The simple short version.

The deadlift is a compound movement that works a variety of muscles groups:

  • The grip strength (finger flexors) and the lower back (erector spinae) work isometrically to keep the bar held in the hands and to keep the spine from rounding.
  • The gluteus maximus and hamstrings work to extend the hip joint.
  • The quadriceps work to extend the knee joint.
  • The adductor magnus works to keep the legs stable
  • Core musculature remains braced to keep the spine stable

Although the deadlift is a compound movement, it is traditionally worked as a back exercise.

DeadLift Technique

The basic technique for the conventional Deadlift is as follows:

Your feet should be spaced hip-width apart with your grip just outside your legs.

Use an overhand grip, or if grip strength is not fully developed, use the under over grip.

The back should be flat neutral spine from start to finish. Rounding the back is a common mistake that can cause potential lower back injuries.

Your shoulders should be back and down.

The bar should remain in contact with your legs for the entire range of motion.

Your hips and knees should move together in a upwards push motion to complete a repetition.

Based on your goal, the deadlift can be used it the below ways;

Power lift to strengthen the density of the muscle fibers and gain overall strength. Generally 4 sets of 10, 6, 4 and a final set to failure

Endurance lift to increase the endurance of the muscle groups mentioned above. Generally 4 sets in high repetition range

Muscle volume training. Generally this lift will be performed to build strength and appearance. Generally 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions at 75% of your one rep max (1RM)

DeadLift Accessories

The deadlift requires grip strength in order to perform volume and strength training. When first starting out, most people find that they are able to lift the weight but the grip fails when completing the repition.

A simple but affective way to combat this is to use the over under grip, but if theis fails, there are other gadgets to assist with the deadlift.

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  1. Wrist Straps to avoid barbell slipping from grip.
  2. Wrist hooks to isolate lift area and use wrist support.
  3. Bar grips better grip and protection from calluses.

In addition to grip accessories, some bodybuilders use weightlifting belts to eleviate pressure on the lower back, although this will help with form for beginners and heavy sets, using weight lifting belts can restrict development of the lower back so prelonges use is not suggested.

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