How to Do Pause Deadlift: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Pause Deadlift exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Pause Deadlifts

Muscles worked by pause deadlifts

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Pause Deadlifts

  1. Step up close to the bar, so that it is about over the middle of your foot.
  2. Inhale, lean forward, and grip the bar.
  3. Hold your breath, brace your core slightly, and lift the bar.
  4. Pause the movement when the bar is just a few inches above the floor.
  5. After a pause of a second or two, complete the lift by pulling the bar close to your body, until fully extended.
  6. Lower the bar back to the ground with control.
  7. Take another breath, and repeat for reps.


The pause deadlift is a variation of the deadlift where you have added a pause somewhere in the middle of the lift. In the description and demonstration above, we have chosen to place the pause just above the floor, on the way up.

The pause deadlift is an exercise that can improve your technique and strength for regular deadlifts. By pausing, you have the time to (consciously or not) feel what position you are the strongest in, and which muscles need to be tensed and which don’t. Insert the pause at the position where you want this effect, but as the beginning of the lift is generally the weakest position in a deadlift, that is a general good range to pause in.

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