At first glance, it doesn’t look like a super complicated move, but deadlifts use nearly every muscle group in the body. It’s a hip-dominant exercise, so it’s great for targeting your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. But it also works the quads, abdominals, upper back, arms, forearms, and shoulders.
By strengthening so many muscle groups, deadlifts also help prevent injury in the knees, hips, ankles, and lower back. They’re also a great all round core move, engaging more than just your abs; deadlifts engage your lower back and the supporting muscles around the waist and hips responsible for correct posture.
When an exercise works that many muscles, it’s not just a great calorie burner, it boosts production of beneficial hormones that make it easier for the body to lose fat and build muscle.
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointing straight ahead or slightly outward. The balls of the feet should line up under the bar.
Keeping the bar close to the body, straighten your legs and drive through the heels to bring the weight up past the knees. Keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement.
Once the bar is past the knees and the arms are straight, gently rest it against your thighs and maintain a straight back, without rolling shoulders back.
Maintaining a straight back, slowly hinge forward at the hips (allow knees to bend a little at the same time) and lower the bar back to the ground. That’s rep one.