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Resistance band deadlift

Resistance Band Deadlift – Exercise Guide, variations and benefits

The resistance band deadlift is a great variation of the conventional lift that is an ideal alternative to free weights. Using resistance bands for the deadlift has many benefits such as its a safer option, they can be done at home or basically anywhere, it will recruit more of your stabilizer muscles, and they are great for preventing injuries.

It’s a full-body exercise that trains either directly or indirectly almost all of the muscles in your body. The main effort goes on your posterior chain muscles. Those are all the muscles on your backside. More precisely the exercise mostly targets your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, hips, and core muscles.


You can do them anywhere! One of the biggest advantages of using resistance bands for your deadlifts is that they can be done anywhere. All you need to perform this exercise is a bit of space to move. You can do them at home, outdoors, or even while traveling. Bands are very compact and easy to carry around with you, and they are a great, simple, and affordable replacement for the free weight version. 

They are much safer than free weight deadlifts. Taking the barbell or dumbbells out of the equation makes this otherwise complex exercise really simple and much safer. There is a lot less room for errors and potentially harmful movements because the movement is somewhat predetermined. Also, because of the lighter weight load, it’s much easier on your body and places a lot less stress and force on your joints, ligaments, and spine. 

Good for rehabilitation. Using bands is a good way to start deadlifting again after an injury or even while you are in the recovery or rehabilitation process. 

They are a full-body compound exercise! Just like the conventional version, the resistance band deadlift is a full-body multi-joint compound exercise. It’s quite a mouthful to say, but it means that the exercise trains many of your muscle groups on multiple levels at the same time. 

It will improve your posture. Because it focuses heavily on your posterior chain muscles (the muscles on your backside) and your spinal erector muscles, the exercise will help you improve your posture and straighten your back out. 

There is increased recruitment of your core and stabilizer muscles. Overall deadlifting is a good way to increase core strength, but using resistance bands will help you take it even further by recruiting more of your stabilizer muscles. It does this because of the constant tension added by the bands. Because of that continuous tension, you need to use more of your core muscles to keep your body stable and maintain your exercise form. 

They can help you prevent injuries. It’s a good light load exercise to strengthen your vital muscles and joints. By strengthening your core, stabilizers, lower back muscles, and your ligaments and joints, you can significantly reduce the risk of injuring yourself in the future. 

There are many different ways to do them. Just like there are dozens of deadlift variations, there are quite a few different ways you can use bands as a substitute for the free weight version. For example, there are the sumo stance, stiff-legged, one leg, split, and many other variations to the exercise to choose for your routine. 


How To Do

  1. Start by laying the band down.
  2. Step on the middle part of the band. The band should be positioned between your heel and your arch.
  3. Your feet should be about hip-width apart, and your toes should be facing forward. 
  4. Next, hinge your upper body forward from your hips and bend your knees until you can touch the band.
  5. Grasp the band with both of your hands at its endings. Keep your knuckles facing outwards.
  6. Tighten and brace your core.
  7. Keep your back straight, your head in a neutral position, and push your chest up. 
  8. Stand up. Start by pushing your feet into the floor. Imagine pushing them through the floor. Push your hips forward and extend them.
  9. Fully extend your body in an upright position.
  10. Pause for a second, and then in a controlled and slow manner, lower your body back down and repeat the exercise for your desired repetitions. 

Tips And Recommendations

  1. You should grip the bands so that at the bottom, your hands would be below your knees. The ideal spot would be if your hands would be between your knees and your feet, just about at the height of a barbell. 
  2. Throughout the exercise, keep your back straight and don’t let it round. Also, try not to arch your lower back. Both of these will cause unnecessary and harmful stress on your back and spine, which can lead to hurting your back and injuring yourself. 
  3. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position. Do not look up or in any specific direction. Just keep your neck and head in a neutral and natural position. A neutral neck will help keep your back straight. Also, looking up or pointing your face upwards will stress your neck and spine.
  4. Keep your core and abs engaged and braced. That will help decrease the risk of injury, help you maintain form, and it will prevent any extra and unnecessary strain on your lower back. 
  5. Keep your arms straight, and do not try to assist the lift with them. Remember that the main effort in this exercise should go on your legs and back. The movement has to be performed by your legs and hips. Your hands are there just to grip the band.
  6. Choose your resistance band wisely for the deadlift. Don’t overdo it but also don’t go too light. If you are starting out or trying this exercise for the first time, start with a lighter band and then work your way up from there. 
  7. Don’t let the band slack at the starting position. While at the starting position, the band should already be somewhat tight and stretched out a little. 
  8. Lower your body slowly and in a controlled manner. While lowering your body back down, do it in a controlled and slow way. Remember the key points of form, and don’t relax your core. That is especially important to avoid hurting yourself.
  9. You can use a pole to mimic the barbell deadlift. You can use either some kind of a pole, pipe or a stick (as long as it can take the force) to make the resistance band deadlift mimic more the conventional barbell lift.


Sumo resistance band deadlift

sumo resistance band deadlift

The main difference between the regular and the sumo resistance band deadlift variation is the stance. In the sumo version, the athlete takes an extra-wide stance called the sumo stance.

The actual width of the leg position will vary from one athlete to another, depending on their body type, how tall they are, and their other personal needs. It could be anywhere from just outside of your shoulder width stance to a much wider leg position.

Thanks to the wider stance, the sumo variation allows the athlete to be in a much more upright or vertical position throughout the exercise. Thanks to the increase in the vertical angle of your body (the more upright position of your upper body), it will place less stress on your lower back and spine. Which is great news for people with a bad back or for anyone who doesn’t want to overload and stress it.

The exercise will also target and work your quads and glutes more efficiently than the regular version.

Single-leg Resistance band deadlift

single leg resistance band deadlift

The single-leg resistance band deadlift is a more challenging variation of the original and suited for a little bit more advanced athletes. So before you move on to this one, familiarize yourself with the normal resistance band deadlift and try to get a good feel for it. 

As the name clearly implies, this exercise is performed while balancing on a single leg. And that’s exactly what makes this so challenging and advanced. 

It’s a full-body exercise just like any other deadlift and works all the same muscles like your hamstrings, glutes, back, posterior chain, and so on..

But the single-leg variation does have a huge added benefit. It’s an incredible way to train all of your stabilizer muscles and improve your balance. 

There are two main ways you can perform this move. First, you can do it by grasping the resistance band with both of your hands. Doing so will give you a little extra stability and make balancing yourself on a single leg a little easier. The second way is to grip the exercise band with only one of your hands. That way, it’s harder to keep your balance, and it will train your stabilizer and core muscles more. 

How to do the single-leg resistance band deadlift? First the setup. Start by taking a hip-width stance. Then place the band under one of your feet (it should be between your heel and arch). Now squat down and grip the band with either one or two of your hands and come back up. 

Now for the movement. Engage and tighten your core. Start to lean forward from your hips and shifting your weight on one of your legs. Then extend the other leg straight behind you and your upper body forward. Hold for a second and then bring your extended leg in and pull your body back up. 

Stiff-Legged Resistance band Deadlift

stiff-leg resistance band deadlift

The straight or stiff-legged variation of the resistance band deadlift is another popular version of this exercise. It’s a great posterior chain exercise that targets a bit more the backs of your legs and your lower back. It mostly targets and trains your hamstrings, glutes, and your erector muscles. 

Now the biggest benefit to this exercise is that it recruits, engages, and stretches your hamstrings and your lower back muscles much more than the conventional version where you can bend your knees. 

How to do it? Let’s start with the setup. Just like with any resistance band deadlift start by stepping on the band with both of your feet. Take a hip-width or a little bit of a narrower stance. Now squat down and grip the ends of the band and deadlift them regularly. 

Keep your core engaged and your back straight. Now hinge your upper body forward from your hips and bring your hips back at the same time. Keep your knees and legs straight while you lower your body. Keep going down until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings or until your upper body is parallel to the ground. Hold for a second, and then lift yourself back up. 

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