T Nation

Alternative to Dead Lift

What’s the best alternative to dead lifts? My workout room only has a smith machine, dumbbells, and a “all in one” weight machine with cables and bars…

Should I just find a gym instead and sign up for that?

While a gym with a wide variety of equipment is good, you can make do with whatever you have access to. If you can get access to a gym with at a minimum sets of barbells and plates, dumbbells, and some kind of worthwhile collection of pulley or plate loaded machines, that would obviously be best.

If not, and you’re stuck in your workout room, you need to figure out what role the deadlift plays in your routine. There isn’t going to be a 1 for 1 replacement for a barbell deadlift given the equipment you’ve listed, but there are plenty of movements that are similar or work some of the same muscles.

If you’ve got heavy dumbbells, DB deadlifts and DB squats obviously work the body in a simmilar fashion to the deadlift (but with only a fraction of the possible load).

You can do hip thrusters with a DB, pull throughs on the pulley machine and any number of other posterior chain exercises with the equipment listed.

Why not do DLs on your Smith? Not the same as free weight deadlifting because your body can’t track with the weight but it’s still a DL. Who gets a Smith before they even own a barbell anyway?

“Barbell” rows in the Smith. Possibly rack pulls. I have never used the Smith machine for the exercises, so I’m not familiar with how it feels and the motion of a straight path.

Are you set on doing deadlifts? Do you plan on competing in powerlifting? I love them, but I don’t think you HAVE to do them to build a complete physique.

It’s not my own equipment, it’s a workout room that’s part of an apartment complex I just moved to. The smith machine doesn’t really go low enough to use it for deadlifts, I might be able to do half a deadlift. I don’t exactly need to do deadlifts, but I was trying to figure out other compound exercises that would do similar muscle groups.

There is a cable machine, so I can set up the pull throughs and I can do barbell rows… That will probably work the same muscle groups. I can do the dumbbell deadlifts too, but I’ll probably max those out pretty quick? I’ll try those next time I’m there.

I’m starting weight training to improve my cycling… So deadlifts (or something like it) and squats seem like the most important exercises.

how heavy do the dumbbells get? DB deadlifts?

honestly, dont worry too much about it. kroc rows have probably done more for my back development than deadlifts. well, thats not entirely true but they kick ass.

Dumbbell Lunges? Step ups? Seriously underrated exercises, probably because they suck to do (in my opinion), but expose and help correct unilateral weakness.

Go to a local tire store and grab one of the truck tires they’re throwing away. Flipping one of these is very much a deadlift like motion. Some of those fuckers get pretty damned heavy too.

Attach a bar to the low pulley on the machine (assuming it has a low pulley attachment).

I’m in an apartment complex too and my training is done outside in my yard so when it rains I use the complex gym (the fatness center). I’ve even done power cleans from the low pulley in a moment of desperation.