7 effective deadlift alternative

8 Deadlift Alternatives And Their Complete Guide

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020 at 12:16 am

“Deadlift” word itself is enough to give jitter to many. I believe Deadlift is a king of all exercises and you should definitely perform it to boost up your muscle gain, metabolism, and physical strength.

A deadlift is an exercise that works on all major muscle groups from legs, glutes, lower back extensors, upper back, shoulders, and grip. Nobody wants to skip an exercise with so many benefits.

But deadlifting isn’t a cup of tea for many. People who are struggling with correct Deadlift form or back pain always seems to avoid this wonderful exercise. Deadlift has proven to be the most beneficial exercise and you should not skip it due to many reasons.

What scenarios might prevent you from performing Deadlift?

Poor mobility- some people aren’t able to perform the correct form of Deadlift due to poor hip mobility, people with poor hip mobility face difficulty in maintaining perfect flat back posture while deadlifting. This ultimately leads them to constant back pain.
Your age- Yes your age matters, people are young age seems to have better hip mobility which helps them to maintain correct posture but as you get older, you might face difficulty in getting perfect hip mobility.

Previous back injuries- Deadlift movement may trigger lower back pain due to previous back injuries; those previous back injuries make it impossible for a person to perform Deadlift.

Tall height – Yes, many people with tall height face difficulty while performing conventional Deadlift due to the longer range of motion.

For those who aren’t able to Deadlift, we have got a perfect solution for them. 8 Deadlift alternatives, Although no alternative, can give you results as good as conventional Deadlift but for those who are unable to perform the Deadlift can opt for its alternatives for some benefits.

Let’s discuss 8 different alternatives to Deadlift –

Rack pull

The rack pull is a perfect solution for those who lack hip mobility. Rack pull will decrease the range of motion which will ultimately relieve the load on your lower back.

The rack allows the barbell to be placed in an elevated stance, pin the safety bars of squat rack 4-6 inches off the ground to reduce the range of motion.

Benefits of Rack pull

  • Perfect Deadlift alternative for those with limited hip mobility.
  • Lesser chances of back injuries
  • Great development of upper back, trapezius, and grip.

Check the video below for better understanding.

Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift is good for those who experience knee problem while performing conventional Deadlift. Romanian Deadlift reduces the pressure from your knee and traps and puts more emphasis on hamstrings and glutes.

Romanian Deadlift is a great exercise to train your hamstrings and glutes. It’s not necessary to perform only when you are not performing conventional Deadlift. Romanian Deadlift can work wonders if mixed perfectly with conventional Deadlift.

Benefits of Romanian Deadlift

  • More emphasis on glutes and hamstring, which results in their better development.
  • Great Deadlift alternative for weak knees
  • Better hip mobility
  • Beneficial for the lower back.
  • Improved running.

Read more- Our detailed article about Romanian Deadlift and its 7 benefits.

Kettlebell swing

If you are the one who isn’t comfortable with rack pull or Romanian Deadlift too then performing kettlebell swing could be best Deadlift alternative for you. Performing kettlebell swing for back and glut conditioning could be the best option.

Kettlebell swing provides the same range of motion with a lower weight. Try concentrating on higher reps and perfect posture for best results.

Benefits of the kettlebell swing

  • Easy on the body, you don’t need to lift 200 pounds; all you need to do is swing that 25 pounds with perfection.
  • Increased power due to powerful hip thrust movements, these movements’ help in developing stronger glutes and hamstring.
  • It will positively affect your glutes, hamstring, quadriceps, lower back, shoulders, arms, core muscle.

Check out the video to learn the correct form of the kettlebell swing.

Dumbbell Deadlift

This Deadlift alternative should be performed when you lack access to the barbell. You can get the same effect of barbell Deadlift through replacing dumbbells with the barbell.

I personally use dumbbell Deadlift for easier mobility. This alternative to conventional Deadlift has its own disadvantages too. You won’t be able to perform heavier Deadlift due to lack in dumbbell size, but you can opt to go for more reps instead of higher weight.

Check out video guide to perform perfect dumbbell Deadlift.

Dumbbell Bent over row

Dumbbell bent over row can prove to be a great alternative to Deadlift if done with proper motion. We would recommend dumbbell over barbell for better range of motion.

Bent over row is a fairly simple exercise which most of the gym guys are performing from the first day at the gym. This is a wonderful compound exercise which works on different upper body muscle groups. Bent over row emphasize on following muscle groups: the lats, rhomboids, read delts, traps, and biceps.

Benefits of dumbbell bent over row

  • Helps in building a strong back
  • Better hip flexion
  • Faster metabolism rate
  • Lower injury risk

Pistol squat

Okay, so you are on vacations and gym is not available with you, then pistol squat could be the perfect substitute to Deadlift. Although it won’t be affecting your back but it can put immense pressure on your traps and glutes.

It is one of the most difficult versions of body weight squatting and can result in enormous gains. Pistol squat can significantly increase your endurance and muscle mass.

Check out the video on how to perform perfect pistol squats

Trap Bar Deadlift

Although I have written a separate detailed article on trap bar Deadlift, but I will be covering some summary of trap bar Deadlift to explain why this could be the best alternative of conventional Deadlift.

Trap bar Deadlift is also known as Hex bar Deadlift (due to its hexagonal shape). The special thing about hex bar Deadlift is its design. While doing conventional Deadlift, lifter needs to hinge down to lift the bar up, this affects his body’s center of gravity. That’s the reason for injuries which occurs while doing straight bar Deadlift.   

While doing trap bar Deadlift, lifter stands inside the bar. This improves his center of gravity which ultimately affects the performance and better balance.

Some of the benefits of trap bar Deadlift

  • It helps in reducing excess pressure on the lower back
  • Due to the better center of gravity, trap bar Deadlift allows the lifter to lift heavier.
  • Helps in better development of hamstrings and glutes.
  • Better stability
  • Much more easier than conventional Deadlift.
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