What should hurt after deadlifts?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

After deadlifts, it’s normal to experience some soreness in certain areas of your body. This soreness is an indication that your muscles are working hard and adapting to the exercise. So, what exactly should hurt after deadlifts? Let’s break it down.

1. Lower back: The primary muscles targeted during deadlifts are the erector spinae muscles, which run along your spine. These muscles help you maintain proper posture and stabilize your spine during the lift. Due to the intense load placed on your lower back, it’s common to feel soreness in this area. However, if you experience sharp or persistent pain, it could indicate poor form or an injury, so it’s important to pay attention to your technique and consult a professional if needed.

2. Glutes and hamstrings: Deadlifts heavily engage the gluteus maximus and hamstrings, which are responsible for hip extension. These muscles are located in your buttocks and the back of your thighs. The day after deadlifting, you might feel soreness or tightness in these areas. This discomfort is a good sign that you effectively targeted these muscles during your workout.

3. Quadriceps: While the main focus of deadlifts is on the posterior chain (backside of your body), your quadriceps also play a role in the lift. These muscles, located in the front of your thighs, help to extend your knees during the movement. As a result, you may experience some soreness in your quads after deadlifting.

4. Grip and forearms: Deadlifts require a strong grip to hold onto the barbell. This can put stress on your forearm muscles, particularly the flexor muscles responsible for closing your hand. If you’re new to deadlifting or have increased the weight you’re lifting, it’s common to experience soreness or fatigue in your grip and forearms.

5. Core muscles: Deadlifts engage your core muscles to stabilize your body during the lift. This includes your rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles), transverse abdominis, obliques, and other deep core muscles. While you may not feel direct soreness in these areas, they are essential for maintaining proper form and preventing injury.

It’s important to note that the level of soreness can vary depending on your fitness level, experience, and the intensity of your deadlift workout. In the beginning, when you’re just starting out or increasing weights, you may experience more significant soreness. However, as your body adapts and becomes stronger, the soreness should decrease over time.

To alleviate post-deadlift soreness, you can try gentle stretching, foam rolling, or applying heat or cold therapy to the affected areas. Remember to listen to your body, give yourself adequate rest and recovery time between workouts, and gradually progress in your deadlift training to minimize the risk of injury.