Sports & Wellness
The Ultimate How-To Guide on Deadlifting
If you're ready to build muscle and strength then deadlifting is the perfect exercise for you. Learn how to execute it properly here.
Did you know that, according to the UK Government, 61% of people in England who were 16 years old or older were “physically active” between 2019 and 2020? This means that every week, they completed at least 150 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity.
If you’re one of the many people in the UK who is “physically active,” something you might be thinking about doing is deadlifting.
However, if you don’t yet know how to deadlift correctly, you might be worried about not reaching your goals or risking getting injured.
Fortunately, in this guide, we’ll show you how to deadlift properly. Finally, you can start deadlifting and reach your fitness goals. Read on to learn more.
Step 1. Set Up the Deadlift Properly
To get started with your deadlift workout, the first thing you need to do is set up the deadlift properly. To do this, you should load the bar. Then, secure the plates (with collars). If you’re just starting out, use plates that are between 5 and 10 pounds.
When you’re stepping up to the deadlift bar, do so as if you were about to jump.
Your hips should be approximately hip-width apart (8 to 12 inches) and your feet should be angled outwards slightly (5 to 10 degrees).
When you look down, the bar should be above your feet. Specifically, halfway in terms of length.
Are you wearing laced shoes? In this case, it should be over where your shoelaces are tied.
Step 2. Prepare to Lift the Deadlift Bar
Before you do the deadlifting itself, it’s important to prepare yourself so that you’re in the right position. This will be one of the factors that ensure you do the deadlift form properly. To do this, bend over, after which you’ll grab the bar.
When you do this, ensure that you aren’t moving your hips or the bar. As for your legs, at this point, they should be straight.
As for your grip width, it should be outside, slightly, of both of your legs. However, ensure that it isn’t so close that they aren’t touching.
Now that you have a hold of the bar (but you aren’t moving it yet), move your hips in a downward direction. As you do this, your shins will being to come forward. At a certain point, they’ll touch the deadlift bar.
When your shins begin to touch the deadlift bar, stop the downward motion of your hips.
Now, press your chest in an outward motion and flex your pecs. When you do this, your back should end up in a flattened position. Additionally, your spine should end up in a spine position that is neutral.
You are now in the deadlift starting position. Everything is in position and tight and you’re prepared to pull.
Note that it’s incredibly important that your back not be hyperextended or round. A neutral spine position might feel, to you, like you’ve hyperextended. In this case, it can help to record yourself or ask a friend for assistance to ensure you aren’t hyperextending.
You can also work with a personal trainer to ensure you are using the right form.
Step 3. The Deadlifting Itself
Now, you’re finally ready to do the deadlifting itself. To do this, start by taking a deep inhale that you feel going deep into your stomach. Then, while keeping your chest puffed out and your core, butt, and back tight, you should with your heels go down through and lift the bar off the ground.
While you’re doing all of this, there are specific things you need to ensure you’re doing so that you’re completing the deadlift with proper form.
First of all, your weight should be on specific parts of your feet: your midfoot and heels. Pretend that you're pressing these specific parts of your feet down instead of pulling up the bar.
Second, you want to be sure that the entirety of your body is moving, at the same speed, upwards. Your chest and butt should be moving at the same speed.
Third, ensure that your arms are straight the whole time. They shouldn’t be pulling or bending because your core and legs should be doing the work.
Fourth, when you pull, your body should be touching the bar at all times. You should be dragging it up along your thighs. Fifth, as you pull, you should be intensely squeezing your glutes.
Sixth, when you arrive at the movement’s end, you should stand with your chest being open. Remember not to lean back or hyperextend. Everything should be tight and your spine should be neutral.
Step 4. Putting the Bar Down
Finally, you want to put the deadlift bar down properly. It’s easy to simply drop it on the ground, but this isn’t good form. Instead, you want to do the reverse of what you did so that every part of your body is simultaneously ascending.
Here’s how to do it properly. First, unlock your hips. Second, slowly move them backward. Do this until the deadlifting bar is lowered past your knees.
When it’s past your knees, bend your knees. Then, lower the bar slowly until it’s on the ground. Keep in mind that you want the unlocking to happen at the same time.
Don’t start out by unlocking your knees. This could cause a lot of movement that’s awkward, including your lower back potentially rounding.
Note this, as it’s important. You shouldn’t lose any tightness until you’ve let go of the deadlift bar.
Want to Learn More About Deadlifting?
Now that you’ve gone through our how-to guide, you might want to learn more about deadlifting. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What does deadlift work involve?” or you’re curious about the deadlift benefits you might experience.
Whatever information you need, we can help. At Sport Session you can find experts in deadlifting and many other types of sport.
We also have personal trainers who can help you perfect your deadlifting form and help you reach your fitness goals. To learn more about our sports coaches, learn more about them here.
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