Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises for building muscle mass and strength. They also provide a great way to improve your posture and overall fitness level.
If you want to get stronger, you should consider investing in some good equipment.
A deadlift involves lifting a barbell off the floor and holding it overhead. This exercise requires a strong back, core muscles, and legs.
The deadlift is considered one of the best exercises for building muscle mass because it engages almost every major muscle group in the body.
There are several ways to increase your deadlift strength. One of the best ways is to invest in a quality pair of dumbbells. These weights allow you to lift heavier loads without straining your joints or back.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
We start our list with one of the most important accessories for compound lifts, and at some point in your lifting journey, you are going to need to purchase one of these.
A lifting belt will help you accomplish a few things. It will keep your lower back protected if used correctly, but it also allows you to add an extra 10 or 20 lbs to your lifts by helping you brace at the core a lot better which we will discuss in the buyer's guide in just a minute.
What we particularly like about this design is that there is more material than some of the other brands on the market.
We are not sure why some brands don't have to keep a consistent width throughout the design, as some tend to curve upwards which reduces the surface area of the belt, which in turn decreases your ability to brace.
This brand, however, is made from leather and has a lot of support, making it a superior choice to other brands.
For the price, we also really liked how safe and secure it felt, as some belts tend to ride up or slant downwards, but this stayed central the entire time during a session of deadlifts.
One thing we didn't like is that if you wear a bit too tightly (which we prefer with lifting belts as you create more support), you can end up with bruises along the sides of your ribs. Which we've noted from other reviewers as well.
- A well-designed belt with plenty of material to allow for better-supported deadlifts.
- Didn't ride up or slide down during a session of deadlifts.
- Made from a good quality material (leather.)
- Did notice some bruising after a session which might put off some lifters who like a tight fit.
If you're looking for a pair of gloves that offer a little more protection than your average pair of workout gloves, then look no further than Cobra Grips.
Not only does this brand offer a wide variety of different styles, but they also offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you're unsatisfied with the product.
This particular model features a padded palm, which provides a nice amount of padding while still allowing you to grip the bar properly.
Another feature that makes them stand out from the rest is the fact that they come with a wrist strap. This helps prevent the bar from slipping off of your hands when performing heavy lifts such as deadlifts.
The only downside is that these aren't that great for other exercises you are likely to have in your program, and we found them particularly awkward when benching or doing any pressing movements.
If your goal is to increase your compound lifts by way of powerlifting, then there's nothing wrong with purchasing these for one exercise. But if you have goals outside of the big three then you may want to try some other items on this list first.
- Padded palm allows for a better grip of the bar.
- 100% money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the product.
- Come in a multitude of colors to match your lifting gear.
- Not that compatible with other compound lifts such as the bench press.
Runow offers an excellent range of products including barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and accessories.
They are known for their durability and affordability, so if you're looking for something that will last through multiple workouts without breaking the bank, Runow is definitely worth checking out.
This particular item comes with a handle that allows you to easily pick it up from the floor. It's lightweight and easy to carry around, and it doesn't take up much space either.
The best part is that it's extremely affordable and will be suitable for almost any lifter, from beginner to advanced.
We were impressed with its overall construction, especially since it was designed for use with barbells. It's very sturdy and solid, and we had no issues carrying it around.
One downside is that it did seem to wobble slightly which affected our confidence with the equipment.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Affordable price tag.
- Easy to carry around.
- Did notice some wobble which lost us some confidence.
If you had to ask 100 deadlifters what the worst part about deadlifting is, we would estimate over 80% would say that it's loading and unloading the bar!
That's why GreenTentlj's Barbell Jack line is perfect for those who struggle with loading and unloading the weight.
It is made from a strong material, which initially surprised us as we thought it was going to be a cheap material looking at the photos beforehand.
And we didn't experience any issues with the build or the item snapping. We found that it worked well for both beginners and experienced lifters alike.
However, they are on the small side and we would like to have seen them slightly bigger.
- Despite the look, it's a relatively sturdy device.
- Great for beginners and intermediate lifters that are looking for an easy deload option.
- Lightweight and compact.
- A touch on the small side.
If one of your goals in training is to improve your grip strength and specifically target the forearms more, then purchasing a set of Fat Gripz is going to be high on your priority list.
With so many lifters becoming unstuck due to lagging grip strength, these can help fix the issue and improve your lifting numbers.
Fat Gripz comes in different sizes and styles and is available in black, red, blue, green, yellow, and purple depending on which size you opt to try.
These are also great accessories for when you're working out with a partner or doing a group setting because they make sure everyone can challenge themselves by way of grip strength training.
It also means that expert lifters can be humbled in a group training setting and make deadlifting more of a level playing field.
One thing to note is that not everybody is going to have the need for Fat Gripz and for some beginners this may just be another barrier for starting because all a beginner needs to do at the start of their lifting journey is, well... lift.
In other words, give these a miss if you're just starting, but intermediate and advanced lifters can get these to improve their results.
- Fat Gripz offers a wide variety of options and is highly versatile.
- They are inexpensive but still provide quality results.
- Can level the playing field for group sessions, which makes the session more competitive for everyone.
- You need to purchase several sets to get enough for all your friends.
We need to remember as lifters that every person is built differently and most people on the lifting journey are new to exercise.
That's why factoring in experience level and individuals' biomechanics and morphology, i.e. their limb length and torso length are important elements of how someone should approach deadlifting.
Because a beginner that has a poor range of motion in their body may put themselves at the risk of injury.
That said, there are ways to mitigate this risk and include exercises such as the deadlift into your routine. One of those ways is through using the equipment.
For example, the Trap, or Hex Bar allows a lifter to carry out a deadlift in a safer position, with the bar more central to the body, without putting yourself at risk of injury.
You'll generally find those new to deadlifts find the trap bar more comfortable and can safely execute a deadlift without having to focus on injuring their back.
This particular brand was of good quality and would be ideal for beginner lifters who want to learn the basic hip hinge movement pattern because of racking up a barbell with a lot of weight.
One thing to note is that this bar doesn't come with knurling which is one of the cornerstones for helping with grip, and as such should be reserved for beginners.
- Ideal starting deadlift bar for beginners who want to safely learn how to deadlift.
- It can reduce the chances of an injury.
- Can also be used for other exercises other than deadlifting such as shrugs and even squats.
- There is no knurling and lifting heavy weights is going to be difficult with this brand.
Now that we know how useful a different type of bar can be for deadlifting, we've also included a trap bar that comes fully equipped with knurling to allow for better grip.
The Goplus 56" Olympic Hex Bar weighs around 50 lbs and has a maximum weight-bearing capacity of 800 lbs.
This hex bar is designed with a unique handle system that provides a solid grip. It's made of high-quality steel and comes with a lifetime warranty.
If you're looking for a hex bar that won't break the bank, then this is the best option available.
What we also like is that it comes included with handles for keeping the weights from falling off.
However, one thing to note is that it doesn't come with any weights and they expect you to already have a set of plates.
If you own a home gym with all of the amenities this is a good choice, but we would spend money elsewhere if you aren't going to be using this regularly.
- A suitable Hex bar alternative with knurling.
- Has a weight capacity of 800 lbs.
- Includes two handles for keeping the weights secured with the purchase.
- Does not include any weights with the purchase.
You're probably wondering why we've included knee sleeves on our list, and that's a fair thing to ask.
Knee sleeves are one of the most commonly used accessories for squats, and you would be right that covering the knee in a deadlift is not going to help improve performance.
It might even make the deadlift a lot harder to complete. However, we're not going to be wearing them over our knees; instead, they are going to be covering the shins.
This allows the shins to be protected on the concentric part of the lift, i.e. when you bring the bar to the body, as it will reduce the chances of you scraping half your shin skin off.
If you're planning on doing a lot of deadlifts, then these knee sleeves could prove to be invaluable.
They offer protection against injuries and can be used during a squat session making them multi-versatile.
Just be wary of sizing as we have seen reviewers either mention they found them too big, whilst others found them too small.
So you might have to do a bit of trial and error before you find the right size for you.
- Ideal for reducing injury whilst deadlifting.
- Can double up for squats.
- A good quality material that feels supportive.
- Finding the correct size can be problematic and the brand sizing guide is something to be desired.
One of the many reasons to avoid going to the gym and training from home is that you skip; the annoying queues and get instant access to all of the equipment you need for your workout (assuming you already own the equipment.)
And if you plan on deadlifting from home, you're likely going to need some floor protection.
Sometimes when we lift heavy, we don't quite complete the rep; and a heavyweight that comes crashing down is not only loud but increases the risk of you breaking something.
Prosourcefit has this awesome exercise mat flooring that fits together easily and can be modified to fit a wide range of spaces.
They are lightweight and simple enough to lay down which won't take long. They're also really comfortable barefoot and we didn't have any problems with movement during a workout.
Just be wary of going too heavy with this brand, as they are not designed to cushion a blow from a barbell carrying 800 lbs of weight.
- Lightweight and easy to set up.
- Easy to modify to fit different-sized rooms.
- Will stay in place and we found minimal movement.
- Not suitable for high-impact exercises or a heavy load.
We've already listed a solid pair of wrist straps that can help with heavy deadlifts. However, this brand is a simpler version that is more suited to light lifting that comes with a slightly lower price tag.
They are available in multi-colors and are made from polyester and cotton.
We found them to be comfortable and durable, and unlike some other brands we've tried, we found the martial to be comfortable and didn't notice any rubbing around the wrist and thumb area.
They come with an adjustable strap that makes them ideal for people who like to switch between grip styles.
The straps are also very secure and there's no chance of them slipping off during a lift.
We have noted from some reviewers that after long-term use they are prone to breaking, which may explain the lower price tag.
Yet, if you intend on using lighter weights and want some support for your wrists as opposed to deadlifting hundreds of pounds multiple times per week, we predict that the lifespan will be increased.
- Comfortable, affordable, and versatile.
- Available in various colors.
- Secure and stable.
- Can break over time, and may not be the best option for elite-level powerlifters.
If you've made it this far on our list, first off congratulations as it shows you are serious about leveling up your deadlift.
Secondly, you might be wondering how on Earth you are going to carry all of these extra bits around with you; especially if you train away from home or need to travel a lot for work.
So we've decided to include one of the most highly rated gym bags to help you keep your gym kit in a nice and tidy fashion.
This bag is built tough and features a reinforced bottom, a waterproof lining, a shoe compartment, a wet pocket, and comes in a multitude of colors that could match any gym outfit.
We loved the design and felt that the size and shape of the bag were perfect, as sometimes these types of my bags either level way too much room or don't offer enough space.
Although it contains a wet pocket, it's rather small and if you plan to hit the showers or the pool after a workout, we wouldn't recommend you try and cram a towel or wet suit into this compartment.
- A well-designed and sturdy gym bag.
- Waterproof and durable.
- The perfect size that should fit all gym amenities.
- Wet pocket is not as functional as we liked and would only be suitable for small items.
Our final product is reserved for lifters that have experience with a particular style of deadlifting, and won't be applicable for everyone.
This product is perfect for anyone that uses the hook grip and can help protect the thumb from too much damage.
For those that don't know, or who might be interested in trying a different style of grip, the hook grip is a method to help improve grip whilst deadlifting and helps to reduce the chances of the bar slipping out of our hands.
You essentially wrap your thumb underneath the bar and wrap the rest of your finger up and around your thumb, so that your thumb takes the brunt of the grip on the bar.
Whilst it improves performance, it can hurt, so we don't recommend it for everyone! However, this tape is one of the best options for protecting the thumb and reducing the thumb from losing its skin.
The only issue you might come across is that the tape can lose some of its stickiness in humid climates and may come off in between sets, which means a reapplication is necessary.
- Helps to protect the thumb from injury during heavy lifting.
- Easy to apply.
- Can purchase three rolls or six rolls in a multitude of colors.
- May lose some stickiness when exposed to humidity.
Deadlifts are by far one of the most important exercises in the world of strength training.
They're also one of the most difficult movements to master, and they require a great deal of technique and skill to perform correctly.
In this guide, we'll show you what tools and accessories will make your deadlift stronger, safer, and more effective. We've included products ranging from simple to complex, and everything in between.
We hope that you find this guide useful and helpful and that it allows you to get the most out of your deadlift. Good luck!
What Level Are You?
Before going out of your way to buy every single deadlift accessory, you need to make an honest assessment of your skill level for exercise, in particular for the weights room.
The last thing you want to be known as is the person with all the gear, but no idea.
If you're just starting out, and consider yourself a beginner, then you are not likely going to need to purchase wrist straps or a lifting belt.
We would argue that these accessories should be reserved for someone that has already mastered the movement pattern and is comfortable with completing a deadlift safely and effectively.
The last thing you want to do is learn how to do an exercise incorrectly, but add loads of accessories that potentially help protect you, when your focus should be nailing the exercise in the first place.
If you consider yourself more of an intermediate lifter and have been consistently lifting weights for more than six months, or you can lift more than 1.5% of your body weight in weight from a deadlift, then you can consider some of these accessories, in particular a weight lifting belt.
As not only will this help protect your back, it can help add weight to the bar and improve your numbers.
Advanced or elite lifters can look to purchase any items that improve their performance or keep their longevity and body in good shape for as long as possible.
With that said, here's a brief rundown of some of the items that can help boost your lifting numbers, and help keep you protected.
Wrist straps are used to prevent injuries to the wrists while performing the deadlift. If you're looking at purchasing wrist straps, you'll need to decide whether you want to purchase a basic option where the material is fed through via a loop, or you would prefer a pad that rests on your palm.
You could see the full palm grip option as the more sturdy and better grip, which may suit those who need to lift a higher weight.
The looped wrist straps, which are generally cheaper, could be reserved for a different type of deadlift pull, such as Romanian Deadlifts or other heavy leg-based exercises such as Bulgarian Split Squats and heavy farmer's walks.
Each option is useful, but ultimately it will come down to personal preference and how much you need the grip support.
Weight Lifting Belt
A weightlifting belt is designed to provide extra support during the deadlift. They are typically made from leather, nylon, or neoprene material and are available in a variety of colors and designs.
They are typically worn around the waist like a regular belt and are designed to help create support around the midline by cushioning the belt against the back.
This helps reduce pressure on the spine and also prevents the belt from digging into the skin.
While they aren't essential for the deadlift, we recommend wearing one if you plan on doing high-volume deadlifts or lots of height with low rep workouts, i.e. a lot of one-rep max training. It will help reduce fatigue and help maintain proper form throughout the set.
You may have noticed that we didn't mention a pair of deadlifting shoes in our list of the top accessories.
The reason being is that deadlift shoes are not as important as many people make out, and oftentimes a pair of shoes actually hinders deadlift performance.
If you know any powerlifters who take the sport seriously you may have noticed that they wear a particular type of show when squatting.
This weightlifting shoe is useful for squats because it has a raised heel that helps to put the squatter in a better position with their ankles. And the higher the ankle, the easier it is to squat.
What often happens is that the weightlifter will just use their pair of weightlifting shoes for deadlifting, not realizing that they can actually make the movement harder because their heel is slightly raised.
Although this is only a few inches, for a lot of people who deadlift have poor mobility or have a long limb length relative to their torso, adding more height is a hindrance.
In these instances, it is sometimes best to wear no shoes at all to keep the feet as low to the ground as possible.
This comes with the caveat that you are aware of your surroundings at all times and that the flooring is suitable for wearing no shoes.
The last thing you want to do is remove your footwear and slip over because the floor has minimal grip.
If you want to wear some form of footwear whilst deadlifting, then we recommend finding a decent pair of sneakers that are flat and comfortable. We have found some anecdotal evidence that Converse is a good option.
However, if you wear weightlifting shoes then you can always raise the bar a little higher to reduce the amount of distance between the top part of the lift and the ground.
Either using a barbell lift or simply placing some plates underneath the weight that are stacked on the barbell are suitable options.
Improving your mobility is also something that you should consider if you plan on lifting for a long time, this needs to be something that progresses over your journey.
We suggest following a mobility routine either before, or outside of your workouts to improve your range of motion and flexibility.
A knee sleeve is a simple piece of equipment that is used to protect the knees during heavy lifts. The idea behind them is to provide extra padding where there is most likely to be a pain.
They come in various shapes and sizes, but the main reason you wear them for deadlifting is not to warm the knee but to protect the shin.
They are typically made from neoprene material which provides excellent protection against friction and impact.
Some models even include an inner liner so that you don’t need to worry about the fabric rubbing up against the skin.
Whilst we know that squatting is going to be their main use, wearing them during deadlifts can help improve your lift as you can stop worrying about scraping the bar up your shins and losing some skin.
With proper deadlift technique, the bar needs to travel in a straight line, and the most efficient way to do this is going to be keeping the bar as close to the midline of the body, thus making the travel close to or over your shins.
Creating this buffer between bar and skin can offset any rubbing, which can make your lifts more comfortable and give you the confidence to know that you won't leave a deadlift session with red and raw shins.
These are bars that have been specially designed to allow you to perform deadlifts safely. They are usually made out of aluminum, steel, or titanium, and they are available in different lengths.
The benefit of hex bars is that they allow you to get into a better position when performing deadlifts.
This means that you will be able to maintain a stronger core, and you will be able to pull heavier weights than you would be able to without one.
If you want to learn how to deadlift and have the intention of competing, you'll need to learn how to deadlift using a standard barbell.
However, for those that just want to deadlift in the safest way possible, or those that have poor mobility, a Hex bar is a great alternative to conventional or sumo deadlifts.
Home Gym Considerations For Deadlifting
If you live in a small apartment, it might be difficult to find space for a gym.
However, if you have access to a home gym, then you could still perform deadlifts safely. You could start by putting a bench at the back of your garage, and then place a couple of dumbbells on top of it.
This will allow you to perform deadlift variations such as Romanian deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, and split squats.
There's also nothing wrong with starting out with dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, or by using an empty bar to practice with.
You should always remember that safety comes first, and if you feel like you're going to hurt yourself whilst practicing, then you should probably stop until you've got a little bit more experience under your belt.
In regards to creating a safe environment for deadlifting whilst at home, you need to ensure that your floor is the right surface and prevents you from either slipping over or from breaking something.
This means that if you intend to deadlift on top of laminate flooring, you either need to buy some protective covers that will stop the weight from crashing down on the floor, or use less weight so that it reduces the chances of the weight crashing into the floor.
Our final point is that not everyone is going to have all of this equipment, and if heading to the gym with a bottle of water and a set of headphones is more your style then save this for a time you begin to add accessories to your workout.
But if you're looking to build up a strong foundation before adding these extras, then you should definitely consider investing in a good gym bag. It will also help when you train away from home, i.e. on business trips or vacation.
Owning a gym bag will help keep your possessions organized and separate from your work and casual attire.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between A Hex Bar And A Standard Bar?
A hex bar is a bar that has been specially manufactured to provide a more secure grip than a standard bar. This means that the bar will rotate slightly when performing a deadlift which makes it easier to perform the movement.
Is A Hex Bar Safer Than A Standard Barbell?
It also allows for the bar to be placed closer to the midline of the body, which reduces the chance of injury for the lifting, essentially allowing them to get into the correct position much easier than a more conventional stance.
However, you can still pick up an injury if the exercise is carried out incorrectly or unsafely.
How Many Times Should I Use A Hex Bar?
There isn’t really a definitive answer here. If you are new to deadlifts, using the hex bar multiple times per week is a good strategy, and if you intend to move on to a standard barbell, you can ease yourself from a hex bar to a standard barbell over time.
Is There A Difference Between A Conventional Deadlift And A Sumo Deadlift?
There is no real difference between the two movements. The only difference is how far apart your feet are in relation to each other.
In a conventional deadlift, your feet are about shoulder-width apart whereas, in a sumo deadlift, your feet can be further away from each other.
Can I Use A Kettlebell With My Deadlift Routine?
Yes! Kettlebells are great tools to add variety to your training routine. As long as you don't go too heavy on the bell, you can use it with any type of deadlift.
Otherwise, a standard kettlebell swing will help improve your deadlift, as it trains the same movement pattern of the hip hinge.
Are Kettlebells Safe For Beginners?
Kettlebells are not recommended for people who are just starting out with weightlifting. It's important to build up strength first before adding this tool to your arsenal.
And it is also a good idea to first understand the basic movement patterns using a lower weight before diving into more complex movements such as a kettlebell swing.
Do I Need To Warm Up Before Doing A Deadlift?
Warming up is always a good idea, but especially so before performing a deadlift. You want to ensure that you start strong and avoid injury by warming up properly.
Can You Recommend A Simple Deadlift Warm-Up Routine?
A simple warm-up routine would be to first increase the core body temperature by competing for some light cardio before doing anything else.
You can then begin to get into the main part of the warm-up with some optional foam rolling and dynamic stretching.
But the best warm up is the specific movement you are training for, i.e. doing empty bar deadlifts, or light deadlifts that work at 40-60% of your session weight.