What Muscles Do Deadlifts Work?

Deadlifts are one of the most popular forms of weight training in modern gyms, yet most people fail to do it right – sometimes at the expense of suffering from crippling injuries. By simply observing some standard security procedures (explained below) you can minimize the risks and reap multiple benefits from this type of training. Read on to learn all about it, including the muscle groups targeted by deadlifting.


Why Should You Deadlift?

Because it works provided you do it right. Deadlifting is a great way to increase muscle mass and overall strength because it exercises most of the muscle groups in your body. You can get dramatic results that will help you boost your energy levels as well as improving your general muscle conditioning.

Before getting started, do remember: it’s always wise to check with your general physician before adopting new routines or exercise programs. This is just to be on the safe side and make sure you have no health issues that should deter you from deadlifting.

Deadlift training will exercise most of the major muscle groups down your figure, from the back through the shoulders, arms, gluteus and legs. Here’s a full breakdown:

Shoulders – you will quickly strengthen your trapezius muscles and get your shoulders to get that muscular, slightly thrown back look.

Arms – All major muscles across your arms and forearms will bulge out from deadlift training, which will result in bigger arms and increased strength that will help you boost your performance in other exercise types.

Back – This is actually the main area you’ll be exercising the most during deadlift training; it will look bigger, stronger, with ripped muscles wrapping across your torso – including the lats, which will look beefier than by practicing localized exercises.

Gluteus – Your buttocks will look rounder and more appealing, and additionally the muscles in your pelvis and hip will also get strengthened, making you feel more powerful with every stride you take.

Legs – You can get a comparable benefit to doing squats, except with deadlifting you’ll simultaneously exercise all the other muscle groups mentioned above.

Benefits of Regular Deadlifting

If you suppose deadlift training is all about just getting increased muscle mass, you’re glossing over the surface. The real benefits you can expect from this type of exercise – asides from a general increase in strength – include posture improvement, increased stability and superior cardiovascular health, as well as minimizing your odds of getting minor injurious while going about doing your routine chores and daily activities.


Doing Deadlift Training Right

There are different postures you can try to focus on different muscle groups – most stances differ in how spread apart your arms and legs will be, and whether you hold on overhand or underhand grip. That’s all fine, but regardless of your chosen stance you should always observe the following guidelines:

Keep looking straight ahead from start to finish, in order to keep your spine in a neutral position

Before raising – contract abs, pull shoulders tightly back, squeeze shoulders (to minimize strain on the back).

While raising – push from the legs, then involve the torso muscles when your forearms reach horizontal position, then push the heels firmly into the ground.

Minimize reliance on momentum as this will not only yield lesser results, but put unnecessary pressure on your spine.


  • Updated July 17, 2020
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