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Deadlift Substitute


about every 6 months or so my back starts to hurt pretty bad (i have two herniated discs in my lower back) I wanted to know if anyone has a really good DL substitute because right now I am trying to stay away from DL because it is hurting me.


Try good mornings or back hyperextensions.


I find power cleans to be a bit easier on the lower back.


Take a dip belt and 2 equal boxes. dangle the weight between them. and do you're squats with the weight hanging from your waist. I believe EFTS has a special squatting belt for this, but a dip belt should work.


What are you using your dead lifts for? Hamstrings/Glute movement, back, overall strength?


deadlifts inside a trap bar work for some, as there's no leaning the compression should be more even.


I'm pretty sure this is one of the reasons why the reverse hyper was made. But chances are you don't have access to one. I don't know how cable pull throughs would feel for you since the lower back is still the primary mover.

Your best bet for working your legs without compressing your back too much is probably the previously suggested dip belt squats. Other than that you've got front squats and lumberjack squats. Front squats seem to be a favorite for people with back problems.

How does having a barbell on your back feel?


I guess you should just do a lot of different movements that are slightly similar, as there's no substitute...

Pulls (high pull, regular pull, clean grip, snatch grip)

Pull-throughs with a cable


I'd try this if he has access to a trap bar.


Rack pulls? They worked for me - even with my lower back injury.


AndyJ...I agree to an extent. He could be ok, provided that they don't hurt, but it may be that exact angle that hurts him.

And considering you need 50-100 extra pounds on 'em...I'd be very careful.

And yeah, good mornings are a nice movement to balance out the effects of squatting, provided you use good form with em.

I'd recommend alternating rack pulls, good mornings, pulls, with GHRs, hypers, and pullthroughs as assistance.


I'd think using the trap bar would be much more dangerous. When you use the regular bar, and you lock out, the bar's resting against your thighs, so it's stable. With a trap bar, the apparatus can go anywhere once you've locked out, and you could hurt yourself pretty badly.

To the OP: GMs are a great subsititute for deads. Make sure you don't let your lower back go into flexion, though.


Hip belt squats


sumo pulls


You don't NEED extra weight. You never need extra weight. It is only a tool that we use to overload our muscles.

Especially if he is injured, he should be looking to increase his time under tension. If he's going for more weight with a back problem then he's just crazy.

I would suggest rack pulls.

By all means I would stay away from good mornings. Even at 100% these are very stressful on your body.

I personally would be doing movements where my back is in a safer position such as seated rows, lat pull downs etc. I would also be avoiding overhead work and anything which will subject the spine to vertical compression (such as standing with a weight in the hands).

So substitute for deadlifts, rack pulls. I personally would give the spine a complete rest from load for a few weeks.


I would do good mornings.


Thats funny


I have somewhat of a lower back injury that prevents me from doing deadlifts as well. However, my back is very comfortable doing Jeffersons(bar between the legs), or hack squat deadlifts(bar behind legs). Of course the form for both of these take awhile to get used to, but see if it feels good on your back.

I think the reason they're easier on me is the bar being alot closer to my center of mass in both cases.


I've done Deads with dumbells at times. You're much more focused on the movement, and less on the weight. I also get a nice little scapular squeeze when I reach the top and really focus on the contraction.



DO NOT....do this. I think these are even worse than DL's and probably the worst ever for your low back with a disc injury. It also does not help in any lat or leg or trap development.

You can't compare DL and GM's, therefore should not even be considered as a replacement.

With Low back injuries, use a lat pull down, pull ups, and db rows.

You probably have issues with heavy squats too.