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  1. #1
    Registered User Onisac's Avatar
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    How effective are deadlifts for abs?

    Just wondering, how effective are deadlifts for abs? I know that they do get worked a bit when deadlifting. A while ago, after a long break of working out, my abs were sore the day after I did deadlifts. Now I don't really feel a burn in the abs the day after deadlifts. So it makes me wonder, how effective is it for abs? Can you gain abs by doing deadlifts alone? Also, what part of the abs does it work most on?

    Thanks for your answers.
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  2. #2
    Registered User tagun's Avatar
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    First of all it's different for everybody. You've got people that hardly workout and have better abs than people who do workout and squat/deadlift regularly. And of course the opposite is also true.

    But to answer your question directly, no of course deadlifts are not AS EFFECTIVE as weighted crunches. There's direct work and there's indirect work. Do both and you'll be as good as it gets.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Onisac's Avatar
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    I know they're most probably not as effective, but can you build a good core by deadlifting only?
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    Registered User Onisac's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Onisac View Post
    I know they're most probably not as effective, but can you build a good core by deadlifting only?
    'Core' is the muscles that support your spine - so of course deadlifting will improve your core strength. Nothing loads the spine more heavily.

    If you actually mean 'teh sixpakz' then you need some direct work. This is my preferred method:
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  6. #6
    isness is the bizness matt297's Avatar
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    deadlifts, front squats, squats for teh core! Shuld try engage your abs on all the big exercises (including OHP, BP, etc). Since you are progressively adding weight on these exercises you are progressively adding resistance. the abs are mainly stabilizers so IMO they are getting a better time of it from using the big compound movements than sit-ups and the like.
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  7. #7
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    Look I'm just saying you won't get eye-popping ab action by just squatting and deadlifting. There's a guy in the Contest Prep section who's been told that this way he'll get abs and when he dieted down to super lean levels his abs were not just small, they were nonexistent.

    So to answer your question "How effective are deadlifts for abs?" in the cases I've seen first hand they're very INEFFECTIVE for developing bodybuilding style abdominal muscles. Direct work ftw.
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    Abdominal soreness from DL's is indicative of a weak core and/or improper technique.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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    Originally Posted by Onisac View Post
    Just wondering, how effective are deadlifts for abs? I know that they do get worked a bit when deadlifting. A while ago, after a long break of working out, my abs were sore the day after I did deadlifts. Now I don't really feel a burn in the abs the day after deadlifts. So it makes me wonder, how effective is it for abs? Can you gain abs by doing deadlifts alone? Also, what part of the abs does it work most on?

    Thanks for your answers.
    ive noticed if i do some light abs prior DL or Squats or even Bench for that matter i really feel my abs in the exercises *A LOT* more then if i wouldn't have done abs prior.
    who knows give it a shot!
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  10. #10
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    Wink Misinformed

    Originally Posted by tagun View Post
    Look I'm just saying you won't get eye-popping ab action by just squatting and deadlifting. There's a guy in the Contest Prep section who's been told that this way he'll get abs and when he dieted down to super lean levels his abs were not just small, they were nonexistent.

    So to answer your question "How effective are deadlifts for abs?" in the cases I've seen first hand they're very INEFFECTIVE for developing bodybuilding style abdominal muscles. Direct work ftw.
    I am ususally not a person that writes on forums but i hate to see people misguiding people, such as yourself. FACT IS: You wont get full ab development with doing crunches. It will never happen, all you will get is front abs and some obliques. Dead Lifts with heavy weight, do wonders for the Erectus Spinae, which is around your spine,developing your core... to the core (for a lack fo better words). From there, crunches (weighted or not) will improve abs from there. However, if you had to choose one or the other to have the best core development, Dead Lifts are by far the way to go. If you look at 2 people that are 6'0, 210 pounds.... one of them does a lot of crunches and minimal dead lifts (max out around 375) and the other does heavy deadlifts on a regualar basis (max out around 575), and minimal crunches.... ummm... the guy with the deadlifts will have ridiculously far superior abs then the crunches guy. The core starts within, all you will get is front abs with crunches, its awful that you would mislead people with such decisiveness. PEOPLE, However the Most important way to get great abs is to diet effectively. However, after that, you should do weekly deadlifts, heavy weight, minimal reps. 3-4 sets, do some isolated ab work... and have a high protein intake. These are facts.... thanks.
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  11. #11
    Registered User matjusm's Avatar
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    I've found that after some heavy clean and jerk's my abs are really sore the next day. Not to say that soreness is a good measure of the effectiveness of a workout but just saying. Anything that raises your center of gravity i.e squats and especially overhead work will give your "core" muscles quite a workout.
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  12. #12
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    I am 300lbs. I deadlift for the abs.
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  13. #13
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    Mostly genetics, IMO. Some people have very good abs and never train them directly, only using them as stabilizers, and others, like myself find that they respond better to more direct work. Everyone is different so nobody can say for sure how effective deadlifts would be for YOUR abs. If in doubt, through in some direct ab work to your workouts.
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    When I started deadlifting my obliques exploded. It was the biggest change I noticed. In less than a month it completely changed the contour of the lower half of my abdomen.

    But no change in the rectus abdominus, so no sudden six pack.
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    Deadlift and also squats will give you a great foundation for good abs. You need to concentrate on engaging your core when doing these 2 exercises. If you don't you won't get the same effect. A solid compound program and some but not a ridiculous amount of direct ab work will give the best results to most people. Diet down after all that and see the efforts of all your hard work.
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    I am incredibly pleased that a thread of this magnitude was bumped for further discussion.

    Thanks to all involved for their willingness to tackle such a mysterious, in-depth topic with such rigor.
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    Thumbs down

    Originally Posted by 5setsof5 View Post
    I am ususally not a person that writes on forums but i hate to see people misguiding people, such as yourself. FACT IS: You wont get full ab development with doing crunches. It will never happen, all you will get is front abs and some obliques. Dead Lifts with heavy weight, do wonders for the Erectus Spinae, which is around your spine,developing your core... to the core (for a lack fo better words). From there, crunches (weighted or not) will improve abs from there. However, if you had to choose one or the other to have the best core development, Dead Lifts are by far the way to go. If you look at 2 people that are 6'0, 210 pounds.... one of them does a lot of crunches and minimal dead lifts (max out around 375) and the other does heavy deadlifts on a regualar basis (max out around 575), and minimal crunches.... ummm... the guy with the deadlifts will have ridiculously far superior abs then the crunches guy. The core starts within, all you will get is front abs with crunches, its awful that you would mislead people with such decisiveness. PEOPLE, However the Most important way to get great abs is to diet effectively. However, after that, you should do weekly deadlifts, heavy weight, minimal reps. 3-4 sets, do some isolated ab work... and have a high protein intake. These are facts.... thanks.
    Why are you referencing what works the entire core better, when the topic at hand was solely ab development?

    You even said, the crunches guy will develop abs. What is the issue?

    tagun was on point. DLing is not effective at building abs. Core? Yes. Abs? No.

    Cliffs: Shut up.
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    Smile Sad...

    Originally Posted by chazzy1864 View Post
    Why are you referencing what works the entire core better, when the topic at hand was solely ab development?

    You even said, the crunches guy will develop abs. What is the issue?

    tagun was on point. DLing is not effective at building abs. Core? Yes. Abs? No.

    Cliffs: Shut up.
    Its amazing how much you dont know... its actually hilarious. I'm not even gonna entertain you. I'll do you a bigger favor..
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by tagun View Post
    First of all it's different for everybody. You've got people that hardly workout and have better abs than people who do workout and squat/deadlift regularly. And of course the opposite is also true.

    But to answer your question directly, no of course deadlifts are not AS EFFECTIVE as weighted crunches. There's direct work and there's indirect work. Do both and you'll be as good as it gets.
    This is exactly what I would say. Deadlifts use the abs as a stabilizer, but you need to directly hit them... best exercise in my opinion is weighted sit ups on a high decline bench, nice stretch, full contraction, no cheating.
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    Registered User k9pit's Avatar
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    When I started deadlifting with proper form (i.e., rolling the bar all the way to my shins, pushing my chest up to engage the lats), my obliques are sore as hell for the next 3 days.

    All in all, I wouldn't use the DL to develop abs, but I'd develop abs for (asthetics and) a better deadlift.
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    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 5setsof5 View Post
    Its amazing how much you dont know... its actually hilarious. I'm not even gonna entertain you. I'll do you a bigger favor..
    Uh huh......
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    Registered User batman10560's Avatar
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    I am only about 76kg (167lb) and have switched from light weighted high rep cruches to heavier low reps and have noticed a significant different, I then combined this with leg push (530lb) squats (250lb) and started doing deadlifts two weeks ago (now doing about 290lb) – whilst these might not seem big weights, they are for me and I have seen significant abdominal gains. Hopefully I have moved from 150lb to nearly 300 in a few weeks – I am aiming to dead lift 400lb in 2 months and honestly I feel every one and core always feels “warm” for a few days. I am not an expert but I have had gains and its working for me.
    Thinking is not an action, remember no good training if your not eating the right stuff.
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    Registered User Staffy135's Avatar
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    awesome man thanks =)
    Originally Posted by 5setsof5 View Post
    I am ususally not a person that writes on forums but i hate to see people misguiding people, such as yourself. FACT IS: You wont get full ab development with doing crunches. It will never happen, all you will get is front abs and some obliques. Dead Lifts with heavy weight, do wonders for the Erectus Spinae, which is around your spine,developing your core... to the core (for a lack fo better words). From there, crunches (weighted or not) will improve abs from there. However, if you had to choose one or the other to have the best core development, Dead Lifts are by far the way to go. If you look at 2 people that are 6'0, 210 pounds.... one of them does a lot of crunches and minimal dead lifts (max out around 375) and the other does heavy deadlifts on a regualar basis (max out around 575), and minimal crunches.... ummm... the guy with the deadlifts will have ridiculously far superior abs then the crunches guy. The core starts within, all you will get is front abs with crunches, its awful that you would mislead people with such decisiveness. PEOPLE, However the Most important way to get great abs is to diet effectively. However, after that, you should do weekly deadlifts, heavy weight, minimal reps. 3-4 sets, do some isolated ab work... and have a high protein intake. These are facts.... thanks.
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