If there’s one exercise you won’t want to miss out on in your workout routine, deadlifts are it. Deadlifts are a fantastic exercise for strengthening the posterior chain, hitting your glutes, hamstrings, as well as your lower back.
As deadlifts recruit so many muscle fibers, they’re also going to earn top marks for jumpstarting your calorie burn, increasing your fat loss potential while also stimulating a huge growth hormone response.
The end result? They’re a fantastic exercise for helping you get stronger, leaner, and for developing your physique.
With that being said, you do need to learn how to do deadlifting correctly. Let’s go over a few of the key tips to know and remember when it comes to deadlifting with good form.
Before all else, make sure that you have a strong grip when starting your deadlifting exercise. For this exercise, you’re going to be strictly limited by how much you can hold, so the stronger your grip is, the better.
Prioritize grip strengthening exercises as part of your workout program to see transfer over improvements in your deadlift.
One form mistake that people make all too often is starting with their hips too low. This is going to cause you to pull the weight up more with your legs than with your lower back.
As you begin the movement, you don’t want your hips to be so low that you’re nearly in a squat position. Your knees will be slightly bent, but the hips should be upward, pulling toward the ceiling.
If you can’t feel a stretch in the hamstrings in the starting position, you aren’t using proper form.
As you pull the weight upwards, pay attention to where your head is focused. Ideally, you’ll want to focus on the upper corner of the wall opposing you.
If you look towards the ground, the bar is going to want to go that direction. Alternatively, though, if you look too high up towards the ceiling, you’ll place great strain on the neck.
Forward and upward is where you want to be. This will create the perfect spinal column position that will help you get the weight upward.
As far as your lower back is concerned, the number one rule is to make sure that you don’t round it. You instead want to keep a slight arch to your lower back, which is what’s important for keeping the rest of the body in proper alignment.
The minute you start to round the entire back is the minute you take the stress off the muscles you are trying to target and instead, place them on the spinal column and hip joints instead. This is a fast route to injury, so it pays to be extra careful of good form here.
If you feel as though your lower back is your weakest link for this exercise, focus on strengthening it alone first. Do exercises such as good mornings and reverse hyperextensions to build strength and power before moving to the deadlift.
Before you start your lift, make sure you take the slack out of the bar. Failing to do so will cause the lift to lose stability and make it harder for you to lift as much during your heavy sets.
This only takes a brief second at the start of your set but will make a big difference in your ability to lift the weight.
Like any other exercise you do, keeping your core tight is a must. When doing the deadlift, however, you also want to ensure you focus on sustaining a high amount of intra-abdominal pressure as well.
This added pressure will help you keep the spinal column in proper alignment, while also helping you lift a heavier weight load overall.
While you want to keep your lower back arched, the same does not apply to the upper back. Some people think of squeezing the shoulder blades together too much, creating an unnatural and potentially uncomfortable starting position for the lift.
Instead, keep the shoulders back but more in a neutral position with the rest of the body. If you pull your shoulder blades together too much, the bar is going to have an even further distance to travel, making this more work at any given weight level.
Plus, it also creates a great deal of strain on the shoulder blade region.
Finally, as you move through the deadlift exercise, be sure that you are keeping the bar as close to the body at all times. It should move upwards right next to the shins and up through the hip region.
Failing to do this will create an excess strain on the lower back and make the entire lift feel harder at any given weight load. Plus, it can put you at risk for injury.
So there you have a few of the top things to focus on while doing your deadlifts to ensure you are performing them properly and are on the road to seeing the great results this exercise has to offer.