The deadlift is one of the hardest weight-lifting exercises out there that activates your glutes, hamstrings, back and core. If done incorrectly, deadlifts can easily lead to serious knee injuries, so it’s important that you perform them right.

If you’re tired of grinding out reps and missing lifts, we have just the thing for you: assistance exercises, through which you can increase the maximum weight of your deadlifts. Here are those exercises:

Deficit Romanian Deadlifts

Each rep is done from a dead stop, you should use as much leg drive as you possibly can. These are exceptionally good at strengthening your glutes, hamstrings and lower back and will increase your range of motion, which equals more muscle growth.

Front Squat From Pins

Pins are a tool for building out of the hole strength for squats and the starting strength you need for your deadlift. This exercise is absolutely unforgiving to your glutes but will also work your core and quads. Expect some muscle soreness in your abs the next day, and if you can, put on some weightlifting shoes to avoid falling back. This exercise is also great for you if you’re having some trouble coming out of the bottom during your cleans.

Zercher Squats

Great for an overall leg workout, especially for your glutes. Also improves your core stability and the rigidity of your torso, which is needed for squats and deadlifts. If your elbows and forearms hurt during this exercise, just use a bar pad.

Glute-Hamstring Raises

These will absolutely kill your hamstrings, but they will also help to prevent ACL injuries and hamstring strains. This exercise transfers well to many lower body lifts and develops functional strength for many other types of exercises. Coaches have long used them to improve jumping ability and sprinting speed and they’re a foundation of every serious athlete’s workout.

Barbell Hip Thrusts

The main reason people do squats is to develop big thighs and improve leg strength. This exercise is the equivalent of squats, only for the glutes. They will do wonders for your rear and will also teach you the proper motion of snapping your hips for increased power output when lifting. If you have trouble deadlifting or squatting but still want big glutes, the barbell hip thrust is your friend.

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