Deadlifts are one of the fundamental lifts that everyone should become comfortable doing at least once a week.
Like squats, overhead presses, and other multi-joint lifts, deadlifts recruit the core muscles. Having a strong core is crucial. Deadlifts will make your core and primary muscles stronger. They also do a good job of shaping your legs and butt!
If you want strong, good looking legs that can power up hills and keep you going on long walks, heavy deadlifts and squats should be a regular part of your routine.
Always start with the bar on the floor. Here’s how to Deadlift in 5 easy steps:
- Stand with the bar above the center of your feet– your stance should be a bit more narrow than shoulder-width to give your arms room.
- Grab the bar overhand so your arms are vertical to the floor. If the bar is heavy, you can use lifting straps, or place one hand over-hand, and the other hand under-hand, to prevent the bar from “rolling” out of your grip. Notice the shoulder blade position in the picture, relative to the vertical line. The ideal position is to have your shoulder blades behind the bar (right image).
- Bend through your knees until your shins hit the bar which must remain above the middle of your feet.
- Lift your chest but don’t squeeze your shoulder-blades like on Squats. Just put your shoulders back & down, head inline with rest of your spine. Keep your back arched back or straight, but NEVER let your back arch forward!
- Pull – keep the bar close to your body, roll it over your knees and thighs until your hips and knees are locked. Do NOT lean backwards at the top. Imagine “humping” the bar near the top of the lift.
And that’s all there is to it. Lower the bar by pushing your hips back first, and then bend your knees once the bar reaches knee level (NOT before otherwise the bar will hit your knees).
As always, chose a weight that will make you reach muscular failure within 4 to 8 reps. Since deadlifts are such a form-crucial movement, you don’t want too high a rep range, since fatigue from lactic acid will have you losing form; poor form is just a recipe for injury. Rest about 3 minutes between each set.
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