5 Deadlift Variations to Bulletproof Your Posterior Chain

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The posterior chain is the often overlooked part of the body. It comprises the muscles of the back, glutes and hamstrings. These muscles are the most important muscles that you need to target aside from pushing motions, forward motions and side-to-side motions. Our body is basically as strong as our glutes and back are and, as we age, we become more prone to injuries like slipping and falling as these muscles weaken. These deadlift exercises can help in these areas.


1a. – Stand upright with your legs hip-width apart, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Hold the kettlebell in both hands. Slightly bend your knees and pivot through your hips to bend your upper body forward. Ideally, your back should be parallel to the floor. Raise back up and repeat the movement.

1a. – Classic Deadlift

Start with one set of 8 repetitions. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a brief pause at the top. The intensity is light to moderate.


1b. – Stand upright with your legs hip-width apart, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Hold the kettlebell in both hands. Bend your knees and hinge through your hips to move into almost a deep squat, bending your upper body forward. Raise back up and repeat the movement.

1b. – Classic Deadlift

Start with one set of 5 repetitions. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a brief pause at the top. The intensity is light to moderate.


1c. – Stand upright with your legs hip-width apart, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Slightly bend your knees and pivot through your hips to bend your upper body forward, ideally at 90 degrees. Raise back up and repeat the movement.

1c. – Classic Deadlift

Start with one set of 5 repetitions. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a brief pause at the top. The intensity is light to moderate.


#2 – Stiff-legged Deadlift

Stand upright with your legs hip-width apart, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Hold the dumbbell in each hand. Engage your core and pivot through your hips to bend your upper body forward. Ideally, your knees should not be bent and back should be parallel to the floor. Raise back up and repeat the movement.

Stiff-legged Deadlift

Start with one set of 5 repetitions. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a brief pause at the top. The intensity is light to moderate.


#3 – Single Leg Deadlift

Stand upright with your legs hip-width apart, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hip, and legs. Hold a kettlebell in each hand — a pair of lightweight dumbbells works well here too. Place all of your weight on one foot. Bend your supporting knee slightly and hinge your hips, bending until your upper body is parallel to the floor while extending your leg back. Raise back up to return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Single Leg Deadlift

Start with one set of 5 repetitions for each leg. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a brief pause at the top. The intensity is light to moderate.

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