What Are the Different Types of Deadlift? Know the Variations That Will Make You Ripped!

Are you a firm believer of the deadlift? Well, guess what? I am, too! But if you have been working out for so long, you may notice that you are no longer achieving any progress. The best way to do that is to try different types of deadlift. Why is this so?

Deadlift is one of the staple bodybuilding exercises at the gym and considered to be one of the most effective exercises in toning your lower body and core. However, your muscles will get accustomed to the movement when you do the same exercise again and again and as a result, it will cause your bodybuilding journey to hit a slump.


With the different variations of deadlift, you will be changing the movement, introducing a new stimulus to your muscle, causing it to overcome the plateau. The best thing about the doing deadlift variations is that it lets you do a different movement but you still get to work out the same muscles! But what are the different types of deadlift? Well, continue reading and you will find out!

Why Should You Deadlift?

Types of Deadlift

Aside from helping you breaking fitness plateau, doing the traditional deadlift and other variations of deadlift can help you enjoy a whole lot of other benefits, including muscle growth, strength gain, better power, better overall health, and weight loss.

What Are the Different Types of Deadlift?

So, we have come to the part that you have been waiting for—what are the different types of deadlift? Well, you do not have to wait any longer! Here are the deadlift variations that you should try out!

1. Sumo Deadlift

In this deadlift variation, the only change that you would have to do is to set your feet more than shoulder width apart. Because of this position, it is most recommended for people with long legs and smaller torso.

Just like the conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift targets the quads and hips and subjects your body to do a full range of movement.

2. Romanian Deadlift

This is also called as the straight legged deadlift because you should maintain straight legs and knees all throughout the movement. The only bending that you have to do should come from the torso. This variation focuses on the hamstrings, instead of your lower back.

3. Standard Deadlift

This is the type of deadlift that we have all been used to. In this exercises, you will place your feet wider than the placement of your hands (about hip width apart). Doing so will help you target the lower back, glutes, lats, hamstrings, quads, middle back, traps, forearms and calves.

4. American Deadlift

This is almost the same as the Romanian Deadlift. The only difference is that you will have to incorporate a pelvic tilt at the end of the exercise. This variation targets three muscles, namely back, hamstrings and glutes.

5. Single-Arm Deadlift

Instead of holding the barbell or dumbbell with two hands, you will be using only one arm to lift it up. This variations targets core and back muscles, making it more stabilized.

But please bear in mind that while this deadlift variation looks cool, it is not for everyone. This is reserved for the expert or seasoned bodybuilders (who have already built their strength over the years). After all, lifting all that weight in one arm will require lots of strength. If you are not powerful enough, it may cause injuries and unwanted gym accidents.

6. Band Pull Deadlift

This variation has an added resistance to your usual deadlift, making it more challenging but at the same time, it gives you an opportunity to practice the right deadlift form. This can be done in 4 ways—bands at the bottom, bands at the top, bands at the back of the rack and the solo band deadlift.

Keep in mind that there is a chance that you will be pulled back when you take your first stop but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to have improved motor control and your posterior chain will be greatly engaged.

7. Hack Lift

This variation places the focus on your quads. In order to target the quads, you have to place the bar behind your back. Assume the same feet and hand width as the conventional deadlift.

Please be reminded that this variation is considered to be the riskiest deadlift of all. This is because along with the quads, it also places stress on the knees, meaning you will be prone yo injuries, if you are not experienced enough.

8. Snatch Grip Deadlift

The only different thing that you will do in this variation is that you will set your hands at a wider stance. How wide? Well, you will be placing each at the side of the plates.

This type of deadlift is commonly used in Olympic lifting and is fantastic at working your hamstrings.


As you can see, there are different types of deadlifts (lots of them!) and it may be confusing for you to determine which one would suit you and which you should stay away from. The secret to choosing a deadlift variation is to consider some important factors, including the types of muscles targeted, your fitness goals (which do you aim to enhance—power, strength, speed or hypertrophy?) and of course, your physical ability.

When trying out a new deadlift variation, it is recommended that you begin with a lower weight first. After all, you may be used to carrying heavy loads the conventional way but you may still encounter some problems adjusting to the new forms. So start with lower weights. After all, it is best to be safe than sorry, right?

What did you think of this article? I do hope that it has helped you familiarize yourself with the different types of deadlifts that you can try. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please share them with me and the other readers in the comments section!

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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