Bodybuilding Alternatives To The Deadlift

When I say deadlift, I’m specifically referring to the conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and rack pulls. While there is such a thing as stiff-legged deadlifts, I don’t classify them in the same category since they do not require nearly as much weight, they can effectively be used to isolate the lower back, and they do not require the weight to be lifted from the floor (technically they’re not “deadlifts”).

I’ll admit that when I used to deadlift, it was one of my favorite lifts. I’ll also add that if you can deadlift, then you should consider incorporating it into your routine—it truly is a singular lift in the scope of potential benefits.

The problem is that not everyone can deadlift, so where does that leave us?

I often hear deadlift enthusiasts say things like, “you need to deadlift.” I’ll interject some reason here and say that no lift in particular is required in order to build a large and aesthetic physique; free-weights are tremendously flexible and the manner in which you manipulate their use is entirely up to you.

I know that there are many similar people out there, so I’ll relate exactly why it is that I do not deadlift, then I’ll discuss effective replacements for the deadlift.

Why I Do Not Deadlift

While deadlifting, I would inevitably feel some pain in my left rhomboid. After some time the pain became unbearable, then persistent. So, I stopped deadlifting until the injury healed.

By the time that I had healed I had also doubled-down on my desire to continue deadlifting, so I made sure to try a number of different set-ups and tweaks to my form, but all was for naught when the exact same pain resurfaced (even with lighter weights).

In the end, I tossed away the deadlift. My training routine was pretty basic, so you won’t be surprised to hear that the rate of my development suffered quite a bit.

I determined that I needed to find some alternatives that—when compounded—would amount to something like deadlifting. By pinpointing exactly what I hoped to get out of the deadlift, I was able to explore other lifts that could seamlessly be integrated into my legs and back routine.

If you currently do not deadlift for similar reasons, then I recommend trying out these four lifts, which I have relied upon in lieu of the deadlift.

1. Jefferson Squats


What you will be focusing on with this lift is mostly your glutes. In addition, you should be thinking about your hams, abductors, and adductors (you will hit your inner and outer quads regardless). This is an awkward lift to look at and perform, so if you are unfamiliar with it, then bear with me.

Straddle the bar with your feet in a “V” position (roughly 90 degrees) at about the second groove back.  Make sure that one foot is pointed towards the plate while the other is oriented more obliquely. Take one step with each foot—not a giant step, more of a flopping step that places your feet just outside of your shoulders. You should be able to squat down over the bar, grab it with a reverse grip (check out Kai Greene’s form above) and then press upwards.

The keys: switch your hand and foot positioning form set-to-set, flex the glutes from the bottom to the top with an extra-hard squeeze at the top, don’t let your knees buckle inwards or shoot outwards, stay as upright as possible with chest poked out, try to hit parallel.

It will take some time to figure out this lift, but it’s well worth the effort.

2. Barbell Hack Squats


These are used for overall quad development and they work the traps as a bonus.

Keep your feet close together (just inside shoulder width) and hands just outside of your feet. The bar tends to drag against the back of your legs much like a bar might drag against your front during a deadlift. Give your quads an extra squeeze at the top.

The tricky part, in my opinion, is raising and lowering the bar without rounding your back. That will take some practice, but in time you will learn to shoot your hips out-and-in with the bending and straightening of your knees so that you can maintain the arch in your back.

You can see why these are sometimes referred to as “reverse deadlifts.” Use a few mirrors for a better understanding of how you may be endangering yourself during this lift and also to keep tabs on your form.

3. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts


These are often used for lower back, hams, and glutes, but we’re not going to worry about the hams or glutes in this case—think only of your lower back. Concentrate so that you feel the stretch in your hams, but use light enough weight so that you don’t need to recruit them or your glutes on the concentric. To some degree they are necessarily involved in the movement, but they can be effectively marginalized so that their involvement is negligible.

Use a mirror or your own awareness to confirm that you are not squeezing your hams or glutes on the concentric. Try to feel the contraction exclusively in your lower back; squeeze it during the positive portion of the lift and give an extra squeeze at the top instead of resting.

Take it slowly—you will see for yourself how precarious this lift is once you perform it for the first time. With a few mirrors and some muscle control, you can use this lift to isolate your lower back.

Maintain the arch in your back at all times. If you’re rounding your back, then you are probably lowering the bar too far or neglecting to shoot your butt back as you lower the weights. Let the stretch in your hams dictate how far you can actually lower the bar.  Keep your legs as straight as possible.

I prefer to use dumbbells instead of a barbell. I like the way that they hang in my hands and don’t interfere with the motion. It’s up to you to decide which is most comfortable and produces the desired effect.

When manipulated to focus almost exclusively on the lower back, these tend to resemble two alternatives: hyperextensions and “good mornings.” Personally, I do not like the way that these alternatives feel when heavier weights are used; consequently I get a better contraction by manipulating SLDs in the manner I’ve described. If you feel otherwise, then try out these alternatives.

I recommend practicing at home in front of a mirror with your bodyweight in order to get a better sense for the type of contraction that you will be aiming for with SLDs.  You should be able to feel an intense contraction in your lower back during the concentric (even with bodyweight if you’re taking your time and controlling the contraction). If your butt is squeezing, then don’t count the rep and renew your focus.

4. Bent Over Rows


These aren’t Yates rows or Pendlay rows. They’re not Yates rows because your back is basically parallel to the ground rather than at a 45-degree angle.  They’re not Pendlay rows, since you should not be dropping the weights all the way to the ground. These are good ol’ fashioned bent over rows.

Use a wider, pronated grip for these (I place my pinkies at the second grooves). Get a full stretch on the negative, then bring the bar to the lower chest and upper abs.

Bent over rows work a good portion of your back including the teres, rhomboids, rear delts, traps and lats with more of an emphasis on the upper back than Yates rows.

Since you will be supporting the weight with your lower back and lowering the bar under control rather than dropping it as you might during Pendlay rows, these will actually work your lower back quite hard through isometric contraction.

These are a very important part of my lower back training; you may be surprised by the amount of strain that is placed on the erector spinae. Since I’m extra cautious when it comes to my lower back, I perform these on separate days than I perform my SLDs (rows are for back day; I do my SLDs on leg day as a hangover from when I used to incorporate glutes and hams).

Trapezius Bonus Lift:

Already perform conventional shrugs? Try incline dumbbell shrugs in addition.

Execution: after a full stretch, rather than “shoulders-to-ears,” bring your shoulder blades together while face-down on an incline bench (these may change the way that you think of middle back training).



Deadlifts may be optimal, but they’re not necessary. In bodybuilding it’s mass, symmetry, and aesthetics that are the goal. The means of achieving your goal are strictly up to you.

If you don’t deadlift, can’t deadlift, or won’t deadlift, then try these lifts instead—you may be surprised by the results.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide To Breaking Bodybuilding Plateaus

76 thoughts on “Bodybuilding Alternatives To The Deadlift”

  1. Nice post man. Good to see someone bringing back the old school Jefferson squat. Some other alternatives that I use and really like are hyperextensions or back extensions with body weight or while holding a plate or dumbell, good morning variations, and single leg straight-leg dead lifts.
    While I totally agree with you that you don’t HAVE TO do the dead lift, I still think as a basic human movement pattern, it’s in a lifter’s best interest to try to correct whatever dysfunctions they may have that prevent them from performing a full range of motion dead lift. I talk about that here:
    I was thinking about your rhomboid issue and I’ve actually had the same problem. For me the fix was A) using a double over hand grip (for warm up sets, for maxing I still use a mixed grip) B) setting my shoulders back and down and really flexing my lats to stabilize my shoulders C) using a lacross ball on the angry areas in my upper thoracic spine, especially behind the shoulder blades to improve my mobility and workout all the stuck joints and trigger points. Kelly Starrett at Mobilitywod dot com has a ton of stuff on trouble-shooting your dead lift and fixing pain and mobility issues. Hope you find some of that useful. Again, very nice post.

  2. Great options to the deadlift…well done. Anybody have alternatives to bench presses for chest development? My rotators are shot and I can’t get full ROM with bench presses anymore. Thanks in advance.

    1. Dumbbell press, incline dumbbell press, cable flies, pushups
      I had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder. I don’t do any bench press now at all, but there are tons of chest exercises you could still do.

    2. Had a torn labrum and rotator cuff in one shoulder. I can only do incline bench press now and most the time only do pushups and dips on my push days.

    3. I’m not saying the bench press is 100% safe,but if your shoulders hurt after bench pressing then chances are you’re benching with bad form or lifting too heavy too often.

    4. Old fashioned standing military press. It works your chest more than you think. I think it’s the more natural lift anyway. Also, the stronger you get, the healthier your shoulders get. I don’t think you can say the same for the bench press. The unracking/reracking (bench press) at higher weights puts a lot of stress on your shoulder that isn’t part of the lift’s intended benefits. If your focus is bodybuilding/appearance then the military press is worthy too because your shoulder strength/size stays ahead of your chest. So you never get that ‘busty’ look that guys get who live on the bench.

      1. gotta say that i also developed hemorrhoids from either one of deadlifts or squats. uncomfortable to say the least. took a hiatus of 6 months or so on these exercises, recently got back into them and so far so good! i probably had a lapse of proper form (although i’m pretty fastidious with my form), or was just over-exercising… the sandpaper toilet-paper probably wasn’t helping either. cheers gents!

        1. I only use the softest Egyptian cotton for toilet paper. Clogs the shit out of the toilet though.

        2. 1,000+ thread count I hope. Anything less would be plebeian.
          True story: in high school I knew a guy who only wiped his ass with baby wipes.

  3. Great recommendations, I’m a big fan of the bent over row (although I opt for the pendlay row these days as I’ve run into lower back issues before).
    If you plan on doing hack squats with a barbell be very cautious of your back rounding like the article mentions, I have literally never seen anyone in the gym perform them with decent form.

      1. Fuck! I think Dorian Yates was rowing something around that weight when he tore his bicep…and those rows were at an angle, which provided some added support for his lower back.
        Personally, I row about 25% more weight when I angle my back rather than keeping it parallel to the ground, but still, I’m nowhere near the types of poundages we’re discussing here.
        I’m struggling to understand how the hell you did it.

        1. I was thinking the same. I’m 6 ‘2, 260 pounds, 35, been training for 15 years and would have to juice to get above 280 rows. Some people are just naturally strong though.

        2. I was once heavy into bodybuilding and powerlifting back in the 1980s. Back then we used the ways of olde, mostly written in the 1970s, stuff from guys who did powerlifting before or in addition to bodybuilding.
          This is why you see a clear difference with bodybuilders now and then. Back then it was still considered “foundation training” to do mostly powerlifting style heavy sets as this what was the old school had in their experience (guys like Arnold, Beckles, Katz, Ferrigno, Tom Platz, etc. )
          So a lot of guys were starting on 8,8,8,6 bulkup routines and progressing into 5 set pyramids like 12,10,8,6,4 typically. But that last set was free for all in most cases the form was out the window and if you made it to 4 reps without a spot you were not using enough weight (this was not “official”).
          So it was common to see then guys being able to bench almost twice their weight, or guys weighing 150 lbs squatting 300, or like a friend of mine who weighed 200 lbs routinely did 500lb box squats.
          There was also a very active campaign AGAINST steroid use, right down to the geezers in the gym, guys who had pattern baldness at age 17 saying “You don’t want this shit”. If you listened, you didn’t to roids. Period.
          Calves were another thing. Calf workouts were a bitch. The idea was, it’s a very dense muscle that must be bombed mercilessly. So back then there were machines with plate racks that went up to very high weights. We did not “pump” the calf muscle, it was considered too dense and the range of motion too short.
          So when I was in the military service the base gym had a rack that went up to 1100 lbs. Yes I was using 1100 lbs on calves but this might sound incredible, I had been using very high weights on calves starting at age 14.
          I had a friend in high school (imagine that) who went on bodybuilding routines strictly on “building size”, some routine from Joe Weider. Yes it is possible to “strictly build size” without strength. My friend looked like a muscle balloon. He weighed 180 lbs at age 17.
          Next to him I looked skinny. I was also a year younger. I weighed 190 lbs.

        3. Damn I remember those days. Fortunately I found Mike Metzner eventually and got out of the rather silly “do 4,000 sets of increasing then decreasing weight” routine. Combine a slightly modified HIT with a good diet and you get to be a big, dense muscle guy with only a fraction of time in the gym.

        4. Yeah I was a hardcore gym rat back in the day. 3 hours a day. Of course I was a teenager then and had plenty of time on my hands.
          The long term results of my training is that my body always responds rapidly to simulation. I can build muscle very fast, lose weight very fast, and have always been strong even after having not touched a barbell in years. I could go a year without doing pullups, but still crank out a dozen at any time.

  4. Check out “Convict Conditioning”. Uses body weight for extreme fitness, without all the injuries.

  5. Glad to see something about back workouts, giving me a chance to issue a warning:
    Be mindful of your “back arch” and not just during workouts, but all of the time.
    For years, progressively, I was getting more and more arched. How arched? If I sat down all day all of the hair at the top of my ass was worn away. That’s how arched.
    And this fucked up my stomach giving me monstrous acid reflux conditions, the kind where the acid also spreads into the rest of the body and makes the heart race (the heart is trying to pump blood to help clean it up, like when illness strikes).
    Working on my posture fixed that. And I would recommend that solid form with these deadlifts can help you condition these muscles.
    You see when you are tired you will slouch. Too much slouching over too much time will condition you the wrong way. The most extreme of this you might see occasionally at a bus stop, the hunch-backed old man with the leather face, that of someone who was doing hard labor since he was 12. That’s not automatically old age, that’s years of slouching (and hard work will do that).
    One thing that helped me start with good posture is to track where my mind thinks my back is, as opposed to where it really is. So being a big “C” shape back-wise was “normal” to me and standing up straight with good posture felt to me consciously like I was trying to stick my ass out like a bitch. Since we cannot see our backs very well or study our posture in the mirror all day, you have to get a feel for where the lumbar is and where your muscles think it is.
    Another thing, if you are alone try this: stand up and do try to stick your ass out like a bitch. I say alone because if you are in a city and do this you might get your Christmas goose way early. But try this as if you were doing a deadlift but pretend you are a peacock trying to really stick those feathers up for the hens… I’ll wait….
    OK now how is the weight on your feet distributed? Did it shift to the front? If you overdid it and are sticking your ass out like a bitch (OK you can stop doing that now) your heels might have even come off the ground.
    (Now you know why women wear high heels, to help stick dat ass out)
    You on the other hand might consider slight help: wear shoes with a heel on it. Not high heels, you fags, but something like a boot or dress shoe which traditionally always had a heel on it (from executive wingtips to cowboy boots). That small lift makes a HUGE difference for your posture so much that if you are uneven with your footwear this will mess up your back. If you wear flat shoes a lot you might be doing yourself no help.
    So the deadlift position will help that rear axis in the core muscles but watch that posture and footwear will help.

      1. Let me guess, you are a millennial who needs a video or a listicle or a video that helps you walk through a listicle.

        1. No, but I am a millennial with a perfect body who’s not going to read a skyscraper of useless text

        2. ‘Skyscraper of useless text’ he says as a rebuttal to being called out for having no attention span. Ha ha.

        3. You just displayed a supreme lack of self awareness. If you did not read it, you have no basis with which to judge it useless. But you did judge it useless, meaning that you leap to judgment without facts or reason, preferring instead emotional reasons such as “I ain’t got no times for dat!”.
          Had you read his post, your comment would have held more merit. Unfortunately you just used your time to make a fool of yourself.

        4. Owned. Proust, you didn’t even have to claim to be a millenial because you displayed;
          1. arrogance
          2. excessive self-satisfaction (coming out of nowhere with the ‘perfect body’ interjection)
          3. immediate fast-forward to chintzy emotional payoff
          4. no attention span
          5. supremacy complex
          You see, we already knew you were a millenial based on those five things that you idiots manage to display at any given moment of your lives.

        5. Oh and to what reason should be we honored with your presence, oh special snowflake?
          Perfect millennial example: You are satisfied with your body, therefore it’s perfect. I’m sure everything you agree with or find agreeable is “right’ and just and perfect.
          And like a millennial, everything you disagree with or do not like personally is horrible, evil, bad, and needs to be banned by laws enforced by men with badges and guns.
          You have SJW tendencies. Stick around here and you’ll get some help.

        6. Glad to see officers in the manosphere.
          ,,Protecting the pioneers of masculinity from ridicule and non-constructive critique”.
          An honorary mention, sir !

    1. A great way to fix your posture if you have a desk job is to get a standing desk. Over time, standing will undo the unnatural curving out of your lumbar spine (which causes your ass to stick out). I am not sure about the advice to wear heeled shoes. The natural way to walk is barefoot which in fact encourages you to run on the balls of your feet and walk mid-foot (thus achieving what you want from a “heel” but without the crutch of a heeled shoe).

      1. I have done exactly that for several months and the results were astounding! Regrettably I only did it because when I left my last LTR I didn’t have a chair to sit on and was too busy that week to go to Goodwill and get a used one, but after that week, decided to continue with standing from the results I was getting.
        (Goes to show you, these LTRs, I didn’t even have a fucking chair when all was said and done)
        The walking bit I was not aware of and will look into. Thanks.

      2. yep, got my stand up a few months ago. I stand all day and the drive home feels like a foot massage, just sitting there relaxing.

    2. Good reference on the posture. I’m still fighting with it daily. I use some stretch exercises from one of Jefe’s articles. But still it’s a workload. Looking forward to more strategies.
      Thanks !

  6. There really is no substitute for deadlifts. Alternatives are much less effective or worse on the joints. If you have a debilitating injury, I wound not recommend the internet for corrective advice.
    Otherwise, work on flexibility under load, train at under 80% of max. 99% of the time. Don’t be a dumb gym hero, your DL is not that good, trust me.
    A 2x bodyweight pull within one year is easily doable.
    If you try to pull over 80% of max frequently, then I promise you will get fucked up. Give it time, don’t use straps or gloves. Your grip failing, is actually a neurological safe gaurd. Just do 3sx5r, 2 to 3 times a week, 2 min between sets. Only add weight when the last rep of the last set feels good. Test for a good form max (98%) about once evey 3 months.
    This will get you very strong without facing serious injury. When you hit 2.5x bodyweight, you won’t need anymore advice.

    1. There is no one-exercise replacement for deadlifts, but a few other exercises combined can easily replace it.
      I already did squats and various rowing exercises, so I only had to add back extensions to have everything deadlifts did. And no, it isn’t worse on my joints at all.

      1. Depending on if the goal is hypertrophy for aesthetics you can work around it, at the price of a lot more volume, which is time. In they gym I go for max efficacy. To get the “equivalent” in muscles worked you need something like, front squats + glute hamstring raises + bent over rows + shrugs. For multiple sets each. Roughly an hours worth of work multiple times a week. This on top of all the other work needed to build a body. Volume over time, especially as the loads increase will lead injury. Also as fatigue sets in over multiple sets, form breaks fown.
        Functionally even with perfect execution of alternative lifts, you are not working the motor units together along with all the other small muscles. The actual act of picking heavy thing’s up and putting them down will only really improve with a pure deadlift. You can say this is bs, but specificity in training has been proven in sports everywhere.
        To make my case, to build power. I back squat, bench, deadlift, and do bent over rows on the same day. 3×5 each, 3 times per week. The other 2 days I do clean and press with no jerk, loaded pull ups, incline bench and Turkish getups for mobility. Everyday I do dynamic and static stretching. This is just what I run right now.
        I have done all kinds of splits to work around injuries or improve imbalances.
        The only splits that make gains on bench, squat or deadlift are ones that have you perform it.
        All the other minor movements help build capacity when you come back to the main lift. In the form of a bigger you is a stronger you. But minor movements will never replace major movements if the goal is power production.

        1. You gotta be running some good gear to train that much, bub. That’s serious amounts of training, with only no-nonsense CNS demanding compound movements. Kinda makes me want to pin to win already!

        2. Nah, just years under the bar, quality rest and lots of protein. I am sure my numbers would be huge with gear, but the whole class 3 felony would kill my real source of income.

        3. I would seriously love to train like this. Cleans and presses and all, at this frequency. I’m just tired often, finding it difficult to maintain 3 days a week of compounds. I’m also 36, with kinda low testosterone (375, before lifting though). But how much protein do you aim for, 2 grams per kilo? I’m not supplementing protein atm because funds are tight.
          Interesting rule on the DL for determining if one should use gear. I have about 13 months continuous lifting, playing around with 365 DL and peaked at 315 squats, just started DLing recently. I find it kind of boring.

        4. You either love the iron or hate it. If everyone was dead I would still lift.
          The low T thing you can get TRT without breaking any laws, that will get you to 900 to 1000ng/dL. I naturally run high T, 880ng/dL ish. At 375 you are getting close to trouble and maybe a factor.
          Either way I have found that there is a certain load that you can simply feel your bones are not adapted well too. Working over that takes more out for recovery.
          At the loads you are at you should consider waving volume durring the week. IE 3×5 monday, 1×5 Wednesday, then either back to 3×5 or 2×5. Also look at what works in terms of % of max for training. I find if I am up much over 85% I start to get beat down. You will make sold gains using lighter loads around 70 to 80% while working on movement quality and speed, without feeling waisted.
          Protein I go for min 1g per kg lean body mass, that is subtract appox body fat weight from the total body weight to get lean mass. I buy 8lbs Chuck roasts and other such low end cuts of meat and deep freeze it. I get grass feed beef for around 6.00 a lb that way. Just have to stew it for hours to eat it. But its better than powder.
          For reference I weigh 175, Dl 490 and squat 415. But thats years of effort.

        5. IMO it’s your nutrition. I used to be tired all the time until I fixed that. It was at your age that I figured it out. As for the boredom, don’t do any exercise you find boring no matter how much people tell you, you “need” to do it. There’s always an alternative. Good luck!

        6. I already did squats, hamstring curls, leg extensions and shrugs, so I just went a bit heavier on those (since the muscles weren’t pre-worked by deadlifts) and added back extensions.
          So my workouts aren’t any longer (or less effective) than before.

    2. Although I fully agree with your statement, attaining a 2x bodyweight pull within a year is NOT easily attainable for the majority of people.
      I’ve been lifting consistently for a year (5×5, madcow) after a long break and my deadlift went from 165 to 286, an improvement I’m very happy with. Yet for a 2x bodyweight I would have to do 440….

      1. Your gains on DL are great, they are yours so and that’s all that matters. The most important factor is effort and consistency.
        Without some coaching or a firm foundation on strength building, obtaining a 2x BW pull in a year is tough. Especially given the amount of BS lifting advice on the net.
        But I honestly believe it is manageable with coaching or some R&D on the program selection early on in the process. Provided age and or hormones allow for growth and a good intake of food is in place.
        For a total novice to build DL numbers quickly, and overall strength in the first 0 to 6 months. I make sure the program has has squats, DL, overhead pressing, bench press, rows and chins.
        A novice lifter, aiming for strength and power can be worked regularly with gains on almost every session. 5 to 6 times a week or more depending on what they manage, using a 3×5 rep scheme. I have them move the weight up 5 or 10 lbs on each lift every session they complete all the lifts ,on 2 minute rest between sets. This is soul crushing, but effective.
        This tops out after a few months, but every time I have done this, a new lifter who shows up with a starting 80-100 lbs DL is doing 200 by the end of this phase. I have used this with a lot of light weight distance runners who have no power output and want to get faster. So for my 2 cents, I have trained a lot of 100 to 120 lbs women and have them pulling 200 to 240 for a heavy single in 3-6 months.
        In terms of programming just about any set/rep scheme will work if you make it work, that is you believe in it. But I will say this, its important to Intensity and volume ranges up every so often to keep things fresh.
        In years 0-3 of regular strength training, I highly recommend Mark Riptoes “Starting Strength” for understanding not only form, but what works for strength building quickly. Also included is a very good program called the Texas method, for lifters who are past the first few months of linear new lifer gains.

      2. yep, took me about 2.5 years to go from 135 to 385 (at age 43, I hit it, BW of 180). Also got the eventual umbilical hernia. After lifting heavy at my age for such a short time, I realized (as a pretty small guy overall, 5’8), that my Nordic genes may have something to do with it, honestly. Didn’t realize until big dudes were walking by like “Damn dude…” I always kidded, “I’m the strongest ‘doesn’t look strong guy’ you’ll meet” LOL. I’ll get back into it once I am certain my hernia repair is good.

    1. they are a great hybrid between the squat (direct linear vertical pathway) and the dead. if you only had a pull up bar, pushups and a trap bar, you’d be set really.

  7. Had the same issue as the author but in the right rhomboid, simple fix ,reverse shrug your shoulder straight down but not to hard ( not back or forward just away from the ears) , this will lock the shoulders into the shoulder girdle, keep it like this through the entire lift, I can dead-lift and no longer have an issue.

    1. I’m gonna give that a try.
      I usually hear people say “flex the traps,” but your method seems to be something like the reverse–“stretch the traps (neutrally).”
      Trying it right now without weights feels pretty comfortable; I can’t wait to try it in the gym. Thanks for the tip.

  8. I actually cannot lift at all due to injury. I fixed this with high intensity bodyweight training. You can gain surprising levels of strength and mass this way.

  9. Deadlifts? One wrong move and you can take out your back and knees. Just stick to the basics. Deadlifting/powerlifting is too dangerous IMO

    1. the Deadlift kind of is a basic movement. It’s the most natural movement along with the squat. Any pain during the deadlift has more to do with the debilitating effects the modern sedentary has on our spine. as far as powerlifting goes, the powerlifting stance for deadlift aka sumo deadlift, is actually safer that the conventional deadlift form. It allows you to lift more weight with less strain to the back.

      1. Lol if you follow up on the forums you would know I’m pretty aesthetic..but what would you know? You are a guest

    2. My back was a wreck when I used to do squats, in the many years since I substituted dead lifts I’ve had no back problems. Some people have congenital back problems but for those who don’t proper dead lifts will strengthen your back, not harm it.

  10. Was proud to say that I started PLing in my early 40s (couple years ago), and got up to a 385lb dead at 180lb bodyweight. BUT…unfortunately, over time I developed an umbilical hernia (probably from squats to be honest), and out of caution, I went back to 300 type workouts. I had surgery in Oct, so maybe this October I’ll get back into it. It was fun to see how strong I could get as a middle-aged, smaller guy. The Nordic blood came through, is all I could figure.

  11. What I do is a back to back super set with bent over rows and stiff legged deadlift..Amazing work out and I barely got over 45 on each side. I haven’t deadlift in awhile so nice to see these alternatives put to the forefront

  12. Deadlift is Da King of all exercises.
    There are no alternatives. The only alternative one should try, is being spotted by a proficient trainer and therefore, deadlifting better

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