A Quick Guide to Deadlifts

also known as

  • Conventional deadlifts

purpose and benefits

The deadlift is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in your body. It is a highly effective exercise for building strength and power, making it a staple in any strength training program. The primary purpose of the deadlift is to strengthen the posterior chain, which includes the muscles in your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. By performing deadlifts regularly, you can improve your overall strength, increase muscle mass, and enhance your athletic performance.

The deadlift is commonly known as one of the "big three" powerlifting exercises, along with the squat and bench press. It is also sometimes referred to as the "king of exercises" due to its ability to target multiple muscle groups and produce significant strength gains.

primary muscles used

  • Erector spinae (lower back)
  • Gluteus maximus (buttocks)
  • Hamstrings
  • Gastrocnemius (calves)

secondary muscles used

  • Quadriceps
  • Adductors
  • Core muscles
  • Upper back muscles

How to do deadlifts

Step-by-step instructions for performing a deadlift:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
  2. Position the barbell over the middle of your feet.
  3. Bend at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight and chest up.
  4. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  5. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and lift the barbell by extending your hips and knees, using the muscles in your legs to generate the lifting force. 
  6. As you lift, keep the barbell close to your body and maintain a neutral spine.
  7. Stand up fully, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
  8. Lower the barbell back down to the starting position by bending at the hips and knees.
  9. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and sets.

loading options

  • Dumbbells
  • Barbell

Safety & Precautions

Proper form and technique, combined with an appropriate loading weight, are essential to maximize the benefits of any exercise and minimize the risk of injury.

If you're new to an exercise, start with bodyweight and gradually increase the difficulty as you become stronger. Or consider seeking guidance from a qualified professional to ensure you're performing each exercise correctly for your specific anatomy.