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Updated: Jun 17, 2020

The Deadlift

My favourite lift, a true test of strength. Picking up a dead weight and putting it back down never looked so good. A movement that will build strength throughout your whole body.

Now obviously if you’ve ever stepped into the gym you would have seen somebody at some time performing a Deadlift or a variation of the movement, these would be performed with either a Barbell or Dumbbells/Kettlebell. Each variation works differently but we aren’t going to get into that right now. 

There are 2 main positions for the Deadlift; Conventional & Sumo. Which stance works best for you would depend on your body's leverages. Conventional suits a person with long arms and a short torso better. Whereas Sumo suits people with short arms and longer torsos. It would be good to play around with both and see which suits you better.

Setting up properly for Deadlifts is crucial. You will be handling a lot of weight and you need to make sure your body is in the right position to do so. When your hands are on the bar (in your desired stance) you want to create full body tension, grab the bar, pull your lats down and get them tight, this will make sure your back is in the correct NEUTRAL position, you then went to apply pressure with your legs to get the bar off the ground, when the bar gets above your knees that's when you start to drive your hips forward. Once the bar is at your hip you then squeeze your glutes to “lock out”. You DO NOThyperextend your back! Once you have locked out and completed the rep, you then simply let your hips sit back and let the bar come down. This makes sure you don’t catch your knees when the bar lowers to the ground.


  • Don’t lift with your back: This will cause your back to round over. Make sure you start the lift with your legs. You must never initiate with your back.

  • Don’t Start the lift with the weight far away from you:When you set up make sure the bar runs over the middle of your foot. This is the optimum position to start.

  • Don’t hyperextend your lower back:This can cause an injury and is not needed. Once your hips are locked out the rep is finished.

So back to the variations of Deadlifts. Each variation can help strengthen the main movement. For example a Block/Rack Pull will help with the top portion (Lock Out) of your deadlift, If you need help generating speed off the floor you could do deficit Deadlifts or use resistance bands (put that is a whole other type of training). If you are doing a variation and it is not helping your deadlift get stronger stop doing it!

So to end this make sure you’re getting better at your technique before adding weight to the bar. As cool as it looks to have a bar full of weight, doing it with proper form looks so much better.

For advice or help with technique, have a chat with me at MultiFit Salford. 

Coach Ashley. 

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