Deadlift Tips and Check List

Deadlift Check List

The deadlift is a very important exercise to master. This is a compound (multi-joint movement) exercise that is beneficial inside and outside of the gym.
Many people have a fear of hurting their back from doing deadlifts. However, the reality is you are much more likely to hurt your back outside of the gym by picking up something up with bad form that only weighs around 20 pounds.
The deadlift is very safe and effective as long as you keep good form the number 1 priority. Building strength is very important. Keeping good form is the most important. If you cannot maintain proper form than you are not ready to lift heavier. This applies to every exercise. Never sacrifice form to add more weight.
Here is a quick check list for a proper deadlift.

Deadlift Starting Position

  1.  Step up to the bar
  2. Bar should be over the center of your feet (center of gravity)
  3. Grab the bar with your hands; shoulders should be slightly in front of knees
  4. Slightly bend knees until shins tough the bar (Do not let your shins push the bar away from the center of gravity; Do not SQUAT into position)
  5. Take a big breath and hold
  6. Push Chest out
  7. Squeeze your Lat’s (back) tight as if you are doing a row exercise
  8. While maintaining chest out, core and back tight, drive your feet into the ground and drive through your hips lifting the bar off the ground.
  9. Keep you whole body tight at the top.
  10. The bar will move in a straight path.


Returning to the bottom

  1. While maintaining chest out, back tight and core pressure, break at your hips first. (Do not squat back to the starting position.
  2. Bring your shoulders slightly in front of your knees. This will prevent you from slamming the bar into your knees on the way down.
  3.  Begin to lower the bar.
  4. Once the bar “clears” your knees, break at the knees to return to bottom position.

Few tips to keep in mind
1. If you are lifting heavy (1-5 reps), you will take a big breath in at the bottom (starting position and hold your breath during the entire rep. You will take the next rep before beginning each rep. This help maintain core pressure and back safety during heavy lifts.
2. If you are doing higher reps (6 reps or more). You can breathe in before your start the rep and breath out on the way up.
3. The bar must move in a straight path. If you are having a hard time maintaining a straight bar path, record yourself from aside view to check your form.
4. Keep a neutral spine. Do not shake your head or look around during the rep.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time.
Keep training hard,
Houston Fry
Ultimate Fitness Coach
IFPA Master Trainer

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