Why Everyone Should Deadlift

What is a Deadlift?

A deadlift is a compound exercise where a person will lift a barbell, accompanied with weights, off the ground, while gripped with his or her hands. Of course, this is just a quick explanation of the lift, so please do not try to perform this lift simply based on this description.

proper deadlift form

Proper Deadlift Form

What muscle groups does a Deadlift work out?

A short answer to this would be, what muscle groups don’t a Deadlift work out. But for the sake of being thorough, a deadlift is known as a compound exercise, an exercise that utilizes more than one joint and more than one muscle group. In the case of the deadlift, it is an exercise that utilizes a large variety of muscle groups including your

  • Core
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Forearms
  • Lower Back
  • Mid and Upper Traps
  • Calves
  • Biceps
  • Quads
  • Lats
  • Stabilizer Muscles
    deadlift muscles worked

Deadlift Muscles Worked

The deadlift is an incredible exercise in that you’re lifting an enormous amount of weight with, what appears to be, just your arms. However, in reality, the deadlift is using a large variety of muscles, the combination of all of these muscles results in being able to build incredible amounts of strength from just one exercise.

So, why should I Deadlift?

  1. An Objectively Great Workout 

The Deadlift is a fantastic workout for any person, male or female, old or young. As stated earlier, it both works out a large number of muscle groups and is also a fantastic cardiovascular exercise. As you will learn if you decide to start Deadlifting or are already a member of the Deadlift club, Deadlifting can and will leave you winded. Whether you are working to get in a large amount of repetitions or simply going for that one rep max, the Deadlift will leave you sidelined for at least a minute or two. The compound movement coupled with the cardiovascular aspect of the Deadlift provide a fat-burning, lean muscle-building workout that is unparalleled, except to maybe that of the back squat.

  1. Grip Strength

Deadlifts are one of the few exercises where an immense amount of weight is focused onto the forearms, with the exception of forearm-specific workouts. So, an added benefit to deadlifts is the rare opportunity to really work your forearms with the rest of your body (Something the back squat does not offer).

  1. Safeguard Your Body 

Deadlifts will strengthen your stabilizer muscles, some of you may have read those words earlier and been confused as to what exactly are stabilizer muscles. Stabilizer muscles are supplementary muscle groups that work to support your joints and primary muscle groups. It is often difficult to find a workout that specifically targets stabilizer muscles; however, experts say that stabilizer muscles are the key to success in exercise execution. So, without strong stabilizer muscles, you won’t have a proper lift. Strengthening your stabilizer muscles will also decrease your chance of injury, as well as help to create a more aesthetically balanced muscle physique. In short, Deadlifts will help all your lifts!

  1. Real Application

Deadlifting has a real world functionality, as we are often caught bending down or over to pick up objects both small and large. The benefits of Deadlifting come in when you are able to lift larger objects without concern of injuring your own back. Secondly, Deadlift will help those ageing, where the back becomes especially weakened simply due to wear and tear or possibly the hundreds of hours spent in an office chair.

  1. Feel Like a King (or Queen)

Not everyone can easily build a massive chest, arms or legs. However, chances are that if you commit yourself to Deadlifting, you will soon be lifting far more than your own body weight. The goal of most people working out in the gym is to be healthy and look good. With the deadlift, you get both of these results, in and outside of the gym, as you’re lifting and throwing down that 315 pound bar. There’s just a sensation of confidence and adrenaline-rush that comes with being able to lift such a massive weight, a feeling of absolute power that few, if any, other lifts can mirror.

If you’re still on the fence with Deadlifts, I recommend that you go out to your local gym and try it out, at least for a few weeks. However, one of the most critical pieces of advice with Deadlifting is to ensure that you’ve got your form perfect before you engage in any incredulous weights. Improper Deadlift form can lead to serious damage to the back, as well as other parts of your body. Just remember to start low, get it right, and work your way up.

Good luck and happy lifting!

Austin Hong was raised in Los Angeles, California before attending Boston College, where he studies Finance. He is currently working for a legal management consulting firm in the Beacon Hill area of Boston, MA.