There are few exercise moves that come close to the deadlift in terms of what it can offer, and how it can work your body.  Performing deadlifts as part of your regular workouts will strengthen your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings), increase core stability, activate your glutes and power development.

So, where to begin?  There are many types of deadlift: trap bar deadlift, sumo deadlift and Romanian deadlift to name three variations. We’ve got strong advice on which is best for beginners, plus a basic deadlift workout to get you going.

Keep the rep range low with deadlifts and only increase weight if you can maintain form. Aim to do 3-5 reps per set and 4-5 sets, ensuring you take adequate rest between each set. All moves target your back, legs and glutes.

1.Trap bar deadlift

How to:

  • Step up into the center of the bar and hold a handle on each side.
  • With a neutral spine and tucked chin, sit back and bend your knees, keeping them in line with ankles.
  • To lift, drive your hips forwards, pushing down through your heels.
  • Pause at the top, then slowly return to the start position.

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2. Traditional deadlift

How to:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shins touching the bar.
  • Bend down, keeping your spine neutral, until your hands meet the bar.
  • Squeeze your lat muscles and feel the weight in your heels.
  • Keep the tension and, in one movement, pull the bar up and extend your legs.
  • Hold for a second before lowering.

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3. Sumo deadlift

How to:

  • With feet wider than hip-width apart, turn your toes outwards.
  • Get your shins touching the bar before you bend down, engage your lats and pull up to standing in one swift movement.
  • Lower back down, keeping your spine neutral.

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4. Romanian deadlift

How to:

  • Hold the bar with it touching your thighs.
  • Feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forwards, keep your knees soft but don’t bend them.
  • Hinge forward, keeping your chin tucked in and core engaged.
  • Tense your hamstrings and drive back up to the starting position, maintaining that neutral spine.