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Deadlift Progressions: Beginners To Advanced

Beginner Deadlift Progressions to get Stronger, Build More Muscle, and Burn Fat Faster

Live Lean Nation, on today’s episode I’m sharing the strength building exercise you need to stop avoiding, and how you can perform it safely, regardless of your fitness level.

If there’s one exercise I’d like to see more people in the gym performing, it’s this one:


If that sound of that word scares you…you’re not alone…and that’s why I needed to create this episode for you.

One of the biggest fitness myths out there is that deadlifts are bad for your back.


Deadlifts, with bad form, like any exercise, are bad for your back.

When performed properly, deadlifts are one of the most functional real life movements that are beneficial for everyone.

Have you ever picked up a grocery bag off the floor. That’s a form of deadlift.
Have you ever picked your kid up off the floor. That’s a form of deadlift.

Not only is the deadlift movement functional, it’s also a compound exercise that engages almost every muscle in your body, including the biggest, most calorie crushing muscles in your legs and back.

Not only will deadlifts get you stronger for life, they’ll also help you build lean muscle, and increase calorie burning inside the gym, and even more importantly, outside the gym, even when you’re sleeping.

That’s the afterburn.

Ready to give the deadlift a try?

Hold up.

Before you load up the barbell with a few plates, if you’re new to performing the deadlift, here are a few deadlift progressions that I recommend you start with.

Deadlift Progressions for Beginners:

These deadlift progressions are in order of beginner to advanced deadlift variations.

Click the link of the deadlift progression name below to see the exercise demonstration video and guide for that specific deadlift variation.

#1. Kettlebell Deadlift
I like to start beginners with the kettlebell deadlift as you can safely get your body in position, without overloading it with a lot of weight while you’re learning the proper hip hinge movement.

#2. Dumbbell Deadlift
The next deadlift progression is the dumbbell deadlift. Once again, it’s the same hip hinge movement, but this time you’re holding on to two dumbbells, thus allowing you to add a little more weight versus the one kettlebell.

#3. Rack Pulls
I like rack pulls as they allow you to really learn the basics of the hip hinge movement by removing the bottom range of the traditional deadlift. The bottom range of the deadlift movement, when performed incorrectly, is where a lot of people get hurt with excessively rounding their lower back.

#4. Trap Bar Deadlift
I really like the trap bar deadlift as a progression to start using heavier weight as the design of the trap bar allows you to step inside of it, which puts the load of the bar throughout the center of your body rather than out in front of your body. This can alleviate some of the stress on your lower back.

#5. Barbell Sumo Deadlift
You’ll see many powerlifters use the barbell sumo deadlift as the wide stance reduces the distance that the bar needs to move, but I like it because it’s easier to keep your chest and back more upright, thus reducing the stress on your lower back.

#6. Barbell Deadlift
Alright, the granddaddy of all deadlifts. The barbell deadlift. Since the barbell is in front of your shins, it requires more lower back and core strength to lift the bar safely.

Once again, I’ve linked up the full exercise demonstration video and guide to all of these deadlift variations. Just click the name of the deadlift exercise above to watch.

If the deadlift is not a primary exercise in your workout program, it’s extremely important that you focus on form first. Once you get comfortable with the hip hinge pattern of the deadlift, then you can add more weight and progress your way up to the conventional barbell deadlift.


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