deadlift guide

Deadlift – Benefits, Muscles Used & Form


There are many different types of weight training exercises and it can be difficult to decide which routines to do and which ones will be most effective for your needs. If you are looking to increase your strength, deadlifts might be an exercise you should consider.

Deadlifts are an important exercise for anyone who wants to gain strength throughout their body. This article will highlight the muscles used, the proper form and the benefits of deadlifts.

Deadlift Muscles Used

deadlift muscles used

So what muscles do deadlifts work?

There are many muscle areas which are used in deadlifts: forearms, hamstrings, glutes, trapezius, abdominal, and back muscles. Your whole body works together as one unit to perform this exercise.

I’ll examine each set of muscles and the role they play during the deadlift.

Arm Muscles

Your hands are holding onto the bar and given the tension in this workout that energy will also tighten your forearms. This flow of energy also affects your upper arm muscles and your shoulders. There will be a lot of tension which is held and then released so your arms will be important stabilisers to work through the tension.

Abdominal Muscles

The abdominal muscles condense the muscles to provide strength to your core. The core communicates to your muscles that there is a task which needs to be completed. Contracting your abdominal muscles also helps your posture which is essential for this exercise. Good posture helps the back muscles do what they are supposed to do.

Back Muscles

The back muscles strengthen the spine and prevent injury to your vertebrae. They also help contract the tension of the deadlift inward so it can do its work and strengthen muscles throughout the body.

Shoulder Muscles

The shoulder muscles are important as another stabilising force and your ability to transfer force to the weight.

Leg Muscles

The leg muscles are important for strengthening your joints of which there are many sensitive joints in your legs. The muscles will be strengthened when performing this exercise and will help protect your most sensitive joints in your body.

The deadlift works muscles in the upper and lower body so it is a good overall body workout. It is important to have proper form when doing a deadlift because there are a lot of muscles in your back which power the deadlift and can be severely injured if the lift is not performed properly. Because this exercise uses a variety of muscles it is an efficient workout.

Benefits of Deadlifts

So what does all of this work do for you? Deadlifts improve posture because as they test your core muscles and your ability to retain posture under duress.

Deadlifts also work a variety of muscles at the same time which will make your workouts quicker. You will gain size in your forearm muscles and improve your grip because your grip is the only connection you have with the bar. All of these benefits help prevent injury because you are increasing muscle mass to support joints in tender areas.

Deadlifts are a difficult exercise; however, if you stick with them and have proper form you will receive a lot of benefits. If the benefits are things for which you are looking in your exercise routine, then add deadlifts to your repertoire. Your repetitions for deadlifts will be short but intense, so save these for when you can handle the extra intensity

How to Deadlift

It is important to follow all the steps to perform a deadlift because of the heavy weight you will be lifting. Improper form increases your risk of injury and makes the deadlift harder to perform.

dead lift

First, plant your feet firmly on the ground. You will need a strong foundation in order to successfully perform the deadlift. Plant your feet as you would if you were doing a standing long jump. Your power will come from how you set up in this first step, so be comfortable and have your feet planted before you move to the next step.

Second, bend from your hips and lower yourself to get to the barbell. Do not grip your hands too close together on the barbell and have your hands be slightly wider than your shins. Your starting position should be having your shoulder blades over the bar and your shins at a right angle with the floor. Doing this properly will give you the shortest movement and thus complete the exercise most efficiently.

Take a deep breath and engage your lateral muscles. This will allow the bar to be straight when you start the lift. This step is important as you need oxygen in your muscles to function for this exercise and you need your lateral muscles to keep the proper posture and efficiency to do the exercise well.

Next, pull. You will become tense from head to toe, this is normal so do not worry. Try to imagine yourself pushing the ground away from you using your leg muscles. This will cause the bar to move up while not consciously trying to make the bar move.

Squeeze your gluteal muscles. You’ll be able to move your hips forward which will help in the next step. Lockout and stand straight. Secure your lower back muscles for extra support.

Finally, start to lower at a steady pace by unlocking your gluteal muscles and moving your hips away from the bar. Then let go of the bar in a controlled manner so it has a stable drop to the floor. If you release the bar too slowly, you will hurt your back and if you release the bar too quickly you won’t get the most benefit from the work you have just put into the deadlift.

Deadlifts are the perfect exercises for augmenting core strength of your body’s main muscles. Core muscles are the ones in your back, buttocks, abs and hips. These all work together during a deadlift. With strong core muscles, you will keep a good posture and avoid back issues.

The Deadlift is very effective exercise that need your entire body to work. It require a warm up, especially if you are going to lift very heavy weights. The best choice would be to warm up for two sets with light weights, repeating many times. Always remember that you need to keep your back straight during the exercises to avoid any possible injuries.

Adnan Munye

A certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist, Adnan specialises in weight loss, muscle building, body conditioning, core strengthening and injury rehabilitation. Adnan comes from sporting background, where he has played football, badminton, rugby, and swimming all at various levels.

Related Post


Last modified: 11th December 2018