T Nation

Deadlift Implications

I’m wondering how much overlap there is between deadlifting and upper body pulls (pull-ups, rows, etc.). I’ve heard that some consider a deadlift a hip/leg/low back exercise as well as an upper body pull. If this is correct would that negate the need for maximal strength rowing/pull-ups? I know the traps take a beating, what about lats? Is the deadlift a sufficient maximal upper body pull? I’m assuming that one is deadlifting in the 1-3 rep range.


I’m going to guess that because your arms and shoulders are generally stationary for the deadlift that it won’t really replace the other exercises you mention.

It may have some carry-over, but it won’t mean you can avoid them.

You’re not pulling with your upper body in a deadlift. Your traps and forearms are being worked isometrically only.

You might want to just do a lot of heavy deads, and see what gets sore the next day.

Doing deads at a little under 2 1/2 times bodyweight for triples, my back is getting hit harder than the lower body (judging by soreness, which may not be accurate but is all I have to go on). Most of the time, rhomboids get the most sore. My traps never get sore from deads. Long ago when I was using about 1 1/2 times bodyweight, I didn’t feel anything in the upper body at all.

good question imo… you work your lats isometrically also I believe.

i wonder about the olympic movements…

Sure isn’t doing anything for my lats, and my lats grow really fast. It is doing a little for my traps, which are a slow grower for me, so for some people maybe they’re fantastic for traps.

They’re making my abs look better, which I didn’t expect when I started deads just a little while ago. I can really feel it on the muscles on the sides of my ribs and a bit in my obliques too, I think. Anyway, even though I’ve been slacking on the ab work lately, and even eating a lot more, my abs look trimmer, I think because they’re set off by growth to the side of them and of the small muscles connecting to the ribcage.

The only time I’ve really felt my lats after deadlifting was after a meet where I did two maximal attempts. It was pretty much the longest time under tension I could achieve without failing the lift. Otherwise I’ve never felt them after a normal workout.

I’ve worked my upper back four days a week and never had problems with excessive soreness. Just be sure to mix up what exercises you’re doing. You might throw some pull downs in on your deadlift day then focus on chest supported rows the next day. They both involve the same muscles but to varying degrees which seems to let you get away with doing them two days in a row.

Without sounding generic deadlifts will make your whole body thick and muscular. I have included DLs in many different phases of my training. Sometimes I will pull sumo after my DE squats working up to a heavy single, and sometimes I will pull conventional for fives and trips while gunning my lats and traps. It all really depends on what my goals are. If I am training for a push/pull I will work conventional deads and lats, and then on a separate day I will do low box squats and hammies. I do believe that deads work your shoulders, upper back, chest, and fore arms in a isometric manner. I am rambling on here and I forgot your original question…If you want a DL peaking program I use to get ready for a Push/Pull that is also a killer back workout let me know and I will post it.


[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
good question imo… you work your lats isometrically also I believe.[/quote]

The lats do go through a range of motion while under tension. Is that considered isometric? I would assume so, since the lats don’t initiate the motion.