What is a dumbbell deadlift_ What you need to know

What Is A Dumbbell Deadlift? What You Need To Know

A dumbbell deadlift is similar to the regular deadlift. But instead of a barbell stacked with heavy plates, two dumbbells replaces the barbell. 

Picture a deadlift stance, but holding a dumbbell in front of your thighs. It’s a considerable variation, which requires you to control two dumbbells instead of a bar. You’re probably thinking it sounds easy, but once you start increasing the weight and the repetitions, the variation requires a lot of input from the central nervous system causing you to work as hard. Chuck in some burpees (sorry) between sets and you have yourself a tasty workout. 

How to do a dumbbell deadlift 

1. Hold the dumbbells in front of the shoulders, palms facing the thighs, standing roughly hip-width apart.

2. To keep the spine in a neutral position, pinch shoulder blades together and keep your armpits closed. As you would for a regular deadlift, bend your knees somewhat, keep your chest upright, look forward, brace the core and bring your hips backwards. You will find yourself nearly in the seated position with the dumbbells in front of you. 

3. Now with your core braced, chest upward, spine neutral, push the floor away from you while exhaling. Drive the hips forward, remember this is not the second part of the squat. Once completed, you will end in the standing pose with the dumbbells in front of your thighs. 

Once you have the form nailed, you can think about increasing the weight and the repetitions. Like I always mention, this article is a guide, and you should always take advice from a personal trainer who can teach you correctly. Please don’t hurt yourself. 

Are dumbbell deadlifts effective? 

Deadlifts are a necessity if you wish to gain strength, tone up and build muscle. In one lift you’ll use your glutes, quads, adductors, and hamstrings. That’s a big bang for your buck and a quick way of hitting a lot of muscle groups. Deadlifts test your cardio too – you’ll know what I mean after you complete a few massive sets! 


The dumbbell deadlift is an excellent alternative to the regular deadlift. What’s great is that you need minimal equipment to get started. If you have a pair of dumbbells at home, you could knock a set out a few times a week in addition to your gym workouts. The only problem is you’ll gain strength reasonably quick, and you’ll need heavier dumbbells. If this is the case, keep increasing the reps or add in some supersets (I mentioned burpees earlier) of another exercise to test you some more. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, switch to single leg dumbbell deadlifts. Doing so will test your balance, core strength and make the exercise that little bit more challenging! You’ll definitely feel DOMs the next day.  

Sometimes getting to the gym isn’t possible due to time constraints, so these are ideal if you need a dependable, but quick workout. 

Please don’t sleep on these, they’re great. 

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