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The Deadlift is a weightlifting exercise where you lift a loaded barbell off the ground from a stabilized bent-over position. The deadlift works virtually every muscle, with emphasis on the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and most muscles in the back.

Dead Lift - Start position
Start Position
Dead Lift - Mid position
Mid Position
Dead Lift - End position
End Position

The checklist is adapted from Pauletto (1991)[1].

  • Place a barbell in front of you on the ground
  • Place your feet flat on the floor with the bar touching your shins
  • Grab the barbell with a little wider than shoulder width grip
  • Hands placed outside the legs
  • Reverse grip, thumbs around the bar
  • Arms straight, elbows slightly touching the legs
  • Take a deep breath at the start of the movement
  • Head up, chest up and out
  • Looking straight ahead or slightly up
  • Back straight, shoulders back
  • Hips low, below the shoulders
  • Thighs parallel to the floor
  • Exhale as you complete the movement
  • Bar lifted slowly
  • Pulling is done by extending legs and hips - push feet into the floor
  • Arms remain straight
  • Back remains straight
  • Bar kept close to the body
  • Even pull to the top
  • Momentary stop at the top
  • Hold your breath as you lower the bar
  • Lower weight slowly by pushing the hips back
  • The Bar is placed on the floor

Deadlift Exercises

Paul Vandyken, in his article "5 valuable types of powerful deadlift exercises", provides an overview of the different types of deadlift exercises you could add to your training program.


  1. PAULETTO, B. (1991) Strength Training for Coaches. USA; Human Kinetics.

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • MCGUIGAN, M. R. and WILSON, B. D. (1996) Biomechanical analysis of the deadlift. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 10 (4), p. 250-255
  • LESUER, D. A. et al. (1997) The accuracy of prediction equations for estimating 1-RM performance in the bench press, squat, and deadlift. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 11 (4), p. 211-213
  • PIPER, T. J. and WALLER, M. A. (2001) Variations of the deadlift. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 23 (3), p. 66

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2005) Deadlift [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: