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Top 10 Deadlifts You Need!

sandbag training


During this hectic time, people are looking for practical and effective strategies to still workout and help their clients do something positive. We thought it would be helpful to make things simple and use the extensive nature of our DVRT system to help problem solve issues for many people. For example, how can we achieve A LOT with a little while still doing REALLY good training?!

For the past 15 years, we have been trying to help people realize that strength is more complex than just what we can lift. How we are able to move, produce/resist force, and use functional patterns in more challenging environments have all been at the root of DVRT. When it comes to drills like deadlifts, I think we can really offer a powerful solution for so many people!


  1. Foundational Deadlifts

When it comes to training, we always have to prioritize safety and when stress is high this is even MORE important! Understanding the foundations to our DVRT deadlifts is key. As I often say, it isn’t complicated, it is just different. Physical therapist, Jessica Bento, helps me break down the basis of everything we will be doing.

2. Front Loaded Good Mornings 

One of our most important DVRT concepts is that we can change where the load is placed on the body to create a more significant training effects. While the front loaded good morning doesn’t look at first like most deadlifts, the movement and how we are using the Ultimate Sandbag is 100% a deadlift. The connection of the core and lats is HUGE in building this hip hinge. While people try to show this with other equipment, the fact of the matter is you can’t create the tension and the position of the load is nowhere NEAR the same as we can accomplish with the Ultimate Sandbag.

3. Sprinter Stance Deadlifts 

Everything we do in DVRT is based around how I went about creating solutions for my own clients. One of my goals was to be able to move people from bilateral deadlifts to single leg deadlifts. As I am sure you can relate to, it was always a struggle! How could I make this change in stability more accessible? It dawned on me to go to a smaller change in instability (DUH! in my head!). Hence, the Sprinter Stance deadlift was born.

You may have seen people copy this badly in pressing into the wall behind you, or other things. Below I explain why the positions we use are important to realize how we are using our feet and the load!

4. Sprinter Front Loaded Good Mornings

I don’t want to make this sound like I am cheating on your list of top 10 deadlifts, but I do want to reinforce the system we are offering you. So, you have your sprinter stance deadlifts and the progression would be moving the weight back to the front load position for the front load good morning.

This may seem like a modest change but can be VERY challenging for most. Jon-Erik Kawamoto makes this look easy, but expect to see some of the movement compensations we may have been hiding in more stable environments. This shows our strength is more than just working from the easiest positions, but more sophisticated movements.

5. Rear Slide/Step Deadlifts and Good Mornings

I’m going to start putting these into the same category after we reinforced the idea that body position plays a big part. Going to a rear slide really amps up the need for the glutes and core to stabilize the body as we are developing force. We bring in the other planes of motion and basically we can increase the length of the slide or step to increase the intensity and start seeing how dynamic our deadlifts can become.

Why slide versus step? Sliding allows both feet to keep engaged on the ground, so it should be easier for most. Stepping tends to be a bit more reactive so more challenging to control our body and the low during the movement. Important, but often a progression for most!

Cory Cripe shows how the front loaded good morning version is key to progressing in our hip hinges!

6. Lateral Slide/Step Deadlifts & Front Load Good Mornings

One of the best parts of DVRT we get to move in directions and patterns that are natural to how we move in life, but often gets missed in the gym. That is because we don’t realize why they are so critical (people just thinking about lifting weight don’t like to move to positions where it is more challenging to do so). Lateral strength training is essential in resilience of the knees and low backs but also helps us get more from our more stable exercises.

DVRT Australian Master, Cam Ward, shows our lateral deadlifts, but also gives a teaser where we are going to go with these movements. Then we have DVRT UK Master, Greg Perlaki that shows our lateral front load good mornings with a twist. ARES sled or not, the movement is a great way of building better glutes and core strength!


7. Forward Step Deadlifts & Good Mornings

If you see a pattern, you would be right! The idea of a “matrix” actually came to me through physical therapist and father of functional training, Gary Gray. While I love the work of Mr. Gray, the application of some of the concepts seemed hard for many of my clients to apply well. What we did, is take the idea that we do move in many different ways and that our strength training should as well. When you see something like our forward step deadlifts/good mornings, you see how limited most fitness programs are in addressing functional training.

The BIGGEST benefit that gets overlooked during these deadlifts is teaching deceleration strength. That is the type of strength that renown strength coach, Robert Dos Remedios says helps build injury resilience like few other methods! You would think that muscles that are important in deceleration like hamstrings, core, and glutes SHOULD be trained in this manner. Don’t overlook them!

Coach Sarah Rippel starts to show how our Matrix of deadlifts begins to form. We can use any of these movements as one or as Sarah shows we can also combine movements. You see Sarah starts to tease one of our most challenging deadlifts too!

8. Crossover Deadlifts & Good Mornings

A direction that most people miss ALL the time in their deadlifts is crossing over. Ironically, this is where we could get the MOST glute training as I break down in the video below!

9. Rotational Deadlifts & Good Mornings 

Many might at first freak out on the idea of doing deadlifts in rotation, but we do medicine ball throws that require high levels of power and often hip hinging without thinking about it! Sure, we want to be careful and safe in integrating these movements, but if we hold true to good movement concepts, these deadlifts are great ways to progress more sophisticated strength!

Starting inside out allows us to move to outside in patterns that require a higher level of ability to create rotation well! The good morning allows us to catch movement issues and reinforce what is needed in these deadlifts.

10. MAX (Multiple Axis) Deadlifts

In DVRT world, which is a cool place I hear, load is definitely part of our training, it just isn’t the only part! Which means, unlike most programs that assume the heaviest lift is the most challenging, we know that load is just part of the story!

Our MAX deadlifts are a great example of this as most look at the exercise and assume we are going to break someone’s back! In reality, the MAX deadlift is where we SHOULD be heading with our training because it represents a high level of functional training. How so? It requires us to create mobility at our thoracic spine and stability in the lumbar spine. Combining those two elements gives us deadlifts that are far more powerful than even the biggest barbell deadlift!

This post isn’t meant to exhaust all the deadlifts we can do in our DVRT system, but rather during this challenging time to show how we can accomplish a lot of our fitness and strength goals without a big gym. In fact, I believe that when we are forced to be more thoughtful about our training it gives us an opportunity to create better results. So, even when we go back to “normal” we will have a different outlook of what strength is all about!

We really hope posts like this inspire you to keep training and being positive. Earlier this week we began giving away 3 levels of our DVRT programs and we are continuing to do so! Use code “train” HERE and get workouts that will help you see how we can do healthy things even though we are going through a lot of stress! If you want to add to your home gym or just are excited about the concepts we are sharing, we want to do something for you. That is why we are giving 30% ALL throughout our DVRT site with code “save30” you can use HERE now! We hope you continue to follow us and see how to make the best out of a bad situation.