How to do Deadlift with Resistance Band [Walkthrough]

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 23, 2023
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The deadlift is a compound lift that targets the posterior chain, including the erector spinae, glutes, and hamstrings, and engages the forearms and traps. Adding resistance bands in deadlifts is a way to start progressive overload.

Through our trial, error and 48-hour research, we discovered that these workouts could significantly enhance both the intensity and exercise efficacy while challenging muscles across the entire range of motion.

Check our insights based on personal trainer experiences if you're looking to boost your deadlift performance and achieve a more balanced and powerful physique.

Quick Summary

  • You can do banded deadlifts by adding a looped resistance band under your feet and using it like holding a barbell.
  • Utilize different resistance bands' deadlift variations, such as sumo, Romanian, or single-leg deadlift, to diversify your workout and target specific muscles.
  • Resistance bands maximize tension, improve form, and efficiently build muscle when you perform deadlifts.

How to Do Resistance Band Deadlifts

A person doing resistance band deadlifts

You can do resistance band deadlifts by strapping bands into your weights or using them instead of bars or dumbbells, then follow the traditional deadlift motion.

Here's how to perform resistance band deadlifts properly:

  1. Lay a basic looped resistance band on the floor and stand on it with feet hip-width apart, ensuring the band is centered under your feet [1].
  2. With a straight back and engaged core, hinge at the hips and bend your knees while holding the band’s end.
  3. Push through, straighten up, and drive your hips forward while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Keep your core tight and back straight at the top, being cautious not to overarch the lower back.
  5. Control the descent through hip flexion, allowing a minor knee bend as you return to the starting position.

Resistance Band Deadlift Variations

A woman doing deadlifts with a resistance band

Here's a list of resistance band deadlift variations to incorporate into your workout regimen:

Suitcase Deadlift

The suitcase deadlift targets core stability while fortifying the obliques and lower back, resembling hoisting a suitcase.

How to perform:

  1. Place a resistance band flat on the floor, standing on it with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and take the band's ends with your hands at your sides as if holding suitcases.
  3. Engage your core and push to stand upright.
  4. As you stand, avoid rounding your shoulders or back.
  5. Lower back down slowly and in control, keeping the band tense.

Romanian Deadlift

A person doing Romanian deadlifts with resistance bands

The resistance band Romanian deadlift emphasizes the hamstrings and glutes, promoting hip stability and enhancing posterior chain strength.

How to perform:

  1. Stand on the resistance band, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Keep a slight bend in your knees and hinge at the hips to grasp the ends of the band.
  3. Maintain a straight back as you lift the band by extending your hips and standing straight.
  4. Squeeze your glutes at the movement's top.
  5. Control the descent back to the starting position.


Sumo Deadlift

The resistance band sumo deadlift targets the inner thighs and works for other muscle groups, offering more comprehensive lower-body training.

How to perform:

  1. Position yourself on a resistance band with a wider stance than traditional banded deadlifts.
  2. Point your toes outward and grasp the band's ends while keeping your chest up and back straight.
  3. Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
  4. Drive through your heels to stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  5. Ensure that your knees don’t cave in as you lift.

Learn More: Sumo vs Conventional Deadlift: Strength Battle Unveiled

Stiff Leg Deadlift

A person doing stiff leg deadlifts with resistance band

The stiff leg deadlift primarily targets the hamstrings and lower back, enhancing hamstring flexibility and improving overall posterior chain strength.

How to perform:

  1. Stand on the resistance band.
  2. Keep your legs straight but not locked, and hinge at the hips to grasp the ends of the band.
  3. Keep a neutral spine as you lift the band by extending your hips and standing straight.
  4. Squeeze your glutes at the movement's top and keep the hamstrings tension.
  5. Slowly lower back to the starting position.

Single-Leg Resistance Band Deadlift

The single-leg resistance band deadlift focuses on balance and coordination and strengthens each leg independently, reducing muscle imbalances.

How to perform:

  1. Hold the resistance band with one foot and grasp the ends of the band.
  2. Hinge at the hips and extend the non-working leg behind you.
  3. Keep your back straight and core engaged.
  4. Push through the standing leg to return to the starting position.
  5. Maintain balance and control throughout the exercise.

Barbell Deadlift

A person doing resistance band barbell deadlifts

The barbell deadlift is a classic compound exercise that builds strength across multiple muscle groups, including the back, legs, and core.

Combining barbell deadlifts with resistance bands enhances the movement by adding variable resistance.

How to perform:

  1. Loop the resistance band under the middle of the barbell and stand on the band with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend at the hips and knees to hold the barbell with a grip outside your knees.
  3. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and lift the barbell by pushing through your heels.
  4. Keep the barbell close to your body as you stand up, and lock your hips and knees at the top.
  5. Lower the barbell back down, keeping control and maintaining a straight back.

Dumbbell Resistance Band Deadlift

Combining dumbbells with resistance bands intensifies the deadlift, engaging your upper leg and core muscles.

This variation offers both the benefits of free weights and the constant tension provided by the bands.

How to perform:

  1. Strap the dumbbells with a resistance band.
  2. Stand over the resistance band with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  3. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, hinge at your hips and lower the dumbbells toward the floor.
  4. Push to return to the starting position, ensuring your movements are controlled.

Banded Rack Pull Deadlift

A person doing banded rack pull deadlifts

A banded rack pull deadlift focuses on the upper body, especially the back muscles.

The band adds resistance, making the lockout phase more challenging and perfect for those looking to improve deadlift strength [2].

How to perform:

  1. Attach a resistance band to the barbell on a rack.
  2. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bending at your hips and knees.
  3. Grip the bar firmly and, keeping your back straight, lift the bar by straightening your hips and knees.
  4. Lower the bar controllably back to the rack.

Banded Single-Arm and Leg Deadlift

This resistance band variation is a full-body exercise, promoting balance and coordination.

It challenges your core as you prevent your upper body from leaning forward.

How to perform:

  1. Stand on one end of the resistance band with one foot, holding the other end with the opposite hand.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, hinge at the hip of the standing leg while raising the other leg behind you.
  3. Simultaneously lower your arm, holding the band towards the ground.
  4. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Workout Routine With Resistance Band Deadlifts

A muscular man holding a resistance band

This routine will enhance your strength and stability while targeting key muscle groups:


  1. Jumping Jacks: 2 sets of 15 reps
  2. Leg Swings: 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg
  3. Inchworms: 2 sets of 5 reps
  4. Bodyweight Squats: 2 sets of 10 reps

Workout Routine

  1. Resistance Band Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Banded Single-Arm and Leg Deadlift: 3 sets of 8 reps per side
  3. Stiff Leg Deadlift With Resistance Band: 3 sets of 10 reps
  4. Resistance Band Sumo Deadlift: 3 sets of 10 reps


  1. Walking or Light Jogging: 5 minutes
  2. Hamstring Stretch: 2 sets of 30 seconds on each leg
  3. Child’s Pose: Hold for 1 minute
  4. Lower Back Twist Stretch: 2 sets of 30 seconds on each side

“Performing the deadlift with band-assisted variable resistance increases bar power and velocity while concurrently decreasing muscle activation of the posterior chain musculature.”

- Jonathan Hughes, Cardiff School of Sport

Why Should You Combine Deadlifts with Resistance Bands?

A muscular man holding a resistance band

You should combine deadlifts with resistance bands to add a resistance level and build functional strength.

These props also help you target other muscles without adding more weight or practicing dangerous motions usually associated with a conventional deadlift.

The bands encourage maintaining proper form throughout the lift, which reduces the risk of injury [3].

Benefits of Deadlift with Resistance Band

A woman with good lower body muscles

Resistance band deadlifts have more range of motion than traditional deadlifts.

But that’s not the only benefit:

  1. The added tension helps activate more muscle groups.
  2. They boost training the body to maintain good posture.
  3. The added band resistance leads to increased muscular strength over time.
  4. The bands’ tension helps improve the mind-muscle connection, essential for muscle growth.
  5. Resistance bands are lightweight and easily carried around, making it convenient to work out anywhere.

What Are the Muscles Trained?

A person with good lower body muscles working out at the gym

Deadlifts with resistance bands effectively engage different muscles, such as:

  1. The Glutes: Primary muscles worked in deadlifts.
  2. The Hamstrings: Essential for knee flexion and hip extension during the movement.
  3. The Erector Spinae: Supports the spine and helps maintain an erect posture.
  4. The Latissimus Dorsi: Engaged when you pull the band upwards.
  5. The Quadriceps: Involved in extending the knee and stabilizing the movement.
  6. The Trapezius and Rhomboids: Stabilize the upper back and shoulders throughout the exercise.
  7. The Forearms: Trained while gripping the resistance band, essential for a stronghold.
  8. The Core: Engaged throughout the movement for stability and support.


Can Resistance Bands Substitute Weights in My Deadlift Workout?

Yes, resistance bands can substitute weights in deadlift workouts. They provide variable resistance, which emulates heavy weights.

How Do Resistance Bands Enhance Deadlift Exercises?

Resistance bands enhance deadlift exercises by providing progressive tension, helping to target different muscle groups, and improving the range of motion without putting excess strain on the body.

How Can Resistance Bands Contribute to My Deadlift Training?

Resistance bands contribute to deadlift training by allowing for muscle activation throughout the entire movement, increasing flexibility and endurance, and adding variety to the workout, which prevents plateaus.


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