Whether you are a new lifter or seasoned veteran, you probably know a thing or two about deadlifts. They are one of the best, most beneficial strength training exercises out there. However, have you ever heard of resistance band deadlifts?
Resistance band deadlifts, also known as mini band deadlifts, give you almost all of the same benefits as the conventional deadlift. But, banded deadlifts remove the heavy equipment and replace it with a basic looped resistance band. Therefore, not only are they almost as beneficial as the conventional deadlift, but they are also significantly simpler!
With that said, we highly suggest you give banded deadlifts a try. To help you get started, here is everything you need to know about banded deadlifts, including their benefits and variations!
Benefits of Resistance Band Deadlifts
We could come up with dozens of banded deadlift benefits. However, we narrowed it down to the top 5 benefits to keep things simple and straightforward. Here are the top reasons why you should add resistance band deadlifts to your workout routine:
1. Building Muscular Strength
Resistance band deadlifts are an ideal exercise for building muscular strength. They will help you build pure lean muscle mass.
Being stronger will make you a better lifter, help you reach your fitness goals faster, and make your body look better.
Banded deadlifts primarily build strength in your posterior chain muscle group. The posterior chain refers to all of the muscles on the backside of your body, including the:
- Erector spinae muscles
- Latissimus dorsi
In addition to the posterior chain, banded deadlifts also target the abdominal and core muscles on the front side of the body. The abdominals refer to the muscle group on the front side of your midsection. The core muscles refer to a complex group of stabilizer muscles laced throughout your midsection and hips. The core is a vitally important muscle group to strengthen. A strong core helps to:
- Keep your entire body stable and upright
- Improve posture
- Increase your maximum lift load
Moreover, deadlifts help improve strength in several large primary mover muscles and the core stabilizer complex. With that said, if you want to build an overall stronger body in less time, then resistance band deadlifts are the way to go.
2. Building Muscular Power
Not only do deadlifts help you build muscular strength, but they also help you build muscular power. Power refers to how much force you can exert in a short period of time. For example, how much force can you exert on a box in the first few seconds of trying to push it?
Or, how much force can you exert on the ground in the first few seconds of standing up from a squat? The faster and stronger you can exert a force, the more power you have.When you do a banded deadlift, you have to exert a force on the ground to overcome the resistance band's resistance.
The resistance band makes it challenging for you to stand up straight, but having power allows you to exert an upward force and overcome the resistance. Having muscle power has several excellent benefits (on top of making you a better lifter), including:
- Increasing functional strength
- Improving bone and muscle health
- Reducing the risk of injury
3. A Full-Body Workout
Resistance band deadlifts are the definition of a full-body exercise. They target almost all of the muscles in the posterior chain of the body plus the abs and core. If you are looking for a single exercise that gets the job done for all of your muscle groups, you can't go wrong with banded deadlifts.
4. Perfect for Home Workouts
You do not need to go to a gym to do resistance band deadlifts. There is no heavy equipment involved, making them ideal for working out at home! The only home gym equipment you need is a resistance band. And, if you don't already have a set of resistance bands, they are very affordable from websites like Amazon.
Also, resistance band deadlifts are a low-impact exercise. Therefore, you don't necessarily need a personal trainer or spotter to give you a hand. As long as you practice good form, you are unlikely to hurt yourself doing them. That fact makes them even more home workout friendly.
5. Integration with Different Workout Types
Lastly, you can do resistance band deadlifts on their own, as part of a resistance band workout, or as part of a lower-body workout. They are highly versatile and can be incorporated into almost any type of workout.
Additionally, you can incorporate resistance band deadlifts into more intense types of workouts, such as bodybuilding or Crossfit. Whether you are an everyday gym lifter or extreme athlete, you can add resistance band deadlifts to your workout routine!
How to Do Resistance Band Deadlifts With Proper Form
Before getting started, you need to pick the correct looped resistance band. Resistance bands come in different levels of tension. It is essential to choose one with enough resistance to challenge your muscles. At the same time, you don't want to pick a too challenging one, or you risk having poor form.
Looped resistance bands come in different colors, including red, black, purple, green, and blue. The color indicates the level of resistance that the resistance band has. Red and black usually have the least amount of resistance, while blue and green have the most.
Spend some time playing around with the resistance bands before choosing which one to use for deadlifts. Try to pick one that makes it difficult for you to complete a whole set but not too challenging to make you want to quit. If you realize that you picked too easy or too difficult of a resistance band, stop and switch to a different one.
Also, you technically don't need a looped resistance band to do the exercise. Instead, you can tie the ends of a regular resistance band together so that it forms a circle.
Now, here is how to do resistance banded deadlifts with proper form:
- Grab a looped resistance band overhand with your hands at opposite ends. Point your knuckles outward.
- Step with both feet on top of the middle of the band. You want the band to be underneath the middle part of your foot. Spread your feet to shoulder-width apart.
- Get into a starting position by slightly bending your knees and sending your hips a few inches backward. Your upper body should hinge forward from the hips between 30 and 45-degrees. While your chest is bent forward, keep it staunch and your upper back straight to maintain good posture. By now, you should feel some resistance in the resistance band. If you do not feel challenged, then switch to a higher level one. This position is your starting position.
- When you're ready, exhale and power your hips and glutes forward to stand up straight. Do not fully lockout your legs. Instead, keep a tiny bend in your knees. The resistance in the resistance band should make it challenging for your legs to get the full range of motion.
- Squeeze your posterior chain muscles to stay standing for one to two seconds. Then, slowly release the squeeze and bend your knees to return to starting position. Allow the resistance band to pull you down.
- Repeat! Do two to three sets of ten to twelve repetitions.
Extra Resistance Band Deadlift Form Tips
While the above directions are pretty thorough, there are some particularly crucial deadlift form tips to keep in mind. Deadlifts are a fantastic exercise, but doing them with poor form could potentially lead to injury or reduce the benefits.
With that said, keep these form tips in mind:
Brace your abs: You must brace your abs to keep proper form in your back. Proper form means that your back is in a neutral position, meaning that the spine maintains its natural curvature. Bracing your abs will help keep you safe from back injuries, especially lower back injuries.
Keep your chest lifted: Even though your upper body leans forward in starting position, you still need to lift it. By lifted, we mean held staunch with your shoulders pulled back. Keeping your chest up high further protects your back from getting injured.
Hinge from the hips: Remember, there is no squat involved when deadlifting. When you get into starting position with your knees bent, you should not be sitting far back in a squat. Instead, hinge forward from the hips with only a soft knee bend. The hinge allows you to power your hips forward and stand up straight.
Resistance Band Deadlift Variations
Deadlifts with resistance bands aren't the only kind of deadlift we suggest doing. In fact, there really isn't any deadlift that we don't like. With that said, here are our favorite deadlift variations:
Conventional deadlifts: If you are a frequent visitor here on the vault, then you already know that we love the conventional deadlift. We love it so much that we regularly refer to it as the king exercise. Why do we love it so much?
Simple: The conventional deadlift helps you build muscle, build muscle power, and targets all of the muscles in your posterior chain and then some. If you want to know more about the deadlift, how to do it, and how much we love it, check out our complete guide to deadlifts.
Romanian deadlifts: The Romanian deadlift has almost all of the same benefits as conventional deadlifts. But, on top of those benefits, they put extra work on your hamstrings. Additionally, most people do them as a simple barbell deadlift without weights, which makes them easier on the joints.
Instead of starting with your barbell on the floor, begin by standing up straight and holding it. Allow the barbell to pull your upper body down until you feel tension in your hamstrings. Hold the barbell in this position for a couple of seconds, then use your hamstrings to stand up straight again.
Single-leg deadlift with dumbbells: The single-leg deadlift is a unique lower-body resistance training exercise that also challenges the core muscles. If you have a set of free weights available, you can use those to make the exercise more challenging. If you don't, you can use your body weight.
You do not need to use heavy weights to make this exercise effective!Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. If you have dumbbells, let them dead hang in your hands by your sides. When you're ready, exhale and hinge forward from your hips to lift your left leg off the floor and lower your upper body to parallel.
Allow the dumbbells to pull your upper body forward and lift your leg. Squeeze the muscles in the back of your right leg to balance on your right foot. Hold for one to two seconds, then slowly lift your upper body and lower your left foot to starting position.
Extra Resistance Band Exercises
In addition to resistance band deadlift variations, we put together a list of the best resistance band cross-training exercises. Each of these will help you get better at doing the resistance band deadlift.
Sumo walks (lateral band walks): Sumo walks are one of our favorite resistance band exercises. They have both resistance training and cardio elements and work out several lower body muscle groups. They are also a great deadlift warm-up exercise.Wrap a looped resistance band above your knees and below your quadriceps.
Step your feet out to shoulder-width apart or until there is mild tension in the resistance band. Get into an athletic stance with your knees slightly bent, hips backward, and upper body hinging forward about 30-degrees. When you're ready, take a step with your right foot directly out to the right side.
The resistance band should make it challenging for you to sidestep. Then, step your left foot to the right so that your feet return to shoulder-width apart. Take ten steps to the right with your right foot leading, then change directions and move to the left.
Donkey kicks: Fire up your glute muscles with donkey kicks. One of the best exercises for your backside, donkey kicks primarily target your gluteus maximus. The gluteus maximus is one of the primary mover muscles in deadlifts, making it an ideal deadlift cross-training exercise.
Get on all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Keep your back in a neutral position. Wrap a looped resistance band around your quadriceps. When you are ready, exhale and kick your right foot straight up and backward.
Kick it back until your quadricep is parallel with the floor. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then slowly lower your right leg back to starting position. Do ten to twelve kicks on the right side, then switch to the left side.
Clamshells: Clamshells are one of the best exercises for your hip and outer glute muscles. While the hips are not a primary mover muscle in deadlifts, they are a primary stabilizer muscle. Stabilizer muscles are just as essential for heavy weight training as the primary movers are.
(For more on stabilizers, check out our complete guide to stabilizer muscles!) Lay on the right side of your body and create one long line from your head to your toes. Prop your head in your right hand and press your knees forward to 90-degrees. Keep your feet in line with your upper body. When you're ready, exhale and lift your top left knee up and backward to open your leg.
Lift your knee as high as you can without rotating your upper body. You should feel a deep squeeze in your left hip joint! Keep the knee lifted for one to two seconds, then drop it back down to the right knee. Do ten to twelve reps lifting the left knee, then switch to the other side.
Final Thoughts on Resistance Band Deadlifts
You now know everything that you need to know to do banded deadlifts! Given how beneficial they are, we suggest not waiting for a second longer to get started. Fire up your body and reach your fitness goals faster with resistance band deadlifts!
Bonus tip:Don't make banded deadlifts your only resistance band exercise! Here are our top 15 resistance band exercises for helping you build an even better body!