A foundational strength exercise to improve movement of the posterior chain; hamstrings, gluteal region, erectors, and lats.


With your feet hip width apart, toes forward, and mid-foot aligned under the barbell (bar about 1 inch away from shins), stand firmly into the floor. Before descending to the barbell, drop your shoulderblades down the back, tucking them into your back pockets to create back tension. Contract the glutes and core, harnessing tension.

When ready, straighten your arms and lower back, and drive your hips down and back behind you, keeping the knees slightly bent. Grab the bar slightly wider than hip width, aligning your shoulders slightly in front or above the barbell, NEVER behind.

Pull the slack out of the bar by contracting the legs and arms. Grip the bar hard, PUSH your feet through the floor, and PULL the bar vertically up the shins. Once the bar passes the knees, pull the bar into the hips and drive through the heels.

Stand tall with ankles, knees, hips, ribs, shoulders, and ears in perfect alignment, and descend in the same path. Reset and repeat.


The deadlift and it's direct variations are the primary sources of posterior chain strengthening. Improvements in posterior chain strength will result in greater hip health, lower back strengthening, athletic performance, and direct carry over to more advanced training exercises.

Additionally, the ability to load the muscle, bones, and bodily structures with high amounts of external loading will result in greater muscular development, neuromuscular firing, overall strength and power, and athletic potential.


The deadlift can be used to develop maximal strength and muscular hypertrophy. Typically, repetitions in the 2-5 range using loads of 75-89%  of maximum have been shown to increase strength over time. Higher repetitions of 6-10, and even 15-20 have been shown to increase muscular hypertrophy (size) and endurance. Ideally, to develop maximal strength, repetitions should be done from a static starting position every rep. Controlled tap and go style deadlifts can be used to maintain muscular tension which has been shown to increase muscular hypertrophy and endurance.

See Also