How to Do a Deadlift: Learn the Ideal Execution

Many people have mixed feelings about the deadlift. On the one hand, it builds muscle, strength, and power throughout the body like no other exercise. The downside of deadlifts is that much can go wrong and practitioners may put the muscles and joints involved in jeopardy.

This article will take a look at how to do a deadlift and illustrate the ideal execution. This way, you can assure maximum benefits while avoiding injury.

athlete with tattoo clapping hands with talc getting ready to deadlift barbell

Necessary Equipment

Before we discuss the details of how to do a deadlift, it is important to mention the need to obtain the proper equipment to assure safety.

  • Shoes– Choosing the proper shoes is very important to deadlifting. Shoes should be low to the ground with sufficient grip and a flat sole.
  • Belt– A sturdy weight belt is an absolute necessity when performing deadlifts. The belt will provide support for the abdominal wall while helping you to maintain a proper and safe posture.
  • Socks– Knee-high socks or some other leg covering is suggested for protecting the shins from being scraped when performing deadlifts.

Steps to Properly Execute a Deadlift

When learning how to do a deadlift properly, close adherence to the following tips will prove beneficial. Before upgrading your daily physical routine, you should learn the theory first.

1. Firmly Plant Feet

The width that feet should be planted when performing a deadlift will vary from person to person. It is important to find the position that will provide you with the most power. For a reference point, find the width of stance that facilitates your highest vertical jump.

2. Ready Yourself

muscular man about to deadlift barbell inside gym

Use your hips to lower yourself and grab the barbell. Your hand placement should be just outside the shins. Too wide of a grip can cause undue stress in unwanted places. Therefore, remember to keep arms as tight to the shins as possible.

Shins should be at a 90-degree angle to the ground while the blades of your shoulders should hover over the bar. Before beginning the exercise, breathe in and steady the muscles of the abdomen to protect the spine while generating the most force possible.

3. Lift the Chest

Another important guideline when learning how to do a deadlift is to keep your back straight by raising your chest. This will engage the Latissimus Dorsi muscles on the back side of the body preventing the lower back from becoming rounded while performing your lift.

4. Pull up

Just before beginning the lift, it may help to visualize the act of bending the bar in your direction. This way, you will put in more effort to further engage your latissimus muscle also known as lats.

The movement to be used is similar to the leg press. Therefore, you will push to stand with the weight using the glutes as well as the hamstring muscles located at the back of the thigh.

Be mindful of not overextending the back when coming to the final position. Instead, stand straight and make sure to steady the lower back.

5. Lower the Bar

After finishing with the barbell, do not simply drop it in front of you. Likewise, lowering the bar too slowly can put added strain on the spine. When lowering the bar, simply unlock your glutes and allow the hips to move backward. Allow the bar to fall along the same path that it was raised.

Mistakes to Avoid When Deadlifting

black and white of fit man kneeling next to large barbell inside gym

The deadlift is an exercised that is perhaps performed wrongly more often than any other. Avoiding these common mistakes when practicing how to do a deadlift will prevent injury and assure the most of benefits.

1. A Rounded Back

The most dangerous mistake when performing the deadlift is allowing the lower back to become rounded. This results in uneven pressure on the discs in the back. It can also lead to serious injury.

2. The Barbell Is too Far from the Body

When performing the deadlift, allowing the bar to drift too far from the body increases the torque on the lower back. Keep the bar as close to your body as possible when standing with the weight.

3. Knees Locked too Early

Allowing the knees to lock too early will force the bar away from the body and lead to problems discussed above. This mistake often occurs when attempting to lift a weight that is too heavy.

4. Lats not Engaged

Failure to fully engage the lats will increase the arc in which the bar travels when holding the weight. This could lead to a number of possible injuries.

5. Hips too Low

Another frequent mistake is lowering the hips to the point it looks like you are squatting the weight. It is important to remember that the muscles used in a proper deadlift are mainly from the back of the mid to lower body. Therefore, avoid engaging the anterior muscles like the quadriceps that are used to perform a squat.


The deadlift is an exercise that is treasured by many gym goers but frowned on by some due to safety concerns. Nonetheless, you will be hard-pressed to find an exercise that provides as much bang for its buck in regards to building strength and power in the lower body.

It is important to have proper attire when learning how to do a deadlift to avoid injury. This, along with paying strict attention to proper form and technique, will ensure that you gain the greatest possible results while maintaining safety.

Give the techniques in the article a try and add the deadlift to your workout routine. Start with lower weights and build up with time. You will see the gains in both performance and appearance in no time.

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