Are you looking for the best deadlift equipment to help you hit those heavy weights?
You’re not alone! Most weightlifters looking to improve their performance and strength use training accessories.
Accessories and equipment for deadlifts is one of the most popular categories. This is because lifters of all types and stages want to get better at this key movement.
You may see people doing fancy looking exercises in the gym. Tying bands to this, hooking up straps to that, standing on a ball whilst performing a shoulder press – we’ve seen it all.
But the big lifts such as deadlifts, squats, bench press and row will always be popular with those in the know.
Although the lifts are simple in theory, certain equipment can really help you to push on. Generally speaking, things like lifting belts, straps, cuffs and powerlifting shoes can help you lift more efficiently and target certain muscles properly.
Today we’ll be talking about the best deadlift equipment and accessories to pack in your gym bag or seek out on the gym floor. Let’s get to it.
Best deadlift equipment that you should own
I’m going to split this blog into two main sections:
- Small deadlift accessories you should own and take to the gym
- Big deadlift equipment to look for in the gym or have for your home gym
There’s a variety of equipment you may need if you want to improve your deadlift. These are particularly key if you love the benefits of heavy deadlifts like me.
The deadlift accessories below are relevant whether you’re a casual gym goer, dedicated weight lifter, powerlifter or a Crossfitter. This is because you’re likely to be working with different varieties of the deadlift move. These include the Romanian, sumo, snatch grip and conventional.
The equipment listed below will help you increase your deadlift strength and help keep your body in good form. The accessories can also help reduce the risk of the movement, to make deadlifts worth it!
So, the next time you head to the deadlift platform, do not forget to throw these in your gym bag.
1. Lifting Belt
A lifting belt relieves stress on the lower spine when picking up free weights from the ground. The International Powerlifting Federation has made it compulsory for all professional athletes, which tells you the importance of a lifting belt.
The belt is not only helpful for deadlifts, but it also helps you maintain your stability and core pressure during other lifts. Lifting belts for squats are greats, as well as any sort of benching, pressing or rowing.
By squeezing your abdominal cavity a lifting belt helps support your lower back. The belt creates intra-abdominal tension, which provides good support to the lumbar discs, reduces spinal stress and helps prevent injury.
I personally where a weightlifting belt for all the big moves when I’m on my working sets. I tend to warm up and go through my warm up sets without a belt, then strap her up for the big ones.
A belt is key for me when performing deadlifts, RDLs, squats, leg press, bench press, military press and bent over rows.
2. Lifting Straps
Effective lifting straps enable you to get the most out of your lifts.
Lifting bigger weights is easier than ever! This is because the straps improve your grip and reduce the reliance on your hands during the lift. The straps allow you to hold heavy weights for extended periods of time.
It’s always annoying when you have a grip-based failure when deadlifting. You know you had an extra rep or two in there, but your grip went! Lifting straps are designed to remove this element.
It’s important to use them appropriately though. You still want to improve your grip strength, so don’t use the straps for every single rep and warm up set.
When the weight starts to get heavy and your grip becomes a limiting factor, then you should use your lifting straps. This is exactly what I do. You can read more on when you should use wrist straps for deadlift.
3. Flat Converse Shoes
No, lifters don’t wear converse *just* for show. There’s a practical reason.
Flat shoes have a greater surface area than regular footwear and running shoes. If you’re doing lower body workouts like the deadlift, you will benefit from the wider base of flat shoes and their solid surface. This is different from raised heel weightlifting shoes, which won’t particularly benefit you for deadlifts.
Flat soles let your foot fully splay out when training, allowing the foot to push more force up through the floor.
It’s for this reason why performing deadlifts with no shoes is a good idea. I personally prefer to deadlift with no shoes and just socks. This gives full contact for my heels, balls of feet and toes to dig into the hard surface and get that weight up!
You can have a more detailed read here on should you deadlift barefoot or in shoes.
4. Weightlifting Chalk
Lifting chalk is an essential for me when deadlifting. It’s really easy to use, is cheap to buy and a small bottle can last a long time.
Ultimately, chalk works by removing moisture from your hands and improving your grip. No more sweaty palms!
Studies have shown it can improve gym performance by 16%. You can read more about what weightlifting chalk is here.
You don’t get as much help with chalk as you do with lifting straps, but it’s still a great deadlift accessory. It’s also really helpful for other pull-based movements.
Big Deadlift Accessories
Alongside the smaller deadlift accessories that you can chuck in your gym bag, there are some much bigger deadlift accessories that you need. You should find these in most good gyms.
If you’re looking for at home deadlift equipment, I’d add these to your list.
5. Olympic Lifting Barbell
Olympic bars are the main choice for those who deadlift in the gym. You can also get them for your home gym.
A full size olympic barbell will weigh 20kg. An average 7ft Olympic deadlift bar can easily support 250kg. A very good quality one will go up to 400kg. This will be more than enough to overload your lifts and move up the deadlift standards.
For your home gym, you can pick second hand olympic bars up, which may be a more cost-effective alternative.
6. Deadlift Platform
Deadlift platforms are great. Business starts when you step on to that platform!
They’re usually a combination of wood and hard rubber. You can also get slip-resistant deadlift mats to form weights floor in your home gym.
The deadlift mat is a durable, rubber material. They usually come in squares that can be slotted together to form a bigger area.
As a good piece of home deadlift equipment, the mats deliver superior sound and impact resistance thanks to their thick protective layer – no damaged floor here! They also bring an attractive appearance to your home gym weights zone!
Lastly, you can easily wipe them clean. Handy for removing sweat as well as any blood from a shin scrap! Yes, we’ve all been there!
7. Hex Bars
The hex bar offers an alternative way to deadlift. I wouldn’t hex bar deadlift all of the time, but they add something a little different.
Essentially, with the hex bar you are gripping to the outside of your hips rather than in front of your shins.
The hex bar is said to reduce the stress on your lower back and put a little more emphasis on your quads. You’ll still be working your hamstrings and back, but to a lesser extent than conventional deadlifts.
Do you really need deadlift equipment?
As you know, the deadlift is an excellent exercise for building strength.
The main reason for using deadlift accessories is to benefit your lift and ultimately get stronger over time.
Whenever you progressively overload your muscles, you’re heading into unchartered waters where your body hasn’t been before. For this reason, deadlift equipment can help you push on and help you progress.
The top 4 accessories listed above are all relatively cheap and well worth the investment. I’ve had my weightlifting belt and lifting straps for years. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
The last 3 pieces of equipment are necessary for home gyms if you’re serious about deadlifting. I’d say the olympic bar and deadlift platform or thick mats are essential.
Related reading on deadlifts…
Ben is passionate about building muscle and getting strong. Early morning gym sessions are his thing! He’s been obsessed with all things health and fitness for over 15 years. Ben is a professional writer with a first class Biology degree and is a fully qualified teacher.