Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or a fitness newbie, resistance band deadlifts offer a unique twist on the traditional deadlift that can take your workout to the next level.
Like the traditional barbell deadlift, resistance band deadlifts are a great way to fire up the posterior chain and engage the glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, core, back and shoulders, in one single movement.
Whether you want to mix up your normal workout routine, or you only have access to limited equipment, there are plenty of reasons why you should learn how to deadlift with resistance bands properly.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about resistance band deadlifts, from how to do them correctly to the muscles they target and even a few variations to keep your routine fresh.
How to do Resistance Band Deadlifts
To do a deadlift with resistance bands;
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward and knees slightly bent.
- Stand on the resistance band so the band is under the balls of your feet. It is best to wear trainers, even if you’re indoors.
- Hold the handles or grip the band firmly at roughly shoulder width apart. The lower to the floor you grip, the more resistance will be applied. (You may need to do a few reps holding the band in different places to find the perfect resistance).
- You should have a straight back, with bent knees, and hinging at the hips.
- With your chest up, core engaged and knees bent, push down through your legs and glutes to drive yourself up into an upright position.
- Hold for a moment, before lowering yourself by bending at the knees.
- Keep your back straight for the whole movement.
- Repeat this movement for repetitions.
Coach’s Tip – When it comes to any sort of deadlift, technique is everything. Keep your back straight and chest up throughout the movement and focus on driving through the legs during the lift.
Resistance band deadlifts primarily work the muscles of the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and lower back.
The movement will also engage the quads, core and upper back muscles too.
Benefits of Resistance Band Deadlifts
Resistance band deadlifts can be an effective way to improve stability. The bands will wobble as you pull them through the lift, which doesn’t happen with a barbell.
Improving stability can help reduce the risk of injury and allow you to lift heavier weight with more control.
Resistance band deadlifts are a great way for beginners to get used to the movement. It’s a useful way to practice your form and technique.
Resistance bands also come in all sorts of strengths, so to start with, you can simply select a lighter band and slowly work your way up.
Resistance band exercises are often more accessible for many people over other forms of fitness equipment. If you don’t have access to a gym, or don’t have a big selection of weights at home, bands give you the opportunity to add resistance to your workouts in a simple yet effective way.
Great for Traveling
Even if you prefer deadlifting with a barbell and Olympic weights, when you’re traveling or on the road, sometimes finding a gym or packing weights is simply a no-go. In these instances, having a resistance band at the ready means you can squeeze in some effective deadlifts, even if your schedule is super busy.
If you’re looking to build muscle while traveling, resistance bands are likely going to feature.
If you’re new to deadlifting, the secret to success is very much in your form and technique. Adding heavy weights too soon can often lead to injury.
Resistance bands makes deadlifting a bit safer as it’s very easy to slowly increase or decrease the resistance. Even during the exercise, if you’re having doubts, you can simply adjust your grip to change up the level of resistance.
Resistance bands will also create maximum resistance at the top of the movement, when you’re in an upright position. This is because the band is pulled tightest at this time. This is actually different from a regular deadlift with a barbell, where the most influential moment is towards the start, as you are attempting to lift the weight off the ground.
As a result, deadlifts with resistance bands avoid this big requirement for the initial push.
If you’re currently getting a bit bored with your existing workout routine, or hitting a strength training plateau, using exercise variations and alternatives can help you get back on track.
Although resistance band deadlifts might be seen as easier than using free weights, the way force is applied to the movement means it will challenge your body differently.
Unlike a traditional deadlift, the start is easier as less resistance is applied, but this increases as you reach the top position.
Unilateral Deadlift Variations
Difference Between Banded Deadlifts and Resistance Band Deadlifts
It’s worth noting the difference between what is often referred to as “banded deadlifts” and using resistance bands for deadlifts.
Banded deadlifts describes the use of additional resistance bands (usually very heavy duty bands) on your barbell during a traditional deadlift. The bands create extra resistance and many find it helps improve their form.
This is opposed to doing deadlifts with resistance bands, whereby the bands are a replacement for barbell and plates.
Tips for Buying Resistance Bands for Deadlifts
When it comes to buying resistance bands for deadlifts, you really want to invest in heavy duty bands. Most people will be able to pull more weight from the deadlift position, than say, during a bicep curl, so you may surprise yourself with what resistance feels like a test for your muscles.
Lots of brands will sell multiple bands in a set, giving you various levels of resistance, which is ideal.
The grip on resistance bands is really important, and you may find a plain rubber band difficult to hold. In this instance, you might want to opt for ones with a built-in handle. This simply makes the grip easier if that’s something holding you back.
Can You Deadlift with Resistance Bands?
Yes, you can certainly deadlift with resistance bands. You may find it is harder to progressively overload the muscles with bands compared to barbells and dumbbells, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be effective in workout routines.
Are Deadlifts with Bands Easier Than Free Weights?
It really depends how heavy the free weights you are using are. Most resistance bands don’t go up to really high levels of resistance so if you usually lift heavy weights, then bands will likely feel easier.
Resistance band deadlifts are a powerful exercise that can help you build strength and tone your lower body.
By adding a resistance band to your deadlift, you’ll increase the resistance, improve your stability, and target your muscles effectively, making them a versatile exercise that can be customized to your fitness level and goals.
Especially if you’re traveling, packing a resistance band will allow you to do more than just bodyweight exercises.