The deadlift is one of the most beneficial exercises you can perform in the gym. Done correctly it is a fantastic exercise to improve your glutes, hamstring and lower back strength which can also help to dramatically improve posture. Studies have also shown that heavy deadlifting on a regular basis can lead to an increase in muscle mass for the whole body due to the release of more testosterone and growth hormone into the body.
However, it is probably the most common badly performed exercise and when done badly can lead to serious injury. The most common problem being that people seem to think all they need to do is move the weight from point A (the floor) to point B (standing) with no regard for form.
- Approach the bar with feet shoulder width apart and toes underneath the bar. Shoulders should be directly over the bar as it almost touches your shins.
- You should be lifting from mid-shin height so if the weight is lower you may need to rest the weight on some blocks or plates to raise it up.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip (this may change as the weight gets heavier) just outside of your knees.
- Take a deep breath, hold it in whilst squeezing your abs. Try to push your chest out too to help keep your spine straight.
- Think about the movement being initiated by the hips and hamstrings not the lower back. Take the tension in your hamstrings and begin to drive your hips forward whilst standing up at the same time.
- Your torso and hips should be moving at the same time, not one then the other. Think about ‘driving’ the weight up rather than ‘pulling’ it from the floor.
- The spine should stay straight for the whole lift, until you lockout at the top. Do not hyperextend at the top (leaning backwards massively)
- Lower the bar throughout the same range of movement, taking care to maintain a straight back throughout.
This is me from a few months ago with 130kg, hopefully it gives you an idea of the stages of the lift. The main point is to ensure you maintain a neutral spine through and use the hips to drive forward. I usually like to do some hip thrusts, walking lunges and band walks before hand to make sure my glutes and hamstrings and nicely warmed up. Good mornings are also an excellent way to get the hamstrings and spine erectors working well.
Hope this helps a few people and post any comments/questions below.