Personal Information

  1. I have been going to Gym for last 45 days only.
  2. Watched Numerous of videos at youtube.

Technique Understanding

  1. Understand Conventional deadlift is a Compound Exercise which requires egagement of Glutes and Hamstring along with Core engagement.
  2. I also understand Chest has to be open and directly above the bar as the start of lift.

However, I am still not able to get or master the technique of engaging Glutes. Can Anyone help with any simple tip?

  • 1
    Squeeze the ever living hell out of your butt cheeks. That is what should be driving you to the top of the move - NOT lower back engagement or hyperextension. Watch this video as to why/how.... youtu.be/NhlVYy1wkKQ
    – Frank
    Sep 3, 2018 at 21:10

2 Answers 2


There is no technique to engaging glutes. If the bar leaves the ground, your glutes are definitely being engaged. In fact, if your glutes weren't engaged, you would collapse as soon as you bent over to grasp the bar.

The only technique you really need to learn in order to deadlift is using a valsalva to brace your spine. After you have grasped the bar, this involves straightening the back, taking a deep breath, and holding it, squeezing against your closed epiglottis, like you are trying to both push air out and hold it in. You only need to squeeze the core muscles, not the glutes.

Seriously, forget the glutes, they will work themselves. Maintaining a straight back is all that matters.

I recommend that you familiarise yourself with the 5 step deadlift setup.


To do that right can take a year or even more. For instance gaining proper motion range.

I would ask you to try Roman bench. You can use more gluts, or hamstrings there. Just concentrate on particular muscle group. From that you can learn how to activate more, this or that group. Other exercise you can try is kettle-bell swing. That is dynamic exercise, while dead lift is static, however you can start training with it to activate gluts to "feel" them more while dead lifting. Overall performance, at least at start, will go down, but that is how learning goes.

You did not specified, so I'm assuming you do classic dead lift. Other version is sumo. It can be more suitable for gluts activation since quads are almost eliminated. Knees out which also supports gluts activation.

About muscles. From anatomy trains - dead lift means superficial back line usage. Look there - no gluts... Partially that is due to science/classification. However wider idea is that learning of complex exercises starts with right technique. Then - step, by step - activating more, and more muscle groups.

You've mentioned about YouTube videos. Kelly Starrett's videos like this one are good at start. Later it is quite hard to believe that there is one good method for all of us. However his body positioning, activating muscles before exercise, and care about spine are something everyone should know.

  • Thanks a lot for just a enthusiastic and rightful response. Agree with you, with time only on concentrating the right technique can master this Exercise. Thanks again ..!!! Sep 3, 2018 at 15:17
  • 3
    Pretty much everything about this answer is wrong. One cannot gain ROM in the deadlift, as the ROM is fixed due to the fact that the bar starts on the floor. The roman bench will not teach you how to deadlift. Sumo deadlift does not eliminate the quads, it uses them far more than the conventional deadlift. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11932579) Whereas in the conventional deadlift the quads stop contributing as soon as the bar reaches the knees. Sep 4, 2018 at 0:03
  • 1
    @DavidScarlett - I've wrote that you can learn how to distinguish between hamstrings activation and gluts activation - that is why Roman bench. Isolated exercise - just for support, learn. For quads - wrote "almost eliminated" - the more knee is bend the more quads are activated. From your article - "activity were significantly greater in higher knee flexion intervals". So if you keep tibia still - you will use more back. Just like with squats. Thanks for comments - definitely I should be more precise. Again - thanks for spotting problems. Sep 4, 2018 at 8:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.