The Deadlift

Brief Overview

The deadlift is an olympic style lift that recruits a greater number of muscle fibres than any other conventional lift used in most bodybuilder routines. To do the dead lift it requires the powerful contraction of the large lower body muscles, as well as the use of the lower back and traps. It is also a great exercise at developing powerful grip strength. 

The deadlift is a very functional exercise that will help make everyday life easier, and reduce your risk of chronic injuries such as lower back pain. 


The deadlift is an exercise where the bar lis loaded with weights and rests on the ground in front of the weightlifter. The weightlifter attempts to move from a squatted position to a standing position while holding the bar in their hands, see above picture for visual representation. 

Muscles Worked

The deadlift is used extensively by bodybuilders and power lifters alike because it is extremely useful at developing many major muscle groups. The deadlift trains the large lower body  glutes, the quads, the hamstrings, as well as upper body muscles like the shoulders, lower back, and upper back. 

Getting Set Up

Foot Position

The standard starting position for the deadlift is to stand so that your center of mass is positioned directly in the middle of the bar. Position yourself so that the bar is directly over top of your feet, with the bar touching, or nearly touching, your shins. 

Gripping the Bar

The Reverse Grip

There are two different grips that can be used when doing the deadlift. The more popular grip that is used is a grip that involves and overhand grip with one hand, while using and underhand grip with the other hand. This grip is called the reverse grip. 


Overhand Grip

Another popular grip used is the double overhand grip, where both hands grasps the bar with an overhand grip. The following picture shows the generic overhand grip.


The Lift

Stand in the starting position as described earlier with your selected hand position. Forcefully extend your knees, hips, and lower back while holding the bar in your hands. Attempt to raise the bar directly upwards off the ground while keeping your back solid and as straight as possible. Ensure to keep your abs tense throughout the movement to help keep your torso straight and reduce forward bend in your back.

Once you reach the standing position, slowly lower the bar straight down to the ground without bending your back forward. This cycle is one repetition.

Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.