The deadlift is a complete back exercise. It works every muscle in your back in isometric fashion. From the spinal erector all the way to the traps and neck. Nobody can hide from the deadlift. No matter how big or small the muscle is – it’s going to be caught, cooked and owned by the deadlift.
This may surprise some of the brainwashed bodybuilders who rely solely on isolation exercise. When people hear the above statement they often reply by saying: “But what about the lats?”
The lats are also heavily involved in the deadlift. The latissimus dorsi stabilizes the spine and keeps the bar close to you. Keeping the bar closer to your body is very important since this reduces the lever and the stress on the lower back. You can’t deadlift heavy weights and have the bar all the way in front of you.
Due to the physical laws found on this planet this is particularly hard to happen. It’s not uncommon for professional powerlifters to tear a latissimus dorsi muscle during deadlifts.
A popular example would be the powerlifter/bodybuilder Matt Kroc who torn his lat precisely during a heavy deadlift.
The deadlift will make your lattissimus dorsimuscles very strong and thick. One of the most popular deadlifters, Bob Peoples, is well known for his latissimus dorsi development and it wasn’t achieved through the silly isolation movements you see in the soulless bodybuilding magazines. It was heavy deadlifting and accessory work that made it.
Related article: Are The Olympic Lifts Muscle Builders?
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