Deadlifts Lower back exercise - The Ultimate Muscle Building Exercise

Why are deadlifts the most powerful back exercise?

Deadlifts is the undisputed King of all exercises. This power Exercise involves almost all muscles and is sure to give you an amazing Muscle Building  & weight training workout.

Purpose -- To Build a a strong muscular Lower back.

If you want to do one exercise to work your whole body including Lower back, upper back, triceps, legs and buttocks then it should be heavy Deadlifts. Its the King of all exercises, a power exercise designed to build overall physique which uses more muscles than any other exercise. A Total Body Exercise worth doing every week.

Build your Posterior Chain for maximus strength and muscle

Deadlifts is the best exercise for posterior chain muscle strengthening.

This chain includes erector spinae, glutes and hamstrings. It is also the biggest Muscle Builder [ other than squats ] recruiting more muscle motor units than any other exercise. And lower back is the most important muscle of your body and for good reason - Stability.

And since Deadlifts is a closed chain exercise the chances of injury are negligible. Way to go deadlifts but performed incorrectly, deadlifts can cause more harm than good. Follow the steps and points to remember section to stay injury free.

P.S. - Deadlifts is not for the beginners or light-hearted ones. Give at least 4 weeks of some training to get in to deadlifts. Try using a broomstick or empty barbell initially to learn the correct execution technique as described below.

Deadlifts Start Position

Deadlifts Midpoint Position

Execution Technique.

This exercise can be performed using either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. You can go real heavy on this exercise.

Grips - This exercise can be performed using shoulder-width apart grip. One hand in overhand grip and the other hand underhand. In dumbbell deadlifts, the dumbbells can be held on the sides.

Warm Up and get prepared

A good warm up is essential to prepare your muscles for the oncoming onslaught. Remember deadlifts are very taxing on your entire body, arguably more than any other exercise.


1. Place a barbell loaded with weights in front of you.

2. Now grab the barbell using an underhand grip with one hand and overhand grip with the other hand. Remember to keep your back as straight as possible and contract your back and hamstrings.

3. Now raise the bar from the ground using your hamstrings and glutes.. You should keep your legs slightly bent, back straight and head looking up. The initial movement is to be provided by your heels and not toes or elbows.

4. Raise it o the point where your body is erect. Do not hyper extend your body as the weight shifts to the lumbar spine. Hold the bar for a moment at the top of the lift and remember to lock out. Complete the lift and do not go only half way through.

5. Now lower the bar slowly at a steady slow pace by bending at the hips first and then at the knees and let the weight touch the ground for a moment before you begin the next rep.

Perform 3-5 sets of heavy deadlifts only once a week. Lower back muscles take long to recuperate and hence once a week heavy Deadlifts will do the job.

Points to remember

  • Exhale while you exert.{ While moving up here }
  • Go full range of motion and keep form correct.
  • Avoid jerky movements and do not let gravity hasten the lowering motion. Keep it controlled.
  • Keep the back straight at all costs. Rounding your back will shift the load from glutes and hamstrings to lower back muscles and ligaments which is not desirable due to potential injury risks. If you keep your back rounded instead of straight you risk inter-vertebral disc injury.

Safety and Efficiency Tips

1. Place the bar as close to your legs as possible. Bar placed too far away can result in lumbar disk {spine} problems.

2. Maintain a natural arch in the back as you lift.

3. Avoid rounding your back as it can cause spine problems.

4. Pull with your hips and knees first and not your back or shoulders. Back comes into picture after initial lift only.

5. Do not over-bend {hyper-extend} at the top of the deadlift move. It can result in lumbar spine problems.

Variation of Deadlifts

Sumo Deadlifts

An excellent variation is the narrow grip, wide stance sumo deadlift.

In this version you stand with your feet about 2 feet apart and point your toes at an angle.

perform the deadlift with a narrow grip and palms facing you. Check Proper Sumo deadlifts technique here.

Stiff Leg Deadlifts

A Variation of regular is Stiff Leg Deadlifts which targets Hamstrings and lower back muscles.

In this version you stand with your knees only slightly bent, resembling very close to straight legs unlike the deeper bend at your knees in regular deadlifts.

They have been shown to improve flexibility in hamstrings and additionally work the core muscles. But it is an advanced exercise, especially if done from elevated platform.

Are deadlifts dangerous?

Properly done deadlifts are not dangerous. Avoid rounding your back, keep neck in line with spine and start the movement with knees and hips and everything will work effectively and safely.

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