Tip: The Hybrid Deadlift

Reap the benefits of two different deadlift variations with this exercise. Check it out.


Think of this as a hybrid exercise since it combines the movement pattern of a trap bar deadlift with the unilateral bias of a single-leg deadlift (SLDLs). The only thing separating it from the latter is that the non-working leg is on the ground.

Split-Stance Trap Bar Deadlift

The small amount of support provided by the non-working leg is a game-changer since it eliminates any stability/balance issues that often manifest during regular SLDLs.

As a result, this variation allows for far heavier loads – between 70-80% of that used for regular trap-bar deadlifts – while placing enormous amounts of tension onto the working leg.

For a lifter with a 1RM trap bar deadlift of 500 pounds, that would equate to 350-400 pounds per leg, which would be impossible to replicate with any other unilateral exercise.

Moreover, this variation has some advantages over regular trap bar deadlifts because it promotes a "spiraling" motion (from external to internal rotation) to get more loading into the back hip. And it requires a lower torso position during the initial pull, both of which promote a bit more glute activity and a slightly greater range of motion.

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Charley Gould, CSCS, is a former professional baseball player and strength-and-conditioning coach. He specializes in helping individuals look, feel, and perform like elite athletes. Charley is the head of sports performance at Universal Athletic Club in Lancaster, PA. Follow Charley Gould on Instagram