How To Fix Your Deadlift
Besides the barbell squat, the deadlift is perhaps the hardest exercise to master – especially for new
Although picking a weight up off the ground and dropping it seems straightforward, there are many things you
need to be aware of during the movement.
Your grip, hand and back position, and lifting motion all need to be taken into consideration to insure you are
working the intended muscles and avoiding injury due to muscle
This article will outline the proper technique for the deadlift and explain how you can fix some of the most
common mistakes – rounding the back, lifting with your arms, and not locking out.
The deadlift is a tricky exercise because as I mentioned, you need to concentrate on many different things at
one time. Fortunately, you have a great resource – the internet. Research as much as you can about this lift and
watch as many videos as possible.
Learning the mental cues and biomechanics involved will increase your performance tremendously. With that being
said, you also need to spend a lot of time getting comfortable with the bar and practicing if you ever hope to get
the hang of it.
A proper deadlift will begin with the lifter placing their feet shoulder width apart (or a little wider)
underneath the bar. Make sure that the bar bisect your shoes, or cuts them in half. This will ensure that your
scapulas remain in the optimal position for lifting the bar. Grip the bar using a double overhand grip, hook grip
or mixed grip.
The double overhand grip is recommended for beginners because it will help you build your forearm strength. As
you advance and start lifting so much weight that your forearms start to fail, you should switch to the mixed grip
or hook grip or think about investing in chalk/lifting straps.
Once you have gripped the bar tightly, squat down and straighten your back. Keeping your core and lower back
straight should be your biggest priority during the first part of the movement. When the weight starts to get
heavy, people tend to round their back and that is when serious injury can occur.
Keep your arms contracted but do not use them to lift the bar off the ground – that is a job for your
quadriceps, lower back and hamstrings. As you raise the weight the bar should be skimming your shins (if you have
bruises by the time you’re done, you’re doing it right).
The top of the lift requires you to drive your hips forward and contract your glutes to lock out. The hip drive
in the deadlift is essential and should be perfected. Lower the weight in a slow, controlled manner and skim your
shins with the bar – just as you did when lifting. If you are going for reps, touch the bar to the ground and
repeat the movement.
As you can see, the deadlift requires a lot of muscles to fire at the same time. This makes for many different
things that you need to be aware of. The most important thing is to avoid injury at all costs – use the proper grip for deadlifts, keep your abs and lower back tight, and
don’t lift weight too heavy for you. Keep these tips in mind during your next deadlifting session and you will
surely see an improvement!
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