Deadlift with dumbbells. How to Do a Conventional Dumbbell Deadlift with Proper Form

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned weightlifter, learning to “deadlift with weights” at home is a great addition to your workout routine. Deadlifts are often combined with large, heavy weights at the gym. While that’s one approach to lifting, you can also break things down and deadlift with smaller weights, such as the best adjustable dumbbells and the best kettlebells, making them more convenient. when used at home.

It’s a widespread assumption that heavier weights automatically equal better results; nevertheless, deadlifting with lighter weights, such as dumbbells, can still yield excellent results.

Besides, perfecting your technique is essential to avoid back pain and injury. Here, we’ll take a look at the science of perfecting your body, and how to deadlift with weights with Field John.

Why should everyone do more deadlifts?

“Grip strength is mainly consistent as an explanator of concurrent overall strength, upper limb function, bone mineral density, fractures, falls, malnutrition, cognitive impairment, depression, sleep issues, diabetes, multimorbidity, and quality of life,” the researchers discovered. That’s a lot of advantages. The stronger your grip, the healthier your muscles will be, and the more independent you will be later in life.

It also strengthens the muscles in your legs, bum, and lower back, which helps to prevent back discomfort and poor posture. Most people believe that deadlifts are bad for your back because they’ve seen them done incorrectly, but if you do the action correctly, it can really help people with back discomfort.

It also stimulates your metabolism to assist you achieve your fat loss objectives because it works multiple muscle groups at once. Although you may not lose weight, you will become fitter and stronger as a result of the muscle-building process, which burns fat.

Dumbbell deadlifting targets all of the same muscle groups as barbell deadlifting, but it also gives a novel stimulus: maintaining strict form with separate weights is typically more difficult than gripping a single bar.

How to deadlift with dumbbells

“On the way down with dumbbells, keep your hands as close to your shins as possible.” Holding your dumbbells at your sides instead of in front of you distributes the weight differently and engages a little different set of muscle groups.

Follow the instructions below to learn how to do a controlled and safe deadlift using dumbbells.

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your sides with an overhand grip. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Lower your torso to almost parallel with the floor by bending at the hips and knees.
  • Allow your arms to hang over your knees and shins. Maintain a neutral posture with your back, taking care not to round it. Slowly and deliberately lower yourself into position.
  • Stand up straight from this position without modifying your back form. Squeeze your glutes while standing straight and pushing through the ball and heel of your foot, according to Famatumi. One rep is all there is to it.

Getting ready for a dumbbell deadlift

When deadlifting with the weight in front of you, Famatumi advocates keeping your hands near to your shins for a reason: if you lift large weights with poor form, you risk hurting your back and legs. The farther the weights are from your legs, the more your lower back works instead of your legs and glutes, which can be harmful.

It’s one of the reasons why lifting big objects in a professional setting normally necessitates training or the signing of a release. As a result, it’s critical to warm up with hamstring stretches and back-limbering activities.

Famatumi suggests lying down on your back and bringing one leg across your torso and down to the floor, as seen above. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds before switching sides and repeating the exercise three times.

Because of the tension on your back, warming up before a gym session is especially vital when learning how to do a deadlift with dumbbells or any other significant amount of weight. Warming up before you approach the dumbbells increases your stability and balance during the workout, according to the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, so there’s no reason not to do so.

Deadlift and row with dumbbells (variation)

This exercise, which may be done with a dumbbell or a barbell, provides a terrific workout for the hamstrings, glutes, and back, similar to a regular deadlift, but with the addition of the row, which works your biceps and upper back. To avoid harm to your back, strive to keep it in a neutral position during the exercise.

Pick up a set of dumbbells and hold them in front of your sides with an overhand grip. Standing with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart is a good way to start.

Lower your torso to virtually parallel with the floor by bending at the hips and knees. Allow your arms to hang down in front of your knees and shins as much as possible.
In a rowing motion, quickly bring the dumbbells back until they’re on the sides of your chest. Return to the deadlift posture by reversing the movement and standing up straight to complete one repetition.

Take your time with your reps; if you keep your hands on the dumbbells the entire time, your muscles will still be working.

Tips for Dumbbell Deadlifts

Tips for Dumbbell Deadlifts

Properly Hinge

Bending over at the spine is an all-too-common mistake people make with the deadlift. The movement in the deadlift must come from the hips rather than the back, for safety and efficacy reasons.

If you’re hunching over on every rep, you’re almost likely wasting your time and perhaps endangering your health.

Keep your grip tight.

You’ve probably heard the expression “keep your back flat,” but you’re not sure what it means. Consider a rod that runs from your head to your hips. The idea is to keep that pole in a straight line the entire time, which means your back should be tight and straight.

Mastering the hip hinge and strengthening your back and core muscles can assist maintain your spine locked in while lifting heavy and training hard.

Keep the weights in close proximity.

Another key deadlift tip is to hold the dumbbells close to your body, almost as if you were shaving your legs with them. The exercise becomes much more difficult to do properly and successfully if the dumbbells move away from the body.

Can you do deadlifts with dumbbells? 

The answer is “yes,” but there is a big “but.”

With dumbbells, you can replicate the deadlift movement, but you won’t be able to get enough weight. Only a few gyms offer DBs that are bigger than 60 kilogrammes, and most people can deadlift 120 kilogrammes after only a few weeks of training.

The deadlift’s entire purpose is to load the entire muscle with an extremely big weight. With dumbbells, you won’t be able to lift that much weight. If your gym lacks barbells, consider switching to a better one.

F.A.Q deadlift with dumbbells

Entire Community
Strength Level Weight
Beginner 12 lb
Novice 27 lb
Intermediate 50 lb
Advanced 78 lb

With dumbbells, how much should I be able to deadlift?

A male lifter’s average Dumbbell Deadlift weight is 94 lb (1RM). This is a highly remarkable lift that puts you in the Intermediate Strength Level. How do you know whether you’re doing a decent Dumbbell Deadlift? Beginner males should aim for a 1RM of 33 lb, which is still impressive when compared to the average population.

Is deadlifting with dumbbells more difficult?

When performing a deadlift with dumbbells, you can achieve more reps with more strain on the target muscles and a wider range of motion. Although you won’t be lifting as heavy as you would with a barbell, you’ll be able to complete more reps while keeping your muscles engaged the entire time.

Do dumbbell deadlifts help with back pain?

The dumbbell deadlift is a leg and back strengthening exercise. Your glutes, as well as your quadriceps and hamstrings, will be working specifically.


The deadlift is popular in commercial gyms and CrossFit contests for a reason. Every athlete should be at least somewhat familiar with this basic statement of full-body strength.

However, there’s no reason to confine your workouts to the barbell. Hitting the dumbbell rack may provide your muscles a new stimulation to drive new growth, give you a new skill to master during your workout, and keep things interesting and exciting. The dumbbell deadlift should exercise your go-to if you want to add more stability and range of motion to your pulls.

Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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