Deadlifts: A Brief Guide

Heck yes!
HAHAHA! GOTCHA!
  • Bend your knees to get closer to the ground (not a squat)
  • Position yourself as close to the object as possible
  • Hold the object in your hands
  • Lift with your legs (not your back; more details later)
  • Get as close to the barbell as possible. Your shins need to be touching it before beginning the lift. (Hint: Wear long socks if you don’t fancy scratched up shins)
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bend at your knees and reach down such that your shoulders are just a tad past and over the bar. Do not squat down all the way, this is not a reverse squat. Your hands on the bar should be just outside your legs.
  • Keep your spine neutral. This is the most important part which will save you from injury and you’ll come back and thank me. This is the hardest part to teach a new lifter and it comes with time. Start really light so that you can learn the form before you go heavy. If I were to place a stick at the top of your head, it should run down your spine straight while touching your entire spine all the way down to your butt. Kinda likes this —
  • Don’t ever use gloves. They can cause issues and you won’t be developing your grip strength. If the bar slips or your grip is not strong enough, use chalk.
  • Wear long socks as mentioned above. Unless of course you want to get scratched up shins.
  • Wear good lifting shoes. I recommend converse chuck taylors. They are the best deadlifting shoes you can get on the market. Don’t deadlift in your cross-trainers or running shoes. They have padding which can make you unstable while lifting from the ground. In order to get maximum push from the ground, you want a flat soled shoe like the chuck taylors.
  • Now for the grip. I started out with a double overhand grip which is standard. Which means your palms are facing your body while lifting. As I went heavier, I noticed my grip strength wasn’t keeping up with my deadlift strength. So, I switched to mixed grip. Which means; one palm facing you and second palm facing away. A lot of lifters lift this way and I have nothing against it. However, I don’t recommend it. When you use a mixed grip, your body is not completely aligned because of the hand position. If you feel your grip is not keeping up with your deadlift strength, you can do two things. Either slow down on your progression and train your grip with pull ups and other pull movements; or suck it up and go hook grip on deadlifts. If you do the latter, make sure you tape your thumbs and get used to lifting like this with lighter weights because it is agonizingly painful. However, with time it gets better when you get used to it.

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