Deadlifting with Dumbbells

I have always been deadlifting with dumbbells because my knees block the barbell whenever I attempt to bring it up. I was wondering if there were any disadvantages to this (dumbbells instead of barbells) aside from possible imbalances between both sides?

work on your form, dumbbells only get so heavy.

Because of how you pick it up it’s a slightly different exercise. The fact that it doesn’t hit your knee means you can use your legs more in the beginning, slightly less posterior. And Like the above poster said dumbells only get but so heavy.

[quote]Aegis67 wrote:
I have always been deadlifting with dumbbells because my knees block the barbell whenever I attempt to bring it up. I was wondering if there were any disadvantages to this (dumbbells instead of barbells) aside from possible imbalances between both sides?[/quote]

If your knees are blocking the bar, you have you shoulders to far forward. Your shoulders should be directly above or just slightly behind the bar. This will pull your knees back to allow the bar to pass.

The bar should travel up VERY close (if not grazing) your shins-knees-thighs as it comes up. If it never touches anything you are leaning to far forward.

My guess is that you are trying to squat the bar up (using to much quads) instead of pulling it up (using back, glutes, hams)

Thanks guys, I’ll try to follow the points next time I’m in the gym and see how it goes.

I have some problem doing regular DLs too. Knees got in the way, had no balance, etc. I did two things:

1 - Lift lighter, and focus on technique
2 - start doing sumos! Regular Deads still feel awkward, but sumos feel like a completely natural lift for me.

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]Aegis67 wrote:
I have always been deadlifting with dumbbells because my knees block the barbell whenever I attempt to bring it up. I was wondering if there were any disadvantages to this (dumbbells instead of barbells) aside from possible imbalances between both sides?[/quote]

If your knees are blocking the bar, you have you shoulders to far forward. Your shoulders should be directly above or just slightly behind the bar. This will pull your knees back to allow the bar to pass.

The bar should travel up VERY close (if not grazing) your shins-knees-thighs as it comes up. If it never touches anything you are leaning to far forward.

My guess is that you are trying to squat the bar up (using to much quads) instead of pulling it up (using back, glutes, hams)

[/quote]

Holy shit I just learned something very useful. THANKS MAN!

The above advice is great. You should work to correct your form in order to expand your dead lift routine. But you should keep DB dead lifts as a useful variation. If your gym lacks a specialty bar for dead lifts then DB’s provide the only hammer position option. My gym’s DB’s top paired weight tops out at 240 lbs. When the dead lift station is occupied I use DB’s for my warm up with a weight vest for added mass. You can also use a stretch strap over the shoulder, a move which combines a dead lift with a good morning. When working straight legs I often start the lift with a standard position and then rotate into the snatch grip as I move toward the lockout. This brings a lot of interesting recruitment. DB’s can be used quickly and safely for working the posterior chain to exhaustion. You’ll see people running the rack for curls and triceps all day long. But doing so for DB dead lifts will bring you greater increases in overall strength and mass.

The disadvantages are obvious- less weight can be used. You may be doing what turns out to be a squat (or partial squat) while holding a pair of dumbells. You may want to consider if the excercise/lift is in line with the specific goals for your program. If it is, DO NOT SUBSTITUTE a “similar” exercise (that is basically an easy way out). If exercise belongs and you are having problems, find someone to help you do it correctly.

my shins usually bleed. if they dont. i know my form is fucked.