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  • Deadlift Alternative?

    I was wondering if there's something else I can do in place of deadlifts to get similar results. My gym doesn't have barbells, only has a smith machine and dumbbells, and I have found using dumbbells is incredibly uncomfortable. I feel like I'm stooping too much.

    FWIW, I do end up doing deadlifts at work a few times a week, but typically nothing that gives me a major workout- not like I'd get doing it on purpose at the gym.

    I'm just curious what you all think.

  • #2
    So you really can't do squats or dead-lifts. You could go onto body weight work or try Bulgarian Split Squats (with or without weights).
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    Don't forget to play!

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    • #3
      bulgarians are good...and you could always do goblet squats with the dumbells at the gym.
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      • #4
        goblet squats are fantastic. i'd also put in a plug for romanian deadlifts hold a really heavy dumbell.

        but yeah, it's going to be tricky to work out in a gym with no barbells...

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        • #5
          Simple solution,
          ROM is an issue for dumbbell deadlifts....but you don't have to use a full ROM. If your gym has a Reebok step or deck, get two, stand them either side of you and lift the dumbbells from them. It helps you to maintain your lower back's natural curvature. Until recently I did the same with dumbbell suitcase deadlifts for higher reps ( 15 per side ). Split squats or pistols could also be added. Purchase a hip belt apparatus, straddle the smith machine bar while you attach the hip belt to it and you've got an exercise that will fry your legs.

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          • #6
            I think the question should really be what results do you want to get from the deadlift? Are you doing it because you've heard that it's a good thing to do or are you doing it for some specific reason?

            I deadlift because I want to be able to lift really heavy stuff of the floor so there is little to sub it for.
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            • #7
              Thanks guys for the tips.

              I currently do goblet squats, and Romanian Dead Lifts at work- lifting heavy spools onto the rack to cut the cable. My goal with doing deadlifts is to be able to lift the really heavy stuff on my own, so that I don't have to ask the guys for help as often. I have no idea what I can currently lift on my own. Unfortunately few of these spools actually have their weight marked on them- lol

              I will look into the split squats, and finding some sort of step or deck.

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              • #8
                Couple ideas - stiff leg deadlift, similar results, but you won't get to the weight you could with a regular deadlift. I've had success using the resistance bands along with dumbells (but I have fairly large hands and can hold the band and dumbell handle). Step on the band, grab the dumbells and stand up. It may simulate a squat more than a deadlift. Also, because of the band, the move is easier at the bottom and harder as you stand up so it may not accomplish what you are after. Tie a knot in the band to add resistance.

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                • #9
                  Diana,
                  The problem you face there is that it is acknowledged among most strength coaches ( I hope Coach Palfrey agrees with me on this...lol ) that the lower back is probably the easiest part of the body to overtrain. If you are lifting all day at work and then you compound that by going for it the gym too often then something's eventually gotta give.
                  Did you read the other thread on here recently about the person who didn't deadlift for about three weeks....he had been previously struggling with a weight...then left it....came back to smash his PR and is now looking to shop for extra plates. A lesson to be learned there maybe.

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                  • #10
                    fishin-frog - straight leg lifts might be a possibility. I will try those with dumbbells and see how they feel.

                    UK Guy - No I had not seen that. I don't actually do all that much lifting at work, but when I do I want to be good at it! I'd say, rough guess, I get one really heavy lift a week- maybe 2 on a good week. I probably get 4 or 5 medium difficulty lifts a week. The rest is pretty light weight.

                    Another issue that I'm sort of dealing with is carrying really heavy spools (think out front, like carrying a box,) and how to get better with that and to be able to carry more weight. Anything I can do to improve that?

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                    • #11
                      wow crazy that your gym has no bars :/

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                      • #12
                        The general recommendation is to deadlift at most once a week with reduced work sets relative to other lifts. As lifters get stronger on the lift they often reduce the frequency to even less than that...maybe once every 8 or 9 days..maybe even once a fortnight.
                        As for the box carrying....my advice would be .to quote the Nike commercial...just do it. The more you practice that the easier it will become over time.

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                        • #13
                          Don't do straight leg deadlifts...not unless you want to destroy your lower back. Locking your knees locks your pelvis into place and the discs take all the strain. Short range Romanian deadlifts with knees unlocked would be a better option.
                          Just a question..if you don't mind...what's wrong with asking the guys for help at work?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
                            fishin-frog - straight leg lifts might be a possibility. I will try those with dumbbells and see how they feel.

                            UK Guy - No I had not seen that. I don't actually do all that much lifting at work, but when I do I want to be good at it! I'd say, rough guess, I get one really heavy lift a week- maybe 2 on a good week. I probably get 4 or 5 medium difficulty lifts a week. The rest is pretty light weight.

                            Another issue that I'm sort of dealing with is carrying really heavy spools (think out front, like carrying a box,) and how to get better with that and to be able to carry more weight. Anything I can do to improve that?
                            Make yourself a sandbag out of an old army duffel bag an pressed wood pellets. It won't be really loose like a normal sandbag but if it spits there wont be sand everywhere.
                            Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                            PS
                            Don't forget to play!

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                            • #15
                              Ayla- Planet Fitness. What can I say?

                              LOL UK Guy- Nike is pretty wise aren't they? Good advice. I guess I'm sort of stuck in the "practice makes perfect" mindset. Advice noted on straight-leg lifts. Do you think back extensions could be of any benefit for strengthening the lower back?

                              I don't mind asking the guys for help sometimes, but essentially being the only girl in the shop, I like being as self-sufficient as possible. I want to be able to keep up with the boys as best I can. It's a small company and being able to hold my own says a lot- especially to the boss man out front. Don't get me wrong, we're like an awesome disfunctional family, and I've got 7 brothers from other mothers, but there are days when I really don't feel like being "little sister."

                              Dirlot- I am on it with the sandbag! I actually have one needing sand. I had to empty it when it got soaked. Need to be more mindful to keep it out of the rain. I didn't expect those things to be so unwieldy, but wow...

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