The Official Deadlift Checklist (AVOID MISTAKES!)
- Published: 03 September 2017
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The deadlift is one of the simplest exercises that is also one of the most often misperformed. In this video, I’m going to show you how to deadlift and make sure you get it right every rep by using a simple 7 step checklist. You’ll learn how and where to place your hands, feet and body in relation to the bar as well as how to lift the damn thing off the ground with the heaviest weights you can handle.
Before ever deadlifting at all, it is a good idea to use a little bit of preparation. I show you a body prep and a movement prep to help grease the groove in both. The body prep is one that you can use quickly just to feel more loose prior to executing the deadlift. Place your feet wide against the inside of the plates and work to increase the mobility of your hips by addressing hamstring, pelvic and adductor tightnesses.
The movement itself can be made much easier to visualize how to perform by going through a simple flow prior to lifting. Place your hands on your thighs and let them move down as you do nothing but hip hinge. Once the hands are at the level of the knees, stop hinging and simply let your knees bend to get your hands down to the bar. On the way up, you will be reversing the movement. Push only through your feet until your hands are at the level of your knees, at which point you will drive your hips forward to complete the lift.
Once you feel loose and the movement is grooved, it is time to attack the deadlift with actual weight in your hands. Here you want to first be sure that your body is set up properly as it relates to the bar. Your feet should be hip width apart and the ties of your shoelaces should be visible beyond the bar when you look down at your feet.
The hands should be just outside of your legs, with enough room to make sure that you aren’t scraping your arms against the outside of your legs on the way up and that you aren’t inadvertently bending your elbows when you press your knees outward on the ascent which can jeopardize the health of your biceps.
Your grip can either be a double overhand, mixed grip or hook grip. The double overhand provides the least amount of stability but the most amount of muscle balance because of the uniformity of the hands and arms. The mixed grip can lead to imbalances between the muscles in the shoulder girdle if you don’t make sure to switch up between sets. The hook grip is definitely the most stabile but it is also the most uncomfortable and takes a lot of getting used to if you haven’t tried it before.
The beginning of the lift must be thought of as a leg exercise to protect the integrity of your lower back. Push through your feet while keeping your hips down during the first part of the movement. Do this until the hands are at the level of the knee. At this point, the hips should fire forward as you drag the bar up your shins and now onto your thighs. Keep pulling your arms down to your sides which will help to keep the bar close and will engage the lats to ensure stability of the shoulder girdle throughout the lift.
Reverse the movement back to the ground by first hinging at the hips until the bar is at the level of the knees and then simply bending the knees to get the bar back to the ground. When you want to learn how to do the deadlift it is important to have a few keys that you rely on and cue off of when performing it. I hope that these are very easy to both perform and visualize, making this the most helpful deadlifting tutorial that you have watched.
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