Learn the Dumbbell Deadlift to Increase your Swim Strength

Welcome to the fourth day of the BridgeAthletic Building Blocks Progression.

Today we are introducing the Dumbbell Deadlift.

The Dumbbell Deadlift is one of our favorite exercises at BridgeAthletic. We encourage all athletes to perform this for at least 1 to 2 phases before attempting to use a Barbell or Hex Bar. Allow your body, especially your spine and joints to adjust to the load relative to the movement pattern.

We encourage all athletes to perform this for at least 1 to 2 phases before attempting to use a Barbell or Hex Bar for this movement. Allow your body, especially spine and joints to adjust to the load relative to the movement pattern.

As a coach and athlete you can use this at almost all levels and training phases, and is an excellent rehab/return to play exercise. Select DBs that you could perform for 3 reps more than what is prescribed.

Exercise 4: DB Deadlift


Set up a box or a stack of plates with a starting point at mid-shin height. As you improve over time, lower the starting point to within a few inches of the ground. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes rotated out slightly. Keep your chest up and back flat throughout the movement. Remember, this is an up-down movement, so the pause/rest phase is at the starting point, not when you are at full extension. Keep your chest up and hips down, squat down and grab hold of the DBs. With a controlled movement, standup without locking out your knees. Slight pause. Return to start position. Pause for a 2-Hippopotamus count to emphasize control. Repeat in a controlled tempo for the prescribed reps, and without crashing the DBs in to the box/stack of plates.

More Building Blocks:

Miss any of the progression or want to review? Check out the other building blocks below.

Day 1: Frog Squat

Day 2: Monster Walks

Day 3: KB/DB Goblet Squat

Or download our e-book to receive an in-depth look at our full August Building Blocks!

Want Feedback?

We’re here to help. We highly encourage you and your athletes to share videos and pictures performing the exercises. Use #BuildBetterAtheltes in order to receive feedback and guidance from one of our elite coaches on the BridgeAthletic Performance Team.

New Call-to-action

About BridgeAthletic

BridgeAthletic Logo 3BridgeAthletic works with elite professional, collegiate, and club swimming programs to provide a turnkey solution for dryland training.  Led by Nick Folker, the top swimming strength and conditioning coach in the world, our team builds stroke-specific, custom-optimized dryland programs for each of our clients. The individualized workouts are delivered directly to athletes via our state of the art technology platform and mobile applications. Check Nick and BridgeAthletic out as recently featured in SwimSwam.

About Nick Folker 

Nick Folker, BridgeAthleticNick Folker is the Co-Founder and Director of Elite Performance at BridgeAthletic. Nick’s athletes have won 22 Olympic Medals, 7 team NCAA Championships and over 170 individual and relay NCAA championships. Megan Fischer-Colbrie works as the Sports Science Editor at BridgeAthletic.  Megan was a four-year varsity swimmer at Stanford, where she recently graduated with a degree in Human Biology.

The Championship Series by BridgeAthletic is designed to empower athletes with tips from the pros that will help them reach peak performance come race day.  We will be covering competition-focused topics such as nutrition, recovery, stretching, and mental preparation.

Follow BridgeAthletic on Twitter here.

Like BridgeAthletic on Facebook here. 

Follow BridgeAthletic on Instagram here. 

Swimming Training is courtesy of BridgeAthletic, a SwimSwam ad partner.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments