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Which Muscles Do Deadlifts Target?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Which Muscles Do Deadlifts Target?
Incorporating the barbell deadlift into your workout strengthens your back. Photo Credit: matthiasdrobeck/iStock/Getty Images

Adding strength-training exercises to your fitness routine is beneficial, even if you don't have ambitions of being the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. Strengthening your muscles improves your health in many ways. The deadlift is a strength-training exercise that you can typically perform with a barbell, but also a pair of dumbbells or a weight machine. The correct execution of this exercise involves more than a dozen muscles, including the important erector spinae group of your back.

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Your Back and Beyond

Your erector spinae muscles are the target of the barbell deadlift exercise. These muscles have three heads and contribute to a series of neck and back movements. The erector spinae runs vertically from the sacrum of your lower back to your skull. Although the deadlift exercise targets the erector spinae, it also strengthens your gluteus maximus, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, trapezius, rhomboids, abdominals and obliques.

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