Latest Blog For TOWIC

The Deadlift is one of my favourite lifts. There’s always a sense of achievement and a feeling of strength when you lift a heavy weight off of the floor, safely, efficiently and with good form. Especially every time you beat your PB!

A few points to take in to consideration about the Deadlift;
  • It’s a great movement to build overall strength.
  • If your sole focus is body composition there are other exercises that will build muscle more effectively.
  • It’s a full body movement or compound lift. I get asked a lot, which muscles the Deadlift works and I tend to answer, all of them!
  • It works the posterior chain effectively – but the Romanian version does so even better!
  • Having long legs, being tall and lacking mobility can all hinder the Deadlift. In these cases alternatives may be better – think Sumo Deadlifts, Back Extensions, Bent Over Row – still working the posterior chain – but safely and efficiently.
After taking these points on board, we can now look at the Deadlift!
I like the image above. If we look at it from right to left you’ll see the form that should be maintained throughout the movement.

Feet under the bar – Your feet should be in a neutral position – try jumping on the spot, where your feet land should be a pretty natural position for you. The bar should be sitting over the middle of your foot – think laces of your trainers.

Bend from the hips – push your butt back and bend over to reach the bar. If you’ve done this correctly – your shoulders should be slightly forward of the bar and your arms should be locked out straight.

Bend your knees – until your shins reach the bar. The bar should remain over the middle of the foot. It’s only a slight knee bend, make sure you can still feel a slight pull in the hamstrings so that you are loading the back of the body.

Neutral spine – The back should not be rounded or over arched. Lift the chest and keep the belly and lower back tight.

Take a breath – Into the belly and brace – imagine you’re about to be punched in the stomach – this should cue your body to brace.

Drive through the feet – Whilst the Deadlift is technically a pulling movement – think of it as a pushing movement. Push the ground away with your feet and stand. The arms should still be straight, the back should still be neutral and the bar should remain over the middle of the foot.

Bar path – The bar should come up vertically. Keep the bar close to the legs – moving it away from the body will put unwanted pressure on the lower back.

Finish position – You should finish in a standing position. Keep the bar close to the body, arms locked, and don’t lean back. Hips and knees should be locked out at the top.

Tune in next week for what could go wrong with the Deadlift – and how to fix it.