Barbell Deadlifts


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Barbell Deadlifts

This Leg Exercise is the original Deadlift. It’s one of the Best Exercises for Weight Loss or Building Muscle Mass

Welcome to our Barbell Deadlifts Exercise Instruction Guide! 

On this page you’ll learn how to do this version of deadlifts using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Leg Exercises so you can immediately add to your Leg Workouts, Back Workout, or other Weight Training Programs.

Have you checked out our list of the Best Leg Exercises yet? How about our Best Back Exercises? See if barbell deadlifts made either of the lists!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Barbell Deadlifts
Main Muscle: Hamstrings
Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Lats, Lower Back,
Quadriceps, Traps, Upper Back
Exercise Type: Compound, Pull
Equipment Required: Barbell

Exercise Description and Instruction:

Of all of the variations of deadlifts, this one started it all. However, when you look around the gym, unfortunately it looks like deadlifts have become a “dead lift.” This exercise or one of our other deadlifts variations should be included in nearly all weight training programs because of their benefits. 

Like most of our deadlifts, this compound exercise is a great exercise to lose weight or gain muscle mass. To see the rest of the best exercises for these fitness goals, view all of our Fat Burning Exercises and Strength Training Exercises.


To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Stand in front of a loaded barbell with your feet shoulder width apart under the bar.
  2. Grasp the bar with a shoulder width overhand grip and bend your knees as you sit back with your hips. This will be the starting position. Your arms should be fully extended and grasping the bar with your back straight.
  3. Begin the lift by exhaling and pushing upwards with your heels to extend your hips and knees and stand straight up.
  4. When you are nearly standing, pull your shoulder blades together and drive your hips forward into the bar.
  5. Return to the starting position by inhaling and bending your knees and hips while keeping your back straight and the bar at arms length.
  6. Repeat the exercise for the prescribed number of repetitions.


  1. This is not an exercise that is recommended for people with lower back problems.
  2. Do not increase the weight on this exercise until you have mastered the correct form.
  3. Look forward and keep your chest up throughout the exercise making sure you do not round your back as you move the torso.
  4. Jerking motions or using too much weight should be avoided and are especially dangerous.

Other Popular Leg Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Lower Body Exercises. These pages link to all of our variations of the most popular leg exercises:

  • Calf Raises
  • Deadlifts
  • Front Squat
  • Hack Squats
  • Lunges
  • Split Squats
  • Step Ups

Now that you’ve seen the Barbell Deadlifts, view our Leg Exercises page, which links directly to our Hamstring Exercises as well as our Calf Exercises, Glute Exercises and Quadriceps Exercises.  Also make sure to check out our Lower Back Exercises.

Finally, if you found this page of interest, check out these related pages:

  • Best Leg Exercises and Best Back Exercises
  • Weight Training Exercises Main Page
  • Fat Loss Workouts
  • Muscle Building Workouts

You’ve seen the Leg Exercises. Now access the Workout Routines. 
Start at our Home Page.

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