The dumbbell deadlift is a great variation of the traditional barbell deadlift. If you have very little equipment then dumbbell deadlifts are a great alternative. The movement is pretty much the same as a normal barbell deadlift except that your arms have more freedom when performing the lift. It is also still a compound exercise. Just because you are not using a heavy barbell does not take away any of the benefits you get from performing deadlifts on a regular basis and making them a staple of your back or leg workouts.
Dumbbell Deadlift – Main Muscle Groups Worked
Dumbbell Deadlift – Secondary Muscle Groups Worked
How To Perform The Dumbbell Deadlift
Start by assuming a shoulder width stance and place dumbbells over your feet.
Just like you would with a traditional barbell deadlift, bend down and grip the dumbbells firmly.
Keep your chest up, look forward, arms straight, bum out and back rigid (no rounding!).
Explode up by driving feet into the floor and pushing from your heels until you reach an upright position.
Keep dumbbells close to your body and back straight while lowering dumbbells back down to knee level.
Once you reach knee level bend your knees and return the dumbbells back over your feet.
Slight Variation of The Dumbbell Deadlift
It seems that a lot of dumbbell deadlift tutorials instruct you to perform the lift by placing the dumbbells by your side facing sideways. If your working with an awkward pair of dumbbells that do not allow you to place them over your feet (as you would the bar when barbell deadlifting), then this is fine. However, by placing them at our side instead of in front and close to the body, we risk turning the dumbbell deadlift into a dumbbell squat.
The dumbbell deadlift is already very similar to a dumbbell squat due to the positioning and movement of the dumbbells. For dumbbell deadlifts try and start with the dumbbells in front of your body and over your feet if your gym allows you to do so. Just like you would when performing the barbell deadlift. Placing dumbbells by your side is likely to place greater emphasis on your leg muscles and the back may not be worked as efficiently as it could be.