Dumbbell Deadlift Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Compound
  • Pull
  • Beginner
  • Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Middle Back, Quads, Traps
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Lower Back Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set up for the dumbbell deadlift by choosing a pair of dumbbells and placing them on the floor in front of you.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Make sure your eyes are looking ahead. Your body will follow your head so keep your head up and eyes forward!  
  5. Be sure to keep a straight back and never allow it to round. You are now in the starting position.
  6. Focus on standing up with the dumbbells - not pulling them from the floor, and lead with your head as you rise.
  7. Drive with your heals and explode upward (leading with your head) as you rise.
  8. As the dumbbells rise to knee level, thrust your hips forward and contract your back by bringing your shoulder blades back.
  9. 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.
  10. Reset your stance if necessary and repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. As the weight gets heavy, lifting straps can be used to lift more weight than your grip strength would allow.