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Barbell Deadlift Technique

Updated on October 2, 2010

Use Proper For When Weightlifting To Avoid Injury

Performing the deadlift exercise correctly is imperative to your health. Not practicing proper barbell deadlift technique can seriously injure your back. This article is meant to teach you how to perform the deadlift correctly.

A deadlift is a weightlifting exercise that is used to develop strength and muscular size in the hamstrings and lower back. The basic of deadlifting technique is to stand in front of a barbell on the ground with feet shoulder width apart. Hands are placed at shoulder width on the barbell and the weight is lifted from the floor. The exercise movement is finished when the legs are straight and the shoulders are rolled back. The most important part of the deadlift is to use proper form which is to keep the back straight through the entire exercise.

Proper deadlift technique begins with your starting position in the exercise. For beginners to the deadlift exercise, a overhand shoulder width grip on the barbell should be used. Weight lifting straps can also be utilized to keep a secure grip on the bar. Hips should be tucked back as though you are about to sit in a chair.

For more advanced weightlifters an overhand and underhand grip can be used which is one hand over and one hand under the barbell. This allows for the use of greater weight in the deadlift exercise, but also puts slightly different stress on the upper back muscles on each side of the back.

Once the proper grip has been set, you will want to bend your legs so that the upper legs are parallel to the floor. Also make sure that the knees are over the feet. The knees should never go beyond your toes or heels.

The next part of the deadlift is to pull the weight off the floor to standing position. To do this concentrate on using your quadriceps and butt muscles to pull the weight from the floor. Do not engage your arms in the movement, think of them as only hooks used to hold the weight. Remember to always keep your back flat throughout the entire exercise. Imagining you are pushing your feet through the floor instead of lifting the weight can also improve deadlifting technique.

Once you have reached the top of the movement it is time to lock the weight out. The easiest way to describe this is to think of a soldier saluting the flag in the military. You will want to roll the shoulders back to lock out the weight then the lift is deadlift is complete. Lower the weight back to the floor in a controlled manner and you are finished with the lift.

You now know the proper technique to performing a standard deadlift. Other variations of the dead lift include dumbbell deadlifts, stiff legged deadlifts, and sumo deadlifts, but I recommend that you master the basics deadlift technique before experimenting with variations.

Deadlift Technique Video


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