Latest posts

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,691
Posts
467,236
Members
27,079
Latest Member
westsidebehavioralcare

7 deadlift variations

BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,350
2,586
#1
No matter what you read about the exercise being "bad for your back," or people saying that you "shouldn't deadlift heavy" for whatever stupid reason they come up with... if you want results, you should be deadlifting.

Snatch-Grip Deadlift
I think the snatch-grip deadlift is one of the most underrated exercises in the world.

Snatch-grip deads force you into a lower position, which requires more work from the entire back, hamstrings, and glutes. Whenever the hamstrings are more involved in an exercise, you're building major leg strength.

If your hams are weak, forget about being fast. If you want to get stronger — and everyone should be — then the snatch-grip deadlift is the solution.

I've also found it to be an outstanding indicator exercise. Basically, whenever someone's snatch-grip deadlift goes up, so do their other deadlift variations and squats. Whenever you can significantly increase the strength in your hams, especially from a "stretched" position like with snatch-grip deads, all of your leg exercises will blow up.

The How To:
Step up to the bar with feet about hip-width apart, just like you'd normally deadlift, but place your hands much further out on the bar. Basically, go as wide as you're comfortable going, but don't fret too much about it.

Because of the wider grip, you'll be in a starting position that's lower than you're used to, and it may feel a bit awkward. Don't panic, you'll get used to it quickly.

The snatch-grip deadlift is great for max effort strength-building work and for multiple sets of low reps. They should be done first in your workout — you don't want to do these with a pre-fatigued lower back! If your legs and back need a boost, try this for three or four weeks, and then switch to another squat or deadlift variation.

Sumo Deadlift
For some powerlifters, the sumo deadlift is an "easier" way to use more weight because of the shortened range of motion. For others, it just fits their body type and allows them to lift heavier. Either way, you don't have to be a powerlifter to benefit from sumos!

The sumo deadlift will focus even more on your glutes and hips than conventional (closer-stance) deadlifts. The ultra-wide foot position forces you to really sit back during your pull, which hits your inner thighs, hips, and glutes in a very unique way — similar to box squatting.

The How To:
Stand with the bar about two-inches from your shins with your feet as wide apart as is comfortable. Point your toes outwards to decrease knee stress. Grab the bar with a mixed grip (one hand palm up, one palm down). Now, rip that bar off the ground!

Clean-Style Deadlift/Clean Pull
A clean-style deadlift or clean pull will be set-up much like a power clean, except that you only pull the bar to waist-height and shrug your shoulders up. I'm reluctant to recommend this lift to someone looking to raise their deadlift for competition because, much like when doing the Olympic lifts, the shoulders will be over the bar rather than behind it.

This can hinder their technique in the powerlifting-style deadlift if you're not careful, but there's a way around the problem. I'll have athletes perform clean pulls rather than clean-style deadlifts.

A clean pull is a much faster version of the clean-style deadlift. It should be performed dynamically.

The How To:
Start with the bar close to the shins, in a comfortable stance with both hands in a palms-down grip. Begin lifting off the floor slowly, then, as the bar reaches the mid-shin or just below knee-level, explode the weight up to complete the lift.
Clean pull, approaching midpoint. Notice that the explosiveness almost brings both feet off the ground!

Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlifts (RDL) may be one of the most underrated exercises in the iron game. They're misunderstood and often thought of as a "simple" accessory Olympic lift, but the people who've focused on them appreciate the power of the RDL.

For lifters with long torsos and fairly short legs, the RDL is far superior to other pulling movements when it comes to focusing on the glutes and hamstrings. While the straight-leg deadlift is often suggested for these areas, people with this body type end up putting most of the stress on the lower back, while the glutes and hams are mostly ignored.

Because the hams respond well to low reps and accentuated negatives, you can use the RDL as a main leg movement, but don't be afraid to use it as a supplementary exercise for moderate reps (in the 6-10 range).


Straight-Leg Deadlift

The straight-leg deadlift is an excellent variation for those who need to bring their lower backs and hamstrings up to par. While I feel that the Romanian deadlift is a more effective hamstring builder for most people, especially those with long torsos, the straight-leg deadlift is still a great exercise.

The name of the exercise is a bit confusing, however. You don't actually keep your legs locked "straight." Keep a slight bend at the knees to prevent injuries. Stick to "traditional," higher reps on straight-leg deadlifts, 3-4x8-12 done after your main leg movement for the day.

While RDLs can be used as a max effort, strength-building movement, I'd advise against using straight-leg deadlifts the same way. Keep them as an accessory lift in your leg training toolbox.

The How To:
Many people get confused by the difference between a straight-leg deadlift and a Romanian deadlift, however, there's one distinction that makes a world of difference. In the straight-leg deadlift, you perform a rep by bending over at the hips. With a Romanian deadlift, you push the hips back to produce the movement.

There are two standard options when it comes to increasing the range of motion (ROM) on both exercises. You can stand on a box or you can load the barbell with 25-pound plates instead of 45's. (You are deadlifting more than 135 pounds, right?)
Between the two, it's preferable to use 25's because this will increase ROM without altering form. When you're on a box, you may get distracted worrying about balance. You might have even seen people doing these while standing on a flat bench, but this is big-time overkill!

Jefferson Lift
I'll warn you now: This one will get you some stares in the gym. It's an old-time movement, but it's still useful today.

The Jefferson lift is actually more of a squat variation than a true deadlift variation, but if your inner thighs need work, the Jefferson lift will be right up your alley. In addition to working the hell out of your thighs, the Jefferson lift will force your abs and back to work extremely hard to stabilize the load.

Use the Jefferson on days where you're not quite up to doing all-out squats or deadlifts, but don't want to punk out and skip serious work. This can be done for medium to high reps in the 5-10 range.

The How To:
Straddle the lengthwise bar with one foot on either side. Put one hand in front of you and one behind you, squat down, grip the bar and pull/squat up.

Trap Bar Deadlift

The Trap Bar Deadlift has fallen a bit out of favor in the strength training community in the last few years. This is based on the (mistaken) assumption that trap bar deadlifts are ineffective because they don't hit the posterior chain hard enough.

First of all, with all the deadlifting, box squatting, sprinting, and Olympic lifting that most athletes already do, their posterior chain is worked plenty. Secondly, while the trap bar deadlift may technically be a "squat accessory," that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing!
This style of deadlift (or really, like the Jefferson lift, it's a variation of a squat) is especially helpful to those who have recurring back problems. Because of the hand placement, much of the stress is taken off the lower back and shifted elsewhere. This is great when you have a sore or injured lower back.

Women seem to do extremely well with the trap bar deadlift. While women are typically stronger in the legs and much more adept at deadlifting and squatting, especially in the beginning, their lower backs are sometimes relatively weak. It's the old "strong chain, weakest link" theory — If your legs can deadlift 300 pounds, but your lower back can only handle 200, guess how much you'll lift?

The trap bar deadlift absolutely hammers the quads, hams, glutes, and back. You can play with the set and rep ranges, going from multiple sets of low reps all the way up to sets of 10 or more.

The How To:
Stand in the center of the trap bar (you'll probably have to keep a fairly narrow stance),grip the handles, and rise up. Just because your hands are at your sides, remember to think of it as a deadlift. Keep your back flat and don't straighten your legs too soon.
 
Last edited:
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,350
2,586
#3
It should help anyone who's wanting some variety or a change with their lifting.
 
SFGiants

SFGiants

MuscleHead
Apr 20, 2011
1,091
127
#5
Dimel Pulls are good to but I never do them lol.

I had a physical therapist team me 2 times in my life I would never lift heavy and was this and that well that was about a 1000 pounds ago on my total or more lol I was weak and hurt.

This clown couldn't help of fix me what did though was Barbell Squat to depth, Deadlifts and Good Mornings along with ab work.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,350
2,586
#6
Dimel Pulls are interesting. We just call them Pulls from the Hang. They are commonly done in Olympic Weightlifting but with a Clean Grip or a Snatch Grip. Also, we make sure to keep our shoulders in front of the bar. In Olympic Weightlifting we also have what we call the Pulls to the Knee. Again it's done with either a Clean or Snatch Grip and we pull from the floor to the knee, while keeping our shoulders in front of the bar.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,350
2,586
#8
Snatch grip deads will make a person cuss!
If you think those are bad you should try this: Snatch Grip Pulls from Floor to Pins in Squat Rack. When you get to the pins you keep pulling even though it's not moving and keep pulling on it for 5 sec's before letting it down slowly.

That will literally have you telling your coach to go fuck himself, lol.
 
S

schultz1

Bangs Raiden's mom VIP
Jan 3, 2011
3,444
827
#9
Those sound like a miseable good time. May have to give those a run

If you think those are bad you should try this: Snatch Grip Pulls from Floor to Pins in Squat Rack. When you get to the pins you keep pulling even though it's not moving and keep pulling on it for 5 sec's before letting it down slowly.

That will literally have you telling your coach to go fuck himself, lol.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,350
2,586
#10
I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever put the words "good time" in a sentence with that movement, lol. Give'm a try they are brutal and really work the lower back and also your positions with the bar.
 
loftearmen

loftearmen

New Member
Oct 29, 2011
8
2
#11
I love the Jefferson lift! but everyone thinks I'm a freak when I do them in public...
 
Top