Not all weightlifting exercises are the same, and by most accounts, the deadlift is superior to many. The deadlift tends to be the exercise with which people can lift the most amount of weight, as it uses a combined effort from muscles all over your body. The deadlift offers a unique way to challenge your body and provides an efficient full-body workout for many muscles, including your abs. Be sure to always have proper supervision when working out.
Role of the Abs in Deadlifts
While the pulling motion of the deadlift may appear to draw mostly on your arms, the abs do play a crucial role in this exercise. Although your abs do not produce force as your quadriceps do, for example, they help stabilize your core, keeping your back properly aligned, which is important for avoiding injury. Your ab muscles also facilitate the transfer of power from the large muscles of your lower body to those in your upper body, allowing you to take advantage of your leg strength when lifting the barbell.
Other Stabilizing Muscles
The deadlift is an intense exercise, calling on more than just your abdominal muscles for stabilization. Other muscles that help keep your body properly aligned during the deadlift are the obliques, which are located on the side of your torso; the hamstrings, a group of muscles on the back of your upper leg; and your gastrocnemius, one of two muscles of your calf.
Other Ab-Strengthening Exercises
The deadlift is far from the only exercise you can use to strengthen your abs. Performing unweighted exercises such as lying or hanging leg lifts, situps or planks will help you work your abdominal muscles. Additionally, incorporating weight-bearing exercises such as weighted crunches, Russian twists and cable side crunches will also help enhance your ab strength.
Other Muscles Worked by the Deadlift
While stabilizing muscles do play an important role in the deadlift, some muscles do have to provide the primary force. These muscles are the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, soleus, hip adductors and erector spinae. Additionally, your trapezius, levator scapulae and rhomboids, located in your back, help facilitate the movement of the deadlift.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.