Today we’re looking at several awesome benefits of deadlifts (by the way, you might want to review our latest best trap bars guide to help you deadlift more).
Although many gym bros like to use the bench press as the measuring stick for strength.
True lifters will know that when it comes to raw strength and power, the deadlift is the king of the lifts.
If you watch any strongman event, any powerlifting contest, or any lifters in the gym pumping iron, you’ll see that the deadlift is a lift that is very commonly performed.
Whilst there are many impressive lifts in history, former World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall is currently the only human being that ever lived, that has deadlifted 500kgs or 1102.3 lbs.
This is by far considered to be the most impressive lift in existence.
But what are the benefits of doing deadlifts?
Is it a useful exercise or is it simply one that is performed for bragging rights?
Well, that’s what we’re going to be looking at today.
Below you’ll find a series of effective proven deadlifts benefits.
Table Of Contents
If you’re looking for an effective compound exercise, the deadlift is perhaps the most effective of all.
It is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at once.
The deadlift is a fairly simple exercise on paper, yet if you execute it with heavyweights, it really becomes testing.
Without getting too technical, you perform deadlifts by standing behind a barbell on the ground, bending your knees, keeping your head up, NOT arching your back, grasping the bar, and basically standing up by dragging the bar up off of the ground until you are able to lock it out.
The exercise works the lower back, your hamstrings, your core, and it’s fantastic for grip strength.
Now it’s time to take a look at several key benefits.
If you don’t implement deadlifts as part of your training routine, you’ll want to after reading this.
Here’s a look at several reasons why deadlifts are so effective.
One of the most useful benefits of performing deadlifts is the fact that doing so will help to greatly enhance your grip strength.
Grip strength is a hugely important, yet vastly underappreciated element of resistance training.
If your grip strength is poor, you’ll find that your lifts are poor, you’ll be at a greater risk of injury, and you won’t get as much from your training.
With a good grip, you’ll find that virtually all of your lifts improve.
When you grip the bar tight, you’ll find that it doesn’t go anywhere, which is precisely what you need.
With deadlifts, as you’re gripping the bar you’ll find that your grip strength improves exponentially the more deadlifting that you perform.
When we think of calorie-burning exercises, generally it’s the cardio-based activities that instantly spring to mind.
While these exercises are indeed great for people looking to shed those stubborn pounds, they aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to fat loss.
How do we know?
Because we know all about deadlifts.
For people looking to burn fat, deadlifts are very useful.
You see, deadlifts are a great compound exercise that recruits multiple muscle groups at once.
This takes a lot of effort which means that your body is working very hard.
The harder you work, the more calories you burn.
Trust us, after busting out a set of heavy deadlifts you’ll find that your heart rate is up, you’ll be out of breath, and you’ll soon be drenched in sweat.
If you’re looking for functional exercises, look no further than deadlifts.
A functional exercise is one that will benefit you outside of the gym.
Being able to the dumbbell curl an 80lb dumbbell with one arm, for example, may look impressive, and it may be useful for training biceps, but there aren’t many situations in the real world where that will prove useful.
Being able to deadlift a heavy barbell, however, will certainly help you because it is a practical lift that can be implemented in the real world.
Whether it’s picking up a heavy bag of groceries, or lifting rocks whilst landscaping the backyard, deadlifting will certainly help in these scenarios and many more.
Having a ‘squat booty’ may be in fashion at the moment, but it turns out that you don’t need to focus solely on squats and power clean if you want to target your glutes.
Deadlifts are a very functional exercise that does wonders for the lower body.
If you want buns of steel, be sure to perform plenty of deadlifts the next time you’re in the gym training.
The reason why the deadlift is considered to be the king of all exercises is because of the fact that it is a wonderful indicator of strength.
There are many important benefits of doing deadlifts, yet when it comes to strength, this is where it really comes into its own.
The deadlift requires heaps of core strength, upper, and lower body strength, along with grip.
If you can deadlift impressive weight, there’s a very, very good chance that you can handle heavyweights in general.
To get a gauge of just how strong an individual is, it is certainly worth looking at their max deadlift.
Want beastly traps?
If so, then everybody knows that shrugs are the only trap exercise you need to be doing, right?
Except that they’re not.
Shrugs are great don’t get us wrong, but for overall trap development, you can’t go wrong with deadlifts.
You see, with deadlifts your traps are constantly under tension the second that bar is raised a millimeter off of the floor until you lock it out and lower it again.
Deadlifting does wonders for the traps, yet many people don’t even realize their traps are benefitting.
If you want a set of traps like Brock Lesnar, make sure your deadlifting is on point.
Deadlifts are functional.
No, seriously, they’re functional AF.
Another of the great benefits that we’re going to be looking at today is the fact that deadlifts promote awesome hip mobility.
Having mobile hips means better hip thrusts, which in turn means that your other exercises will benefit.
Strong and mobile hips will carry over into impressive lunges, along with smoother cleans and snatches.
Okay, we’re fairly confident that you won’t be getting anywhere close to Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall’s world-record 500kg deadlift, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t lift some heavy ass weight.
Having a strong deadlift to many is more important and more impressive than a strong bench press.
If you’re able to deadlift 5 plates or more aside with ease, this grants you full bragging rights in the gym, and in front of your buddies.
While nobody likes a show-off, sometimes it is nice to be able to brag about achievement, and what better achievement in the gym than an impressive deadlift?
There are plenty of exercises out there for working the back, yet many lifters agree that deadlifts are one of the most effective.
Deadlifts primarily target the lower back, although the lats also benefit, and as a result, you can work on your V-taper each time you train.
A proper deadlift will engage the lats and work the other muscles in the back.
For muscle growth (Hypertrophy), development, and toning, deadlifts certainly take some beating.
When you browse deadlift clips on Instagram, more often than not you’ll see huge jacked dudes psyching themselves up and deadlifting a ridiculous amount of weight for a 1 rep max.
Training for strength with deadlifts is awesome, but that doesn’t mean that each time you deadlift you need to lift a ridiculous amount of weight.
In terms of the benefits, these are equally as effective as lifting heavyweight.
Training for reps helps burn calories, it gets your heart rate up, it burns fat, it tones the muscles in the legs and back, and it will give you one of the craziest lower-back pumps you could ever imagine.
If you’re dieting down and want that much sought-after Christmas tree look in the lower back, lighter weights and high reps with deadlifts are perfect.
Having a strong core is essential when it comes to health and fitness.
If your core is weak, everything else about you will be physically weak.
This is why functional athletes focus on training and strengthening their cores so much.
That's why you can find it on specific programs such as Layn Norton Phat Training, and also in the ice cream fitness program.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
After all, your core is where you generate your power from.
Deadlifts are a compound exercise that is extremely efficient when it comes to working the core.
Deadlifting will not only help you to build abs of steel, but it will also help you to perform your other compounds as well.
It isn’t just your traps, core, and back that will benefit when you perform deadlifts.
It turns out that a few other key deadlifting benefits are all to do with building strong legs.
The great thing about deadlifts is the fact that your hamstrings, quads, and even your calves will benefit when you perform the exercise correctly.
Whilst it’s great to have muscles that you can show off in warm weather, it’s important to have muscles that are functional as well.
That’s where it pays to have strong and muscular legs.
Strong legs as a result of performing deadlifts will benefit you in a whole variety of different ways.
You’ll be able to perform better jogging, run faster, you’ll generate more explosive power, you’ll be less susceptible to injury, and your legs will also look better too.
As far as health benefits go, you can’t really complain about that, can you?
Another useful thing about deadlifts is the fact that they do not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to how they’re performed.
Yes, there is a standard way of performing a standard deadlift, but it turns out that there are other variations for you to try as well.
Stiff-legged deadlifts, for example, are fantastic for glute and hamstring development.
Sumo deadlifts will also engage different muscle groups to standard deadlifts, which means that you can vary your training and switch things around whenever you feel like a change.
Although you might not realize it, another of the many benefits that we’re going to be looking at today is the fact that deadlifts help you to improve your posture.
Poor posture can cause a bad back, it can cause you to lose height, it can leave you susceptible to injury, and it can cause you pain and discomfort.
Deadlifts help to engage your core and straighten your spine, which in turn helps you to execute good posture.
Many gyms nowadays are full of shiny new machines with LED lights, OLED displays, touch screens, and other fancy gadgets and gizmos.
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this, sometimes it’s nice to go back to the old school and keep things basic.
That’s where deadlifts are so useful.
To perform deadlifts, you simply need a barbell, weights, and collars.
That’s pretty much it.
If you want a simple, yet highly effective exercise, deadlifts are awesome.
You can also check our article about Squats vs Deadlifts, and different variations for each exercise.
Also, you can check the heaviest deadlift performances.
First, on our list, today is the sumo deadlift.
This variant of the deadlift gets its name due to the fact that to perform it you take a much wider stance with your hips and legs – similar to how a sumo wrestler begins about, and a much narrower grip with your hands.
This deadlift is great for working the legs because of how you are standing and gripping the bar.
Next up we have Jefferson deadlifts.
Jefferson deadlifts are very unusual because you perform the exercise whilst straddling the bar with your legs and then lifting the weight up towards your groin.
This is a very old strongman exercise that was performed when strongmen were considered “freaks” and would entertain crowds at circuses.
It was also a favorite of Bruce Lee.
Deficit deadlifts are performed when you are standing on a platform in order to increase the range of motion and increase the amount of work required to lift the bar.
Rack pull deadlifts get their name from the fact that you perform the exercise whilst lifting the bar off of a rack, as opposed to from the floor.
Rack pulls are considered easier to perform than regular deadlifts, though that doesn’t make them any less beneficial.
Trap bar deadlifts, also known as hex bar deadlifts, are great as they change the entire mechanics of the lift.
You perform the lift stood inside the bar, as opposed to behind it with a regular barbell deadlift.
The Romanian deadlift is performed with your feet closer together than usual, and your legs stiff and straight.
It’s fantastic for working the glutes.
A snatch grip deadlift gets its name from the fact that to perform this exercise you grip the bar with a snatch grip, which basically means the arms are spread much further.
This change in grip works the back more.
This exercise requires the same form as a regular deadlift, but the bar is behind your body.
Single leg deadlifts are typically performed with a dumbbell in one hand, and you stood on one leg.
It’s a great core exercise because you are constantly trying to stabilize yourself when balancing.
Also, you can check the heaviest deadlift performances.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of benefits of deadlifts to be had, and there’s plenty more we haven’t yet listed.
If you’re looking for an effective exercise that will build raw strength and power, and engage more muscles than you even knew you had, deadlifts are the ultimate exercise to enjoy.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.