How to Set Up for Deadlift With Dumbbells

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The deadlift is a full-body exercise usually performed with a heavy barbell, but it can also be done with dumbbells. Using dumbbells for a deadlift may feel a bit different, as the stronger half of your body isn’t able to compensate for the weaker half like it can with a barbell. The setup for a dumbbell deadlift differs slightly from a barbell, but the lift itself is basically the same.

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Hold two dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in.

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Adjust your footing so your feet are in line with your shoulders, your back is straight and your core muscles are tight.

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Move the dumbbells in front of your thighs, so your palms face your thighs as if you’re holding a regular barbell.

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Bend your knees to lower the weight to the floor with a straight back, looking ahead with your butt out. Keep your arms straight and pause for a second at the bottom before you stand back up.


Speak to your doctor before you attempt to begin a strength-training regimen. If you're uncomfortable with the proper execution of any exercise, enlist the help of a personal trainer.