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February 5, 2022

How many calories do you burn with deadlifts ?

Calories Burnt whilst Deadlifting

Honestly, a lot. Depending on how heavy you go, which variation, and how many reps you are doing, the amount of calories burnt can vary greatly. As shown by Harvard Health, the range is quite wide.

 

This can vary so much, it’s hard to estimate. Generally, in 30 minutes of weightlifting you can burn 90 to 180 calories when lifting casually and aggressively, respectfully.

How to Deadlift?

The deadlift is simply one of, if not the best exercises in the gym. It gets a bad rap for being unsafe or causing injuries, it will only do this if performed incorrectly. Driving incorrectly also causes injury. The deadlift is the king of compound exercises, utilizing most muscles and demands a great deal of respect.

 

Deadlift with a Barbell, Conventional

This is the one we most often see in the gym and online. A great place to start, and something that you can easily overload and progress on for years to come.

  1. Grab a barbell (and weight if you’d like) and place it on the floor, adding safety clips to the sides of the weights if you choose to use them.
  2. Stand with your feet slightly underneath the bar, shoulder width apart. Your shins should not be touching the bar.
  3. Bend down, and grab the bar shoulder width apart. Make sure to grip the bar firmly.
  4. Contract the scapula by pulling your shoulders back, chest out.
  5. Contract the lats by pulling the shoulders down, sort of “closing your armpits”.
  6. With your feet pointing slightly out, press through your legs and lift the bar off the ground.
  7. Continue lifting until you are upright. Do not overextend the hips, and do not bend your arms.
  8. Lower the bar by bending back down in the same manner, and set it down. That’s one rep.

 

Deadlift with a Dumbell

Dumbbells can be very useful in the way that they’ll show imbalances in your body easier than a barbell would.

  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor, as you stand slightly further than shoulder width apart, dumbbells between your feet.
  2. Bend down by bending your legs and grab the dumbbells firmly.
  3. Contract the scapula by pulling your shoulders back, chest out.
  4. Contract the lats by pulling the shoulders down, sort of “closing your armpits”.
  5. With your feet pointing slightly out, press through your legs and lift the bar off the ground.
  6. Continue lifting until you are upright. Do not overextend the hips, and do not bend your arms.
  7. Lower the dumbbells by bending back down in the same manner, and set it down. That’s one rep.

Muscles worked in the Deadlift

This is a big one. Like I mentioned earlier, the Deadlift is the king. Let’s not wait around. The muscles worked while you deadlift are:

 

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Adductors
  • Glutes
  • Abdominals
  • Transverse Abdominals
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Lats
  • Traps
  • Rhomboid
  • Biceps
  • Traps

 

The reason the deadlift is so demanding is because it requires so many muscles, so much focus, and because the payoff is so great.

 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are a lot. Yes the deadlift is the king, however done incorrectly it could have dire consequences. Here are some things to watch out for:

 

  • Rounding of the back. While a normal curvature of the back is acceptable, a sudden change in back angle is asking for an injury.
  • Not engaging the core. You have to brace your core before lifting.
  • Remember to breath.
  • Lying back too much, you should press through the balls of your feet.
  • Wearing the wrong shoes. Flat shoes or no shoes. Nothing with an angle.
  • Going too heavy too soon.
  • Not engaging the lats and scapula before pulling.
  • Straightening the legs too soon, keep your legs bent until the bar passes halfway up your thighs.

 

Other Variations of the Deadlift

1)   Stiff Leg Deadlift

The Stiff Leg is widely known to be much more taxing on the muscles, central nervous system, and demands even more respect than the normal deadlift. Working similar muscles, however it takes the Quadriceps out of the equation, and only works your posterior chain. Since you will be using less weight, it will burn less calories than the normal deadlift.

 

2)   Romanian Deadlift

Very similar to the stiff leg, however your knees will be slightly bent. Also placing a lot of emphasis on the posterior chain, this will also force you to use slightly less weight and therefore will burn less calories.

 

3)   Banded RDL

This is a personal favorite. The banded RDL overloads the glutes in the shortened position, which is great due to the fact that you can really place some great emphasis on them at this point in the lift. This will also burn slightly less calories than the normal deadlift.

 

 

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Steve


Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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