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Know Your Deadlift

posted on May 6, 2020

Hello House Union, Strongest Crue of Land Pittsburgh,


Do you want to be; strong, athletic, ripped, toned, flip cars, pickup household objects with ease or just have a fabulous backside? If you said yes to any of these then it’s time to deadlift. “But I’ve heard it’s bad for my back and I’ll hurt myself, Mr. Bumpy Sir!?” Nay nay my good chum, with well taught form and various progressions, the deadlift can be very safe and beneficial to your daily life and provide exercise longevity. There are so many ways to exercise and multiple variations of the deadlift that can suit your training age and wellness goals. Also you don’t need a barbell to deadlift, you can use; kettlebells, bands, dumbbells, sandbags or even sacs of potatoes if you’re still in quarantine mode. This blog will be less about deadlift technique but the different pull variations out there for you to party with. Today, I will tell you some of my favorite variations on everyone’s favorite Day Time Game Show…Know Your Deadlifts!


Conventional: This is your standard great old fashioned pull. Your hips are in a higher position than a Sumo or Trap-bar dead and you are pulling back and up to move the dead weight. This applies a great amount of work for posterior chain development (Calves, Hamstrings, Glutes & Back muscles).


Sumo: Picture Sumo wrestlers, this deadlift takes a wider stance, your hips are lower and you have a more upright torso compared to its conventional counterpart. This variation can take stress of the low back and put the emphasis of work on the hips,quads and glutes.


Trap-Bar: A hybrid between deadlift and squat, this is a great exercise to learn and progress from for everyone. You won’t have to bend down as low so this can help you get into position if you are less mobile. This variation still works the posterior chain while also  puts a great emphasis on the quads. Most Trap-Bars will produce a shorter range of motion.


Romanian Deadlift (RDL): This is a partial movement variation of the conventional deadlift. The RDL starts at the top (unless you are picking the weight from the floor) and with a slight bend in your knees you hinge back til the weight is around mid-shin or below the  knee (hamstring flexibility may limit you), then squeeze those glutes and return the bar back to your hips. This exercise targets the muscles of the posterior chain and can take stress off the knees and quads.


Snatch Grip: This variation uses a barbell and the setup is very similar to the conventional deadlift, the main difference is that your hands hold that bar with a wide grip (around where the ring of the bar is). The Snatch Grip will challenge your upper back and grip a lot more than the conventional pull and have an increased range of motion.


Flash Round


Block Pull: The weight is raised up on blocks/mats to decrease the range of motion and can be beneficial to target specific muscle development or lockout strength.


Deficit Deadlift: The lifter will be elevated by blocks/mats and the weight will be at a deficit, this increases the range of motion and helps the lifter possibly improve leg drive and starting strength.


Single Leg RDL: One leg is rooted in the ground while the other moves freely in this exercise. A great option to work on muscle imbalances and challenge your balance. This exercise really firers up the calf, hamstring and glute of the rooted leg.


Staggered Stance RDL: Similar to the Single Leg exercise above except both feet are grounded. The lead leg in the staggered stance takes the work, with both feet on the ground it is easier to balance and increase the weight.


Dimmel Deadlift: Think RDL but much more dynamic with a slightly shorter range of motion.


Thank you for tuning in to Know Your Deadlifts and I hope you enjoyed this episode and took something fun away. What are some of your favorite deadlift variations that I didn’t list or some you just want to show more love to. Please share and comment.


Remember we pick things up & put them down….for fun.





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