Strengthening Tips: What Muscles Will Deadlifting Target?

Deadlifting is one of the most powerful training tools for body builders. Not only do you get to show off some serious weight on the barbell, but you trigger practically all your leg muscles all the way up to your core.

While this is all well and good, trying to train in a certain way without understanding why isn’t the best idea. It’s not just the technique that you have to learn to get right, but also the interaction of different muscles in your body.

To help you on your path to becoming stronger, we’ve compiled some of the best tips for deadlifting as well as information on which muscles you are strengthening. Now, the next time you set foot in your gym, you’ll better understand why you’re going through the “pain” and what you’ll gain from deadlifting.

Muscles You’ll Be Working

Knowing what you’ll be training will help you to look forward to training that much more. Those rock-solid hamstrings you’ve been hoping for? That bubble butt you thought that you could never have? There are many goals in weight lifting and understanding which kind of lifts will help you do what will go far in your motivation.

The following muscles are the ones that will benefit from your time deadlifting the most:

Back muscles

Because you aren’t only lifting with your legs and glutes in deadlifts, you’ll also be using your back to pull the weight up. Many people don’t realize that building your back muscles is actually a benefit gained from doing deadlifts. While it may not be all that you need to do if you want to have very strong and defined back muscles, deadlifts do help to strengthen back muscles.

However, it’s vital that you don’t end up with all the weight on your lower back muscles as that’s a guaranteed way to a chiropractor.


If there was one area that many people love that deadlifts strengthen, it would be the glutes. Deadlifts are very helpful in strengthening and building well-rounded butt muscles. Much like how squats help you to build the muscle in this region, so do deadlifts.

The act of squatting down to lift the weight repeatedly puts pressure on your glute and leg region and is, in fact, one area where you will carry a lot of the weight when lifting. If you’ve wanted to sculpt your glutes for a while now, this is the perfect way to do just that. In fact, it’s the number one reason why many people start doing deadlifts—it’s a well-known fact that your glutes will look better if you’re a fan of deadlifting.


You’ll actually be using your legs much more than you realize in a deadlift. Because of the squatting motion used with a heavy weight. This repeated motion will end up helping you to strengthen everything from your hamstrings to upper thighs and with lower weights you can also push yourself up onto your toes to engage your calf muscles that bit more.

Arm Muscles

Again, you’ll need some upper body strength to lift the larger weights. It’s mainly your lower arm muscles that become engaged during a deadlift, which is an excellent way to target these areas.

There are specialty versions of deadlifts where you pull up the bar with your arms at the top, but if you’re starting out, make sure to keep it simple. There are better ways to target your arms.

Shoulder Muscles

Whenever you use your arms in weight lifting, you are inadvertently using your shoulders and deadlifts are no different. You may not build your shoulders as big as you want them to be just by doing deadlifts, but you will see some toning and strengthening from doing deadlifts regularly.

Top Benefits From Doing Deadlifts

Now that you understand which muscles will be used in your deadlifting, you may want to know what the top benefits are from regularly doing deadlifts.

Take a look:

  • Your posture will get better. Not only does the positioning of a deadlift require you to stand with good posture but it also strengthens your back muscles. Many times, poor posture is caused by weak back muscles. If you’re the kind of person who works at a desk all day, your posture may be affected. Doing deadlifts regularly can help to improve your overall posture, and that’s a big win on its own.
  • You target a lot of muscles. Obviously, deadlifts are going to help you to get stronger. Because you target so many muscles at the same time, more growth hormone is naturally produced by the body, which boost your muscle building efforts.

Whether you are focusing on strengthening your body for your appearance’s sake or because you need to be stronger for your sport or athletic goals, the number one benefit from doing deadlifts is how strong you can get from doing them regularly.

  • You will strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system. Working out your body is always a good idea for your heart. The technique used in deadlifts is highly aerobic and with multiple sets I quick succession you start creating high-intensity intervals.

These work exceptionally well to increase you VO2 max along with your heart strength. Try tracking your heart rate, and notice how your resting heart rate will start to go down. This is a sign of a very healthy heart.

  • Deadlifts will improve your balance, which is beneficial for many reasons, including any kinds of sports that you may practice. The way that deadlifts force discipline of multiple muscle areas helps you to become more stable and balanced overall. This type of stability is helpful for you if you’re an athlete in any kind of team sport where constant changes in direction could throw you off balance.
  • Your strengthened body will help you to avoid injury. Many times, athletes end up with injuries due to a lack of body-strengthening exercises. Those who play their sport a lot without doing the right stretches and muscle strengthening workouts end up with injuries related to overuse or a lack of practice.

When you’re training your muscles, you’re helping them to get accustomed to certain uses and deadlifts are very helpful in training your body to be able to do more, which in turn benefits your performance in sports. Why do you think that many basketball and soccer players do strength training on the side?

Make Sure You Do It Right

It’s important that you make sure that you are doing it correctly. Some people are into doing-it-yourself kinds of exercises. This may be well and good once you actually understand how to do each exercise correctly, but if you don’t, you could end up seriously injuring yourself and even taking yourself out of the “game” so to speak.

The best thing to do is ask one of the fitness coaches at your gym to supervise you for a while. And even after you’ve figured out the right way, it’s always best to have a friend to keep an eye on your posture. Getting it wrong is very easy and will result in some serious injuries.

Also, always make sure you have the right gear before you get started (click here for more details).


Are you ready to say hello to a stronger body and more defined muscles? The muscles that you work and the benefits gained by doing deadlifts are definitely a good enough reason to start doing them today.

As you start with this type of exercise, make sure you consciously feel all the muscles engage. This is one of the best ways to make sure you get the absolute most out each set.

Hi there, I’m Kate Young and I’m a fitness coach from California, but I now live in Austin. I have been involved in so many different sports over the years, including swimming, running, athletics, gymnastics, rugby (yeas, you read that right), baseball, tennis, and so many more that I have lost count.

I just love competing in sports, but struggled to find the one that I would stick with. So, instead I decided to become a fitness coach as it allows me to work with so many different types of athletes.

I’ve also become heavily involved it diet. The reason for this is that I’ve seen too many athletes fail in their fitness goals because their diet didn’t support it. And I’ve seen just as many people fail in their diets, because their fitness activities weren’t effective.

A lot of my work has involved working up with college tennis teams where I have tailored some endurance type fitness programs. Tennis coaches are great at teaching techniques, but a lot of them struggle with general fitness levels.

And that’s where I come in. On this site I contribute to anything tennis, fitness and diet related, which will help you get to your goals quicker and with more ease. And if you have some very specific questions then why not reach out on one of the social media channels where all of us are very active.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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