- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredDumbbell
- Force TypePull
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Middle Back, Quads, Traps
Target Muscle Group
Dumbbell Deadlift Instructions
- Set up for the dumbbell deadlift by choosing a pair of dumbbells and placing them on the floor in front of you.
- Stand with your feet at around shoulder width apart and position the dumbbells on the floor so that they are on either side of your feet.
- Reach down and grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip (palms facing inward) and drop your hips.Your hips should be in the best, most natural position for leverage so you may need to raise or lower them slightly.
- Make sure your eyes are looking ahead. Your body will follow your head so keep your head up and eyes forward!
- Be sure to keep a straight back and never allow it to round. You are now in the starting position.
- Focus on standing up with the dumbbells - not pulling them from the floor, and lead with your head as you rise.
- Drive with your heals and explode upward (leading with your head) as you rise.
- As the dumbbells rise to knee level, thrust your hips forward and contract your back by bringing your shoulder blades back.
- Pause here for a moment and then reverse the movement by bending at the knees while slowly lowering the weight - keeping the dumbbells under strict control on the descent.
- Reset your stance if necessary and repeat for desired reps.
- The biggest mistake you can make is trying to perform deadlifts from an unnatural body position. Read and re-read the form tips presented in this guide and practice them with a moderate weight. Start the deadlift with the hips in a position of strength and maximal leverage. If you start the deadlift with your hips too high you will be at a mechanical disadvantage and will tax your lower back. Starting with your hips too low will also cause you to lose your leverage and power.
- If you start the deadlift while looking down, there is a good chance your hips will lift up causing you to lose form and lift with your lower back. This is a very common deadlift mistake. Think about exploding your head upward while trying to stand erect. The body will follow the head.
- As the weight gets heavy, lifting straps can be used to lift more weight than your grip strength would allow.