3 Foundational Exercises For Conventional Deadlift

Jacob Pontius


     I have always been a much stronger conventional deadlifter than sumo deadlifter. In December, I conventional deadlifted 530 pounds at 200 pounds for a personal meet PR. Before this, my personal best was 500 pounds at 198 pounds. So, what made that 30 pound difference? I added in several key accessory movements for my conventional deadlift over the past year. Here they are:

1. The Good Morning: When I began doing heavy good mornings, my deadlift started to increase. If you think about it, the good morning and the conventional deadlift positioning are very similar. When you force yourself to stand up with the weight on your back, rather than in your hands, you have to get stronger. I prefer to find a one rep max and a three rep with good mornings. I will also do heavy reps up to eight reps.

2. The Front Squat: The front squat will directly transfer over to your conventional deadlift. When I could front squat 315 without wraps, I deadlifted 500 pounds. When I front squatted my personal best 385 with wraps, I conventional deadlifted 530 pounds in December. I do all kinds of variations of front squats and try not to limit myself.

3. High Bar Back Squat: The high bar back squat is a great squat variation that will force you into a tough position. This will make your lower back very strong. I prefer to use bands on these to force myself into an even tougher position. The overwhelming theme is that I try to put myself into tough positions so when I am put into that position on a regular deadlift, I am able to get out of it.


Give these 3 foundational exercises a try and let me know how they go!


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