Best CrossFit Deadlift Workouts To Challenge Your Body and Mind

CrossFit Deadlifts Workout

When it comes to full-body movements and compound exercises, the deadlift reigns supreme. This compound lift engages the lower body, back, and core for a powerful movement that builds overall power and strength. 

Deadlifts are a fantastic way to get the most bang for your buck during a workout. However, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind to keep your body strong and healthy. 

Here are some of the best CrossFit Deadlift workouts and how to make the most of this movement.

Completing a deadlift CrossFit workout is an excellent way to challenge your body and mind. Here are the top five CrossFit Deadlift WODs to add to your hit list. In case you are wondering all the muscles that you will work with Deadlifts, we've got it covered in this article


This Hero WOD is named after U.S. Army Specialist Donald L. Nichols, who died while serving in Afghanistan. This WOD will force you to dig deep both mentally and physically, as it includes two of the most intense full-body movements: the deadlift and burpees. 

The workout: 21-15-9-9-15-21 reps for time

The movements: Deadlifts (225/155lbs) + Burpees

Start with 21 deadlifts immediately followed by 21 burpees. Continue by following a descending ladder until you complete 9 reps of each, then start from the bottom until you complete 21 again.

The goal is to do unbroken burpees and take minimal breaks while completing the high deadlift reps.

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Everyone loves and hates the CrossFit Girls. Diane is a particularly deadly CrossFit WOD that combines two very different movements for one incredibly challenging workout.

The workout: 21-15-9 reps for time

The movements: Deadlifts (225/155lbs) + Handstand Pushups

While Diane is a short workout, it's hard to sprint through due to the two movements' complexities. Pace yourself and go unbroken if possible.

Related: CrossFit Girls: A Comprehensive 2021 Guide on Benchmark WODs


This Hero WOD is named for U.S. Navy SEAL Surface Warfare Specialist Jon T. Tumilson, who died while serving in Afghanistan. This CrossFit deadlift workout is a little different as it uses dumbbell deadlifts paired with burpees rather than a barbell. This deadlift WOD is also a running WOD, pairing two forms of movement that don't often overlap.

The workout: 8 rounds for time

The movements: 11 Dumbbell Burpee Deadlifts (2x60/40 lb) + 200-meter run

Pace yourself on the run to leave enough gusto to get through the dumbbell deadlift segment. Feel free to push the speed in the last few rounds to make up time.

Related: Why are Burpees so hard? Here's how to improve

Open 14.3

A CrossFit Open WOD and a personal competition favorite, Open 14.3 is an ascending ladder of deadlifts punctuated by a set number of box jumps between each round. This intense lower body CrossFit workout will turn your legs to jelly.

The workout: 8-Minute AMRAP

The movements: Deadlifts (135/95lbs) + Box Jumps (24/20in)

Start with 10 deadlifts, followed by 15 box jumps. Add 5 more deadlifts every round (10,15,20,25) while completing 15 box jumps between each set. Remember to breathe!

Related: Top 6 Best Plyo Boxes for home workouts

The CrossFit Total

The CrossFit Total is one of the best ways to track your strength over time. This benchmark workout follows the same structure as a powerlifting competition, which uses the total of your best deadlift, squat, and bench press. In the CrossFit Total, however, the bench press is swapped out for a shoulder press.

The workout: 1RM of each lift

The movements: Squat + Shoulder Press + Deadlift

Warm-up to slowly scale your way to each total. You get three attempts at each lift to determine what your max will be. While this WOD lacks the usual intensity and endurance of a CrossFit workout, it's a full-body workout that will tax your system.

Related: Farmers Walk: Benefits, and How to Program

Why Deadlifts Are a Popular CrossFit Exercise

As mentioned before, deadlifts are a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups for an intense, full-body workout that's sure to leave you exhausted.

Here are some benefits, variations, and tips for perfecting the king of compound lifts.

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Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises for building full-body strength and power. With one swift motion, this lift can help you develop powerful hamstrings, a core of steel, and shredded traps and back muscles. This full-body movement also engages the anaerobic energy system and burns fat while building muscle.

Like squats, the deadlift is also a functional movement that translates to other lifts and daily activities at home. Every time you bend over to pick something up, you're replicating a deadlift. 

When performed correctly, the deadlift strengthens the posterior chain, preventing low back pain caused by a sedentary lifestyle. If you work a desk job, you should be doing deadlifts.

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The Different Types of CrossFit Deadlifts

There are numerous deadlift variations that you'll often come across in CrossFit workouts. Some common CrossFit deadlifts include:

Think of it this way: if you can pick it up, you can deadlift it.

Related: Best CrossFit Barbell to PR Your WOD

Correct Form and Injury Prevention

The most important thing to remember when completing a deadlift of any type is maintaining a neutral spine. You can accomplish this by keeping your pelvis tucked and lats engaged to prevent an anterior pelvic tilt (which concaves your lower back) and rounded upper back.

Always prioritize form over speed when completing a CrossFit deadlift workout.

Related: Lower Back Injury from Squats - Injury Prevention and How to Recover


Deadlifts are a powerful addition to any CrossFit WOD. Remember to prioritize form and recovery when engaging in this intense, full-body workout.