Strength & Conditioning
Leave a Comment

Which muscles does the deadlift work out?

This article is written by our guest author, Future Fit Training. 

There are three main deadlift variations; The Trap Bar/Hex Bar Deadlift, The Sumo Deadlift, and The Conventional Deadlift. Each of them focuses on a different muscle strength so it’s important as a Personal Trainer you understand the different variations, what muscles they work out and how to teach them with the correct form. For a more in-depth view discover Future Fit’s training courses here: Fitness & Nutrition Courses | Take your Hobby to the Next Level | Future Fit

When working with the deadlift it’s important to understand the different muscles that each individual variation works out. The hip-dominant exercise targets the glutes, hamstrings, core, back, and trapezius muscles. Deadlifts are a good exercise to include in a fitness plan for your clients since they work so many different muscle groups all at once.

Glutes: To ensure you get a solid lockout, your glutes should be operating at their maximum capacity as soon as the barbell passes your knees.

Hamstrings: They’ll be doing a lot of the heavy lifting as one of your main drivers for the deadlift.  Your hamstrings should be visibly tense as you get ready for your deadlift.

Core and back: The core and back muscles are the primary deadlift muscles.  They assist you in the deadlift by helping to maintain a flat back and preventing you from rounding your back. Your lower back muscles also help with the deadlift, reinforcing  by supporting your posture by supporting your back and torso.

1. The Trap Bar/Hex Bar Deadlift

With this variation, there are fewer mobility requirements, making it ideal for beginners. The quadriceps are given more attention because the weight is distributed at your sides rather than in front of you.  A Trap Bar/Hex Bar Deadlift is frequently referred to as a DeadSquat because it resembles a squat.

2. The Sumo Deadlift

In terms of leverage, many people prefer this variant. Quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings are worked during sumo deadlifts. The majority of individuals find this activity difficult initially since it requires flexibility.

3. The Conventional Deadlift

When performed correctly, conventional deadlifts strain hip mobility the most and have the largest effect on the glutes and hamstrings. The greatest impact of shear stress on the spine will be generated by this movement, though, particularly if your hamstrings are weak.

How to Perform The Deadlift

  1. Stand behind the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be almost in contact with the bar.
  2. Keep your chest elevated and sink back into your hips slightly while retaining a straight back. Bend forward and grip the barbell. Maintain an overhand grip with both hands facing down or with one palm facing up and the other facing down.
  3. Press your feet firmly into the ground while holding the bar, and bring your hips back.
  4. Push your hips forward into a standing position while maintaining a flat back. Standing straight, with your shoulders back and your knees almost locked out, is the final position. Straight arms should be used to hold the bar at a height just below the hips.
  5. Return to the beginning position by keeping the back straight, pushing your hips back, bending the knees, and crouching down until the bar is on the ground.
  6. Repeat the exercise.

This blog post was authored by Future Fit Training – a leading training provider, offering courses in nutrition, personal training and much more.

Header photo by Niragire Tresor

This entry was posted in: Strength & Conditioning


Human Kinetics is the world's leading information provider on physical activity and health. This blog is operated by the European division of Human Kinetics, based in Leeds in the United Kingdom. In this blog we aim to bring you our latest products, news on our existing products and articles and information on health, exercise, fitness, PE, nutrition and much, much more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.