The deadlift is one of the most effective exercises for building serious leg strength. In fact, if you ask any personal trainer how to get better legs, it’s safe to assume that most would suggest performing deadlifts on a regular basis.
But the traditional barbell deadlift isn’t the only option for your leg routine. Depending on your fitness level, anatomy, goals and history (injuries, etc.), this conventional leg exercise isn’t always the best choice for your specific needs.
So don’t be afraid to mix things up with these four deadlift variations. What’s most important is choosing the type of deadlift with which you feel confident and safe. Once you’ve established proper form, you’ll be well on you way to creating some serious change to your legs by adding these variations to your usual routine!
Add These Deadlift Variatoins to your Routine:
- Sumo deadlifts: This is one of my favorite deadlift variations, especially for clients who have any history of back injury. The positioning of this exercise allows you to keep a more upright torso and places more emphasis on the legs.
- Rack pulls: A rack pull is simply a traditional deadlift that is lifted off the floor. This is a fantastic option for those who lack mobility or a certain amount of strength to pull the barbell safely from the floor. Rack pulls also help you build serious strength not only in your legs but throughout your back because you can typically lift more weight from this position.
- Single-leg RDLS: A Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a powerful move that will help you get better legs and keep your joints and spine in a relatively safer position than a traditional deadlift. I find that single-leg RDLS are a great unilateral movement to help my clients’ balance, stabilization and functional movement. This usually translates to greater strength gains too.
- Hex bar deadlift: If your gym has one, the hex bar allows you to lift more weight without the added stress on your back.