If you’re working out at home and want to improve your deadlift, then you need to get creative with the deadlift variations you employ. Most of us doing home workouts have minimal equipment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get in quality deadlift workouts. In fact, the 10 deadlift variations featured below only require a single kettlebell, dumbbell, or resistance band.
A question we get asked fairly often is, “How can I progress doing home workouts when I only have limited weight?”
Outside of adding more load, there are plenty of ways to make progress, especially for a single lift like the deadlift. For example, we can modify multiple variables of the deadlift to increase effort and difficulty, so we can challenge ourselves in new ways and really focus on owning the mechanics required for the deadlift and its variations.
Instead of having you arbitrarily tackle deadlift variations though, we challenge you to go from level 1 to level 10 from the list below and display true mastery for each deadlift variation. Before you progress to the next variation, we want you to have the skill you’re practicing on lock. Check out Coach Jake’s video below demonstrating each variation.
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Deadlift Variations Level 1 to Level 10
Circling back to the point above, how can we modify an exercise like a deadlift to make it more difficult when adding load is simply not an option? At Pheasyque Lab, we have a contextual hierarchy that we put in place based on the exercise and adaptation we’re going for.
In this article’s (and video’s) case, the goal is leveling up from a true beginner deadlift variation to a much more difficult variation.
So, the hierarchy we used for increasing every deadlift variation’s difficulty is as follows:
Remember, the rationale behind each of these modifications is creating a higher demand for technical mastery of each deadlift variation.
By limiting the range of motion of a deadlift variation, we can focus on mechanical aspects like the hip hinge and torso positioning. Then, by adding tempo, we can focus on building awareness of our positioning and how we’re moving. And finally, by limiting our base of support, we can challenge our balance and technical skill for proper execution.
Home Workout Deadlift Variations
We’ve broken the list of 10 deadlift variations into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We challenge you to master each for a strong 8-10 reps for 3-4 sets before moving to the next variation.
Beginner Deadlift Variations
- Kettlebell Block Deadlift
- Kettlebell Block Deadlift with a 1-2 Second Pause Mid-Shin
- Kettlebell Deadlift From the Floor
- Tempo Kettlebell Deadlift with a 1-2 Second Pause Mid-Shin and 4-second Eccentric (lowering phase)
Intermediate Deadlift Variations
- Single-Arm Deadlift
- Suitcase Block Deadlift
- Suitcase Deadlift From the Floor
Advanced Deadlift Variations
- Single-Leg Deadlift
- Single-Leg Deadlift With a 1-2 Second Pause Mid-Shin
- Single-Leg Deadlift (Dr. Pat Davidson variation)
If you can work through these 10 deadlift variations with technical mastery, then we have good news, you now have even more variations to add to your programming. Whether you’re doing home workouts or you’re back in the gym like normal, a lot of these variations can have benefits for your deadlift gains across the board.