Exercise of the month- Deadlift

Primary Movers: Focuses on the Posterior Chain (Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus and Erector Spinae)


  • Place feet shoulder width apart.
  • Maintain a straight back (shoulders back, chest up, no rounding of the spine, brace the abdomen).
  • Squat down to the bar and place hands just outside of leg width.
  • The chest should be at a 45 degree angle to the floor at the beginning part of the movement.
  • Push through the Quadriceps (thighs) and Gluteus Maximus (buttocks) when lifting the weight off the floor.
  • Ensure that the focus of the movement is coming from the folding and unfolding of the hip, knee and ankle joints.
  • Ensure the bar is millimetres away from shins. Remember to keep the bar skimming the body throughout the exercise.
  • Allow the weight to touch the floor after each repetition.


  • Keep the arms straight throughout the movement.
  • Keep the heels down throughout.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together throughout the movement to prevent rounding the back.                                                                 

To avoid injury:

  • Push through the floor using the legs rather than pulling the weight off the floor with the back.
  • Warm up performing Deadlifts with light weight and increase until you reach the weight you are hoping to achieve. This will warm up the relevant muscles especially the back, which is crucial for this exercise.

Why you should include Deadlifts in your workout:

Deadlifts are classed as a staple exercise. This means they are fundamental and should be performed as part of the foundation of any resistance based exercise routine. They are a compound exercise which means they work multiple muscles at once.  This reduces the amount of time training as performing a range of exercises to target individual muscles can be time consuming. Deadlifts are a functional exercise as they mimic movements performed in everyday situations.

Adaptations when Deadlifting:

  • Number of repetition depending on strength goal:
Goal Repetitions Sets Rest Period
Strength 1-6 5 – 8 2 ½- 5 minutes
Strength and Size 8-12 3 60-90 seconds
Endurance 12 and above 2 – 3 30 seconds


  • Tempo of repetitions:

The speed which you perform you repetitions can also make a difference to the overall outcome. Generally performing repetitions at a slow and controlled pace applies greater force within the muscle which overtime can lead to greater muscular gains.


  • Varying your style of sets:
  • Supersets – performing different variations (dumbbell, barbell, resistance band) of Military Press during rest periods.
  • Pyramid Sets – Increasing or decreasing the weight with each consecutive set, ensuring rest is taken between.
  • Strip Sets – Continually reducing the weight loaded when exhaustion is reached. Unlike Pyramid Sets, there are no rest periods.

Health Benefits of performing Deadlifts:

  • Increases back, core and overall strength.
  • Excellent for increasing lean muscle mass and fat metabolism.
  • Know to be an excellent assistance exercise for an array of sports.
  • Increases functional strength for everyday and sporting movements.



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