Adding variety to your workout is very important! Not only does it improve your athletic performance overall, but it also challenges you to approach a technique you’ve mastered differently. This also makes a certain exercise less likely to perpetuate ‘bad muscle habits’ and cause injury. Sometimes even switching from a wide grip to a slightly wider grip can save your life.
More importantly, variation exercises will target different muscles that a conventional exercise neglects because it always focuses on the same old thing. So, these deadlift variations target different muscles in different ways for results you didn’t even think of! They are also recommended when you start feeling pain in your lower back, hams or quads. Because switching it up a bit will put less pressure where you’re hurting, and work on your weaker points.
Sumo Deadlifts makes lifting more stable due to the stance borrowed from Sumo fighters. It targets the hip muscle and releases more tension on the lower back. It also helps you maintain a good posture. Because of this, it limits the range of motion, thus enabling you to lift more weight than you do with your conventional deadlift.
The Romanian Deadlift especially targets the hamstrings and improves mobility at the hip joint by focusing on the hip hinge. RDL is also called 'stiff leg deadlift' because it is performed by keeping your knees straight. It is also mandatory that you keep a correct posture and your back straight.
This deadlift variation increases your range of motion by standing on a weight plate and raising yourself just a little bit above ground level. Because of this, it recruits more of the posterior chain and quads.
This variation involves a different kind of bar, known as Trap bar or Hex bar. It recruits the hams, quads, flutes, mid and lower back muscles. It is great for those who face difficulties with the conventional deadlift and the results are great!
This variation mostly recruits your quads and focuses on strengthening them. It mimics the conventional deadlift, with the difference that the bar will be placed behind you. It is also a very difficult variation, best suited for those who are a bit more experienced with their deadlifts.
Start by performing the variations which allow you to easily maintain a neutral spine and proper form. This way it will promote correct movement and bio-mechanics which is involved in your body's ability to exercise, and to maintain good posture in your daily life too.
Move on to more complex variations once you've mastered the ones that felt easier for you in the beginning. Any beginner should start with the Romanian Deadlift. It works on establishing a solid foundation for the conventional deadlift, and strengthening your posterior chain, hams and quads too.
Remember to always keep a straight back and the barbell close to your body as you perform any deadlift variation. And keep in mind that you will descend with the same speed as you raise the bar. These factors will reduce the risk of injury. Wearing gloves for a stronger grip and knee sleeves for support will also prevent damage or trauma that slight form or posture mistakes could cause.
As a result from varying your deadlift movements, you will notice increased strength and hypertrophy. And you will prevent damage and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Find out which variation allows you to use correct form and posture and start lifting!
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