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LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Gym Expert
Everyone that knows a bit about bodybuilding will tell you that there is no real strength training without deadlifts. However, these are compound exercises, and they can be challenging especially for beginners. That is why experts recommend that we include some deadlift accessory exercises.
Accessory, aka auxiliary, exercises are often smaller than the compound movements. They are also more focused on certain muscles. It is advised to do them, as they enable us to be more efficient and have better form when we perform the primary exercises. Besides, doing deadlift accessory exercises will help you get the desired results from deadlifts.
Many people that are interested in accessory exercises for deadlift get confused by the number of options. As a result, they often have difficulties understanding which ones to do. So to address and avoid that confusion, we’ve decided to research this topic, and find out more about the deadlift assistance exercises. So we invite you to learn more about it with us!
Deadlift Weaknesses Explained
Some newbies often wrongly believe they are strong and fit enough for deadlifts. But the thing is weaknesses are pretty usual for beginners even with banded deadlifts. So what are the causes of such weaknesses? Mainly:
- Lack of support. You will often hear that you need to have a strong core to be able to deadlift. But it’s more than that. Muscles that surround the core have to be strong, and firm enough to keep the spine straight while you do the exercise.
- Weak grip. Being able to deadlift requires already developed, significant strength. So if you can’t hold the bar properly, you cannot perform the deadlift.
- If your back muscles aren’t strong enough, it is unlikely you will be able to perform a lift adequately and without problems.
- Additionally, if there isn’t enough strength in your hips, there is a chance that your back or grip betrays you.
Why Accessory Exercises are Necessary?
If you ask seasoned powerlifters and bodybuilders how to improve your deadlifts, they will tell you to do them more. But this requires a lot of time and devotion that many of us don’t have. If you want to keep doing this exercise but with less suffering possible, you need accessory lifts for deadlift. What does it mean when we say that these exercises improve the deadlift performance? Well, they will help you build strength, improve functional movement, reduce wear and tear of the muscles, etc.
Deadlift Accessory Exercises
It is a fantastic deadlift accessory for beginners because it is quite simple to perform. It targets the core muscles, primarily transverse abdominal and spinal erectors. It is excellent for core stability and back protection.
To do it:
- Lie on the mat with your arms across the chest. Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees and lift your feet from the ground.
- Lift the arms, so the elbows are above the shoulders. Fists should face each other.
- While exhaling, lower your right arm and left leg until they are slightly above the floor
- While inhaling return to starting position
- Repeat on the opposite side.
It is one of deadlift accessory movements excellent for strengthening the pelvic floor as well as lower transverse abdominal muscles.
To do it:
- Lie on the mat with your legs as stretched as possible.
- Put the hands under the lower back and glutes, so the pelvis is supported.
- Raise the legs keeping the thighs together and legs straight
- Lift until your lips are fully flexed.
This exercise targets gluteal muscles – maximus, medius, and minimus. It also increases hip flexibility.
To do it:
- Lie on the mat with bent knees and feet on the ground.
- Your arms should be at the side
- Lift the hips of the ground and form a straight line.
- Squeeze the glutes and draw in the abs to avoid overextending the back.
- Stay like this for a couple of seconds before going back down.
With this exercise you work on the glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors. It also stabilizes the shoulders and back muscles.
To do this exercise properly you have to:
- Put the kettlebell on the floor between the feet. Keep your feet a bit wider than hip-distance apart and the knees slightly bent.
- Engage the abdominals, and draw the belly button toward the spine.
- Straighten the back and press your hips back.
- Take the kettlebell firmly with both hands and pull it back between the legs.
- Pushing the hips forward, extend the arms in front of you while holding the kettlebell
- Make sure that your arms stay parallel to the ground.
- Let the kettlebell go behind your legs again.
Straight Arm Pulldowns
A variation of lat pulldown, this exercise works on the triceps, chest, upper back, and core.
- Attach a rope handle to the top of a cable station and grab it with both hands.
- Keep shoulder blades together and down.
- Brace your core by drawing the ribs down and tailbone under. Keep the torso tight and at a 30 -45 degree angle.
- Take a step away from the machine and keep your arms fully extended above the head.
- Slowly pull your arms down until they reach the level of your hips.
- Return to starting position.
Pronated Grip Bent Over Barbell Row
This exercise with a barbell is excellent for strengthening the rhomboids, trapezius muscle, and lower back muscles. It also strengthens glutes and hamstrings.
- Let the barbell on the rack at the middle of your thighs.
- Put the hands shoulder-width apart on the barbell and lift it.
- Draw the hips back until your torso is at 60 degrees angle.
- Engage your core and lats and draw the shoulders back.
- Lift the barbell to the bottom of your ribs, letting the elbows go just a bit out.
- Hold for about a second while keeping shoulder blades pulled together.
- Slowly go back.
Whether you’re doing a sumo deadlift vs. conventional ones, they are fantastic exercises that help you build strength. However, if you are doing them before you train and prepare your body, that can result in some difficulties or even injuries.
But as you see, if you choose to do some of these deadlift accessory options, you can prevent this from happening! Perhaps you already tried some of these exercises yourself. Is so, how did they work for you? Feel free to share your experience with deadlift accessories, we would love to know!