Here Is How To Do It Properly.
So what is so great about the deadlift then?
Well, it will work your abs, your arms, your back, your butt, your forearms, your shoulders, your traps and more all in one exercise! It can even release extra testosterone and it will certainly pump your whole body up.
It is a magical exercise and is vital to building maximum muscle. The top bodybuilders all agree that it is the best exercise for you to pack on muscle. So if you want to pack on quality mass then you need to do deadlifts, and you need to know how to properly deadlift.
A Proper Deadlift Starts With the Set Up
If you get the set up to a deadlift wrong then you could be in trouble. You don’t want to be complaining that “the deadlift hurts my back”. So you need to get your foot and body positioning right in relation to the bar.
GET CLOSE TO THE BAR
Make sure that your shins are as close to the bar as possible. By doing this you will be able to get your hips back and avoid moving your weight towards the bar. You do not want the heavyweight to pull you forwards or have the weight swing back and catch you in the shins.
REMEMBER TO HOLD YOUR BREATH
You need to breathe properly when deadlifting as it will enable you to keep a neutral spine and core rigidity during the lift. Fill your belly with air by using your diaphragm and then hold it. Only released at the top of the lift.
KEEP YOUR SPINE NEUTRAL
You do not want to arch your back or round it too much so it is important to maintain the natural curve of your spine. This can be achieved by remaining tall in the chest and keeping your lower back flat. If you round your back when deadlifting you will be heading for a serious injury. As well you will look like a black cat on Halloween!
Another thing to keep in mind, as tempting as it is, don’t crank your neck back trying to look into the mirror. As much as you love to admire yourself lifting that bar, this can also cause a strain in your neck. If you want to “form check” your deadlift, try with lower weights first so you can look forward or even sideways in the mirror without causing any strains or severe injuries. Otherwise, keep your neck and field of vision neutral with your spine. When you first start off, you should be looking at the floor ahead of you, finishing off with looking in the mirror in front of you.
MAKE A HINGE WITH YOUR HIPS
You do not want to hinge at the knees or with your lower back but use your hips instead. When you hinge at the hips you maintain your neutral spine. Do this by pushing your hips back as far as possible before you lower your body to the bar.
By doing this you are priming your hamstrings and glutes ready for the lift. With your hips right back you will be able to bend your knees just enough to lower down to the bar. You must not allow your body to drop at this point.
WHEN YOU ARE AT THE BAR
You want to grab hold of the bar using an overhand grip and ensure that your hands are just outside your hips or under your shoulders.
Go for a tight grip and be sure to bend the bar around your body. This will create tension in your upper body and lats. Pulling your shoulder blades tight will help you to maintain a neutral spine.
You want to create tension before you lift the bar so it should feel like the bar is bending before lifting. The deadlift will feel smoother and lighter if you do this.
If you are advancing in the deadlift and your grip strength can’t quite keep up with your lifts, you can always opt for wrist straps. These will keep your overhand grip position but allow for a much heavier load on your hands without losing grip.
Yes, I know about the over/under the grip. The reason I am leaving this out is that too many amateur lifters use their bicep to engage the deadlift on their underhand grip hand. They are literally trying to start the motion by curling the deadlift weight and this leads to bicep tears which are a nightmare!
The Correct Deadlift Form
OK, so you have set up properly now it is time to lift.
PULL THE BAR INTO YOUR BODY
Start by pulling the bar into your body and avoid pulling it upwards. This is essential as it will maintain the tension that you have built up with the proper setup.
Think about your feet driving through the floor as opposed to pulling the bar upwards. This will keep your upper body tight and will mean that your legs will be doing a lot of the work in the lift.
PUSH YOUR CHEST UP AND HIPS FORWARD TOGETHER
Once you start to lift turn your attention to pushing your chest up and moving your hips forward. Do this together as moving the chest first will cause your knees to move forward and if your hips move first then your back will end up taking the strain.
With a tight back, it will be easy to push your hips towards the bar and you can give your glutes a hard squeeze to bring your hamstrings and hips into the lift.
Extend your knees fully as well as your hips and keep your shoulders tight to achieve a lockout. Squeeze those glutes again to lock them at the top. Avoid arching your back by pulling too much with your upper back and chest. Breathe out.
FINISH IT RIGHT
This is all about making a hinge with your hips again. Move your hips back to maintain a neutral spine and then break at your knees to guide the bar back to the starting position.
Do deadlifts and do them right!