Correct Deadlift Form

Complete Guide To Correct Deadlift Form

Become a Lifting Badass: The Complete Guide to Proper Deadlift Form

A deadlift is the kind of lift you definitely want to execute properly. For many gym enthusiasts, deadlifts are the ultimate demonstration of strength and power. But getting these lifts right requires some background knowledge as well as mental and physical preparation in order to carry them out safely.


What Does Proper Deadlift Form Look Like?

From an outside perspective, deadlifts look pretty straightforward. You pick the barbell up, you pause, you put it down. However, there are a surprising number of subtleties that go into proper deadlift form, and knowing each of them before you start is critical to both performance success and safety.

– Stand with your feet hip-width apart
– Bend down and grip the barbell rod with hands shoulder-width apart
– Bend your knees until your shins touch the rod
– Lift your chest and straighten your lower spine
– Breathe in, hold, and stand up as you exhale

Adhering to these guidelines will not only enable you to perform at a higher level, but it will also prevent injuries from occurring. It’s easy to injure yourself during a deadlift if you aren’t following the correct form. Anything from pinched nerves to broken toes is a possibility.

Even the smallest of barbells can cause serious damage when handled poorly, so there’s more than one good reason to commit to proper form.

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Here are some more tips to help you deadlift correctly.

1. Use the correct grip
The way that you grip your barbell has a huge influence over the outcome of your deadlift. While many weightlifters opt for a mixed grip approach (one overhand, one underhand), the expert consensus is that a full overhand grip works best for deadlifting.

If you’re lifting very heavy weights, it might be tempting to go for the mixed grip. But this puts extra strain on your core which needs to focus solely on stabilizing your body and keeping you centered.

Overhand grip means a more even distribution of strength on both sides of the body, and adds a gentle rotational quality to the lift, providing you with more support.

2. Activate your core
In a deadlift, your core is your anchor. The abdominals, obliques, and lower back all need to work together as a team to keep your body in a stable position. If there is a lack of stability in the core during a deadlift, it could allow too much wiggle room for your spine.

This is the opposite of what you want. Your spine should be just as stable and stationary as your core. Being conscious of how engaged your core is prior to, during, and after a deadlift will help you commit to a better form and lay a stronger foundation for increased weights over time.

3. Keep your hips lower than your shoulders
The primary parts of your body that should move during a deadlift are your hamstrings and glutes—not your lower back. To make sure you stay in good form, remember to keep your hips low so that your lower back doesn’t become the primary leverage point.

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When you bend over to pick up your barbell, stop your hips from shooting up towards the back. Instead, keep them low and use your shoulder level as a guideline for how high they should be.

4. Brace your lats
While deadlifts are a very glute and hamstring-focused exercise, the upper body and shoulders also play a key role in proper form. Your shoulders are put under a lot of strain during the peak of the lifting sequence, so you’ll want to brace your lats for tension as you lift the barbell from the ground.

If you don’t properly engage your shoulders, you might put an unnecessary strain on the neck muscles. In order to avoid that situation from occurring, remember to tighten your lats, squeeze your shoulder blades in towards the center of your back, and brace your rhomboid muscles for an even lift. You can also use weight lifting straps to give you better control when you brace.

5. Use breath to support your movements
In all forms of exercise, breath can be used to introduce better flow, form, and strength distribution. The simple process of inhaling and exhaling can serve as an internal wave of energy that your body can ride as it is pushed to its physical limit.

It is recommended that people who deadlift take a deep breath in as they grasp the barbell rod, and then a deep, full-bodied exhale as they rise.

This action will increase the ease with which your body transitions from an active to a passive state, while simultaneously oxygenating your system for improved performance. When you deadlift, breathe in through your nostrils and out through your mouth.

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6. Align your spine
When lifting maximum loads, keeping your spine straight is crucial. This ensures a healthy distribution of weight and helps support your body in injury avoidance. By keeping your spine straight and aligned, you support every other part of your body, too.

However, it’s important to note that while your spine should be straight, it should be straight upwards, but rather straight at a 60-degree angle. This is the position of alignment you want. It might help to imagine a straight line running from the base of your skull to your coccyx.

7. Don’t rush
This is not the kind of exercise you should rush. Not only will rushing through your deadlift make it harder to maintain good form, but you could also end up hurting yourself.

The real merit in a deadlift and any good weightlifting exercise routine is in the process, not the outcome. Rather than pushing your muscles to do a rapid, sloppy job, focus more of your energy on simply getting the movement right. Think of every rep as its own rep.


Proper Form Is The Key To High Performance Weightlifting

Without good form, any progress you make with deadlifting will be stunted and you might pick up some bad habits along the way. Once your body becomes familiar with the right muscular and skeletal alignment, achieving great form will come naturally.

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