Standing on a raised surface to deadlift forces you to drop your hips lower and thereby recruit your quads more to begin the lift.

How To Do a Deficit Deadlift

1. Stand on a mat or plate (as shown above) that’s one to two inches thick and prepare to deadlift as usual. Note that the bar remains on the floor and is not raised.

2. Drop your hips as you begin the pull. You’ll notice that the elevation makes you get lower in order to begin pulling the bar effectively. Keep your lower back flat as you stand up to lockout.

Quick Tip

Work on the deficit deadlift for four weeks, then retest your deadlift.


The deficit deadlift can kill your back if you’re not warmed up. Stretch your hips and hamstrings beforehand to improve your range of motion.