The deadlift is an amazing exercise that builds a sexy wide back while making your waist and hips appear smaller. The multi-joint deadlift involves a wide selection of upper and lower body muscle groups, and although the exercise appears simple to perform, proper execution is key to results and safety.
What’s so complicated? Bend over, grab the bar, and stand up – and strain your back and spend tomorrow in bed. Take the time to learn and practice the proper deadlift technique, ensuring that both your upper body and lower body work together as a unit.
Here are the basic rules of proper deadlifting form:
- Always start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width and feet firmly planted.
- Avoid rounding your shoulders and keep your back flat. Most deadlift back injuries are caused by curving your back.
- Contract your abs and keep your core tight throughout the movement.
- Grasp the bar with an overhand or alternating grip with one hand overhand and one hand underhand. The distance between your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Inhale deeply as you grab the bar and lift, exhale once the bar is at the top of the movement and as you lower the bar.
- Don’t jerk the bar. The bar should move smoothly with you as you stand. Your back and legs should work together as one during the entire lift.
- Keep your head up and eyes forward, looking up or looking down at the bar with cause you to over arch or curve your back.
- Lean back slightly at the top of the lift, and slowly roll your shoulders back into a neutral position as you pause at the top. Be careful not to lean back too far at the top as you may strain your back.
- Always lower the bar slowly and under control, never drop the weight.
- The weight that you lift should suit your training level and experience, not your pride. Don’t attempt to increase weight too soon or by too much, it will only result in injury.
The best way to warm up for your deadlifts is by performing deadlifts without a load, like an empty bar. Ensure you follow the proper technique even while using the unloaded bar, don’t sacrifice form because you are warming up.
The deadlift builds back strength and lower back stability while shaping and toning your legs, hamstrings and glutes, the muscles that shape your butt. Deadlifts also require and build a strong core, increasing both your stability and strength. Always lift a weight that you can move with proper deadlifting form and safety.