I wanted to ask if someone did only deadlifts as a workout what would there body look like. Would they have a disproportional body ? or would they have a symmetrical looking physique.

I am asking this because I heard that deadlifts are one of the best weight training/ strength training exercises that you do and they target many muscle groups.

Has anyone ever just deadlifted and if so what were the results in not just strength but also your physical bodily appearance.

  • What exactly do you mean by "online deadlifts"?
    – rrirower
    Feb 4, 2017 at 16:22
  • Sorry only deadlifts.
    – Dan Khan
    Feb 4, 2017 at 16:26
  • 2
    That's somewhat impossible to say since each of us would react differently to deadlifts. Additionally, there's more to proportion and symmetry than just using a particular exercise.
    – rrirower
    Feb 4, 2017 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


Deadlifting does not train all muscles. For starters, it is a "pull" exercise which means it hits the muscles involved with pulling or lifting the most: lats and lower back. This leaves the "push" muscles including the chest to do nothing but stabilize. While stabilizing is important, it's not as much work as pulling.

As a result of these potential muscle imbalances, the back muscles would assert more influence on the shape of the spine than the chest muscles. I'm guessing this would result in the shoulders being pulled back more than usual.

That being said, deadlifts ARE one of the best exercises (plural) you can do. For best results, do them with squats and bench press. Ideally while taking a multi and lifting heavy.

  • Legs push, back pulls - Defining compound movement in isolation terminology is oversimplifying. Also why should the shoulders being pulled back? The Deadlift works similar muscles as the squat (core, legs and lower back are involved most!) and do you feel your shoulders beeing pulled back from squating?
    – mitro
    Feb 9, 2017 at 9:38

Yes, I think if someone decided to spend years at ONLY deadlifting, you would have asymmetrical musculature.

Yes, deadlifting is one of the single best exercises you can perform. However, your workout is incomplete as you need others to balance your physique.

If you wanted to get away with the least amount possible and build a solid muscle base, then you would need to perform a series of exercises like barbell squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, and bentover rows. A good argument could be made to add a few more exercises, but you can still build an impressive physique with just those 5 exercises a few days a week (this assumes you have proper programming and a proper diet in place).

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