What muscles do deadlifts work?
Did you ever dream that seven deadlift muscles worked can change your life? The deadlift is only one exercise you might think, how good can it be? The truth is that the deadlift is more than a prescription for looking and feeling powerful. You can change your body and your life with the conventional barbell deadlift.
First of all, the simple deadlift, if done with proper form, can dramatically change your body. And not only if you use heavier weights. Even deadlifting lighter weights can have a profound impact on your health and fitness.
You can transform from a couch potato to lean and muscular. The deadlift works most of the muscles of your entire body from your head to your feet.
In other words, your entire upper body and lower body. Very few weight training exercises can match the muscles involved in all deadlift variations like;
- conventional barbell deadlifts
- sumo deadlifts
- trap bar deadlifts
- stiff leg or
- Romanian deadlifts
Targeting all the muscles of your body is the reason that deadlifts are so powerful.
Therefore, a progressive deadlift workout program will change your body even if you're a beginner. And changing your body is the first step to change your life.
In short, deadlifts build muscle, fight obesity, build confidence, and boost your mood.
You would become fabulously wealthy if you could package the benefits of deadlifts in a pill. But, you do not need medicines, you need to deadlift.
Deadlifts boost your mood too
Deadlifts are better than any antidepressant out there, I know, I used many. Deadlifting can help you fight obesity faster than you could ever imagine. The deadlift can help you rebuild your life if you are trying to recover from loss, divorce, breakups, or estrangements. No matter what your age, you will benefit from deadlifts, even if you are over 80.
The deadlift is a primal and basic lifting exercise that builds muscle, strength, and confidence.
A stronger you will be an enormous asset to yourself, loved ones, and friends. This article will focus on the most critical deadlift muscles targeted. This article explains why deadlifting is an excellent tool for mental and physical fitness.
So, what muscle groups do deadlifts work? Here is the answer:
How deadlifts work your upper body
Your entire back
Remember, the deadlift is not a squat. Squats will work your legs, specifically your front quadriceps. The deadlift is primarily a push floor, drive hips, pulling move, which targets your back muscles.
All of your back muscles. As a result, you build a stronger back and can prevent back pain.
Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain in adults in the United States.¹ Therefore, use the deadlift to strengthen your back, not to injure your back.
So, you must deadlift with the best form possible. Keep your back straight and neutral when you deadlift. Never perform a deadlift with a rounded spine.
1. Erector spinae muscles
The Erector Spinae muscle consists of three columns of muscles:
- Longissimus, and
Each muscle column runs parallel on the outer sides of the vertebra. They extend from the lower back of the skull down to the Pelvis.
‘The Erector Spinae provides resistance that assists in bending forward at the waist. Also, they act as powerful extensors to promote the return of the back to the erect position.' Source Credit: Learn your erector spinae muscles
These are powerful muscles, which help you to bend forward as well as return to a standing position. The spinal erectors run down your back, from the base of your skull to the lower vertebrae. When you deadlift, you are working your entire posterior chain, from your hips and knees up to your head.
Warning: You must maintain a neutral back, a flat back, throughout the deadlift. From when you lower your hips to grip the barbell through your deadlift and return to the floor.
2. Latissimus dorsi muscles
Besides the erector spinae muscles, the deadlift also works your latissimus dorsi muscles. Having strong lats helps to give you the coveted V shape in your back.
3. Arm muscles
The deadlifts muscles trained in the arm region include many of the muscles in your arms. For example your, flexor digitorum profundus (forearms), and finger flexors (grip).
Strengthen your grip
The deadlift will tax your grip muscles like no other weight training exercise. As the deadlift weight increases, your grip strength will increase as well. There are two basic ways to grip for the conventional barbell deadlift:
- The pronated or overhand grip where both palms are facing you.
- The alternating grip where one hand is overhand and the other is underhand.
As your deadlift weight increases, you will likely begin to use the alternating grip. The change in grip is necessary to prevent unwanted rotation of the barbell. However, you need to be careful not to injure your biceps when using the underhand grip. The best way to avoid injury to your biceps is to keep your elbows locked and arms straight.
Never, ever try to pull the bar up using your arms alone.
The deadlift starts with:
- hip hinge
- bending your knees
- hips still higher than your knees (the deadlift is not a squat)
- keep a neutral back by lifting your chest
- hip width grip
- leg press off the floor
- bar close to your shins (which is why you need adequate shin protection)
- hip extension and drive when the barbell reaches your knees
- Final pull by your entire back muscle groups.
4. Shoulder muscles
The deadlift also targets the medial deltoid of your shoulders. You develop stronger shoulder muscles as you continue to deadlift. You pull your shoulders back and work your trapezius muscles in the completion phase of the deadlift. World record dead lifters usually have tremendous trapezius and shoulder development.
5. Deadlift muscle groups used include your abdominal core
The deadlift activates almost every muscle in your body, including your abdominal muscles, as well.
According to Jody Braverman, a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Writer – ‘During a deadlift, the rectus abdominis and the obliques are both hard at work. The rectus abdominis is a pair of long muscles that extend the length of the torso. The obliques extend along either side of the torso.'
Therefore, you stabilize your spine in the deadlift with your abdominal muscles.
How the deadlift benefits muscles in your lower body
6. The glutes
There are about 640 muscles in the body.²
The most massive muscle in your body is the gluteus maximus. The biggest of the three gluteal muscles, also known as the buttocks.
The deadlift is an excellent exercise to train your hamstrings and glutes.
Consequently, keep deadlifting, and you will look a lot better in pants.
7. Leg muscles
The muscle groups targeted in the legs include your quadriceps on the front of your thigh. As well as your hamstrings on the back.
While the hamstrings only act as stabilizers during the deadlift, the quadriceps are the primary muscles; the deadlift works in the legs.
In summary, the deadlift works all the major muscle groups of your body.