Deadlift Muscles Worked Guide

Even if you don’t execute deadlifts frequently (or at all), include them in your weekly workout can have some significant advantages. Deadlifts primarily target several muscle groups at once, which helps you get stronger and more fit in a shorter amount of time—and who doesn’t want that?

Additionally a functional exercise, deadlifts build the muscles you need to carry out daily actions like bending over to pick up groceries or picking your children up off the ground.

Here’s a closer look at the muscles that deadlifts target, how to do them properly, and how to include them into your monthly workout schedule.

What Muscles Are Worked by Deadlifts?

Deadlift muscles worked include:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • knee flexors
  • Legs and lower back
  • shoulders and upper back
  • Quads
  • Core

Deadlifts work all the muscles in the body when done properly. The deadlift is a fantastic strength-building exercise that can be incorporated into almost any training plan since it works almost every muscle group in the body as your upper body maintains the weight while your lower body raises it.

Tips for Performing a Deadlift Correctly

Although deadlifts might be difficult to master, it’s critical that they are performed with the appropriate form. In this manner, you can maximize the move while avoiding harm. If you are uncertain whether you are completing them correctly, ask a trainer or fitness expert to observe.

Think about the following advice:

  • Maintaining a modest bend in the knees helps to prevent damage.
  • Maintain a tight core and a flat, straight back; your torso should be practically parallel to the ground.
  • As you lift the bar or weights, try not to arch your back: Throughout the entire action, try to maintain a tight grip on the bar or weights.
  • Every time you stand up, squeeze your glutes (booty).
  • Don’t immediately drop the weights after you’ve reached the peak; keep your attention on controlling the weight throughout the entire exercise. Releasing them back to the ground gradually while maintaining muscle tension.

Including Deadlifts in Your Weekly Exercise Program

Buskirk advises beginners to start out slowly when performing deadlifts. She advises including them into two of your weekly exercises. Start by performing 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. You can raise the weight and/or perform the move up to three times each week once you’ve mastered it. But always allow your body enough time to rest in between strength training sessions.

Deadlift Variations to Try

Variations of the deadlift slightly target different muscle groups. It’s crucial to frequently switch up your workouts to keep your muscles challenged and prevent reaching a plateau. Consider incorporating these into your strength workout and changing it up frequently.

Deadlift Sumo

With this variation, you can control the weight throughout the entire movement and it is suitable for beginners.

Your feet should be pointed outward and slightly broader than they would be for a regular deadlift.

As you grab the bar, keep your back straight. Remember to keep your hands on the inner of your legs the entire time you are performing the exercise.

To establish full-body tension, tense your glutes, legs, back, core, and back.

Pull the bar just a little bit, then drive your legs into the floor.

Taking a breath, raise your body by using your legs.

Don’t let your chest drop forward; keep it back. For at least two seconds, keep applying pressure with your heels while contracting your glutes.

Return to the ground slowly while retaining control and using your muscles.

Greek Deadlift (Use barbell or dumbbells)

Place your feet hip-width apart as you stand.

Keep your spine straight and your chest raised while sinking back into your heels and glutes at the hips.

Use a grip that feels comfortable for you to hold the bar or the dumbbells.

As you lift the weight off the ground, plant your feet firmly on the ground, straighten your legs, and lift your chest.

Consider moving your hips and knees forward as you stand up. Keep your shoulders loose and away from your ears while maintaining a tall, straight spine.

As you begin to lower the weight back toward the floor, push your hips back. Keep a slight bend in your knees.

Reaching the weight back to the floor should just cause it to brush your shins. Maintain spinal alignment while performing the necessary number of repetitions. As you descend, try not to relinquish the weight.

Deadlifts should be a part of your training arsenal if you’re trying to develop a strong and large back. The deadlift is an excellent exercise for strength and hypertrophy since it can be loaded heavier than other back exercises.

If you’re short on time, the deadlift is a wonderful choice because it uses so many muscles. Let’s say your workout time is only 20 minutes. Set a timer for 12 minutes, quickly warm up, load a barbell with a moderate weight, and perform six repetitions at the end of each minute. Repeat at the start of the following minute after taking a moment to rest. Before you know it, you’ve completed 72 repetitions that worked your glutes, core, hamstrings, and back.

Enhanced maximum strength

The deadlift is a reliable measure of raw power. Although there are many other excellent ways to measure strength and power, the deadlift is seen to be a reliable indicator of genuine strength, therefore creating a big deadlift can help you gain a lot of strength.

Typical Deadlift Errors to Avoid

Here are three of the most frequent errors made when performing the deadlift, which, if you’re not careful, could result in loss of positional strength, failed lifts, and even injury.

Mediocre bar path

“Bar route,” as the name suggests, refers to the path taken by the barbell from beginning to end. The bar should ideally continue to move in a straight line. A straighter bar path requires less travel time for the bar, making it simpler to pick up. Second, a barbell that protrudes outward might cause alignment issues in your body, which could result in a failed lift or, in severe situations, damage.

To correct the poor bar path, place a foam roller six to eight inches before the barbell and perform practice reps without touching or knocking the roller over. If it tips over, take a side-on video of yourself and examine where the barbell might be shooting.

Failure to remove the slack from the bar

Before beginning any movement, tension should be established between the body, the barbell, and the floor by pulling the slack out of the bar. By creating tension, this makes sure that you are bracing properly and positioning yourself for mechanical success. Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself or not moving the weight by pulling the barbell with poor form. Both are bad.

To solve this problem, gradually increase the tension in the barbell prior to liftoff and hold the position for a full second before lifting. Before really transferring the weight, actively experience the strain and how it feels to create it. Consider the cues given, then reiterate them after each rep.

Your Hips Rise Too Quickly

If your hips immediately rise when you begin the movement, you may be losing strength from poor mechanical positioning or your quadriceps may not be strong enough to start the exercise properly.

Assuming the rest of your form is alright, then one position will normally feel best, and that’s what you’ll end up going and testing further with.

If you feel your legs are underpowered, you can execute deadlifts from a deficit to emphasize leg engagement at the start of the movement.


With this handy guide you should know which deadlift muscles worked and which didn’t so we hope you enjoy your next deadlifting session and can feel those gains.