Performing deadlifts using resistance bands in place of weights is a perfect introduction to this type of training and is ideal for those who are not ready to take on the barbell or who have limited equipment available. Even expert and professional weightlifters incorporate resistance band training into their program. It's an ideal way to keep up your training when you're away from the gym. All you need is a resistance band, so you can complete the exercise in a park, hotel room or at the beach, anywhere where you might not have access to bars and weights.
To introduce some variation in the difficulty of the exercise, you should look into acquiring a set of variable resistance bands, so you can switch up the load on your muscles as your training develops, or drop to an easier resistance if you want to increase your reps for toning. A set of pull up assist bands with varying resistance is ideal, giving you numerous options whether you use them alone or in combination with one another.
How to do a deadlift with resistance bands
The correct method to complete a resistance band assisted deadlift is as follows:
Having selected a band or combination of bands with the correct resistance for your current ability, start by placing your feet shoulder-width apart and planted toes-forward on the floor, with the band running beneath them between the heel and the arch.
Hold the band in an overarm grip, so your knuckles are facing outwards and away from you. Your hands should be slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Now, bend at the knees, moving your hips backward and maintaining balance and posture, keeping your chest up. This is your starting position for the deadlift.
To lift, contract your glutes, pushing them forward with full force. Don't strain your back or lean, your glutes should be doing the majority of the work here, and should be fully contracted. Pause at the full extent of the lift for a moment, holding the position. Your abs and lats should be working to stabilize you. Then, release slowly, returning smoothly to the starting position.
A variation on the resistance band deadlift
With the above deadlift, muscles worked include the lower back. To isolate only your hamstrings and glutes, as well as your core, a possible variation is the straight leg deadlift.
In this version, the band position and starting position is the same as those described above, with the exception that your knees should be locked, rather than slightly bent. Keep the legs stiffened during the lift, which will stretch and exercise your upper leg muscles to a greater extent. Tighten your abs and squeeze your glutes. As you lift, you should keep your shoulder blades locked together, to ensure your back remains straight during the lift.
As you improve your technique over time, you'll naturally want to move from banded lifts to lifting weights. The techniques you've learned while using the resistance band will help you get to grips more quickly with the barbell deadlift, but also you can return to the banded method to address specific areas of your form which might need adjustment or improvement.
What muscles do banded deadlifts train?
This exercise is similar in scope to a classic deadlift, targeting major muscle groups in the mid and lower body. The core muscles are central to this exercise, as well as the lats and lower back muscles. In addition, resistance band deadlifts work on the hamstrings and glutes, providing a comprehensive training session that builds strength and stability.
What techniques does the exercise train?
As well as targeting and training specific muscle groups, deadlifting with resistance bands allows you to work on elements of your form and technique which can then be transferred across to deadlifting with weights. It's a lower risk way of perfecting these elements of the exercise before moving on to the barbell and carries less probability of injury, which makes it ideal for beginners, or for experienced lifters who want to improve or correct a specific aspect of their form.
Specific elements of form which this type of deadlift can improve include:
- Acceleration of the bar throughout the lift, moving from the mid position through to the top position.
- Developing and maintaining the strength which you need during the lockout.
- Honing and enhancing your movement, improving smoothness and steadiness.
- Training your core and laterals to support your form throughout the lift.
As with any weight training, the correct form is vital to avoid sudden or long term injuries, and using a resistance band is the best and safest way to develop these skills.