Once your technical proficiency improves and you’re adding more weight to the bar, you’ll notice that deadlifting works virtually every muscle in your body, with an emphasis on the muscles of your posterior chain: your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Working these muscle groups independently with your assistance exercises is crucial to developing the lower-body strength you’ll need for a powerful pull.
Shrugs, barbell rows, and weighted chin-ups will add mass to your upper back and allow you to pull heavier weight to the standing, locked-out top position of the deadlifts. Rows and chins also provide your workouts with balance by having you perform pulling movements in both the vertical and horizontal planes. For your glutes and hamstrings, there’s no better movement than the glute-ham raise, a movement requiring a powerful co-contraction of these two massive muscle groups.