VARIATIONS OF DEADLIFTS
Once you have mastered the technique of a deadlift, the rest is all about improving strength. Performing sets of 8 to 12 deadlifts is a great way to master the movement. You might choose to perform one of the many variations of deadlifts to work the same group of muscles but with different tools and for different goals.
This is synonymous with straight-leg deadlifts. These eliminate the work of the quads in the initiation of the movement. To perform a roman deadlift, keep your knees straight- but not locked out at the start position. Your back should be parallel to the floor. This version requires more mobility in the hamstrings and focuses more on strengthening them as well.
These are a common variation of the deadlift for people who do not want to use a lot of weight. They are also a great way to improve ankle and glute strength while improving balance. Using little or no weight in each hand, stand on one foot. Descend into a deadlift keeping your back straight and both legs as straight as possible. Your working leg remains stable, working at the hip. The lifted leg follows a straight line with the body, lifting backward.
This is another way to target the hamstrings and glutes over the quadriceps. You will also work on the stability and strength of the lower back. Start with your barbell in a rack to get it into the correct position behind your neck on the trapezius muscles. Starting from an extended position, you spend a lot of energy working the hamstrings through the eccentric contraction as you descend.
To perform this correctly, maintain a good posture while you push your hips back to feel a stretch in the hamstrings. Try to descend to a depth where your back is parallel to the floor. To lift back to center, think about contracting from your butt, pushing your hips forward.
This is a simple at-home version if you are not yet confident in your technique. Simply hold two dumbbells in your hands, and perform a classic deadlift. You can also try combining this with a single-leg deadlift.