How to Perform the Deadlift

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The Deadlift is one of the most important fitness exercises, and with deadlifts, you train almost your entire body. Together with the Bench Press and Squat, the Deadlift belongs to the ‘big 3’. These are the three basic compound exercises that actually belong in any fitness schedule. The Deadlift is also one of the exercises that powerlifters often perform. In terms of technique, the Deadlift is one of the most difficult exercises to learn. I often see him being done wrong in the gym. Precisely because the Deadlift is such a complete exercise, it is important to master the execution perfectly. This way, you avoid injuries and get the most out of this exercise.


What muscles do you train with the Deadlift?

The Deadlift is a compound exercise, which means that the movement you make runs over multiple joints (read the difference between isolation and compound exercises). You train with deadlifts, almost your entire body. The primary muscle group is the Erector Spinae or lower back. Also, you address the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus, Adductors and Soleus, which we call the secondary muscle groups. All these muscles are needed to make a good Deadlift version.

Also, a few muscle groups are needed to stabilize your body. The Trapezius and Rhomboideus help keep the barbell in balance, and the Abdominis and Obliques stabilize your upper body. Finally, we should not forget the forearms, because your grip strength is important when lifting a heavyweight.

  • Lower back: together with the forearms, ensures that the rod is lifted stably.
  • Upper legs: contribute to the stretching of the knee joint.
  • Glutes & hamstrings: help to stretch the hip.


Deadlift version

The Deadlift is technically difficult fitness exercise. However, because heavyweights are often lifted, a good technique is essential to prevent injuries. Follow the steps below to learn a good Deadlift version.

  1. Grab a barbell (Olympic dumbbell bar) and put it on the ground for you.
  2. Place your feet at hip-width and grab the rod slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  3. Make sure of outstretched arms where your thumbs point inwards.
  4. Place the rod above the centre of your feet.
  5. Tighten your abdominal and glutes, bring your chest forward and your shoulder blades backwards.
  6. Take a deep breath and keep your back in a neutral position (do not draw orb or make excessive hollow).
  7. Lift the barbell from the ground.
  8. Tighten your glutes well when the rod is approximately at knee height.
  9. Hold this position for 1 second and then slowly and controlled the rod downwards, keeping your back in a neutral position.


Technique tips deadlifting

The Deadlift is a tricky compound exercise, and many strength athletes make mistakes when performing. Below I’ll give you some tips to improve your Deadlift technique.

  • Inhale before lifting the weight and hold your breath as you rise. Exhale as soon as you stand up. This reduces the tension on your spine.
  • Does the barbell often slip out of your hands when you’re getting heavier? Grab the rod with a mixed grip. This means that from one hand point your knuckles inwards and outwards with the other hand. As a result, the dumbbell bar rolls out of your hands less quickly.
  • During the Deadlift performance, look to the point that is slightly higher than your starting point. This makes it easy to keep your back in a neutral position. When you look down, chances are you’re pulling a convex back.
  • Are you tall? Then the Deadlift can feel unnatural because of your long legs. In that case, try a Sumo Deadlift. This makes it easier to hold the good technique, allowing you to keep the back in a neutral position.
  • Leave your ego at home. First, focus on the good execution of the Deadlift and then increase the weight. Remember; the right technique is many times more important than (too) heavy training.


Deadlift execution video


Fitness exercises

In this article, you have been able to learn the right Deadlift version. Use this step-by-step plan, along with technique tips, to get the best results in the gym. Avoid injuries and aches and pains by paying close attention to your posture. There are several Deadlift variants, such as the Sumo Deadlift, Stiff Leg Deadlift and Romanian Deadlift. Next time I’ll go deeper into the implementation of these fitness exercises.

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