The deadlift is a major weight loss exercise that nearly any obese person can do.

This is an exercise where you stand in one spot and don’t do any jarring motions like in an aerobics class.

When I was a personal trainer, I had all of my obese clients, including women, do the deadlift.

Even Playing Field

Being overweight is not a hindrance to this particular exercise, and this movement is very gentle on the knee joints — a problem area for many people with excess body weight.

I see absolutely no medical or mechanical reason why even a severely obese individual should avoid doing deadlifts.


Tiny dumbbells won’t make you lose the weight you want. Just forget that. The deadlift is your fat loss exercise.

Guidelines for the Deadlift

Your main concern here is not to build muscle right away but to first build the right form.

Once you’ve mastered the right form, focus on building resistance by progressively adding more weight.

Obesity comes with another problem of reduced mobility. You therefore want a technique that shortens the barbell lift from the ground, and the sumo deadlift is one of them.


This may work great for you, but it may also not feel “right,” which is fine. You’ll need to experiment with various positions to find which works best for you.

But for some, the Sumo’s wider stance ensures more pressure concentration around your hip area.

If the sumo deadlift is difficult, an obese person may actually find that the standard version is more doable.

Combining the deadlift with another big compound exercise will guarantee you an even faster fat burning rate.

This is as a result of the increased metabolic rate; for this reason, once you’ve acclimatized to weights, always incorporate another exercise such as squats.

You’ll burn more calories as a result of the multi-muscle nature of these exercises. To avoid shortness of breath, ensure enough rest periods in between your sets.

Work on your consistency. This is so important for obese people trying to lose weight.

Since your muscles might take some time to recover from an intense workout, it’s highly likely that you’re going to develop some laxity and skip some workout sessions.

This will reduce the momentum already built and you might be forced to start all over again, reducing all the progress made.

It’s therefore prudent to establish a proper workout schedule and stick to it.

Not giving up is crucial for obese individuals to experience weight loss.

The deadlift also promotes full-body fitness and a huge boost in self-confidence in addition to the stellar body transformation effect.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



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