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.

    For more coaching from me in a complete workout program, head to and pick the program best suited to your goals by using the program selector. Start training like an athlete and see incredible changes to your body by focusing not only on what exercises you are doing but how you are doing them.

    For more videos on how to deadlift and how to bench press, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 4 391

    ATHLEAN-X™   7 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • junyevo18 allinoB
      junyevo18 allinoB  5 days back

      Us people who have back problems which position is the best to not feel back pain after lift?

    • David Nunez
      David Nunez  1 months back

      ATHLEAN-X™ Jeff somone told me that your ass is suppose to dip low to the floor?

    • Mr. Steve Barber
      Mr. Steve Barber  2 months back

      I tore my left labrum and use the mixed grip often cause letting my left arm hang straight down makes me too nervous. Any red flags 🚩? I’m not a professional athlete and don’t plan on doing any deadlift competitions. Will a mixed grip lead to issues? What issues? Thanks, Jeff!

    • Ayy Lmao
      Ayy Lmao  3 months back

      @Gaurav Gk yeah obviously? how should i know obviously since you didn't state that you've used the belt before lol

    • Gaurav Gk
      Gaurav Gk  3 months back

      @Ayy Lmao duh still the same obviously

  • Daniel Phillips
    Daniel Phillips  36 minutes back

    I have a question regarding head/neck position. I've seen conflicting info. Some say to maintain a neutral position and keep it aligned with the torso but here you recommend looking up as you hinge. What is the best way?

    • Linda Said
      Linda Said  6 hours back

      Good advice thank you

      • Abdullah Hussain
        Abdullah Hussain  8 hours back

        Hmm, for the positioning of the back, people with anterior pelvic tilt would have no problem with the rules 😃😉

        • Anastasios Mazis
          Anastasios Mazis  11 hours back

          Very Helpful reminder of proper execution!!!! Could you make another video of back neutrality during the lift. I occasionally exaggerate by over arching my back in order to keep it straight when i'm deadlifting heavy loads (80-90%) . I have a sore back for the next 2 days, spine related. How to achieve proper neutrality (not over arching and not over bending) to maximize proper lower back safe isolation?

          • Oraldo Uku
            Oraldo Uku  12 hours back

            The best explanation ive seen so far. I understand know how it works thanks to the little details you explained.

            • T Sama
              T Sama  21 hours back

              The most important and impressive part of this video is that Jeff actually puts the bar back down slowly instead of dropping it like a pussy.

              • HentaiMaster
                HentaiMaster  1 days back

                Jeff really be doing a tutorial on how to bend over

                • Le o
                  Le o  1 days back

                  Most of these will translate with a hex bar but I better go find your video on it

                  • Giovanni Serafín
                    Giovanni Serafín  1 days back

                    Proffesional💪🏻The Best- great video-thanks alot Jeff

                    • Karthik Narayana
                      Karthik Narayana  1 days back

                      Thanks for the vedio

                      • Fahad Ali
                        Fahad Ali  1 days back

                        Amazing to watch at speeded up to x1.75. A lot easier to follow that way

                        • prikshit rajput
                          prikshit rajput  2 days back

                          This is awsome course i have take in my life it change my entire fitness and stress [email protected]

                          • prikshit rajput
                            prikshit rajput  2 days back

                            This is awsome course i have take in my life it change my entire fitness and stress [email protected]

                            • prikshit rajput
                              prikshit rajput  2 days back

                              This is awsome course i have take in my life it change my entire fitness and stress [email protected]

                              • spike underwood
                                spike underwood  2 days back

                                You are absolutely amazing. Love listening to you. Love all the break down science of all your videos.

                                • Jay Johnson
                                  Jay Johnson  2 days back

                                  Best lift, best results.

                                  • VIRGO creativity
                                    VIRGO creativity  2 days back

                                    Hey man you broke it down really well wow I thought I learned how when I took weight training...

                                    • Bo Newman
                                      Bo Newman  3 days back

                                      Joe Rogan needs to get Jeff on his podcast.

                                      • Charles Sands
                                        Charles Sands  3 days back


                                        • Rajivrocks Ltd.
                                          Rajivrocks Ltd.  3 days back

                                          My form is very weak, I really need to work on it before going up in weight. I'm not really flexible so the starter position is already tough for me to get to.

                                          • Strong Island Handyman

                                            I can’t listen to anyone else’s advice after listening to Jeff

                                            • Fritz B.
                                              Fritz B.  4 days back

                                              This is how I’m going to pick up my laundry basket just to practice. Jeff- how about a doubleunderhand grip? That seems the most useful for everyday strength: moving furniture, boxes, bags of concrete mix, all of that real life stuff with no handles that you can’t really get your hands over...

                                              • Chewy
                                                Chewy  4 days back

                                                Your arms look like an erection

                                                • Brad French
                                                  Brad French  4 days back

                                                  Great vid on how to do a proper deadlift! Many people do it all wrong!

                                                  • syed nadeem
                                                    syed nadeem  4 days back

                                                    thanks dude...i have been doing this exercise for years but never realized the mechanics..

                                                    • Shippendales
                                                      Shippendales  5 days back

                                                      Amazing value. Thanks Jeff

                                                      • xXxno6xXx
                                                        xXxno6xXx  5 days back

                                                        Hands to small for hook grip.

                                                        Forever double Overhand

                                                        • River Savage
                                                          River Savage  5 days back

                                                          Excellent demonstration!

                                                          • Kevin Thomas
                                                            Kevin Thomas  5 days back

                                                            you forgot to focus on feet. push not off the toes but to try to lift with pressure on the heals

                                                            • Bharat Pant
                                                              Bharat Pant  5 days back

                                                              Seriously Jeff is a knowledge bank. Thanks for this video. I corrected my form through this video

                                                              • doh1959
                                                                doh1959  5 days back

                                                                that is the best explanation of this lift ive seen . it does worry me this lift but you have given me a better understanding of it tnx

                                                                • next universman
                                                                  next universman  5 days back

                                                                  I did well today..thanks...I did 180lbs for the first time to day 5 reps....I did so good

                                                                  • Mahir Sadman
                                                                    Mahir Sadman  5 days back

                                                                    U didn’t talk about retracting the scapula 😱😱

                                                                    • Digar Muhammad
                                                                      Digar Muhammad  5 days back

                                                                      Thnks sir. Very helpful

                                                                      • goodleshoes
                                                                        goodleshoes  6 days back

                                                                        So technical!

                                                                        • AMAR SHEOKAND
                                                                          AMAR SHEOKAND  6 days back


                                                                          • Shubham Rishishwar
                                                                            Shubham Rishishwar  6 days back

                                                                            If I could like it again! :)

                                                                            • Oli
                                                                              Oli  6 days back

                                                                              Just use straps instead of hook grip?

                                                                              • Ganging
                                                                                Ganging  6 days back

                                                                                Jeff bent the knee.

                                                                                • spiddyman007
                                                                                  spiddyman007  6 days back


                                                                                  • Exte Shotz
                                                                                    Exte Shotz  6 days back


                                                                                    • D Lish
                                                                                      D Lish  6 days back

                                                                                      Thank you. I was squatting too much trying to stay leaned back and the bar kept hitting my knees. Now I know the correct form.

                                                                                      • Rob Woitowich
                                                                                        Rob Woitowich  6 days back

                                                                                        Hey Jeff. How about doing deadlifts with dumbbells?

                                                                                      • Amlan Dutta
                                                                                        Amlan Dutta  6 days back

                                                                                        No one explains it like u do Jeff! U are a life saver!

                                                                                        • Shashank Shekhar
                                                                                          Shashank Shekhar  6 days back

                                                                                          Hey Jeff, What are your thoughts on Starting Strength's 5- step guide to a proper deadlift, would you recommend it to us?

                                                                                          • DustinLaBarge
                                                                                            DustinLaBarge  6 days back

                                                                                            You should be a guest on Joe Rogans podcast

                                                                                            • Chris Pham
                                                                                              Chris Pham  6 days back

                                                                                              Wow, I never thought someone like you would take time and taught people how to deadlift the RIGHT WAY. Thanks for the info! I always wanted to do this the right way but never found any.