Deadlift Variations & How To Get It Right
Deadlift variations target a variety of muscles and are performed different; however, conventional deadlifts are by far the best and most difficult exercise to perform. Grabbing a loaded barbell of the ground with no help requires an immense amount of strength and explosiveness. Deadlifts hit the entire body like no other exercise in its class.
Compared to squats and bench presses, deadlifts are the true exercise to test one’s strength. There are a number of variations on the deadlift. Finding out which one is better is largely due to your goals. Let us take the regular deadlift to begin.
Regular deadlifts are performed with a stance that is slightly around shoulder width compared to other variations which I will go into. This exercise targets the entire body when performed correctly.
The first part of the exercise involves the entire upper body and the second part recruits the lower body to a degree of that of squats. Regular deadlifts will help increase overall strength and explosiveness. One important piece to remember on this exercise is to practice good form. This exercise is not one you would want to do with poor form.
Other variation includes stiff-legged deadlift. This is performed much like the regular deadlifts except the legs remain vertical throughout the movement. The legs remain straight throughout the movement.
This exercise helps target the hamstring, glutes, and lower back muscles a lot more effectively compared to the original. Less weight will mostly likely be used on this one as using heavier weights can injure the hamstrings if they are not up to par. Stiff-legged deadlifts are a must if your hamstrings are a weak link.
Another variation goes by the name Romanian deadlift. Now I am not sure if the exercise actually came from Romania, but that is what they are known by. This is also performed like the stiff-legged version except with the added hinge at the knee. A slight bend in the knee helps put more stress on the hamstring muscles. These are also another exercise that is a must if your lower back side is weak.
Last variation includes the sumo style deadlift. Just like the name says, the position is that of a sumo wrestler. The movement is the same as the deadlift; however, the grip is slightly around shoulder width, hands at about 6 inches apart. This exercise specifically targets the quads and inner hamstrings more accurately compared to other variations.
Many of these variations can be performed with a overhand grip or a one over and one under grip. It is best to play around with them to get a feeling on which grip helps you hold onto the weight more.
As for the variations of the deadlift, using one or the other will depend on what your goal is. If you want to build stronger hamstrings, more strength, more explosiveness, or just overall functional strength, then using any of them will help tremendously. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of them!
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