The deadlift is one of the gym exercises that engage the entire body – some muscles are directly targeted, others serve as support system, but all of them work hard. It is probably the complexity and the efficiency of the exercise that has earned the deadlift its nickname, the King, but there is one more aspect that makes it a popular choice for those looking for a way to increase core strength and that is variety. Deadlifts can be performed in a number of different ways – here are the two most successfully used variations, dumbbell lifts and barbell lifts.
What Muscle Groups Do They Use
Both types of deadlifts promote muscle development in the entire body, involving several muscle groups such as the lower back, the glutes and the hamstrings directly and many others such as the forearms in an indirect way.
How to Perform a Barbell Deadlift
Barbell deadlifts are incredibly efficient, but you must pay increased attention to performing the exercise correctly. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees a bit. Before you start lifting, make sure your back is straight when you lean forward to grab the weight – lifting the barbell with a curved or bent back increases the risk of injury. Position yourself firmly above the barbell, then grab it with your hands at shoulder-width. Straighten your back and lift the weight until it hangs in front of you, holding it with the arms extended.
How to Perform a Dumbbell Deadlift
The dumbbell deadlift is very similar to the barbell lift, but the weights used are not bound together, so the exercise develops not only muscles, but coordination as well. When you lower the weights, make sure you keep the weights close to your body. Avoid swinging the weights – muscles work only if they contract and adding momentum to the movement will take away the stress that conducts to muscle growth.
How Do They Compare
Barbell deadlifts and dumbbell deadlifts are variations of the same exercise, but each of them works your muscles differently. Dumbbells are smaller than barbells (with most dumbbells, you cannot pack more than 50 pounds), therefore dumbbell deadlifts are more suitable for gaining stability and for maintaining size. Barbell lifts, on the other hand, allow you to use larger weights, so they are better for increasing strength and size.
Is One Exercise Better than the Other?
The answer to this question depends on your goals and your possibilities. If you work out at home and you have a training program that focuses on size maintenance and coordination, dumbbells will work best for you – dumbbell lifts will work your muscles and will give you the possibility to add variety to the work-out by doing the exercise with one leg raised, for example. Dumbbells take up less space than barbells, so they are the perfect choice for a home gym. If you want to increase strength and muscle mass and you are looking for a challenge, though, it is definitely barbell lifts with high loads that you need.