How to do the Perfect Deadlift

A Deadlift is an advanced compound weight lifting exercise that is well known for its ability to build strong legs and glutes. The exercise targets multiple muscles groups including the erector spinae and trapezius of the back, glutes, hips, and core, and the hamstrings of the upper legs.

If performed properly, the benefits of adding deadlifts to your routine can easily outweigh the risks. The deadlift is one of the best movements for mimicking activities performed in daily life as you pick up and carry heavy objects.

How To

  • To perform a deadlift, begin standing with feet planted firmly on the floor at about shoulder width apart with your toes under the bar. When lifting, the bar should be kept as close to the body as possible.
  • Engage the abdominals and squat down to pick up the bar. Remember to bend at the knees and keep the back straight. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing down and thumbs facing toward each other. The bar should be held just a touch wider than the line of the knees.
  • Now, exhale as you lift the bar upward by pushing through the legs. Be careful not to drive the hips forward or haul the bar up with your arms. You want to avoid rounding your back at any point during the movement.
  • At the top of the motion, the bar should come to rest at about the thigh. Pull the shoulders back as much as you can without arching the back.
  • To complete the maneuver, slowly lower the weight back to the floor as you squat through the knees, keeping a straight back thoughout the whole movement. Remember to hinge at the hips rather than sinking through the spine.


As an advanced exercise, the number of deadlifts required to be beneficial is a lot lower than you might think. Beginners who are using less weight and working on perfecting their form should aim for about three to five sets of 5-8 repetitions. For the more advanced lifter who is lifting a heavier load, three to five sets of 1-6 repetitions is all that is needed to see results.


Dumbbells: If you find using a barbell too heavy, you can use a single dumbbell or a set of dumbbells. Alternatively, a kettle bell can be a great tool to use. This allows you to slowly build your weight as you get more comfortable with the movement required.

Different grips: If you are ready for really heavy weights, using a mixed grip (one hand in an overhand grip and the other in an underhand grip) ensures a more secure grip while lifting. A wider grip targets the back and hips more, which is a variation used by more advanced lifts.

Cautionary Notes

Be very cautious not to round the back while performing deadlifts, as this can be extremely taxing on the spine and back muscles and can very quickly lead to injuries.

Never use momentum to complete a deadlift. Only slow, controlled movement should be used. Using speed to assist the lift will quickly degrade your form and put you at serious risk of injury.

Pregnant women can perform deadlifts, especially those familiar with the exercise, but lighter weights should be used.

Heavy deadlifts are one of the exercises that are most taxing on your nervous system. Regularly pushing your body to its maximum with deadlifts is not as beneficial as you might think. Lifting heavy is fine, but lifting to fail is not necessary with deadlifts.

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More Deadlift Related Resources

I Built Serious Strength Doing This Deadlift Workout
How To Deadlift: Form Guide, Tips And Variations | Coach Exercise Guides
6 Deadlift Variations Your Butt Will Thank You For | SELF
How To Deadlift: The Ultimate Guide
The Deadlift: King Of Exercises!
How To Deadlift: A Beginner’s Guide |
Deadlift With Proper Form: Ultimate Guide to Deadlifting Safely | Nerd Fitness

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