Barbell deficit deadlift

The barbell deficit deadlift is a compound exercise targeting the posterior chain. It is commonly utilized in powerlifting training to build pulling strength off the floor, but is also an effective muscle-building movement for the glutes and hamstrings. It is usually performed with lighter weight, and perhaps for higher reps, than traditional deadlifts. If these make your back sore, decrease the deficit and/or wear a weightlifting belt.


  1. The deficit offers a greater range of motion for targeting the hamstrings
  2. Builds size and strength in the glutes, hamstrings, and lower and upper back
  3. Builds overall deadlift strength

Barbell deficit deadlift Images


Barbell deficit deadlift Instructions

Barbell deficit deadlift muscle diagram
  1. Begin by having a platform or weight plates that you can stand on, usually 1-3 inches in height. Approach the bar so that it is centered over your feet. You feet should be about hip width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder width, allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an overhand grip or an over/under grip on heavier sets.
  2. With your feet, and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and bend the knees until your shins contact the bar. Look forward with your head, keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward. After the bar passes the knees, aggressively pull the bar back, pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  3. Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.