What Muscles Do Deadlifts Work?

Anyone who has ever been to a gym and tried to build muscle has undoubtedly faced the deadlift. The importance of this exercise along with the physical benefits it brings cannot be overemphasized. This is a compound, full-body movement that engages multiple muscle groups, and the response that the body gets when doing deadlifts will provide you with some serious gains.

Of course, most people will tell you that this exercise works your glutes and hamstrings, but the reality is that this is only a small part of the whole picture. Another important point is that the deadlift requires impeccable form if you want to do it safely, so today we will go into the details of this movement, focusing on the muscles it works and how to execute it properly.

Benefits Of Deadlifts

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1. Transferrable To Real-life Situations

If we simplify and analyze this movement, we can say that the deadlift is just picking up a barbell from the ground and putting it back down. This explanation doesn't do justice to the anatomical complexity of this exercise, but in essence, it is correct. Lifting heavy things from the floor is something we all face in our lives, and by doing deadlifts, we strengthen the muscles needed to perform this action better.

2. Increases Testosterone Levels

Certain studies have shown that big, compound lifts like the barbell squat or the deadlift can promote testosterone levels. This is of great significance for any lifter because testosterone helps repair muscles and brings all sorts of other benefits to the body.

3. Better Posture

Deadlifts engage many different muscles throughout the body, including the entire core as well as the glutes. A strong core is needed to support your spine and keep it straight during your day. Glutes support your lower back (lumbar spine) and help carry the weight that falls on this part of the body.

4. Burns A Lot Of Calories

Since this exercise is a compound movement and activates lots of different muscles, it is very taxing on the body. This means that we spend more calories while doing deadlifts compared to some other exercises that are not as physically demanding (isolation exercises).

What Muscles Do Deadlifts Work?

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In this section, we are going to cover what muscles get activated during the deadlift movement. It might be more that you have imagined and we believe that it is necessary to know this information. Let’s get into it.

1. Glutes – Butt Muscles

These big muscles that run from the back of your thighs up to your lower back are responsible for hip extension. Your butt is the muscle that does most of the work in this movement.

2. Hamstrings

These long muscles that stretch down the back part of your thighs are attached to the glutes and are stimulated greatly while doing this exercise. They act as a synergist, meaning that they help the glutes throughout the movement.

3. Quadriceps

The muscles that cover the front and sides of the thighs also play the role of synergists and help out the glutes.

4. Back Muscles
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Many might not know this, but trapezius, latissimus dorsi (lats), as well as erector spinae, levator scapulae, and rhomboids are all activated during this exercise. They all work together as stabilizers and help to protect the spine and keep it straight while picking the bar up and putting it down. Click here to see some suggestions of pull up bar.

5. Core Muscles

A stable and straight spine also calls for a tight and strong core. Obliques and abs have to be contracted throughout the whole movement, and they get good stimulation.

How To Do A Deadlift

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Stand with the middle part of your feet directly under the barbell. The feet should be shoulder-width apart and facing forward. Slightly bend the knees and lower yourself down to grab the bar with your arms (overhand grip or mixed grip), on the outer sides of the legs.

Once you grab the bar, contract your abdomen and externally rotate the shoulders in order to straighten your upper back. From this position push your heels into the ground and lift the bar while keeping the arms straight. Remember to keep the bar as close to your legs as possible while you're lifting it. After you get to a fully upright positon (top positon) start lowering the bar slowly down while hinging at the hips.

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While we strongly recommend deadlifts as a core part of anyone’s weightlifting routine, we also must emphasize that this movement has to be done with perfect form. So please, before you start doing this exercise consult with a professional or an experienced lifter for some instructions and advice. Furthermore, remember to choose the most suitable deadlift shoes for your feet.

Start with high reps and low weight, and slowly build up from that. If you do everything properly, the results will reveal themselves in a short time. Stay strong and lift smart!

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