Skip to content
Best Deadlift Alternatives

8 Best Deadlift Alternatives for Strength and Muscle Gains

If you’re looking to add strength and muscle mass, the deadlift is a great exercise to consider.

However, if you’re not able to do the traditional deadlift or you’re looking for some alternatives, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll discuss 8 different exercises that can help you achieve the same results as the deadlift.

So whether you’re at home or in the gym, there’s sure to be an alternative deadlift for you!

1. Barbell Hip Thrust

How To Do a Barbell Hip Thrust

Barbell hip thrusts are a great alternative to deadlifts for training the posterior chain. The posterior chain includes the muscles of the hamstrings, glutes, and low back. Barbell hip thrusts work these muscles by driving the barbell up through the hips. 

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by sitting on the floor with your back against a bench and a barbell placed across your hips. Then, drive your heels into the ground and thrust your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lower back down to the starting position and repeat for reps.

If you don’t have access to a barbell, you can also use dumbbells or even a resistance band for this exercise.

If you want to make this exercise even more challenging, you can try adding a weight plate to your lap or holding a dumbbell in each hand.

2. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts are a great alternative to the standard deadlift. They train the same muscles, but put less stress on the spine. They also force you to engage your core more to keep your balance, making them a great exercise for developing core strength. Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts can be performed with either a barbell or dumbbell.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by holding a weight in your left hand and standing on your right leg. Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hip and lower the weight down towards the floor. As you lower the weight, raise your left leg behind you so that your body forms a T shape. Return to the starting position and repeat for reps before switching sides.

3. Romanian Deadlift

How to Perform The Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is a great alternative for those who want to focus on building strength in the hamstrings and glutes. This deadlift variation can be done with dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells. This exercise can also help improve your hip mobility, which can lead to better performance in the deadlift.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by holding a weight in both hands and standing with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips and lower the weight down towards the floor. Once the weights reach knee level, return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

If you want to make this exercise even more challenging, you can try holding the weight in just one hand.

4. Barbell Good Morning

How To Perform The Good Morning Exercise

The barbell good morning is one of the best deadlift alternatives for those who want to focus on building strength in the hamstrings and lower back. The good morning exercise can be done with dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells.

Barbell good mornings are great for targeting the hamstrings and lower back, two important muscles for deadlifting. This exercise can also help improve your hip mobility, which can lead to better performance in the deadlift.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by placing the barbell on your back as you would for a squat. Keeping your feet hip-width apart, bend at the hips and lower your torso forwards until it is parallel to the floor. Keep your legs straight throughout the movement. Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

5. The Kettlebell Swing

How To Perform Kettle Bell Swings

The Kettlebell Swing is a compound exercise that trains several muscle groups simultaneously. It is an excellent alternative to the deadlift for people who want to build strength and muscle mass without putting undue stress on their joints.

The Kettlebell Swing primarily targets the posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors. It also engages the abdominal muscles and challenges the stabilizer muscles of the shoulders and core.

As a result, the Kettlebell Swing is an incredibly effective full-body exercise that can help you build strength, power, and muscle mass. The kettlebell swing can also help improve your cardiovascular endurance.

If you are looking for an alternative to the deadlift, the Kettlebell Swing is an excellent option.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by holding a kettlebell in both hands and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the hips and lower the kettlebell down between your legs. Then, drive your hips forwards and swing the kettlebell up to shoulder level. Reverse the motion and repeat for reps.

If you want to make the exercise more challenging, you can try holding the kettlebell in just one hand.

6. Glute Bridge

How to Perform Clute Bridges

The Glute bridge is an excellent exercise for individuals who are looking for a deadlift alternative that trains similar muscles. The Glute bridge is a compound movement that primarily targets the glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Additionally, the Glute bridge is an excellent exercise for developing explosive hip power and can be progressed by adding weight or tempo variations. While the Glute bridge is not a perfect replacement for the deadlift, it is a great alternative for those who want to avoid the joint stress that is associated with the deadlift

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Place your hands on the ground beside you for support. Drive your heels into the ground and lift your hips up off the ground, extending them until they are in line with your thighs and torso. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and hold for a second before lowering back down to the starting position. Repeat for reps.

If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can try placing a weight on your stomach.

7. Trap Bar Deadlift

How To Do The Trap Bar Deadlift

While the Trap bar deadlift might not be as popular as the traditional deadlift, it is a great alternative for those looking to train their lower body.

Unlike the conventional deadlift, which involves holding the barbell in front of your legs, the Trap bar allows you to hold the weight at your sides. This helps to better engage your posterior chain muscles, such as your glutes and hamstrings.

Additionally, the Trap bar deadlift is less likely to cause lower back pain than the conventional version. As a result, it is often considered the best alternative to the deadlift. 

To do this exercise, start by positioning yourself inside a trap bar with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grip the handles of the bar, keeping your back straight. Drive your heels into the ground and lift the bar up until you are standing upright. Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

If you are looking for a new exercise to add to your routine, give the Trap bar deadlift a try!

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by positioning yourself inside a trap bar with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grip the handles of the bar, keeping your back straight. Drive your heels into the ground and lift the bar up until you are standing upright. Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can try adding chains or resistance bands to the bar.

8. Resistance Band Deadlift

How to Resistance Band Deadlift

The resistance band deadlift is an excellent alternative to the traditional deadlift to do at home or when you don’t have access to dumbbells or a barbell.

Unlike the traditional deadlift, which can be quite taxing on the lower back, the resistance band deadlift puts very little strain on the spine. Additionally, the resistance band deadlift targets all of the same muscles as the traditional deadlift, including the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

As a result, it is an ideal exercise for those who are looking for a safe and effective way to train these muscle groups. Resistance band deadlifts can be performed using a variety of Resistance bands of different thicknesses and lengths. As a result, they are an excellent option for both beginner and advanced lifters alike.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by standing on the middle part of your resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grip the ends of the band with your hands, keeping your back straight. Drive your heels into the ground and lift the band up until you are standing upright. Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

9. Back Hyperextension

How to Do Back Extensions

Back hyperextensions are a great way to target the lower back and improve mobility and flexibility in the spine. Unlike deadlifts, which can be hard on the lower back, back hyperextensions help to build strength and stability in the muscles that support the spine.

They also provide an excellent alternative for those who want to train their back without putting too much stress on their joints. Back hyperextensions can be performed with or without weight, making them a versatile exercise for all levels of fitness.

When performed with weight, they are an ideal exercise for building strength and power in the lower back. When performed without weight, they are a great way to improve mobility and flexibility in the spine.

Back hyperextensions are an excellent exercise for all levels of fitness and can be a great alternative to deadlifts for those who want to train their back without putting too much stress on their joints.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by lying face down on a hyperextension bench with your hips aligned with the padded part of the bench. Place your feet under the footpads and grip the handles of the machine. Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips and lower your torso down until it is parallel with the floor. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position. Repeat for reps.

If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can try holding a weight plate in front of your chest or on your back while you perform the exercise.

10. Bulgarian Split Squat

How to Do The Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squats are a great alternative to deadlifts for training the posterior chain. Bulgarian Split Squats train the same muscles as deadlifts, but with a few key differences.

First, Bulgarian Split Squats place more emphasis on the quads, while deadlifts emphasize the hamstrings.

Second, Bulgarian Split Squats are a unilateral exercise, meaning each leg works independently. This is beneficial for developing balanced strength and preventing injuries.

Third, Bulgarian Split Squats can be performed with lighter weights than deadlifts, making them ideal for beginners or those new to lifting. For all these reasons, Bulgarian Split Squats are an excellent alternative to deadlifts for training the posterior chain.

How to do the exercise:

To do this exercise, start by placing your left foot on an elevated surface behind you (such as a bench or chair). Keeping your torso upright, bend your right knee and lower your body down until your left thigh is parallel with the floor. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position. Repeat for reps before switching sides.

If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can try holding dumbbells in each hand or wearing a weighted vest.

In Conclusion

Deadlifting is an incredibly effective exercise, but there are plenty of other great moves that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the deadlift that will still give you a great workout, check out some of the exercises listed above. They’ll help you build strength and muscle without putting too much stress on your back.

We’ve shared ten alternatives to the deadlift that can help you build muscle, burn fat, and get strong. Give them a try and let us know how they work for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.