Avoid low back pain, stay safe, lift more than you ever have!
A “deadlift” is simply the motion of picking a weight off the ground.
Safe variations of it are integrated into most of our member’s workouts. It’s one of the best exercises for making the body STRONG!
While technically a lower-body exercise (hip hinge, to be exact) that works the hamstrings and *glutes*, the deadlift is truly a whole-body exercise, creating strength from the FEET to the HIPS to the CORE to the SIDES OF THE BACK to the GRIP of our hands.
In our gym, we use many types of weights and bars during the deadlift: straight barbells, hex / trap bars, kettlebells, dumbbells and more.
Here are the 10 “StrongFirst” Deadlift Rules for a straight barbell deadlift:
1. Approach the bar; don’t bring the bar to you. If it moves forward or backward, RESET your body position. Toes turned slightly out; bar should be over the mid/back foot, not the toes! (see pic above)
2. Bend shins to the bar so that they are touching the bar. If your shins leave the bar, RESET your position.
3. Push your shoulders down, called an anti-shrug, so that your lats (sides of back) are activated. Lock in this position. Simultaneously shorten your core by contracting abs down. The few inches you ‘shrink’ will make it that much less distance to lift!
4. Place hands just outside of legs.
5. WEDGE your hips between the ground and your shoulders.
6. It’s not a Pull, it’s a PRESS. Press the ground down with your feet. Start the pressing from your abs.
7. “Swim” the bar back with your lats…this keeps the bar close to the shin. You should literally be scraping your shins and thighs on the way up and down.
8. Worth repeating: don’t let the bar leave your skin!
9. Stand in a tall plank up top – glutes and abs squeezed; not bent and not overly extended.
10. Descend with control. Don’t drop the weight from the top or you’ll miss out on half the exercise!
This deadlift technique will help you not only prevent injury to the low back but will put you in the most optimal position biomechanically to lift and lift heavier, safely.
Here is Mike demonstrating the perfect set up and deadlift!
Be sure to keep an eye on your set up & execution the next time you’ve got Deadlifts in your program or are at your own gym, wanting to do this exercise like a pro.