If done correctly, the deadlift can build unparalleled mass while strengthening all the major muscle groups. In particular, deadlifts primarily strengthen the entire back, the gluteus maximums and associated muscles, the hip and pelvic muscles, the entire leg region, the arms and the shoulder muscles.

Add these deadlift variations to your strength training routine and intensify your workouts for better and faster results.

Sumo deadlift (3 sets of 5 reps)

  • Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, almost at the collars of the bar
  • Squat down and grab the barbell in an overhand grip with your hands in line with your shoulders
  • Pull your shoulders back, your chest up and gaze straight ahead as you lift the bar
  • Shift the weight back onto your heels and keep the bar as close to your body as possible while you lift your body upward
  • Once you lift the bar to thigh level, pause momentarily, then lower the bar to the starting position for one rep

Single-leg deadlift with kettlebell (3 sets of 10 – 12 reps on each leg)

  • Begin with a kettlebell in your left hand
  • Shift all of your weight onto your slightly bent left leg and hinge at the hips while extending your right leg backward behind your body
  • Continue to lower your chest down until it’s parallel to the ground
  • Pause momentarily at the bottom of the movement before squeezing your glutes then lifting your chest back upward to the starting position for one rep

Deadlift with a back row (3 sets of 10 - 12 reps)

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand
  • Face your palms inward and bend your knees slightly
  • Keeping your arms straight, slowly hinge forward, bending at your hips and lowering the weights to your shins without rounding your back
  • When your back is parallel to the floor, drive your elbows toward the ceiling, squeezing your shoulder blades together to complete a back row
  • Keeping a straight back and your abs pulled in to your spine, slowly begin to lower the weights back to your shins
  • Squeeze your glutes and return to standing for one rep

Deadlift with an upright row (3 sets of 10 – 12 reps)

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your body with an overhand grip
  • Slightly bend your knees and hinge at your hips as you lower the weights as far as you can without rounding your back
  • Brace your core and squeeze your glutes as you lift your chest upward and bring the dumbbells back to the starting position
  • Once you’ve moved back into the starting position, continue to pull the weights straight up the front your body until your elbows are pointing upward and the weights are a few inches below your chin
  • Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position for one rep

Deadlift with a knee drive (3 sets of 10 – 12 reps)

  • Start with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Engage your core and slowly hinge at your hips, while simultaneously lifting one leg off the ground behind your body
  • Keeping your neck and back in a neutral position, continue to bend at the hips until your chest is parallel to the ground and your lifted leg is in line with your back
  • In one smooth movement, lift your chest upward as you bring your extended foot forward and drive it into a high knee
  • Place your foot back on the ground for one rep