The deadlift is a tremendous multifaceted exercise that targets the quads, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors, abs, traps, as well as forearms. It will certainly make you feel like a “beast”. However, it has to be done properly or else, a serious injury like a herniated disc can occur.
The purpose of this article is to give you some information on how to deadlift correctly.
Here are important points to remember:
- When performing deadlifts, ensure that you don’t round or flatten your back as this can result into a back injury.
- It is recommended that you try to increase strength in your hamstrings and lower back for a more effective deadlift.
- You need to listen to your body constantly. In case you feel any pain in your lower back, stop deadlifting briefly.
Follow these steps:
- Prepare the barbell by putting it on the ground and attaching weights to it in line with your strength and fitness level. If you are just beginning to do the deadlift, you should start lighter. Adding weight later is always easy. It is important to perfect your form before you can proceed to test your physical limits.
It is suggested that you start with a five pound weight. You can then work your way up from there.
- Position yourself correctly with your feet a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should point either straight ahead or a little outward but shouldn’t exceed 60 degrees. Make sure the balls of the feet are lined up below the bar. You need more balance, and pointing your feet slightly forward will help you get it. Also, you should ensure that you tighten your buttocks and your core. This will give you more stability and enable you to avoid injury
- Hold the bar. Ensure that you are within the barbell’s reach. Next, grip it with both hands a little bit more than shoulder width apart. Avoid folding your arms.
It is okay to use any grip you prefer. However, the mixed grip is recommended. Grip the bar with one of your palms facing you and the other facing the other way. This is important in ensuring that the bar remains stable and will not roll out of your hands. If both palms face in the same direction, the bar may roll out of your hands particularly if you are a novice or have a poor grip.
- Keep the bar close to the body and exhale as you work to straighten the legs before driving the bar through the heels and bringing the weight up past the knees. Ensure that the core is engaged as you go through the whole movement, (this is important for the protection of the spine). Finish it by pushing the hips into alignment with the feet and then tightening your glutes. Tightening the butt muscles will complete the hip extension, bringing the pelvis to a neutral position.
- After the bar is gone past the knees and your arms are straightened out, gradually rest it against your thighs. Ensure that you don’t bend your back or roll your shoulders back. It is suggested that you pause here for a number of seconds. The objective is to add an isometric aspect to the workout, and this can be helpful in providing greater strength gains.
- Keeping your back straight, gently hinge forward at the hips, bend the knees a bit simultaneously, and lower the bar back to the floor. This constitutes rep one.
The above guidelines will help you have a more effective deadlift and avoid a potential back injury.