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Can't deadlift? Try these exercises instead!

There’s no denying that the deadlift is a tough one to crack. Whether it’s mastering the tricky form or upping your weight, this compound exercise is no joke. But, if your relationship with the deadlift is doomed, don’t panic! There’s a number of exercises you can try that’ll provide similar benefits to the deadlift, minus the frustration! Here’s our fave three.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Kind of still a deadlift but not quite. The single leg Romanian deadlift is no mean feat however, it’s a great way to ease into barbell deadlifts. Similar to deadlifts, it’ll challenge your lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves, but it’ll save your lower back as you don’t need to load on as much weight in order for this move to have an impact.

Start by holding a dumbbell (it’s up to you how heavy you want to go, the heavier, the better!) in each hand and shift your weight slightly to the left. Hinge forward on your left leg until the dumbbells come close to the floor, keeping your back straight and your right leg in line with your torso. Reserve and repeat on the other leg.

Farmer’s Walk

We’ve all experienced the mad dash from the car to the house, loaded with shopping bags, determined to do just the one trip. If you’ve mastered this, then you’ll definitely be able to grasp the Farmer’s Walk. If deadlifts are a complete no-no for you due to the pressure it puts on your back, then this exercise is for you. As well as protecting this area, it also targets the upper back, the core and will also help improve your grip, something which could help if you're set on improving your deadlift technique.

It’s super easy to do too! Grab a set of heavy dumbbells and simply walk forward for 30-60 seconds. Continue to repeat for 3-4 sets.

Hip Thrusts

This one’s a killer, especially if you go heavy. But, unlike deadlifts, hip thrusts won’t put as much stress on your lower back. Instead, it’ll build your glutes and hamstrings so if you’re looking for a lower body burn, give these a go. Use a barbell if you want to pack on the weight or, if you’re new to hip thrusts, start off by using a kettlebell.

For this one, you need to start by sitting on the floor, with your back against a bench. Place a weight-loaded barbell (or start off using a kettlebell or just the barbell if you’re a newbie) across your hips – you can wrap a pad or towel around the bar for comfort. Then grip the bar, bend your knees and, keeping your feet flat on the floor, thrust your hips upwards and squeeze your glutes. Lower the bar back to start position and repeat.

Not tried these three exercises? Work them into your gym regime and give them a go! You can throw them in alongside deadlifts or, if you find deadlifts really tough, then these should help you gain the benefits of the popular compound movement.

Still set on mastering the deadlift? Head over to our blog to find out more about the pros of this popular exercise, in comparison to squats.

The Grenade® blog is also home to a whole host of fitness and training tips and tricks, have a read!

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