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How to do Dumbbell Deadlifts Correctly?

How to do Dumbbell Deadlift Correctly?

Dumbbell Dead Lifts – Get Those Sculpted Legs

If there’s one movement that works your entire body – from your core to your glutes, lower back, hamstrings and quads, then it’s hands-down the deadlift. At the cornerstone of the compound exercises, deadlifts – both barbell and dumbbell – are a dynamic exercise that help you build a strong foundation for your body. What makes this exercise so celebrated among athletes and gym-goers is that it boosts your strength, stability and endurance all at once!

To get the most out of this exercise, you need to make sure you get your dumbbell deadlift form right – this is what you’ll learn in this guide!

Add dumbbell dead lifts to your leg workout routine to boost strength.

How To Do Dumbbell Deadlifts | Muscles Worked | Benefits | Variations | Key Takeaways | FAQs

How To Do Dumbbell Deadlift Correctly?


For maximum leg (and lower back) gains, it’s important to get your form right. Not only does this ensure your muscles are growing and toning, it also prevents the risk of injuries.

Here’s how you can do dumbbell deadlifts correctly:

  • Take your stance by standing with a neutral spine, straight back and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells by your side so they’re in-line with your feet.
  • Stand with a slight bend in your knees and hips – make sure your hands and arms are in-line with your shoulders and knees.
  • Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor so your quads, hamstrings, calves and glute muscles are activated.
  • Grabbing the dumbbells, extend your hips and knees as you stand straight, keeping them aligned with your shoulders to make sure your dumbbell deadlift form is right.
  • Make sure you squeeze your glutes as you stand straight.
  • Now, lower the dumbbells to the ground, bending your knees and hinging at your hips with your back neutral and straight.


  • Make sure you exhale when you are moving up.
  • Keep your arms straight throughout
  • Keep your neck neutral, and straight with your spine.
  • Make sure that you’re dressed in proper gym clothes.

For a deeper understanding, check out our detailed guide on how to do dumbbell deadlifts.

Muscles Engaged in the Dumbbell Deadlift

When it comes down to compound exercises, dumbbell deadlifts take the center stage because they effectively engage your lower body muscles and activate your core.

Here are the muscles worked in this exercise:

Primary Muscles

  • Gluteus Maximus: This muscle carries the bulk of your power, giving you the strength to lift and thrust so make sure you’re doing the bubble butt workout for isolated glute gains.
  • Quadriceps: Playing the central role in your lower body movement, this muscle engages from your pelvis to your knee.
  • Hamstrings: Aids in hip extension, stabilizing your movements.
  • Lower Back: Gives you structural stability along with core strength.

Incorporate this movement into your complete dumbbell leg workout to boost your gains.

Secondary Muscles

  • Trapezius: Gives you upper back strength, helping you maintain a good posture and prevent rhomboid pain.
  • Abs: With a strong core and abs, you get better structural stability and coordination.
  • Obliques: Keeps your torso aligned, allowing for better core activation.
  • Stabilizers: Working your stabilizers ensures all your movements are safe and steady so make sure to do these 10 stability ball exercises.

Don’t have access to dumbbells? Switch up to these 5 resistance band leg exercises!

The Dumbbell Deadlift Benefits: Why It’s Important


Dumbbell deadlifts are pivotal to your leg days. Not only is this a full body compound movement, this exercise also gives you dynamite strength in your lower body and core. This improves your endurance and agility as well – especially because this is also a fast-twitch muscle exercise!

Here’s how this exercise truly benefits you:

1. A Stronger Back and Quads

This exercise gives you a stronger lower back and quads. As a result, everything from your athletic performance to daily chores improves, keeping you fit and active in your daily movements.

Do these 10 quad exercises for stronger legs.

2. Injury Prevention

With a stronger and well-built core and back, you’re less likely to experience long-term, chronic pains. This means you won’t be feeling the brunt of your 9-5 job, especially because all your right muscles are working and engaged.

Try these 4 lat workouts for a stronger back.

Functional Fitness

Since deadlifts are built upon your daily movements, it is important to incorporate this exercise into your leg workout routine. This keeps you quick on your feet, enabling you to lift, thrust and move around effortlessly.

Mark Rippetoe, a strength training coach, says: “The deadlift also serves as a way to train the mind to do things that are hard.”

Working out at home? Try this 20 minute leg and booty workout!

3 Deadlift Variations

1. Barbell Deadlift

Similar to dumbbell deadlift, barbell deadlift is the closest variation. Every remains the same except for the weights.

You can also try barbell hip thrusts for isolated glute gains.

2. Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift

In a stiff-legged deadlift, the hamstrings are stretched more as the legs remain straight. Bent enough for you to lift the weights off the ground.

Learn how to do leg press correctly to work your hamstrings, quads and glutes.

3. Romanian Deadlifts with Dumbbells

Romanian deadlift is somewhere in between the conventional deadlift and stiff-legged deadlift. The legs can be slightly more bent like in a stiff-legged deadlift, but the glutes position remains the same as the conventional one.

Don’t have weights? Go for a lower body band workout instead!

Key Takeaways

Adding dumbbell deadlifts to your leg days isn’t just about making your routine more challenging. Rather, its about putting in the work for a stronger, more resilient lower body that takes you to bigger and better things in your life.

With the right dumbbell deadlift form, you’ll be on your way to packing those gains and boosting your strength, stability and endurance, not just in your legs, but all over. Not only does it strengthen your lower back, it also works your leg muscles to improve your functionality and prevent injuries.

To further boost your leg strength, add these 10 calves exercises and banded squats into your leg day routine so you build strong and sculpted legs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dumbbell deadlift effective?

Yes, dumbbell deadlifts are highly effective in helping you gain strength, endurance, stability and muscle mass. This exercise improves your lower back and core strength, along with giving you definition and toning in your legs, which is imperative for your lower body gains. With the right dumbbell deadlift form, you can ramp up your gains and get the legs of a titan!

What are dumbbell deadlifts good for?

Dumbbell deadlift offer several benefits such as improving the strength in some of your major muscle groups like hamstrings, glutes, core and lower back. Along with boosting your functional strength, this exercise enhances your posture and stability. This facilitates you in your daily chores as well as sports activities. Moreover, as you perform the correct db deadlift form, you’re able to lower risks of injuries while improving overall balance and coordination.

Are dumbbell deadlifts as good as barbell deadlifts?

Yes! Dumbbell deadlifts as are good as barbell deadlifts. If they’re done correctly, both of them improve your form, stability and performance. With dumbbells, you get a fuller range of motion and work both your sides equally. In addition, db deadlifts are also easier to do, which makes them beginner-friendly. And, since dumbbells are more portable and accessible, you can have them around at home. On the other hand, barbell deadlifts allow you to lift heavier weight, which is perfect if your goal is to boost strength for hypertrophy.

How to properly do dumbbell deadlifts?

Standing position: keep your feet shoulder apart and spine straight

    1. Place the Dumbbells on the side aligned with your foot – where the center of gravity is.
    2. Bend down to get the dumbbells keeping your shoulder align with the knees, and thighs parallel to the floor.
    3. Hold the dumbbells firm and stand up lifting them keeping them aligned with the knees and the shoulder.
    4. As you stand, squeeze the glutes to the top.
    5. Go back down the similar motion till dumbbells touch the floor.

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