When executed correctly, few things can develop the posterior chain quite like the deadlift.  This move utilizes hip and knee extension to pick a heavy weight up from the ground, and with a few pointers doesn’t have to be made much more complicated than that.

The video details precisely how to position yourself correctly at the start of the lift.  It’s important to note and also quite obvious that with round plates, the bar has the ability to roll back and forth a bit – it is your responsibility as the lifter to ensure that it doesn’t, and that the only acceptable motion of the bar is straight up and straight back down.

I encourage people in the starting position to really dig their heels into the ground to put some tension on the hamstrings and cue them that they’re about to have to do some work.  Beginners often struggle to feel exercises (especially compound ones like this) in their hamstrings so the extra effort there typically pays off quickly.

The glutes are the primary hip extensor and will be doing the bulk of the work here, along with quads for the knee extension component.  Of course an individual’s body morphology will play a significant role in determining exactly how the work is distributed between muscle groups.

Your upper body has a lot of work to do as well.  Muscles of the lower and upper back will be working isometrically to keep the spine straight, and the trapezius will be stressed throughout the movement as the heavy bar attempts to pull your arms out of the shoulder socket, requiring the delts to chip in and do some work as well.

As you can see a huge percentage of the body is involved in this lift.  It is a great exercise to include in your split and is right at home in a leg workout, back workout, or a posterior chain focus day.

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19 thoughts on “Proper deadlift technique

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