The bar is pulled from the floor, up the legs with straight arms, until the knees, hips and shoulders are locked out. The bar is then returned to the floor by reversing the movement.
Like the squat, the deadlift works a lot of different muscle groups. These include back, legs, traps, arms, forearms and grip strength. Its a great exercise for targeting the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. It’s also considered one of the best, if not best exercises for building back strength. Here’s the breakdown for the deadlift movement:
Step 1. Load the bar with a light weight making sure the weight plates diameter is around 45cm, this is so there is roughly 20.5cm between the bottom of the bar and the floor. This is a standard height to deadlift from. If you cant achieve this height with a light enough weight due to its diameter, set up the bar in a power rack or use bumper plates.
Step 2. Step up to the bar, stand with your mid foot under the bar. Your stance should be roughly hip width apart with your toes pointed out about 15 degrees.
Step 3. Bend over at the waist, stiff legged, without lowering your hips, grab the bar about shoulder width apart so that your arms hang just outside your legs.
Step 4. With your grip secure, bend your knees and drop them forward until your shins touch the bar. Lift your chest up and straighten your back. Remember not to drop your hips, don’t squeeze your shoulder blades and do not move the bar yet. Stare at a point 12-15 feet in front of you.
Step 5. Take a big breath, hold it, stand up dragging the bar up your shins and legs, until you’ve locked your hips and knees. Do not shrug or lean back at the top.
Step 6. Return the weight to the floor by pushing your hips back first, bend your legs once the bar reaches your knees. Once the bar reaches the floor, rest a second then complete your next rep.
You have completed the deadlift.
Deadlifting with bad form by rounding your lower spine can lead to lower back injuries and lots of pain. Deadlifting with good form strengthens your lower back, increases strength and builds muscle. This will reduce lower back injuries during daily activities. If you have long legs and a short torso like me, you might be better suited to the sumo deadlift. The sumo deadlift is performed with a wider stance with your grip on the inside of your legs. I would definitely try conventional deadlifts first with perfect form, then if your having problems switch to sumo.
Alternatively if you have access to a hex bar, sometimes known as a trap bar, I would definitely recommend using it for deadlifting. The hex bar deadlift makes it very easy to keep perfect form because you stand inside it rather than having the bar in front of you, this means less stress is being placed on your spine. I really cant recommend them enough.