We know that heavy lifting is one of the key components of body-building exercises. But if you’re not a powerlifter, barbell deadlifts may be a waste of time and effort for you. Fitness experts indicate that only focusing on heavy pulls may hurt your gains in the end.
Classic powerlifting moves are somehow sacred in the world of fitness! But most of us are not aware of the fact that a conventional deadlift is not necessary for every exerciser, no matter its reputation. Traditional barbell deadlifts may cause more harm than benefit if one ends up being unnecessarily heavy-handed with them. Professional fitness experts even suggest replacing barbell deadlifts with more flexible and versatile alternatives, if powerlifting is not your sole goal.
According to fitness experts Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and David Otey, P.P.S.C., C.S.C.S., conventional barbell deadlifts are one of the most overrated buildup exercises people have been accustomed to incorporating into almost every type of workout regime. Even though this deadlift is beneficial for hinge movements, which is an essential part of a workout, it can also limit hinge velocity which can cause injury down the road. That’s why both Samuel and Otey suggest opting for the following alternatives, which enable different hinge velocities and allow for a more natural posture and versatile movement during the exercises.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift is beneficial for those with hip problems. It mainly focuses on hip extension. According to Samuel, this deadlift doesn’t need you to travel to the ground like a traditional posture of deadlift exercises. But for the very same reason, it may not be the best option for many gym-goers.
For natural and safe lifting, a kettlebell is the closest similar option to a barbell. As Otey explains, the key feature of deadlift exercises is picking some weight off the ground, starting with no movement. So, a kettlebell is a lighter option that allows one to use the body in different and flexible ways during the lifting, without force-feeding a posture like a barbell.
Trap Bar Deadlift
A trap bar is much more versatile just by its handle position. It allows for anybody to do two actions at a time, i.e. lifting heavyweight and performing deadlift jumps or similar explosive movements. It’s truly a much more natural way to do a deadlift. As Otey says, this exercise involves our knees and hips more, similar to picking up the groceries!