As a bodybuilder, you’re almost certainly familiar with the deadlift. It’s a simple form of weight training that’s both grueling and highly effective. Done right, it can be one of the most effective means of working out, training numerous elements of your upper body. This workout is useful for building back muscle and overall body strength.
And as with any form of powerlifting, doing the deadlift properly can be what makes the difference between serious gains, and severe injury. Below, we’ve gathered a guide for a safe, efficient approach to deadlifting – the sort that’ll get you on top of the game in terms of both safety and gains.
Deadlift Workout Proper Form Tips
1. Foot positioning
One of the most natural mistakes to make when it comes to deadlifting is getting one’s feet in the right position; but as any bodybuilder should know, when lifting heavy weights, the smallest adjustments in body position can be critical for a safe and effective workout.
When deadlifting, one’s feet should be facing directly forward and kept shoulder-width apart; while the bar itself ought to be held over the middle of the feet. This is the best approach to ensure both proper workout and safe balance.
2. Back positioning
This pretty much goes without saying for any instance of lifting heavy weights (exercise or not), but the back should be kept as straight and neutral as realistically possible. Anything else puts excess pressure on the spine.
3. Hand positioning
Hands ought to be held about shoulder-width, approximately an inch wider than the shins either side. This keeps the hands relatively close together on the bar, and also keeps them facing directly downward. This is the best way to ensure that your arms get a proper workout.
Also, the palms should be kept facing upwards, with the bar held around the fingers rather than pressing directly down on the center of the palms. This is the best means of minimizing pain.
4. Head positioning
As with your back, your head ought to be kept in as neutral a position as possible to ensure proper spine safety – looking too far either up or down can be dangerously wearing on your backbone.
The best way to ensure spine neutrality when deadlifting is to keep your eyes on the floor directly before your feet, rather than on your feet themselves. This provides a straight line from your head to your buttocks during the whole lift, protecting your spine.
As with any form of workout, proper breathing technique is essential to ensure long endurance and help you get the most out of the exercise.
The best deadlift breathing technique is simple in theory but can be tricky to maintain. You would begin, obviously, by inhaling just before you lift the weight. From there, you would be sure to hold your breath during the entire lift, and not allow yourself to exhale until the weight is back on the ground. This is the ideal way of stabilizing your body and ensuring that you can endure a longer workout.
Gary David is the founder and CEO of CrazyMass, one of the nation’s leading supplement companies. Before starting CrazyMass in 2006, Gary was a bodybuilder and personal trainer for several gyms throughout Northwest Michigan, helping clients meet their fitness goals. Gary happily worked in this profession for over 15 years. He saw that most weight gaining products to increase muscle were made with ingredients that were dangerous or of poor quality. He knew there was a safer and healthier way to do this, so he created a special blend of herbs, amino acids, and nutrients to help bodybuilders slim down and gain muscle.
Although Gary no longer participates in bodybuilding competitions, he continues to be involved in the community, helping others prep for shows and attending events where he can advertise CrazyMass products. When Gary isn’t working long hours, he likes to spend his time working out at the gym, boating on Lake Michigan, traveling the trails around Northern Michigan by four-wheeler, and spending time with his family. He also loves to take a yearly trip to Europe with his wife and children.