Where should I feel it when I am deadlifting?
When deadlifting you should feel it in your hamstrings and glutes. Deadlifts work your entire posterior chain so it’s normal to also feel some soreness in your back.
It is important when deadlifting to maintain a neutral lower back. Some people when deadlifting flex at their lumbar spine this will put excess pressure on your spinae erector’s. Primarily those muscles should be working to help stabilize your spine during the lift.
In the Journal Plos One, muscle activation for various muscle groups is compared for the deadlift. Furthermore, the greatest muscle activation was reported for the biceps femoris (hamstrings). As opposed to the erector spinae and gluteus maximus. On the other hand Snyder et al. (2017) found greater erector spinae activation in comparison with glutes (butt) and biceps femoris (hamstrings). Another opposing view was found in Andersen et al. (2018) where there was maximal activation for biceps femoris (hamstrings). Compared to your gluteus maximus (butt) and erector spinae (lower back) for the Deadlift.
The deadlift variation used can impact muscle activation. For instance, conventional vs sumo or other deadlift hinge variations such as Romanian Deadlifts.
Learn how to become a better deadlifter
If you are feeling pain in your lower back after deadlifts you may be lifting incorrectly and need to take a closer look at your deadlift form. Learn the ABC’s of deadlifting.