What Muscles Does Deadlift Work

In every gym that we go, there is a lot of fuss about an exercise called deadlift. What does it do? What muscles does deadlift work?

A deadlift can be considered one of the most effective exercises for building up muscle in the legs, the core, and the arms. This exercise is most commonly used by trainers to increase the strength of their clients.

What Is A Deadlift

The deadlift is a weightlifting exercise in which a barbell or other weighted bar is lifted off the ground to the level of the hips, then lowered to the ground. The deadlift is one of the heaviest weights in the weight room, so it should only be performed if you are fully accustomed to lifting weights.

Deadlifts are typically seen in strength-training or powerlifting-type workouts. They’re a great all-over body workout and a very simple way to challenge your strength.

A deadlift is an exercise that strengthens your whole lower body, including the hamstrings, glutes, and back. It also helps to strengthen your core and your grip. It is often considered a full-body exercise because you’re engaging both the lower and upper body.

Benefits Of Deadlift

The benefits of deadlifting include:

  1. Added Muscle– Deadlifting is a compound lift, which means it works more than one muscle group at a time.
  2. Long-Term Knee Health– Deadlifting can help to build up the hips and glutes, which can help to stabilize the knee joints and reduce injury.
  3. Added Strength And Power– As you become stronger, adding deadlifts to your workout routine can help to improve your overall strength and power.
  4. Men’s Health– Deadlifting can target the hips and hamstrings which are often overlooked in the gym.

The deadlift is a great exercise to help you achieve a perfect posture, which is one of the many benefits of deadlift. If you want to get stronger, the deadlift is the best workout for you.

Deadlift helps to increase your endurance and strength which can lead to improving your sports performance. It can be a good exercise for developing explosive power and building the muscles in your lower back.

The Deadlift may also help to fight off injuries such as hernia and bulging disks, which is because of the muscle stretching and the strength training it provides.

Deadlifts should only be performed if you have a correct and safe technique and we do not recommend performing them if you have lower back issues.

What Muscles Does Deadlift Work

Deadline builds overall strength and helps protect against injuries, while also helping to achieve a slimmer waistline.

As a compound exercise, the deadlift also works the upper back, trapezius, biceps, and forearms.

The primary muscles of the back, abdomen and legs are developed and strengthened during deadlift. Now, let’s look closely on the muscles deadlift works on;

  • Quadriceps

Written by Guest Author, Deadlifts are an exercise often performed by lifters for their lower back. However, the exercise is also great for the quadriceps muscles.

When performing the exercise, the lifter will bend forward at the hips and lower themselves towards the floor. The weight of the lifter’s body is supported by the quadriceps muscle, which will allow for proper positioning of the weight.

The quadriceps muscle will contract to help raise the weight of the lifter. This will cause stretching in the quadriceps muscle, which will lead to muscle growth.

It is an incredible compound exercise that not only strengthens your quadriceps but also improves adductors and glutes. The more muscle you build, the better shape you’ll be in.

  • Glutes

Deadlifts are the perfect exercise for the Glutes, which are often forgotten in this area. Deadlifts put more work on the glutes than any other exercise because they involve the entire posterior chain.

Obviously, the lower back is targeted to great extent in this exercise, but the hamstrings, shoulders, and upper back also have a heavy load placed on them in this exercise.

This exercise is a one-stop shop in terms of glute development. If you want to strengthen your posterior chain , or get your glutes working more, you should be doing an occasional Deadlift.

Deadlifts are low-back friendly exercises, they can be used to strengthen the glutes, and they are very safe exercises. Glutes are a large muscle that help in extending, rotating, and flexing the hip.

In conclusion, Deadlifts are a great exercise for the glutes because they require the whole body to move together.


  • Adductor Magnus (Inner Thigh)

The deadlift is one of the best exercises one can do to strengthen the adductor magnus (inner thigh) muscle. The adductor magnus is the biggest hip adductor muscle and plays a major role in activities like walking, running, pitching, and kicking sports.

The deadlift works the adductors because it forces the hips into hip extension. Hip extension is the movement that occurs at the hip which allows an individual to straighten their leg out.

The more you extend the hips, the more you contract the adductor magnus. This exercise can be particularly difficult for those with a history of hip pain as the gluteal muscles prevent the full range of motion required for extending the hips.

The muscles of the inner thigh are often overlooked in exercises, but they are essential for many movements. Deadlifts help activate the muscles in the inner thigh, which makes them stronger and able to provide more stability.

Strengthening the muscles in the inner thigh can help with lifting up objects, and it can help prevent knee injuries.

  • Hamstrings

As a part of a full-body exercise, deadlifts work on hamstrings because, when performing a deadlift, you’re using the hamstrings to bend the knee and create a hip extension. The hamstrings work from a stretched position, then they shorten to generate power.

A 1977 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that the hamstrings and the back muscles were the most active muscles during deadlifts.

A 2010 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that while it is hard to measure the exact involvement of the hamstrings, it is important to work them while deadlifting because if they are too short then the individual could develop low back pain.

Hamstrings are an important stabilizer for the knee. Deadlifts are one of the best exercises to work on strengthening your Hamstrings.

Doing this exercise is not only good for strengthening these muscles, but also helps with the balancing of the body. Doing this exercise also helps with the coordination of the arms and legs.

  • Lats

The deadlift focuses on several muscles in the back of the body, but the most significant muscles that are worked are the lats. The lats are muscles that are located in the middle of the back.

When you are performing a deadlift, they are the muscle being used the most when you are pulling.

When it comes to getting bigger, stronger lats, the deadlift is the best exercise. Deadlifts are often considered to be a one exercise work out. But they are so much more than that and they should be used in conjunction with other exercises and in different variations.

If you’re looking to get stronger and add some serious size to your lats, the deadlift is the best way to do it. Deadlifts targets the lats not only because of the initial position of the exercise, but also because of the barbell’s longitudinal movement during the exercise.

The barbell moves along the length of the body, causing the lats to engage to maintain balance. Deadlifts, therefore, work well for packing on size to the lats.

  • Traps

Deadlift is the exercise to work the traps. The trap is located between the shoulder and neck. It is a muscle on the side of your neck. Traps help pull the shoulder blades together and act as a muscle of support and balance.

The Deadlift is one of the most beneficial exercises which foster the well-being of the lower back. This exercise strengthens the upper back and traps in order to protect the spine. It also helps strengthen muscles around the hips, knees, and ankles.

Some of the most important features which this exercise incorporates include the spine alignment, the recovery of the load, and the distribution of weight. Furthermore, the Deadlift is an excellent way to increase muscle tissue in order to maximize size and performance.

It also has some swinging and lifting function on the backside of the neck. The weight of the barbell during the movement of the exercise is placed on your trapezius muscles on the top of your shoulders, and on your neck and upper back muscles.

When performing this exercise, for example, you should keep your traps contracted at all times. Doing this will reduce the chance of injury by increasing the stability of your neck and head position.

  • Rhomboids

Yes, Deadlifts work on Rhomboids. You read that right. Deadlifts, often considered one of the most difficult exercises to perform correctly, can still be used for more than just developing your back muscles.

Deadlifts work on Rhomboids, which are muscles in your back and are responsible for the curve of the shoulder blade. They also stabilize the shoulder girdle and help in certain movements.

If you want to develop your Rhomboids, try incorporating Deadlifts into your workout routine. Deadlift exercise with a barbell work well on the Rhomboids.

  • Abdominals & Obliques

The Dead Lift can also be used as a supplementary weight lifting exercise for the abdominals. With the reversal of the abdominal crunch, the abdominals are contracted against the spine. Building additional muscle in the abdominals will increase stability, which will create a stronger core.

The deadlift is a compound exercise that targets your abdominal muscles. The deadlift can easily be done in the comfort of your own home. This makes it an extremely convenient workout to do at any time.

It’s often mistakenly believed that abdominal exercises are only effective when you’re doing them in the gym. The deadlift strengthens your core, which can help minimize back pain, strengthen your abdominal muscles, and improve posture.

The deadlift is not only good for your abdominal muscles but also for your lower back and hips as well.

Deadlift in gym

  • Erectors

Ever heard about erectors? I guess not. These are the muscles you will find along the outside of your spine. They have two specific roles in assisting your deadlift.

First, they help you extend your back fully, following which your spine gets into an upright position from a horizontal one. The more your back is parallel to the floor, the more you will need to use your erector muscles.

Second, these erectors keep the spine from getting into a rounding position. As mentioned above, erectors help in flexing and extension of the back. Under load, while doing the deadlift there will be very high pressure on the spine. This is because of the rounding of your mid-back.

  • Arms & Grip

Deadlifts may be the most well-known weightlifting exercise in existence. It is a full body workout that can help build muscle in various parts of the body. One benefit of deadlifts is that it builds biceps and grip strength.

In order to deadlift, you must have a firm grip on the bar in order to lift it from the ground all the way up to your hips. Your grip strength is paramount in deadlifting.

Most people know that Deadlifts work on the back, legs, shoulders and chest, but many people don’t realise how much Deadlift also works on the arms and grip.

When holding the bar during Deadlifts to get into position to do the movement, you must hold it close to your body with both arms straight, which demands the use of the forearms, biceps and hands.

You then need to grip the bar tightly with your fingers to maintain that hold for the duration of the Deadlift.

This was a one by one detail of different muscles in what muscles does deadlift work.

Different Types Of Deadlift

Deadlift is a compound exercise, functioning as a knee bend and hip extension. The deadlift moves the weight from the floor to an elevated position, completing a pull through of the body’s structures and muscles.

Deadlift is a full body exercise that can be done with or without weights. There are many types of deadlifts that serve different fitness goals. The most common deadlift is a barbell type deadlift which requires a barbell, weights, and a weightlifting platform.

There are also Romanian, stiff-legged, and sumo deadlifts which require a specialized harness. All three of these deadlift types use a barbell with weights attached.

The Romanian deadlift utilizes a barbell and a step to assist with form. The stiff-legged deadlift has a barbell in one hand and a weight in the other. The sumo deadlift is a variation that uses a hex bar that is higher off the ground.

Different types of deadlifts:

  • Single-Leg deadlift
  • Cable Machine Romanian Deadlift
  • Rear-Foot Deadlift
  • Conventional Deadlift
  • Sumo Deadlift
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift
  • Trap Bar Deadlift
  • Deficit Deadlift
  • Hex Bar Deadlift

How Many Deadlifts Should You Do

While it is true that deadlifts are great for building overall strength, they can be difficult to maintain on a long-term basis. First, it is important to focus on the form of the deadlift.

Proper form means that you should be bending your knees and changing your hand position to keep your back straight while lifting the weight. This will eliminate the risk of hurting your lower back.

When it comes to deadlifting, the answer to the question of how many deadlifts should one do comes down to one’s goals. If someone is looking to increase their raw deadlifting strength, the answer will be much different than a person looking to increase their powerlifting total.

One might deadlift once a week, while another might deadlift three or four times a week. The answer is actually more complicated than just a flat out answer of “yes” or “no” due to the variety of goals.

Unlike many bodybuilding routines, deadlifts are meant to be done with a heavy weight. A beginner may want to start with a light weight to get the movement down, but otherwise you should use a weight that’s around your 5-rep max.

Experts suggest doing five sets of six repetitions, but again it depends on your level of fitness. If you’re looking to gain muscle, it’s recommended to do 12 – 15 sets of six repetitions.

What muscles does deadlift work

Common Mistakes While Doing Deadlift

One mistake people often do, is using their back too much when they deadlift. This presses on the discs of your spine and can cause pain in the lumbar area.

If this is your problem, focus on keeping your torso upright, keeping your chest up, straightening your back instead of rounding it, and focusing on keeping your back muscles relaxed.

Poor Bar Path

One of the most common errors with deadlift is the bar path. It is important to maintain this bar path because it aids in the ability to maximize power and strength.

The lifter should have a straight back, a hip hinge, a shoulder shrug, a push with the legs and a pull with the arms to keep a straight path. An uneven bar path can lead to a back injury.

What is the bar path? It is the path the bar travels when you are doing a deadlift. In a perfect deadlift, the bar travels in a straight line from the floor up to the top of your thigh.

This can be difficult when you are pulling with heavy weights, so people usually cheat the bar up in the air. This cheat helps them bring the bar to their chest.

Not Pulling the Slack Out of the Bar

Deadlifting is not an easy exercise to execute, and there are plenty of mistakes an individual could make while performing this lift. One of the most common mistakes an individual could make is not pulling the slack out of the bar.

This would happen if the individual grips the bar, but does not pull it off the floor. From there, the individual should pull the slack out of the bar, and then straighten the body.

The individual will need to make sure to keep their back straight and their core tight. Once they reach this position, they should bend their knees to reach proper positioning. With this in mind, it is important that an individual does not pull the slack out of the bar while deadlifting.

People usually do this because they are afraid to break the bar off the ground. Pulling the slack out of the bar does not allow for you to get down into the correct starting position.

Doing this will be counterproductive and limit your posterior chain development. Why not get down into position and then get under the bar? There is less chance that you will get injured by the weight if you do this.

Your Hips Rise Too Quickly

Everyone has their own technique when performing a deadlift, but it is important to be aware of the number of mistakes that could lead to injury.

One common mistake is when your hips rise too quickly, which can throw your balance off and can cause a strain in your back. It is important to focus on engaging the glutes and coming up in a straight line in order to prevent a strain in your back.

Additionally, in order to decrease the risk of injury in your back, it is important to keep your head up and focus on contracting your abs in order to keep your back from being pulled too far inward.

Your hips may move too quickly when you finish the lift and try to return your hips and shoulders to neutral. This can force your spine to flex and bend in an unhealthy position.

This usually occurs when the person does not engage their glutes to keep the hips down. When the hips rise too quickly, this causes people to use their lower back to lift the weight instead of their glutes.

To avoid this, make sure to squeeze the glutes before lifting the weight and keep your hips down.

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