At the very beginning of this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8WiRpPoZu8 the woman is using some sort of a belt harness to make up for her unfortunately now missing hand, but it is flashed too quickly to make out the manufacturer name.

My (tightly related) questions are: is this the best option for a person with a missing or injured or otherwise unusable arm to deadlift? Are there other harness types? Can their usage lead to more injury (spine, shoulder blades)?

Googling for «deadlifts for the disabled» «deadlift arm injury» etc did not turn up anything, and stores for sporting goods for the disabled somehow avoid weight lifting altogether.

There is a «multi-strap» thing here http://www.roguefitness.com/monster-multi-strap but it seems like it will break the guy's neck should he attempt to lift 100+ kg with it

  • It actually looks like they used the monster strap but tied it in a loop.
    – Alex L
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


Due to the small market for the disabled, you really need to be creative. In some cases the disabled person will have equipment special made for them, and in others they will make do with something off the shelf. In the video, it looks like the person in question used an off the shelf strap that was tied in a way to anchor the bar.

I've seen injured people make up for an injured hand using deadlift hooks (illegal in competition unless you get a special waver). I've also seen people simply not use the affected limb (example, Ali McWeeny).

The video you had also showed the person perform her weightlifting techniques one handed. There's really no other way to do quick movements like that.

The bottom line is you aren't going to find the equipment. You'll either need to special order it, adapt equipment, or simply do without. The biggest risk is that it's just easier to drop the bar and harder to do just about everything. The same guidelines apply for proper technique, but the balance points and finer points have to be adjusted for the unique situation.


Interesting challenge! I have no experience with deadlifting for disabled, so take this for what it is – pure speculation.

Judging by the video though, it looks just fine. Maybe in the lockout she's struggling a bit with her right side but from what I can tell it's due to the strap being a centimeter or two too long.

I wouldn't worry too much about this injuring your spine or shoulder. One risk could be that it slides off mid-lift. But with a proper harness I'm sure you could fix that too. Just be mindful, with or without two arms, should it start hurting.

I'd look for something strapped around your torso. Two way and maybe connected to a belt? As long as the attachment point is where your arm would be it should mimic the motion. Don't know of any such harnesses though and I couldn't find anything when googling.

Hope that helps a little!

  • Thank you for the answer. My concerns about injury are purely speculative: compared to regular deadlifts which spread load evenly usin muscle and connective tissue, the belt/chain system applies all pressure Aug 26, 2015 at 21:28
  • ...to a narrow band in the middle of the clavicle, which may or may not fracture it (if there is existing bone material fatigue or even cracks). Of course I am talking about 150+ kg lifts Aug 26, 2015 at 21:36

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