Resistance Band Deadlift Exercise Guide — How To, Benefits, and Variations

Deadlift with Resistance Bands

Deadlifts are one of the most badass exercises of all time. Watching a barbell bend as a lifter deadlifts a shit ton of weight off the floor is surreal. 

You probably have seen videos of lifters deadlifting an insane amount of weight and nose bleeding in the process. If the last few lines have got you all tensed up, do not worry. This article is not about barbell deadlifts, and we aren’t going to ask you to deadlift until you faint.

On the other hand, what if we told you there is a way to replicate the benefits of a barbell deadlift without having to touch a bar or a dumbbell? 

We know what you are thinking, and we agree with you. This article is probably the best thing that has happened to you today, but we digress. 

The deadlift is a great compound (multi-joint) exercise that can help improve your functional strength, meaning — it can make you stronger and help improve your performance in everyday tasks and chores. 

Since the deadlift is such a versatile exercise, it offers a plethora of variations — one of which is the resistance band deadlift. 

The banded deadlift removes the heavy barbell, replaces it with a basic looped resistance band while still giving you almost all the benefits of the conventional deadlift. 

Muscles Worked

Resistance band deadlift is a compound exercise that works every muscle in your body. It is called the “King of Exercises” for a reason. Here are the muscles it targets:

1. Glutes

Your glutes consist of three muscles — gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. Together, these muscles are responsible for hip extension. 

2. Hamstrings 

Glutes and hamstring are the primary target muscles of the resistance band deadlift. Hamstrings are located on the posterior of your upper leg and, like glutes, comprises of three muscles — semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris (long & short head). 

Hamstrings also play a role in hip extension and are responsible for flexing the knee and pulling your leg back, as in walking. 

3. Erector Spinae

The erector spinae also consists of three muscles — spinalis, longissimus, and iliocostalis. These muscles work together to extend the spine and maintain stability. 

4. Secondary Muscle Groups: Quadriceps and Upper Back

Since the resistance band deadlift is a compound exercise, it is near impossible to eliminate secondary muscle recruitment. While the upper back is involved throughout the lift, quads are mainly engaged when you fully extend and lock out at the top. 

Benefits and Disadvantages

Here is everything you need to know about before adding banded deadlifts to your exercise arsenal:

Benefits of Resistance Band Deadlift

1. All the Goodness of the Barbell Deadlift and Then Some More

Deadlifts work almost every muscle in your body. The resistance band variation of the deadlift does everything the orthodox lift does — it is effective at boosting natural testosterone levels, building muscle mass and strength, and improving posture. 

On top of that, it has other benefits — mentioned below — that the conventional lift cannot match. 

2. Great for People Recovering From Injuries 

Resistance band deadlift is an incredibly effective exercise for active recovery and rehab. According to research, light posterior chain exercises like the resistance band deadlift are superior to other therapy forms when treating sore backs.

The best part? You do not even have to go to a gym to do these light exercises. You could do them in the comfort of your bedroom.

3. Can Be Done Anywhere 

Resistance bands are a versatile and inexpensive piece of training equipment. They come in a variety of lengths, strengths, and sizes. 

The COVID-era forced many of us to train at home for a long time. Resistance bands showed up as our saviors. Many people have made the bands a constant in their training regimens after experiencing their benefits firsthand. 

Not only can you use the resistance bands while doing the deadlifts, but you can also perform full-body HIIT workouts with them. 

The fact that you can have such intense workouts with a piece of equipment so small that it can fit in your laptop bag is quite mind-boggling. 

4. A Great Way of Learning How to Perform the Deadlift Correctly 

The banded deadlift is one of the best ways for a beginner to learn the correct way of performing the barbell deadlift. Performing the banded exercise in every back training session will help you build muscle memory that will carry forward to the barbell deadlift. It will not only help you nail your form, but you will also be adding heavier weights faster compared to your peers. 

5. Probably the Safest Deadlift Variation

Since the deadlift is a full-body exercise, a steep learning curve comes along with it. Resistance band deadlift is a low-risk method of learning how to perform the deadlift with the perfect form. 

The band offers the least amount of resistance at the bottom, which is also the hardest part of the lift. Using a band provides you with variable resistance throughout the range of motion, which is great for a newbie lifter. 

Ideally, you should spend at least four weeks practicing the banded deadlift before moving onto the barbell version. 

6. Allows You To Concentrate on the Eccentric Motion of the Lift

In barbell deadlift, most of the work is done on the concentric part of the lift. What about the eccentric part, you ask? Well, gravity does its thing on the way down. 

However, while performing the banded deadlift, you experience constant tension on your muscles throughout the range of motion. You can take the time to focus on your target muscles with a slow descent while performing the resistance band deadlift. 

The risk of injury associated with the eccentric part of the motion on a heavy barbell deadlift does not exist in the case of a banded deadlift. 

7. Provides a Wide Range of Options

Resistance bands come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your experience level, you could choose a strong, medium, or light resistance band. 

You also get the option of choosing between loop, tube, and figure 8 bands. Each type of band lets you train your muscles differently.

Check Out: 13 Best Resistance Bands Reviewed for 2022

Disadvantages of Resistance Band Deadlift

1. You Will Eventually Outgrow the Resistance Bands

Bands can only provide you with so much resistance. Training with bands will get easier over time. However, you could make your workouts challenging by using more than one resistance band at a time or performing circuit training.

As you might have noticed, the advantages of the resistance band deadlift far outweigh the drawbacks. So, give them a try in your next training session. 

How To

Here is how to perform resistance banded deadlift with the perfect form:

  1. Lay down a looped resistance band on the floor. 
  2. Step with both feet on top of the middle of the band. The band should be underneath the middle part of your foot.
  3. If you have never tried this exercise before, you might want to start with a medium resistance band.
  4. Your feet should be about hip-width apart, and your toes facing forward.
  5. As you bend your knees, hinge your upper body forward and push your hips back and down until you can reach the band.
  6. Grab each end of the band with an overhand (palms facing down) grip. This will be your starting position.
  7. While maintaining a tight core and a neutral spine, push up your chest.
  8. Drive through your heels, push your hips forward and extend your knees until your body is in an upright position.  
  9. Pause and contract your glutes at the top.
  10. Slowly return to the starting position while feeling the tension in your target muscles. 
  11. Repeat for reps.


  1. You could increase the resistance by widening your feet placement on the band or wrapping it around your feet or hands. 
  2. Keep your neck and head in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
  3. Grip the bands in a manner so that your hands are below your knees at the bottom of the movement.
  4. Do not make the rookie mistake of rounding your back while performing the exercise.
  5. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise.
  6. Make sure the band is not slacking at the bottom position. There should be constant tension on the band all through the exercise.
  7. Do not cheat by performing a shrug or curling the band. 


Many people like to include deadlift in their workouts as it is a great exercise for building overall strength and muscle mass. However, performing the same exercise can get redundant and make you hit a plateau. Here are some resistance band deadlift variations that will keep the gains rolling:

1. Resistance Band Sumo Deadlift 

Sumo deadlift moves some tension from your lower back to your legs. It is one of the best deadlift variations to work your inner thighs.

Here is how to perform resistance band sumo deadlift:

  1. Stand with a wider than shoulder-width stance.
  2. Step inside each end of a loop band and point your toes outward at about a 45-degree angle.
  3. As you bend your knees, hinge your upper body forward and push your hips back and down until you can reach the band.
  4. Grab the band with a closer than shoulder-width overhand grip. This will be your starting position.
  5. Drive through your heels, push your hips forward and extend your knees until your body is in an upright position.  
  6. Pause and contract your glutes at the top.
  7. Repeat for reps.

2. Resistance Band Romanian Deadlift 

The banded Romanian deadlift is similar to the conventional resistance band deadlift. The only difference will be in your knee and hip flexion.

How to perform resistance band Romanian deadlift:

  1. Push your hips back while maintaining a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Bend over by hinging at the hips.
  3. Go down as far as you can while maintaining a neutral spine.
  4. Focus on maintaining a mind-muscle connection throughout the exercise.  
  5. Return to the starting position slowly. 
  6. Repeat for recommended reps.

3. Resistance Band Deficit Deadlift

For this exercise, you will need an elevated platform. An aerobic step will be perfect if you have access to it. While performing the deficit deadlift, you will experience greater tension on your target muscles compared to the conventional banded deadlift, even at the bottom of the movement. 

How to perform resistance band deficit deadlift:

  1. Wrap the band around the elevated platform and stand on top of it with a shoulder-wide stance.
  2. At the starting position, you should be in a half squat position.
  3. Drive through your heels, push your hips forward and extend your knees until your body is in an upright position.  
  4. Pause and contract your glutes at the top.
  5. Repeat for reps.

4. Resistance Band Single Leg Deadlift

Resistance band single leg deadlift is one of the most popular banded exercises. 

How to perform resistance band single leg deadlift:

  1. Stand upright with a shoulder-wide stance.
  2. Place your left foot inside one end of a resistance band loop and grab the other end with both hands.
  3. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, hinge at the hips and lift your right leg off the floor.
  4. Bend forward as far as you can without losing balance.
  5. Your right leg should almost be parallel to the floor at the bottom of the movement. 
  6. Return to the starting position with a slow and controlled motion.
  7. Repeat for reps before switching sides.

Resistance Band Deadlift Workout

If you are a fan of high-intensity workouts, you should be following a resistance band circuit training routine. The workout will take less than 30-minutes and will smoke your muscles by the time you are done.

Resistance Band Circuit Workout: 3 rounds

  1. Deadlift: 20 reps, no rest
  2. Bicep Curl: 20 reps, no rest
  3. Fly: 20 reps, no rest
  4. Back Squat: 20 reps, no rest
  5. Side-Lying Hip Abduction: 20 reps, no rest
  6. Good Morning: 20 reps, 1-minute rest

Next Read: 6 Best Resistance Band Exercises To Get Stronger

Wrapping Up 

Resistance band deadlift is an underutilized exercise. It can help tone and shape your muscles while helping you build explosive strength for the barbell deadlift. 

You could also take your barbell deadlift to the next level by wrapping a single resistance band over the center of a barbell and standing on it. There are many ways of using a band in your resistance workouts — the only limit is your imagination. Best of luck!


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