How To Deadlift A Human

When you don’t have any equipment and need a deadlift alternative, then learn how to deadlift a human buddy instead.

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Deadlift Alternatives

One of my subscribers asked me a question some time ago about alternative bodyweight exercises to the barbell deadlift.

I came up with a number of possible exercises which work some of the same muscles, such as pistol squats for quads, one leg Romanian deadlift for the hamstrings, and back levers or handstand press for the traps.

All of these are great exercises, but if you just want to deadlift, then it seems a lot of effort to do them all, to equal one exercise.

Human Deadlift

If you have a partner exercising with you, or someone just willing to volunteer to be your human barbell, then the technique is not dissimilar to a regular deadlift.

Select a volunteer appropriate for your strength levels…perhaps start with a child first. 🙂 My wife and I both weigh 140 lbs (she is taller).

Make sure to warm-up first.

Human Barbell Set-Up

Ask your human barbell to raise the knee closest to you, and place their other leg on top of the foot of the bent leg. They will need to keep this tight.

Then they cross their arms to form a square, holding their elbows.


Put one hand in the gap created by their bent leg, and the other in the square of their arms, by the elbow nearest to you.

Lift using good deadlifting form.

George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

About George D. Choy 92 Articles
Personal Trainer and Calisthenics Instructor at Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, UK. Fit over 45. Dad with 2 energetic kids 😄 Passionate about helping people to keep strong, slim and healthy.

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