How to Set Up for Deadlift With Dumbbells

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.

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

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

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

  4. 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.

About the Author

Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.