Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science





First Advisor

Jason Gillette


There are many forms of resistance training, with the barbell squat, bench press, and deadlift being three of the most popular exercises. The squat and bench press have been examined extensively, while the deadlift has not. The purpose of this study was to examine participants performing the barbell deadlift while wearing their normal lifting shoes and while barefoot. Thirty male participants aged 18-30 and with at least one year of deadlift experience were recruited for this study. An eight camera system and a force platform was used to measure three-dimensional movements and ground reaction forces during 80% one repetition maximum deadlifts. Ankle, knee, and hip joint angles and moments were analyzed at the instance of lift off and knee pass, along with bar velocity at those same points. Ankle dorsiflexion angle (p = 0.018), knee flexion angle (p < 0.001), and knee flexion moment (p < 0.001) were significantly higher at the point of lift off in the shod condition. The bar velocity (p = 0.028) was significantly higher at knee pass in the shod condition. These results indicate that performing the deadlift while barefoot could benefit lifters who struggle with more flexed postures and/or have limited ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. These changes in posture likely led to the reduced knee flexion moments required to initiate bar lift off. However, lifting barefoot may decrease deadlift performance in terms of power generated as evidenced by reduced bar velocity.

Copyright Owner

Jacob La Marche



File Format


File Size

56 pages

Included in

Biomechanics Commons