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Dissecting the Deadlift

Many fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders include the deadlift in their weight training regimens. But what is it exactly? What can it do for your body? 

Let us find out more!

Definition of the Deadlift

Simply put, the deadlift is a weight training exercise where a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground from a stabilised, bent-over position. It is one of the three canonical powerlifting exercises, along with the squat and the bench press. 

The dealift is one of the most negatively-criticised exercises used by bodybuilders and athletes. If this exercise is executed properly, it can be very dangerous to the spine. However, when done correctly, it is an excellent exercise for the development of the buttocks, hamstrings, and to a good extent, the lower back and anterior thighs. 

More About Deadlift Synergists

The term “synergists” refers to a muscle that is on the receiving end of a stimulus from a particular exercise. With that in mind, these muscles will grow bigger and stronger whenever you deadlifts:

1. Glutes—the glute max contributes greatly to the deadlift. This is a very strong muscle and is in a favourable position in the deadlift when acting at the hip and moving at the femur.

2. Quadriceps—your quadriceps are also worked a great deal during the deadlift. They are in a very strong position during the deadlift as the knee is rarely bent more than 70 degrees at the start. 

3. Hamstrings—the hamstrings produce hip extension and trunk extension along with the glutes, working together to bring the body standing up in a straight line. Straightening your knees during the deadlift will place more emphasis on the hamstrings as they’re forced to handle more of the workload. In the process, the quadriceps are effectively de-loaded. 

4. Trapezius—this is the group of muscles located along your upper back and between your shoulders. They can grow significantly in size because of the deadlift. 

5. Forearm flexors—by gripping tightly to the barbell during a deadlift, your forearm flexors become synergists. Because of this, deadlifting builds isometric or holding grip strength.  

Proper Execution of the Deadlift

1. Start with an upright torso position.  Your legs should be shoulder-width apart. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip. Alternatively, you can also use the underhand grip (whichever you are more comfortable with). 

2. Next, flex your trunk while keeping the vertebral column on the same axis. Bring the barbell slightly downward below your knee level until the back is parallel to the ground. 

3. During the flexion of the trunk (when your back is parallel to the floor), you must pay attention to three important factors:

a. Keep all the vertebral segments of the column aligned. In order to accomplish this, you must look straight ahead and not at the floor. 

b. The barbell should be as close to your legs as possible during the downward phase of the movement.

c. Inhale deeply while flexing your trunk. Do not exhale until half of the upward movement has been accomplished (while contracting your abdominals at the same time).You only stop exhaling when you are standing straight up. 


Why hesitate any further? Incorporate the versatile deadlift in your exercise programme today! If you are completely new to deadlifting, make sure you are under the supervision of a certified personal trainer. By incorporating this workmanlike exercise in your training regimen,  you are sure to earn massive gains in your progress.  

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