Be forewarned – the deadlift is not for pussies. It is a staple compound movement that is great for overall strength that will also help out your other lifts. Sure, it will also build muscle but this is a power move that has multiple benefits and works your lower back, hamstrings, core and grip strength.
Besides the squat, this is the exercise that most people do completely wrong and can really fuck themselves up. You can throw your back out bad and put yourself on the shelf for an extended period of time. So before you worry about how many plates you can fit on each side of an Olympic bar, get the form down.
Here are some valuable tips on how to deadlift correctly:
1. BAR TO SHINS
At the starting position, roll the barbell towards you until it makes contact with your shins. You want to be as close to it as possible before rising so that both centers of gravity (you and the bar) are close together.
2. ABS OUT
Once the bar is at your shins and you are tightening your shoulder-width grip, breathe in heavily and push your abdominals out. This will help support your core throughout the first half of the rep.
3. PUSH OFF THE FLOOR
The last thing that you want to do is yank the bar off the floor awkwardly, especially if you have a good amount of weight on it. Imagine that you are pushing the floor down with the bottom of your feet as you lift the bar.
4. KEEP IN TOUCH
The bar is already in contact with your body at your shins and try to keep it against you as it goes up. This will help your balance and leverage and unless your arms are shorter than the rest of us, you should be able to stop right before you roll a few hundred pounds over your ball bag,
5. GOOD POSTURE
You want to lock out your knees at the top but do not bend your lower back while up there. Tighten your ass muscles and that will in turn lock out your hips and keep you from hyper extending your back. Remember to exhale as you reach the top.
6. MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Once you’re at the top, take in another breath and exhale as you get closer to the floor. But instead of bouncing the plates off the floor, pause slightly at the starting position and breathe in again as you go up for the next rep.