5 ways to improve your deadlift technique

This is one of the most common weight lifting exercises. To achieve all its benefits it is important to follow the precise techniques.

Last update: 09 March, 2022

The deadlift is an integrative exercise in which a good amount of muscles are worked and that is susceptible to improvement. However, it is a movement that requires special attention to postures.

While not dangerous, it does involve lifting several kilograms of cargo. Therefore, its incorrect execution can cause injuries. Especially in the lower back.

For this reason, it is essential to have clear steps, so that back and hip muscles are not compromised. There are a number of tips to improve the movement of the deadlift and enjoy its benefits in less time.

Deadlift Characteristics

The deadlift is an exercise that consists of lifting, from the floor to the waist, a certain amount of load. A pair of dumbbells can be used, but the most common is to do it with a barbell.

It is a movement with multiple benefits for the whole body. Its correct execution engages almost all the muscle fibers of the legs, torso and back.

Along with the squat and the press of banking, makes up what is known as powerlifting. That is, the sport of maximal power weightlifting.

To carry out must be placed in front of the bar and bend down to initiate the grip, flexing the legs. The hands have to be positioned a little more open than the shoulders and keep the arms straight.

At the beginning of the lift, keep your lumbar curvature and look straight ahead. Then start the push until the legs are locked and you return to an upright posture.

It is important that there is no backward or forward tilt in the end position. Pulling should also not be done, as they can cause back injuries.

The press The bench press joins the squats and the deadlift to complete the maximum weight lifting routine that even constitutes a sport in itself.

Advantages of the deadlift

This exercise works multiple parts of the body in an integrative way. For example, the back, arms, shoulders, buttocks and legs. It has the following benefits:

  • It is good for evaluating individual strength.
  • Contributes to muscle development.
  • Collaborate with fat burning.
  • It is very simple to learn and execute.

How to adjust the deadlift to each person?

in the dead weight it is not possible to adjust the height according to the physical structure of the performer, as is usually done with banks. Adapting the exercise to personal requirements is a bit more complex. In addition, a body with short arms and a long torso is not the same as one with the inverse relationship.

However, there are some strategies that can be applied. For example, placing the bar on a stack of discs to regulate the height of the initial movement. Raising it a few inches reduces the range of motion. But this must be defined by each one according to their physical condition and comfort.



Ways to improve the deadlift exercise

Before starting with the tips, it should be clarified that use a light weight level at first. In this way, the postures are practiced and adjusted to later execute the movement with precision, when a greater weight is loaded. A good option is to start with 5-kilogram discs.

1. Select the type of grip

Once crouched, you should proceed to take the bar. There are 3 correct ways to do it, so each one can choose the one that generates more comfort.

However, you should not leave these alternatives. Applying an incorrect grip causes an imbalance in shoulder tension. The alternatives are the following:

  • Pronation: the most common grip, with the palms in contact with the bar and facing down.
  • Mixed: one hand in pronation and the other in supination, that is, looking up.
  • Hook: it is about placing the thumb below the rest of the fingers. This grip has the characteristic of greater resistance so as not to open the hands in heavy loads, although not all athletes recommend it.

2. Position the feet

In the initial upright posture, the position of the feet becomes critical. Placing them apart, with the fingers pointing slightly outwards, is ideal.

The spread range should be hip-aligned. On the other hand, it is advisable to place them 2.5 centimeters below the bar. In this way, once it is raised, it is positioned on the middle of the foot.

3. Muscles of the back

It’s key to keep your chest up once you start the lift. For that, use the muscles of the upper part of the back. Activating this sector favors alignment. Also, it’s important to keep your feet steady and put weight on your hands when the bar is about to leave the ground.

4. Attention to the knees

The lowering movement has to stop when the shin, i.e. the front of the shin, comes into contact with the bar. Otherwise the knees they can stay too far ahead and interrupt the passage. Keeping this posture firm changes the dynamic, since it will be the one that begins to support the weight lifting.

5. The lifting action

When you start to lift the weight, it’s important to breathe deeply to activate your core muscles. Also, contract the shoulders and focus the force of the foot towards the middle of it.

You have to raise the bar in a straight line, always in contact and touching the shin. Remember that jerks and sudden movements should be avoided.

Finally, reverse the execution to return the bar to the ground, keeping the feet and the rest of the body firm. Hold your breath and gently slide the weight down. Repeat the exercise as many times as the routine indicates.

The deadlift technique is not explosive, but releases energy progressively and controlling every aspect of the movement.

Alternatives to the deadlift

There are some variants of the exercise that present small changes in the form of execution and in the main muscles that are involved with the movement:

  • Starting Deadlift: It is the most common and used technique. Focus your work on the hamstrings.
  • Deadlift with hex bar: uses a hex bar. It acts by distributing the weight in a similar way.
  • Sumo style: the feet go a little more separated and the hands in the interior of the bar. This variant worked the quads and hips.
  • With stiff legs: maintaining a straight line in the back and making force with the torso. It requires more work on the legs and less on the knees.


exercise safety

In the deadlift, most of the power comes from the legs, chest, feet, hands, and arms. Therefore, with correct positioning, the rest of the action is simple and safe.

However, it is an exercise that engages the lower back. So, to reduce the risk of injury and enjoy its benefits faster, a lot of precision is required in the movements.

This is because you are working with a significant amount of weight. It is advisable to have the guidance of a personal trainer so that he can accurately mark the postures and thus improve the deadlift.

Some indications account for erroneous movements. For example, when exaggerated bending of the knees is required, it is likely that the back is not sufficiently extended.

If the problems persist, it is necessary to abandon the exercise and consult a specialist.

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