Deadlift Workout Challenge: 9 Ways to Be More Awesome

by Sascha Teems  @creepshowphysiques


As a GORGO Girl, we know you won’t shy away from a challenge or an opportunity to learn new lifts!  We hope that’s how you will look at this Deadlift Workout Challenge.  It’s not about lifting as heavy as you can, it’s about moving your body in new ways, learning and walking away a little more awesome.

We love (ok a little bit hate also) to deadlift.  It’s an intense, powerful lift requiring focus and complete body control.  Deadlifting is primarily a mid to low back exercise.  As you get better at deadlifting or try to master these moves that may be new to you, don’t get caught up in how much weight you can move all of the time.  Even elite powerlifters don’t max out every time they lift.  It is about progression… they work at lighter weights most of the time.  Grab some buddies and let’s try these out this month!  Tag us!  #gorgogirl

Always warm up your lower back and hamstrings before moving into your deadlift exercises.  

Warm Up:

1. 3 x 30 Supermans for lower back

2. Beat Your Boots or other dynamic hamstring movement



The Deadlift Workout Challenge:

For each style of deadlift:
1 x 15
2 x 10

Even if you are new to deadlifts, put some weight on the bar such as 10 pound plates that are the same diameter as the big 45 pound plates.  This allows you to stop at the proper depth (shown in the images below) and not have to go so deep to place an empty bar on the ground.  

Form Notes:  Always start by standing with good posture form.  Back straight with the natural arch in your spine, shoulders squared.  Keep your back straight as you bend to lift the bar.  There should be no “cat back” arch in your spine as you lift.  When deadlifting, drag the bar directly up your legs.  Lock out with good posture at the top of the lift and lower the bar back down keeping your back straight.  


1. Powerlifting Deadlift

This is the most common variation for deadlift or maximum pull.   Your hand grip is one hand over and one hand under as shown.  Your feet are close; just a few inches apart.  This is true back work.  You may see some people do the Sumo version (shown next) at powerlifting meets, but this is the “old school” and classic deadlift version.  If you want to follow in tradition of old school weightlifting, this is your deadlift.



2. Sumo Deadlift

The Sumo Deadlift requires that your feet are much wider than the Powerlifting Deadlift.  Feet are wide and pointed out.  You grip the bar inside your legs as shown. This movement is good to do on back or leg day.   Not only are you engaging your back and hamstrings, but also glutes.



3. Clean Grip Deadlift/Regular grip

For a Clean Grip Deadlift, you are gripping both hands over handed about shoulder width apart.  Basically you are practicing the movement that could then move into a Power Clean.



4. Trap Bar or Hex Bar Deadlift

This is a fun deadlift to try if you have access to a hex bar or trap bar.  The basic movement is the same and the restriction of your body by the bar actually makes you have great form…. dragging that bar straight up the body.



5. Snatch Grip Deadlift

The Snatch Grip Deadlift has you working on getting dead weight off ground to help with a Snatch.  Grip really wide.



6. Stiff Leg Deadlift

A true Stiff Leg Deadlift is with legs totally straight.  Most people cannot get legs totally straight (even our model, Val, here), but aim to get you legs as straight as possible and work on being more flexible.  As you get more flexible, stand on a step of some sort as shown, so that you can go a bit deeper.



7. Romanian Deadlift

Often confused with a Straight Leg Deadlift, the Romanian deadlift does have you bend your legs slightly.  The difference in a Romanian and Classic/Powerlifitng Deadlift is that you only go as low as your mid shin and then back up.



8. Single Arm Dumbbell Deadlift

This is an awesome Deadlift to keep in mind in case you are stuck needing to do a workout without a bar or you workout at home.  



9. Jefferson Deadlift

The Jefferson Deadlift is often used in sports training.  It’s good for athletes such as softball or football players, etc. because it isolates hips.  Also, the Jefferson Deadlift is easier for beginners and student athletes to learn deadlifting techniques.