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Deadlifts: The King of Exercises

deadlift, deadlifts, deadlifting, how to deadlift, benefits of deadlifts

Image: Robertson Training

In the weight-lifting realm deadlifts reign king.

With the exception of squats, deadlifts are far and away the best all-around exercise that exists. They build an all-around powerful, muscular, shredded physique faster than any other exercise can. It’s essentially cheating the weight-lifting system.

If you’re a woman — don’t fret, deadlifts are equally beneficial. They absolutely SHRED body fat, and in terms of building muscle, they’ll put it in all of your favorite places — the butt, legs, and back.

Here’s the full 101 on the benefits of deadlifting, how to deadlift the RIGHT way, and a few different flavors of deadlifts to infuse a little variety into your training routine.


The Many Benefits of Deadlifting

deadlift, deadlifts, deadlifting, how to deadlift, benefits of deadlifts

  1. Deadlifts burn a ton of calories and absolutely blast body fat
  2. Deadlifts build massive forearm and grip strength
  3. Deadlifts improve posture
  4. Deadlifts build total body strength
  5. Deadlifts work many muscle groups in one simple movement: the calves, quads, hamstrings, butt, arms, core, lower/middle/upper back, traps, and shoulders
  6. Deadlifts sculpt the entire core — obliques, upper abs, lower abs, transverse absominis (aka the inner abs, which sucks everything in tight)
  7. Deadlifts blast the hamstrings and butt. They’re one of the best exercises to do if you want a phenomenal ass
  8. Deadlifts increase the release of muscle-building hormones, such as HGH and testosterone
  9. Deadlifts are extremely safe when done with correct form. Unlike squats or the bench press, you don’t risk being pinned under a heavy weight. If your forearms or back give out you can bail and drop the weight safely
  10. Deadlifts prevent injury. They strengthen the back and prevent lower back pain
  11. Deadlifts have practical, real life application. Have you ever lifted a heavy TV or box off the floor? You’re deadlifting. Start deadlifting and impress your friends, spouse, or grandma the next time they ask for volunteers to move something heavy
  12. Deadlifts are a high-intensity cardiovascular workout. They work your heart and help raise VO2Max — your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise (it’s an indicator of your level of cardiovascular fitness).
  13. Deadlifts require very limited equipment. All you need is a barbell and some plates. Dumbbells work too

Pages: Benefits | How To Deadlift | Other Varieties

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

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  • Mark Winchester

    “NEVER, NEVER, EVER arch your back” is about as wrong as the day is long.  In fact it is imperative for maximum results that you must arch your back.  This takes a helluva lotta weight off the low back and puts it on the lower body where ir belongs.  To instruct to “never arch your back” is sheer stupidity.  Much like allowing your knees to go forward when its best to keep your lower legs as close to a 90 degree angle to the floor as possible. 
    For more real info read Pavel Tsatsouline’s POWER TO THE PEOPLE.  < Easily one of the if not THE best strength training book ever written.

    • Please don’t spread misinformation — arching your back places a TON of stress on the center/upper-portion of the spine, NOT the lower body.
      This is horrible form and is one of the primary reasons why people get hurt when they deadlift for the first time.

  • riskdiver

    it will help to those people don’t know how to do it properly

  • Kaitlin

    Is it a bad idea to squat and deadlift on the same day or is it best to do both on a leg day?

    • Nope, not at all – it’s a really intense, smart way to hit your legs and back in the same workout.

      My suggestion would be to combine squats and deadlifts with other back and leg exercises in the same workout, and then give yourself a day or two off before repeating it.

      And of course make sure that you eat pre-workout and drink a lot of water, you’ll be sweating!

  • Oscar Arroya

    Deadlifts are one exercise I love along with the squat for the sheer benefits as you mentioned! But one main thing that needs to be taken in consideration is proper form is a must on this exercise.

  • Leigh

    I want to start doing deadlifts and I will need to use dumbbells because I don’t have a barbell. I think I am confused about this exercise because the dumbbell deadlift looks like a squat with weights to me, which I already do. What is the difference?

  • Bombshell Babe

    Hello! I’m new to weightlifting but absolutely loooove it! I’ve been working with an amazing personal trainer who has introduced me to deadlifts and snatches and I must say, I HAVE FOUND MY TRUE LOVE 🙂
    Are there any certain weightlifting barbells you would recommend for a petite girl? I’m 4’11, 105 lbs. I’m looking to invest in getting a good barbell.
    Thank you in advance!

  • Smail

    It looks like he’s going down way too low on that pic, almost like a squat. Google deadlift technique and most will look a lot different with way less bent knees and back more parallell to the floor. What is correct?

    • You’re basically starting from a modified squat position at the bottom of each rep. Not quite that low (I’m guessing that’s set-up/mobility), but it’ll look similar with the hips slightly higher.

  • Connor Berry

    Important for deadlifters with bad knees– when you start in the lift position (all the way down, weight grounded) make sure your knees aren’t protruding out/over your toes. Causes un needed stress in the ligaments. So in otherwards; stick your butt out further.

  • Felix

    Just a correction… Deadlifting will not improve your cardiovascular fitness.

    • Claude Hopper

      not true. I do my deadlifts in sets of 12 reps @ 260lbs for 5 sets. At the end of the 12 reps you will be sucking for air.

    • Kent Blanket

      Depends on whether you lift heavy for a few or light for many. The latter will improve it more.

  • vish

    hi there how many times a week can we do deadlift. i want to loose my stubborn fat on my belly and waist.

    • There’s no hard limit if you’re training smart and programming for it, but for most people I’d say keep it at 2x per week (take a few days rest in between)

  • Deepweb

    Great blog post ! Incidentally , if your company is wanting a TX VS-165 , my wife filled out a blank document here

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