Your  Complete Guide To Deadlift

The deadlift is among the best compound exercises. It is even regarded as the only exercise you need to do to build overall endurance and strength. 

Deadlift’s beauty lies in how it targets its main group of muscles, then engages many more muscles to support the completion of the movement. Incorporating it in your daily workout regime is easy asnd it gives you a chance to progress by increasing the weights.

Why Should You Perform Deadlift?

  • Build muscles: As deadlifts are a type of compound exercises, it is really good to build muscles
  • Minimum equipments: A deadlift exercise needs only need a few equipments and not a full                                gym setting
  • Functional: Deadlifts make your daily life easier by saving you from injuries
  • Stronger grip: Lifting something heavy needs a hell lot of grip strength and deadlifts helps you increase grip strength.
  • Work hip flexors: Hip flexors are hard to target but this muscle group is essential for your power.

What Muscles Do Deadlifts Target?

While doing deadlifts, if you closely watch which muscles you’re working, you’ll get a better understanding of its benefits. Moreover, you’ll also understand how engaging specific muscles helps you do deadlifts better. 

Deadlifts are known to offer all-round impacts. So, don’t be surprised when we say deadlifts targets muscles from all over your body. 

Upper body muscles

  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Deltoid
  • Obliques
  • Rhomboid major
  • Levator scapulae
  • Abdominals

Lower body muscles

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Biceps Femoris
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

Grip Variations

There are so many ways to grip the bar during deadlifts. Which one to choose depends on what suits you the best. 

  • The double overhead grip: Most common and safest technique to grip. Here, your hands have to be on the top of the bar but your thumbs have to be below the bar. 
  • The mixed grip: Here, your one hand grips from over the bar and the other from below the bar. This variation is used when the strength of your grip is a limiting factor in lifting. How, you need to shift your hands often. 
  • The hook grip: Here, you keep your thumb below the bar while wrapping your fingers circling it. It doesn’t let the bar slip. It is an uncomfortable position so you need a lot of practice to master it.

What is the Correct Way to do a Deadlift: The Conventional  Deadlift

1. Stand keeping your feet hip-distance apart. Your feet should point outwards and keep them  under the barbell.

2. Bend your knees and push your hips backwards. Plant your hands on the bar, keeping them shoulder-distance apart. The bar has to be away from your knees.

3. Take a deep breath, pull your shoulders back. Maintain a neutral position by using your back and core muscles. Make sure your arms are straight through the entire move. 

4. Squeeze your quads, hamstrings and butt to straighten your legs, planting your feet firmly in the ground and pushing your knees in the outward direction. When your bar is at par with your knees, stretch your upper body while straightening your legs till you are straight.

5. Be in this position for a few seconds, chest upright and don’t curl your back then lower the bar

Conventional deadlift is the most commonly done variation. You can make it more challenging with time and it engages your whole body.

Mastering this one allows you to go for other variations. Moreover, it also improves your motor skills so you can do other exercises safely and comfortably.

Deadlift Variations

1. Romanian Deadlift

It is almost like the conventional deadlift but this one engages your lower-back less and hamstrings and glutes more. There is less range of motion and not placing the bar on the ground is acceptable. The focus is on hamstrings as all the stress is placed there.

2. The Single Leg RDL

RDL is a Romanian Deadlift. The above given variation and this one has the same aim. The only difference is that RDL works your legs one by one. So, you do this with a kettlebell or a dumbbell rather than a barbell. It recruits your core muscles largely as much more balance is needed for this.

3. Sumo Deadlift

When it comes to exercises, sumo is associated with wider posture. Here, you place feet more than shoulder-width apart. It activates your traps located at the back of your shoulders, leg muscles and glutes. Less focus is on your back muscles such as erector spinae.

4. Hex Bar Deadlift

You can even call it a trap bar deadlift. The name is based on what you call the bar you’re using. This bar is hexagonal in shape. Lift the bar by its handles by stepping inside the bar first. It distributes the weight evenly, making it perfect to help you learn the deadlift properly.

5. Snatch Grip Deadlift

Here, you keep more distance between your hands compared to the conventional deadlift. There is an increase in your range of motion with this one. So, your traps and back have to really work hard.