I’d like to talk to you about using resistance bands for deadlifts.
That may sound like crazy talk at first. Why would you want to use resistance bands for deadlifts??
After all, the deadlift is the mightiest lift of them all. It is the Herculean task of lifting a ferociously heavy barbell off the floor and standing up straight.
Obviously, this should be accomplished as noisily as possible so all in the gym notice what a champion you are.
There is no doubt at all that barbell deadlifts, along with squats, are the bread-and-butter of strength athletes who want to build mass and monstrous power. They are the quintessential compound strength exercise if you want to get bigger, stronger and generally cut a more menacing figure in society.
Doing deadlifts regularly will set up an anabolic, muscle-building environment in your whole body. This will make it easier for you to gain strength and mass, even if you have the ectomorphic, hard gaining body type.
Why use resistance bands for deadlifts?
First, there’s the obvious point that you can’t put a barbell and weights into your bag and take them anywhere. So if you travel a lot or don’t always have access to a gym, but want to stay strong, banded deadlifts are your answer.
But there are also functional reasons for why using resistance bands is a great alternative to free weights. Read more about the benefits of using resistance bands.
One of the key benefits is that, unlike weights, the resistance level of elastics increases the further the band is stretched. This is called variable linear resistance and means that you get the highest level of resistance exactly at the right place – where your muscles are in their strongest position.
Proper deadlift form
It can be very easy to injure yourself by doing deadlifts the wrong way. For this reason, it’s super important to pay attention to doing the movement with correct form.
Here’s a video showing you the correct technique for deadlifts:
What are the best resistance bands for deadlifts?
The best kind of band for doing banded deadlifts is a 208cm long resistance loop band:
These bands are available in very high resistance levels, which is important because you need a heavy resistance band for deadlifts. And since they are a continuous loop, they can be easily looped around your feet, anchoring them to the ground. To perform the movement you then pull up on either the centre of the band or each end of the loop, as shown below.
See the full range of exercises you can do with these bands in our full-body workout guide.
How to do deadlifts with a resistance band
There are various ways to do banded deadlifts with a resistance loop. In this video you can see how to do resistance band deadlifts with a narrow stance:
You can also do banded deadlifts with a wider stance. In this case, you step into either end of the loop and hold onto the centre of the band like this:
Many athletes, especially powerlifters, will do barbell deadlifts in combination with a resistance band. Although most of the resistance is provided by the barbell, the band will provide additional resistance which is of a different type (i.e. variable linear resistance, as mentioned above).
To do deadlifts with a barbell and resistance band, you simply attach the band to the barbell so it adds extra resistance, as shown here:
Studies have shown that using resistance bands in combination with free weights like this can produce significantly higher peak force and peak power compared to just using weights alone.
Mini resistance bands for deadlifts
Instead of using large resistance loops for deadlifts, you can also use mini bands, which are much smaller (they can fit right in your pocket):
The downside is that the resistance level of these bands is not as high as the larger 208cm loops. So if you’re very strong and just want to lift heavy, they’re not the best option. But mini bands can still pack a punch and are great for doing higher rep deadlifts for weight loss and toning.
As with the larger loops, mini bands are super versatile and can be used for all kinds of different exercises. See our full guide to mini band exercises.
Here’s how to use them for banded deadlifts:
See our online shop to buy resistance bands for deadlifts, squats and much more.