The Deadlift is a simple exercise. Pick up a heavy bar off the ground then put it down again. It is one of the most effective exercises for improving total-body strength and athletic performance. The Deadlift is a pulling exercise based on the hip hinge movement pattern. It has many benefits including developing glute, hamstring, back  and grip strength. 

The Deadlift makes athletes better force producers, as stronger glutes and hamstrings allow more force . Almost all fundamental sports skills, like running, jumping, throwing and tackling start with power into the ground. The more force  put into the ground, the more explosively the sport can be played. It also teaches the large hip muscle groups to fire in a coordinated fashion.

Step-by-Step Instructions

The Deadlift is a simple lift, but it’s one of the most butchered and feared exercises performed in the weight room. The most common Deadlift technique failure is a rounding of the back. The lumbar spine, or lower back, is designed for stability, not mobility . When the lower spine rounds, it’s in a compromised position. Coupled with the heavy weight loads typically used in the Deadlift, can cause back injuries. The upper back often rounds as well. Since the upper back can handle some movement, this doesn’t present as big a problem as lower-back rounding. However, it often causes a cascade effect that results in rounding of the lower back.

Step 1: The Approach

Approach the bar and stand with feet about hip-width apart. The bar should be over the midfoot or even touching the shins. Take a big breath to fill the stomach with air. Tighten the core all the way around the body.

Step 2: Grab the Bar

Bend at the waist and slightly at the knees to reach straight down. Grab the bar with both hands, using either a double-overhand or alternating grip. The arms should be completely straight.

Step 3: Start Position

Flatten the back and pull the shoulders toward the back pockets. Pull up on the bar to take the slack out, pull the chest up and sit the hips down so the back is at a slight downward angle—the exact amount of which depends on the individual anatomy. Focus the eyes about 2-3m in front . Lots of tension should be felt in this position. The lats are squeezing, core is tight, and there’s a slight stretch through the hamstrings.

Step 4: The Pull

Pull the bar straight up keeping it as close to the shins as possible, using the glutes and hamstrings to straighten the hips. As the bar travels upward past the knees, begin to pull the bar into the hips. The goal throughout is to keep the bar as close to the body as possible to maximize strength. Continue straightening the hips and knees until  standing fully upright. Squeeze the glutes at the top of the rep.

Step 5: Lower the Bar to the Ground

Slowly bend at the waist and keep the bar close to the thighs to begin lowering the bar. Continue hinging at the hips until the bar is below the knees, then bend the knees to finish lowering it to the ground. Do this slowly when first learning the Deadlift but pick up the speed once comfortable with the exercise.

Step 6: Prepare for the Next Rep

If doing more than one rep, there are two options. One, take a deep breath in and go right into the next rep. Or two, reset the start position . Option two is usually preferred when going for heavy reps.

Muscles Trained 

Prime movers

Synergist muscles

Muscular build woman exercising deadlift with barbell in a health club. Copy space.

Common Errors


There are many Deadlift Variations:

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