How The Deficit Deadlift Enhances Your Overall Deadlift


Deficit deadlifts can create better range of motion for increased growth to only enhance our overall deadlift.

We all know the deadlift is one of those big three powerlifting exercises, but there are variations to try like deficit deadlifts that can work wonders for our gains. By putting these into our routine, we work to tackle all issues related to strength, range of motion, and explosivity by working with an elevated surface and giving ourselves a nice added challenge. Deficit deadlifts are certainly not something you want to forget for they enhance your overall deadlift, and other lifts for that matter, greatly.

The deadlift as a whole allows for better strength and growth in the legs and low back as you seemingly lift a massive amount of weight in a test of mental will and sheer strength. This lift also works on balance and stabilization with an increased sense of staying grounded, as your feet must be firmly planted to keep from causing unwanted pain and injury. With deficit deadlifts, you only work to enhance all of these and then some.

Let’s take a look at deficit deadlifts and see what’s so great about this deadlift variation. From what it is, to muscles worked, and the benefits surrounding this lift that affects your overall growth and deadlift performance, adding deficit deadlifts into your routine may prove to be the answer for all your lifting wants and needs.

deficit deadlift

What Are Deficit Deadlifts?

Deficit deadlifts are any type of deadlift that requires the athlete to be on an elevated surface, most likely two blocks or raised pads. The point of this is to increase range of motion and create a challenge to the lift so you see maximum gains. The height of the elevated surface depends on certain things like your height, arm length, flexibility, and amount of desired weight lifted. The higher the elevation becomes, the more difficult the lift can be. This can be done with the traditional deadlift, sumo deadlift, and others.

Muscles Worked

The deadlift exercise as a whole tends to work many muscles and is considered to be a great full body lift. A traditional deadlift can work muscles like your lats, traps, quads, hamstrings, core, and forearms. But when you put this lift into a deficit, the main muscles change and put more strain on the posterior chain muscles, including your hamstrings, quads, and lower back. As a result, form and taking proper care when it comes to amount of weight lifted is very important as you look for the best out of each and every lift.

deficit deadlift

Benefits Of Deficit Deadlifts

When it comes to performing deficit deadlifts, the benefits of this great lift will prove to be effective in the long run. With increased range of motion, you start to get the most out of each lift in terms of growth and overall performance. Benefits of deficit deadlifts include:

  • Increased growth: Really work to build hypertrophy in your legs and back by giving your muscles a good chance at growth.
  • Better range of motion: The elevated surface allows for better range of motion to work those muscles differently.
  • More time under tension: With greater range of motion, you increase time under tension, putting your muscles through more strain and giving them the option to grow.
  • Better speed off the floor: Increase explosivity off the floor for better power output and development that will translate over into performance.
  • Reinforce form: By having to really focus on technique to avoid unwanted pain and injury, when it comes to performing regular deadlifts, you will be better off.
  • Change it up: By adding in deficit deadlifts, you work to change up your workout routine to add variety so your muscles are constantly being worked differently.

How To Perform Them

Here are the steps for performing the deficit deadlift:

  1. Set the platform or tool you are using for the elevated surface on the floor and set up your bar.
  2. Standing with your feet around shoulder width apart, set yourself up on the elevated surface.
  3. Grab the bar with your desired grip, lower the hips, and engage your core as you start to feel the weight you’re about to lift.
  4. When ready, drive the weight off the ground and perform a traditional deadlift exercise. Be sure to keep your core engaged and your body tight with no rounding of the back.
  5. Gently lower back down and repeat for your desired number of reps.
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