The deadlift is a powerlifting movement and big lift in which a barbell set on the floor loaded with weight, and then lifted to a standing position, generally with the barbell at about hip-height.


The lifter approaches the bar and then stands before it with the feet at about hip-width and hinges at the hips to reverse-grip the bar at about shoulder-width.

The movement contains a leg-dominant lift-off, a back-dominant lock-out, and a transition zone between the two.

Once the lock-out has been completed, the bar is generally dropped or, if this is impractical or not permitted, lowered quickly.

Repetitive deadlifts can be either "touch-and-go" or with a dead-stop between reps.

Breathing technique is important, and the lifter will want to pressurize the abdomen to stabilize and protect the back.


Only a barbell with plates is required, however some people will use a back belt and, on rare occasions, wrist straps to unload the grip.


Deadlifts are generally performed for 1 to 6 repetitions per set in order to avoid fatigue and subsequent possible back injury.


  • Romanian Deadlift or Stiff-Legged Deadlift: Where the weight is gripped with both palms facing in, lifted, and the lowered with a hip-hinge until the hamstrings are loaded and then re-lifted.
  • Sumo Deadlift: Where the feet are spread far apart—either slightly or almost up to the plates—and the grip is closer together. This variation shifts more of the burden to the glutes.
  • Snatch-Grip Deadlift: Where the foot position is the same but the hands are spread far apart with both palms facing in. This increases the range of motion and generally the weight is reduced as a result.
  • Rack Deadlift: Where the barbell is placed on blocks or in a squat rack to increase its starting height. This reduces the range of motion, but typically heavier weights are used. The higher the starting position, the more back-dominant the movement is.
  • Platform Deadlift: Where the lifter stands on a platform with the barbell resting on the floor to increase the range of motion.
  • Zercher Deadlift: (Unusual) Where the barbell is cradled in the elbows while performing the lift.


High pull: The weight is lifted off normally with a palms-in grip, and then followed up explosively in order to lift the barbell to stomach or chest height. Clean: The weight is lifted off normally with a palms-in grip, and then followed up explosively in order to rack the weight on the collarbones.


See alsoEdit

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