How To Do Deadlifts

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates Deadlifts

The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including your back, glutes, legs, arms, shoulders and core! This move should be done as often as squats, especially since it works more muscles than a squat. If you learn how to do a deadlift you will know the most effective lift around! So why don’t more people practice the deadlift?

One of the reasons is that there is more of a risk of injury associated with the deadlift since there are so many muscles being used. In addition, you are putting your back in a vulnerable position so if you do not perform this move properly you will feel it in your back. But, with the right form, you can get all the benefits and avoid all the injuries. The key is in your posture! Be sure to keep your spine aligned from top to bottom. Do not bend your back or hunch over. By keeping your eyes looking forward your spine will have a better chance at good, solid posture. In addition, keeping your abs tight and squeezing your glutes will protect your back as well.

Another tip for a successful deadlift is to keep your knees fixed the entire time. They don’t need to be perfectly straight. A slight bend is okay. But whatever position you choose, stick with it. Move from your abs and glutes.

Ideally, deadlifts are done with heavier weights than other moves. Practice your form first, but move to heavier weights once you are confident in your form.

Try the deadlift in our workout 10 Lower Body Exercises to Combat Knee Pain.

Here are the steps to performing a Deadlift:

1) Start standing with feet hip distance apart and dumbbells resting in front of thighs.

2) Tighten your abdominals and keep a flat back as you bend the knees slightly, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor.

3) Squeeze the glutes and use your hamstrings and legs to lift and return to your upright position.

Targets: glutes, hamstrings

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