Types Of Deadlifts & How They Change Your Body – UPDATED 2022
The deadlift is one exercise that can work for all major muscle groups. However, your stance and variation can play a role in what muscles you work. This can be your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, calves, quads, and upper back. Not just your traps, spinal erectors, hips, and glutes.
However, like many exercises, there may come to a point where you start to hit the wall. Progression stops and you reach a plateau and just can’t lift anymore. That’s why it is important sometimes to look for a different approach.
That’s where varying the types of deadlifts you do can pay dividends. Not only will it help you get out of a plateau, but work other muscles you may have forgotten about.
So, if you are looking to vary your workout and try different types of deadlifts, keep reading.
In this article, we discuss:
– What is a deadlift
– The different types of deadlifts
– Benefits of a deadlift
– How Deadlifts Change Your Body
Remember, before starting any new type of deadlift or exercise, make sure you have someone around to spot you and check your form. This way, you can prevent poor technique from happening and also injury. Now, let’s get started.
What Is A Deadlift?
A deadlift is a weight training exercise that requires a loaded barbell or bar to be lifted off the ground. This bar is lifted off the ground to the level of the hips and kept perpendicular to the floor. It is then slowly placed back on the ground.
This exercise joins a family of three powerlifting exercises that are widely used in the gym today. These include the squat and bench press.
The deadlift has been proven to be beneficial in muscle production, knee rehabilitation, and vertical jump performance. However, there are many other benefits to deadlifts, which we will cover in this article.
Even though the deadlift primarily uses the legs and hips, it is also a good exercise for the back. Depending on the type of deadlift you do, you can target many other muscles too.
Different Types of Deadlifts
Like most other weight training exercises, there are different stances and variations you can do to target other muscle groups through the same exercise. So, what are the different types of deadlifts?
1. Sumo Deadlift
The sumo deadlift is similar to the sumo squat. This type of deadlift requires you to place your feet at a wider stance and with your hands located inside of your feet.
The sumo deadlift helps emphasize the quads and hips during the movement. It also allows a better range of motion, allowing you to lift heavier weights.
2. Hex Bar Deadlifts
Hex bar deadlifts require the use of a different bar to perform the deadlift. The hex bar (or trap bar) is of hexagonal shape and places less stress on the lower back and biceps that a conventional bar. Because of this, the hex bar deadlift offers a better range of motion, which allows greater knee flexion during the lift. This type of deadlift is better for people that are concerned about lower back injuries, or preventing the risk of a lower back injury during a deadlift.
3. Snatch Grip Deadlift
The snatch grip deadlift is a type of Olympic lifting. It focuses on a wider grip and stance. Because of this it helps to work the hamstrings more, and strengthen the pull of the snatch.
Even though the snatch grip deadlift works many of the same muscles as a traditional deadlift, it can help to strengthen the upper back more than the lower back. This is largely due to the wider grip and stance.
4. Romanian Deadlift
Sometimes called the straight-legged lift, the Romanian deadlift focuses on the hamstrings more than other variations of the deadlift. Because this exercise requires stiff legs during the lifting and lowering phases, it is not widely recommended for beginners. As incorrect form can place added stress on the back muscles and knees if poor technique is used.
5. Hack Deadlift
The hack deadlift is a variation of the traditional deadlift that focuses on the quadriceps. However, this variation often places additional stress and strain on the knees. Meaning you should not attempt this type of deadlift if you are a beginner. Even so, if you are experienced in the gym, it should only be occasionally used.
Benefits of a Deadlift
The deadlift is one of the most popular exercises performed in a gym today and this is for good reason. Below are some of the benefits you can expect to see when you include deadlifts into your strength training plan.
1. Activation of the hip extensors
Performing a deadlift is one of the best ways to improve strength and stability in your hip extensors. This includes the hamstrings and gluteus maximus. When the exercise is performed properly you will activate the gluteus maximus and hamstrings which will result in increased strength and muscle size.
2. Helps reduce lower back pain
For mild back pain, deadlifts can be effective in improving strength and reducing lower back problems. However, it is important that a neutral spine is held during the movement, this will prevent aggravation of the lower back. If you are going to treat lower back pain through deadlifts, make sure you consult a healthcare professional before starting.
3. Increases jumping performance
Jumping is a key skill used in not only many sports, but also during recreational activities. Having a powerful and high jump typically reflects your current lower body power and research shows that it is one of the most effective strength training exercises to improve maximal jump performance.
The power of your jump is also transferred to other sports like sprinting, which can help explosiveness out of the blocks.
4. Bone density
As we get older, bone mineral density declines. That’s why resistance and strength training is important in reversing the loss of bone mineral density. Since deadlifts target your legs, hips, and back, performing a deadlift with other resistance exercises can help to reverse the effects of bone mineral density loss.
Research has shown that deadlifts and other exercises with free weights can help to activate and strengthen the core. These muscles are vital in stabilizing your spine. These include the external oblique, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae.
Last but not least is your metabolism. Since many people’s goals are to lose weight, incorporating strength and weight training into your exercise routine can help burn more calories. Research has shown that resistance exercises like the deadlift are amongst the most beneficial ways to increase your metabolism.
How Deadlifts Change Your Body
Since now you know the different types of deadlifts, you may be wondering how deadlifts change your body, and if they are worth adding to your fitness routine.
Since deadlifts engage your core and use the muscle in your back, they can help improve your posture. Not only that, they can increase strength and the size of your muscles in the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and more. That means that after a few months of incorporating the deadlift into your routine, you should see a large increase in strength and lower body power.
You should also start to see more definition in the lower body as well as weight loss if deadlifts are combined with other cardio or strength training and a clean diet.