Deadlift Accessories
Written by Holden Rethwill

I’ve said it constantly throughout our accessory work series that having a strong back is crucial for overall strength. Being able to support/lift/maintain significant weight is almost impossible if you have a back that can’t hold up. What’s the traditional king of testing our back and posterior strength? Deadlifting. It’s probably one of the funnest movements in all of powerlifting to watch – ever seen those videos of dudes noses bleeding, veins and eyes popping out of their body? Yeah… that sh*t is crazy..

So we all know there’s the traditional deadlift, which is what we’re all used to doing and seeing, but did you know there were so many more styles of deadlifting AS WELL AS infinite amounts of accessory work you can do to make your deadlift skyrocket? Let’s go over some of my favorite movements…

Deadlifting Variations

Sumo Stance Deadlifts

Wide feet, GREAT for your hamstrings and glutes…I like to think of a traditional deadlift being a little more back dominant whereas the sumo dominates the hamstring space.

Romanian Deadlifts

Great for both your back and hamstrings…stop right when you start to feel that slight stretch in the hammies, be sure to keep your lats engaged, and don’t let the back begin to round!

Neutral grip, snatch grip…any grip and these are money

Rack Pulls

Start the bar at an elevated position, typically just under the patella.. GREAT for the lockout portion of the deadlift

Deficit Pulls

Want to get better at using your legs to pull off the ground? Start using a deficit.

Dimmel Deadlifts

Pause Deadlifts

Stop at the knee then pull. Hello spicy sauce!

Snatch Grip Deadlifts

Banded Deadlifts

ALL about SPEED here!!! I like to be at like 30-40% of my 1RM, but the band tension will equal close to 100% of my 1RM at lockout.. focus on pulling with SPEED off the ground

T-Bar Deadlifts

Accessories for Deadlifting

Jefferson Curls

Slow and steady wins the race here!

Banded Hamstring Curls

Banded Pull Throughs

Banded Good Mornings

Weighted Good Mornings

Try using a safety bar, barbell, dumbbell/kettlebell, or cambered bar if you have access!

Sled Pulls

These are just great for low impact strength – as I previously stated in the squat-topia post.

Front Squats

Yes, they’re a squat, but they are GREAT for improving back strength!

GHD Back Extensions

Add some weight to get a little funky with it!

GHD Hip Extensions

Same as above

Hatfield Back Raises

45 Degree Back Extensions

Hip Thrusts

Booty booty booty gains!

Pendlay Rows

Heavy Farmer Carries

Sandbag Carries


This thing has been pivotal in increasing back strength for me – a notorious weak spot for me.

Now…this list isn’t the end-all-be-all for deadlifting…these are just movements that I frequent in my training regimen. I’ve never been great at deadlifting, I’m what you would call, quad dominant – just like almost everyone who ever played football…being quad dominant, having tight hip flexors, and a back that is prone to spasming (due to past injuries), deadlifts have always been a struggle bus for me, ESPECIALLY in high volume. The game changer for me has been the sandbags and reverse hyper. I use those no matter what at least 2-3 times per week (don’t be dumb about it)… so that’s what I will always tell people to start with when they want to get their back stronger.

Alright, there you have it.. let’s start building some stronger deadlifts!!!