You’re never too old for deadlifts – here’s why!

Muscular strength and performance are vital to maintaining function and independence as we get older, supporting you to fulfil an active and social life.

Muscle mass decreases by approximately 8% per year between the ages of 50-70 years old, hence the importance of incorporating strength training into your exercise routine to maintain and improve your muscle mass and strength.

Strength training is a necessary addition to any exercise program.

Especially as we age, aiming to prevent, delay and reverse the functional declines that accompany aging, building and maintaining strength and control. This type of resistance training has shown to be the most effective in achieving this as it plays a fundamental role in preventing and managing age related conditions such as sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass), osteoporosis/osteopenia (decreased bone density), cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and much more! It does this by physically and mechanically loading the bones to enhance bone development and density alongside the muscles to build muscle fibres.

One way to do this is through deadlifting.

There is no age limit or barrier to deadlifting as lifting weights has shown to improve muscle mass and control, reducing your falls risk whilst improving balance, posture and stability. As deadlifting is a compound movement that involves multiple joints and targets many muscle groups throughout the body. By doing so, it aims to strengthen the posterior chain muscles (muscles at the back of our body), including glutes, thigh muscles (hamstrings and quadriceps), back muscles (multifidus and erector spinae) and deep core muscles (transversus abdominis). In addition to this, it also trains your shoulders and grip strength, enhancing muscular performance, reducing back pain and improving your day to day function.

Deadlifting is a functional movement, meaning that we use this movement day to day.

Think lifting grocery bags off the ground, a laundry basket full of clothes or picking up your grandkids, this movement requires us to hinge through the hips mimicking a deadlift movement. Therefore, training functional movements allows you to maintain your ability to complete your activities of daily living and independence.

It is recommended to consult a trained allied health practitioner to introduce deadlifting into your program to ensure that you are performing the correct technique and the weight and reps are appropriately progressed. A long-term commitment and plan to resistance exercise is the best approach to maintaining your strength, independence, overall functional health whilst preventing and delaying age related conditions, optimising your quality of life.


Cannataro, R., Cione, E., Bonilla, D. A., Cerullo, G., Angelini, F., & D’Antona, G. (2022). Strength training in elderly: An useful tool against sarcopenia. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4, 950949. https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2022.950949

Chen, N., He, X., Feng, Y., Ainsworth, B. E., & Liu, Y. (2021). Effects of resistance training in healthy older people with sarcopenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s11556-021-00277-7

Herda, A. A., & Nabavizadeh, O. (2021). Short-term resistance training in older adults improves muscle quality: A randomized control trial. Experimental Gerontology, 145, 111195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2020.111195

Hoek, D. van den, Mallard, A., Garrett, J., Beaumont, P., Howells, R., Spathis, J., Pearson, J., & Latella, C. (2023, August 23). Is powerlifting a viable method for engaging adults of all ages in resistance training? : A retrospective, longitudinal population analysis with comparison to population norms. Sportrxiv.org. https://sportrxiv.org/index.php/server/preprint/view/318/644

Liu, C., Shiroy, D. M., Jones, L. Y., & Clark, D. O. (2014). Systematic review of functional training on muscle strength, physical functioning, and activities of daily living in older adults. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 11(2), 95–106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11556-014-0144-1

Papalia, G. F., Papalia, R., Diaz Balzani, L. A., Torre, G., Zampogna, B., Vasta, S., Fossati, C., Alifano, A. M., & Denaro, V. (2020). The Effects of Physical Exercise on Balance and Prevention of Falls in Older People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(8), 2595. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9082595

Richardson, D. L., Duncan, M. J., Jimenez, A., Juris, P. M., & Clarke, N. D. (2018). Effects of movement velocity and training frequency of resistance exercise on functional performance in older adults: a randomised controlled trial. European Journal of Sport Science, 19(2), 234–246. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2018.1497709

Vieira, I. P., Lobo, P. C. B., Fisher, J., Ramirez-Campilo, R., Pimentel, G. D., & Gentil, P. (2021). Effects of High-Speed Versus Traditional Resistance Training in Older Adults. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 14(2), 283–291. https://doi.org/10.1177/19417381211015211

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