How to Deadlift properly?

We're going to discuss about how to deadlift properly today. One of the best exercises you can do for muscle building and fat loss, if you do it in right way with a proper form. It is a great movement to build muscles of back, legs, core and traps muscles. In fact, you can say that it is an exercise that works the whole body. 

Most of the people do it the wrong way which can lead to severe injuries and problems. It is very vital to learn the accurate form first before performing the heavy lift. So, we will make out the checklist to break this down step by step.

How to Deadlift properly


Conventional deadlift
It is the most common forms of deadlift which you often see people doing at gyms. The legs are placed generally shoulder width apart and the hands just outside the legs.

Sumo deadlift
It is a variation in which the feet is at a wider stance and the hands are placed inside. It is said that this variation allows you to lift heavy weights.

Romanian deadlift
Also called the stiff leg deadlift, its main focus lays on the hamstrings contrary to the other movements that focus more on the lower back. The bending in this movement is mainly done using the upper body and not the legs.

Snatch grip deadlift
In this, the hands are at a much wider position than the legs. It is a type of Olympic lift which mainly focuses on the hamstrings.

I will suggest to begin with the conventional one and practice it thoroughly as it is the basic version out of all and I have been doing it myself from quite a time. You can do it along with back workouts or leg workouts. 

I prefer to do it on back days as it helps to keep the heavy lifts divided. As on the other case, if you do it on leg days, it will become more taxing along with the weighted squat movements.

You can perform it in a rep range of 5-8 reps. Do not perform deadlifts more than 2 times a week otherwise the muscles won't be able to recover properly before learning how to deadlift properly.

We are going to talk about the most common form of deadlift aesthetics workout today, ie, conventional deadlift. Let's get started with the checklist.


How to Deadlift properly

Any good article on how to deadlift properly starts with how you prepare your body to do it before you even do the exercise. There are actually two things you want to focus on. First of all, how far apart should your feet be? And how far under the bar are your feet going to go? First, let's deal with the simple one. The width of your feet should be the width of your hips. 

As far as 'how far under the bar the feet should actually go', there's a little hint I like to use here. I want to just see my laces on the other side of the bar. Now, a lot of people will try to roll the bar away, and then roll it back. 

That's sort of a pre-lift ritual, but ultimately what they are doing is they're getting that bar back to that position, and they're using the experience that they have, and being comfortable with moving the bar to get it there in the right position. If you're new and you're just learning this exercise, take one of those things out. Get set to the bar and don’t change anything else. 


deadlift hand placement

Okay now, with the feet in the proper place, now we've got to get the hands in the proper placement. There are two factors I want to cover here. It is the type of grip that we're going to use – because we've probably seen a lot of different grips being used on this exercise– as well as the width of your hands on the bar when you perform the lift. So first of all, let's talk about the type of grips: 

You have 3 different options here when it comes to how to grip bar during deadlift. Most commonly, you probably see this 'double overhand grip'. There's a great advantage to this that we're going to get into when we actually talk about performing the deadlift, but at the surface level here, this is giving you the most balanced distribution of your upper body, and how you're gripping the bar, so you don’t create muscle imbalances by gripping the bar. 

The second grip that you'll see often people do is a “mixed grip”. The mixed grip is one under, and one over the bar. This one allows the bar to stop rotating, because as it starts to fall out of one hand, it's actually turning more into the other hand. So you're creating more stability. It's the same way you would grab a cricket bat. That's what you're doing here, with the bar learning how to deadlift properly.

Next, you have a third option for the grip. This one is chosen by most of the advance lifters who perform this lift. That would be a hook grip where you take your thumb, you wrap it around, and then you wrap your fingers over your thumb. Now I'm going to tell you, if you're going to do this, it's going to be very uncomfortable. It's going to feel like you're snapping your thumb off. 

Okay, from here I still would advise – if you're going to do this, you're going to want to build up to this by starting with lighter weights, accommodating to this discomfort that you might feel on this the first time you do it. Then over time, of course, your body is going to become tolerant to it. It will be overall your most effective and strongest grip, and it will also not lead to those imbalances that the mixed grip would.

A lot of people are scared about tearing a bicep during any deadlift aesthetics. More so, it actually comes from what you're doing with your arm placement, in terms of width, and I'll tell you why. First of all, people sometimes want to grab the bar wide. But what you're doing when you grab wide is, you are effectively shortening the length of your arms. So you are causing yourself an increased chance that you're going to screw the lift up by going wider. The ideal placement here is to have your hands just outside of the feet. Keep it outside by about 1 or 2".

If your arms are too close, what happens is, you will create an elbow bend here while performing the deadlift. When you're doing it this way, you might get some flexion of the elbow as you perform the lift, which places a high degree of unnecessary tension on the bicep. That is what, more often leads to the rupture of your biceps muscle. You should focus on this point clearly while learning how to deadlift properly so as to remain injury free.


How to Deadlift properly

  • Neutral Spine
  • Chest up and out
  • Shoulders retracted
  • Back straight
  • Neck aligned with spine
  • Lats engaged

Now as we are learning how to deadlift properly, and that we have got the feet in place, we've got the hands in place, and now we've got to get our body in place. If you've followed what I've said to this point, as you lower yourself to the ground, if your feet are the proper distance away from the bar your shins will make contact with that bar. 

Here the only goal you should have is to get your back in the right position to execute this lift, as when people talk about the dangers of this lift it's because they're doing it with the wrong positioning of the back, which can cause a severe injury if you don’t do it right. 

So from here, you only have two cues on how to deadlift properly. You've got to drive your chest forward, up and out, and you want to drive your hips down. So from here the chest goes out, hips go down. You'll also find that your arms will get the lats activating to actually pull you into that position.

Now the key, as I've said, the position of the back being straight. You don’t want that rounded back. Don’t worry about how angled your body is to the ground as long as the back is in the right position. You may see people that are really far bent over or people that are more upright during the lift. 


Hips rising early
Many people including me in the beginning did this movement wrongly. They lift the hips first and then the barbell. This can cause a great damage to your back as it puts it in a very unnatural position. Also, it makes the back rounded during the movement which can lead to pains or injury. 

If you want to learn how to deadlift properly, never do this mistake. While learning the correct form of this lift, I would highly suggest you to do it in front of a mirror. It is a technical lift and you want to make sure you are doing it perfectly to maximise the muscle gains, right?

How to Deadlift properly

Round back
Next common deadlift aesthetics workout mistake that comes is starting the movement with a round back. If you won't keep your chest out and your back straight, the load will move away from the targeted muscles to the other ones. Always maintain a neutral and straight back before starting the lift. Engage your lats and glutes before each rep to do the lift.

Your core must be tight while performing the lift. This tip goes for almost all the compound movements. It's a common checklist for all exercises mostly and not only when you search for how to deadlift properly.

Neck alignment
Your neck and head must be aligned in line with your spine. Most guys ignore this step and they see here and there while performing the deadlift. Always keep your neck aligned and straight with the spine to avoid any sprain or injury.

Jerking the barbell
When the weight gets heavy, people tend to lift it by using jerks. That's why I said above that always pick a manageable weight to prevent these kind of mistakes.

Ego lifting
Guys think that if they will lift very heavy weights in deadlift workout, they will become very strong. Instead, they are hurting themselves and the muscle gains will convert into some lifelon injury. Never do ego lifting I say again and again as it leads to no benefit! Pick an ideal weight that you can handle easily and learn the form before increasing the weights in this lift.

How to Deadlift properly?

How to Deadlift properly

  • It has to start with a push of your legs off the ground until your hands are at the level of the knee. From the ground to the knee, and then from the knee, up. So now when you get in this position here, what you want to do – once that chest is out, and those arms are engaged, and the lower back is down. 

  • Once they get to the knee, that's when the hips will start to kick in for knowing how to deadlift properly in a correct form. Then, this will become a tremendous back exercise. But from ground to the knees, you're doing all the initiation with the push of your legs, as hard as you possibly can. So, it involves your leg muscles as well as your back muscles greatly.

  • You're not going to bring your body close to your thighs here because what that does is, it lifts with the hips. Lifting with the hips throws your low back into a rounded position which, again, is asking, and begging for slip disc injury. 

  • This is an incredibly safe exercise to perform with some immense benefits. One of the best exercises you can do, but you have to get this part right. The hip kicks in and the bar will continue to rise up, in that straight path. So right against your shins, and right against your thighs. This should be the aim on every, single rep. 

  • Now, on the way down you want to reverse the motion. Try doing 5-8 reps.

Guys, this article on how to deadlift properly has a lot of components to it, but when you put them all together it's actually very, very simple. It should become a staple of your training for reasons. Most of which, it's one of the best full body exercises. 

I want to make sure you get these all right. I hope you've found this checklist helpful and informative. If you did, do not forget to share it with your friends and leave a comment down below!

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