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10 Deadlift Variations to Light Up Your Legs and Butt

10 Deadlift Variations to Light Up Your Legs and Butt

  • Categories:News
  • Author: Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T.
  • Origin:https://www.self.com/gallery/deadlift-variations
  • Time of issue:2020-11-16
  • Views:981
  • (Summary description)10 Deadlift Variations to Light Up Your Legs and Butt

    10 Deadlift Variations to Light Up Your Legs and Butt

    (Summary description)10 Deadlift Variations to Light Up Your Legs and Butt

  • Categories:News
  • Author: Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T.
  • Origin:https://www.self.com/gallery/deadlift-variations
  • Time of issue:2020-11-16
  • Views:981
  • Information

    10 Deadlift Variations to Light Up Your Legs and Butt
    By Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T. and Christa Sgobba


      The deadlift is a great exercise to really work the entire back of your body—including your hamstrings, butt, and back. And there are tons of deadlift variations, which makes it easy to choose the right version that works for you.

      Deadlifts are an example of a compound exercise, which means they use multiple groups at once. As a result, your workout becomes more efficient, since you’re working many muscles with just one exercise. Compare that to an isolation exercise like a bicep curl, where you’re really just focusing on the smaller muscles in your upper arm.

      Because of this, deadlifts are considered a really important move for gaining strength, Lauren Williams, trainer at Project by Equinox, tells SELF. "Your glutes, quads, and hamstrings are involved, but so are your back and traps, and even your shoulders and triceps. It’s very close to a total-body strength move, so you’re really challenging your strength through the whole posterior chain," she explains.

      Deadlifts also give you a great core workout. "When you're pulling something from the ground, you have to create that tension in your core to be able to do it and also to protect your back," Williams says. Over time, deadlifts can help improve stability and core strength—no crunching or planking required. Some variations, like the single-leg or offset load deadlift, also require your core to resist rotating, which provides an additional core challenge.

      Since there are so many variations of deadlifts out there, there are probably a few that work best for your body and your goals. Unless you’re a powerlifter in a deadlifting competition, there’s no “right” way to deadlift—choose the variation that works for you. Some people love to pull from the floor with a conventional barbell deadlift, while others prefer the balance challenge that comes with a single-leg variation. Others prefer to incorporate several of the different deadlift variations in their fitness program during different workouts since each provides a different challenge.

      Here are 10 different deadlift variations—give some of them a try, and see which ones feel best for you.


    1
    Romanian (Stiff-Leg) Deadlift

    Before getting fancy, master a basic deadlift like this one. Proper form here will make the other versions easier to nail and let you reap the muscle-building benefits without accidentally injuring yourself.
    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your thighs.
    Hinge at your hips, bending slightly at your knees. Push your butt way back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor, and the weights should reach your shins.
    Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up straight. Keep the weights close to your shins as you pull.
    Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.


    2
    Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift

    This is another great deadlift variation for anyone just getting started—plus it’s super convenient for those who don’t have much equipment.
    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a kettlebell by the handle with both hands in front of your thighs.
    Hinge at your hips, bending slightly at your knees. Push your butt way back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Touch the bottom of the kettlebell to the floor.
    Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up straight. Keep the kettlebell close to your body as you pull.
    Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.


    3
    Single-Leg Deadlift

    While you’ll likely be lifting lighter loads with a single-leg deadlift than with a traditional one, you’ll be challenging your muscles in different ways. For one, your hip and core muscles have to really fire in order to keep your body stable and maintain your balance on one leg. With single-leg deadlifts, holding two dumbbells can be easier on your balance than holding one, Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., founder of Core in Brookline, Massachusetts, tells SELF. A more advanced progression would be the single-leg contralateral deadlift, where you hold one dumbbell on the opposite side that’s doing the work.
    Stand with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your legs. This is the starting position.
    Shift your weight to your right leg, and while keeping a slight bend in your right knee, raise your left leg straight behind your body, hinging at the hips to bring your torso parallel to the floor, and lower the weight toward the floor.
    Keep your back flat. At the bottom of the movement, your torso and left leg should be almost parallel to the floor, with the weight a few inches off the ground. (If your hamstrings are tight, you may not be able to lift your leg as high.)
    Keeping your core tight, push through your right heel to stand up straight and pull the weight back up to the starting position. Bring your left leg back down to meet your right, but try to keep the majority of weight in your right foot.
    Pause there and squeeze your butt. That's 1 rep.


    4
    Kickstand Deadlift

    A staggered-stance or kickstand deadlift can be a helpful progression to the single-leg deadlift, says Gentilcore. That’s because while you’re primarily working the one leg, the other leg still helps you balance. This also allows you to lift heavier than a single-leg deadlift because you’re more stable, says Williams.
    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
    Place one foot a foot-length in front of the other, toe on the floor, so your stance is staggered. You’ll be working your front leg.
    Hinge at your hips to lower your body. Push your butt far back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
    Keeping your core tight, push through your front heel to stand up straight. Keep the weights close to your shins as you pull up.
    Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. That’s 1 rep.

    5
    Offset Load Deadlift

    For this deadlift, you have two weight options: Either hold a weight in one hand and no weight in the other, or use a lighter weight in one hand and a heavier one in the other. The point is to have a different amount of weight on both sides of your body. "This challenges your stability, because you have to work harder to keep the hips square and keep your back nice and flat," Williams explains. Challenging your stability means challenging your core—those muscles have to engage and work to keep your torso from rotating.
    Stand with feet hip-width apart, grabbing the weight (or weights) with your arms straight.
    Hinge at your hips with your knees slightly bent to lower your body.
    Push your butt far back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
    Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up straight. Keep the weights close to your shins as you pull.
    Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.

    6
    Sliding Deadlift

    By adding a glider under one foot, you’re challenging your stability and getting your body moving in a way it’s probably not used to, Williams says. This is a simple way to keep your body guessing and therefore help your muscles adapt and change as they learn to do the move correctly. Don't have a glider? A paper plate or towel will work too.

    Stand with feet together, holding one weight in your left hand in front of your left thigh.
    Place your right foot on a glider (or paper plate or towel).
    While keeping a slight bend in both knees, slide your right leg back behind your body, hinge at the hips to bring your torso parallel to the floor, and lower the weight toward the floor.
    Keep your back flat. At the bottom of the movement, your torso should be almost parallel to the floor, with the weight a few inches off the floor.
    Keeping your core tight, push through your left heel to stand up straight. As you do, slide the right leg back toward the left heel, and slide the weight back up to start.
    Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.

    7
    Sumo Stance Deadlift

    “Standing wider than the normal hip-width distance helps take load off the lower back, so if that's something you struggle with, this is a good option,” Williams says. The reason is because you can get closer to the ground by using your legs, so you avoid overarching your back as you lower. Because everybody is built so differently, some variations may be easier for you based on how tall you are, how long arms are, or other factors, she explains.

    Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and toes angled out. (The more you turn your feet out, the more this move will work your inner thighs.) Hold a weight in each hand in the middle of your legs. (You can also use just one weight, holding it with both hands).
    Hinge at your hips and bend your knees to lower your body. Push your butt far back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
    Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up straight. Keep the weight directly underneath your body as you pull.
    Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.

    8
    Resistance Band Deadlift

    Using a resistance band for a deadlift is a good way to train your posterior chain if you don't have access to a lot of weight or equipment, since it's hardest at the top of the movement and challenges your lockout strength (when your glutes need to kick in and fire at the top to complete the move), says Gentilcore.

    Place a looped resistance band straight on the floor and step on it with both feet to secure it firmly. Keep enough slack in the middle of it for you to pull up.
    Hinge forward at your hips to lower your body, keeping your back flat. With both hands, grab both parts of the resistance band and lift it to about shin height. This is starting position. There should be enough slack in the band so you don’t feel tension yet.
    Push through your heels to pull the band up so you stand up straight. Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.

    9
    Single-Leg Resistance Band Deadlift

    Like the bilateral resistance band deadlift, this move is hardest at the top, where your glutes will really need to fire. Plus, because it’s unilateral, you’ll be working on any strength imbalances too.

    Stand with your feet together and the band looped under your left foot. Hold one end of the band in your right hand so that when you stand, with your arm at your side, there is tension in the band. (The other end of the band can either just lie on the floor or you can hold it slack in your left hand.)
    Shift so all of your weight is in your left foot. Hinge at the hip, and tip forward, allowing your right foot to come straight up behind you as you hinge forward, eventually bringing your chest parallel to the floor. Keep your core engaged to help with balance.
    As you hinge, naturally allow your right arm to drop toward the floor, creating less tension in the band.
    Return your right foot to the floor to return to your starting position. This is 1 rep.

    10
    Barbell Deadlift

    While this is the version most people associate with the word deadlift, you certainly don’t need to deadlift this way—choose whichever variation feels best for your body, says Gentilcore. This is a good option for those looking to build strength since you can load up a barbell more easily than the other deadlift variations.

    Stand behind a barbell with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
    Sit your hips back, bend your knees slightly, and lean your torso forward, maintaining a tight core and flat back. Grab the bar, placing your hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing in toward your body.
    Push your feet into the floor and stand up tall, pulling the weight with you and keeping your arms straight. Bring your hips forward and squeeze your abs and glutes at the top.
    Slowly reverse the movement, bending your knees and pushing your butt back to lower the weight back to the floor. Keep the bar close to your body the entire time and maintain a flat back. This is 1 rep.

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