take up less space than fixed models or short bars with discs
  • Changing weights is very easy and quick, allowing you to superset and switch between exercises in seconds
  • The proposed loads can be much heavier than with conventional dumbbells

To learn more about this topic, read this complete guide and comparison.

Then I recommend a ground sheet special for bodybuilding that is big and resistant enough for your sessions.

Now you know how to build muscle with the deadlift. Tell me if you practice it often, and if you have good feelings. If you like this type of comprehensive exercise, also try the farmer's walk or farmer walk. It is fabulous !

You can leave a message in the comments area below to ask your questions or share your experience. THANK YOU !

Some models of dumbbells for your deadlifts

In Europe, you'll find great value at Avalon Gear with free 4-5 day shipping on top selling models. Here are some examples of BowFlex models:

Here are the best models at Amazon right now (updated regularly):

Visual
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Set D'dumbbells Bodybuilding Adjustable 2...
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
ATIVAFIT Adjustable dumbbell for gym or home (one...
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Description
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Dumbbell Set Adjustable Bodybuilding 2...
ATIVAFIT Adjustable dumbbells for Male and Female Weight of 25 kg
ATIVAFIT Adjustable dumbbell for Gym or Home (a...
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Our opinion
Good quality 7.5-15kg per dumbbell kits
A very good affordable adjustable dumbbell from 2.5 to 25 kg
An unbeatable price for a pair of 2 times 2.5 to 25 kg
Attention, the price of the Bowflex 552i of 24kg is per unit
Expensive for a 22.5kg pair, but it's solid
Our rating
3/5
4,5/5
5/5
4,5/5
4/5
Current price
104,49 €
185,99 €
339,99 €
209,99 €
470,00 €
Visual
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Set D'dumbbells Bodybuilding Adjustable 2...
Description
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Dumbbell Set Adjustable Bodybuilding 2...
Our opinion
Good quality 7.5-15kg per dumbbell kits
Our rating
3/5
Current price
104,49 €
Click for more information
Visual
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
Description
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
Our opinion
A very good affordable adjustable dumbbell from 2.5 to 25 kg
Our rating
4,5/5
Current price
185,99 €
Click for more information
Visual
ATIVAFIT Adjustable dumbbell for gym or home (one...
Description
ATIVAFIT Adjustable dumbbell for gym or home (one...
Our opinion
An unbeatable price for a pair of 2 times 2.5 to 25 kg
Our rating
5/5
Current price
339,99 €
Click for more information
Visual
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
Description
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
Our opinion
Attention, the price of the Bowflex 552i of 24kg is per unit
Our rating
4,5/5
Current price
209,99 €
Click for more information
Visual
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Description
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Our opinion
Expensive for a 22.5kg pair, but it's solid
Our rating
4/5
Current price
470,00 €
Click for more information
ALSO READ:  6 bodyweight exercises without equipment

Leave a message in the comment area below to tell me what you think of the barbell deadlift or to ask any questions you may have. THANK YOU!

FAQs

What is the best deadlift?

In fact, all versions of this exercise have their specific benefits. It all depends on the muscles you want to focus on. That being said, you should integrate the first 3 versions into your program. Only the deficit deadlift should be reserved for the specific needs of experienced practitioners.

What muscles does the deadlift work?

Depending on the version of the movement, it works the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae, trapezius, and back (to a lesser extent).

What weight for the deadlift?

Power lifters lift very heavy, but that shouldn't be your goal. Pick relatively light weights at first until you've mastered the movement with the correct posture. Gradually increase the load when you have made sufficient progress in all the compartments of bodybuilding. Never do this exercise with a weight that you cannot fully control.

Why use dumbbells instead of a barbell?

Dumbbells allow much more variation than Olympic bars with the possibility of placing the hands in a neutral position, in pronation and in supination. Also, dumbbells are easier to master when doing workouts at home, even with heavy weights.

Should everyone perform deficit deadlifts?

Not necessarily. For example, beginners should simply perform quality traditional deadlifts to build strength. Advanced practitioners should have a reason to use them to progress, and not just because they look cool.

What muscles are worked by the deficit deadlift?

The deficit deadlift works the exact same muscles as the classic versions. For example, the main movers will always be the glutes and hamstrings, while the spine erectors, calves, and upper back will serve as supporting muscles.

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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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