How to Deadlift: The Definitive Guide to Proper Deadlift Form

This Deadlift guide will show you how to perform conventional Deadlifts with safe and proper technique if you’re a beginner. You will also discover strategies for experienced Deadlifters to bust through any plateau, increase your Deadlift, boost your grip strength, eliminate lower back pain, and much more.

The Deadlift is the most important exercise next to the Squat because it works all your muscles with the heaviest weights possible. Deadlifts will also teach you to pick up an object with a straight back – this will prevent injuries like hernias which usually result from repeatedly lifting with a round lower back.

Here’s a free video of me Deadlifting 451lb (that’s 205kg or over 2.7x my body-weight) with proper form. Watch it, then read the Deadlift tips below.

How To Deadlift: Mehdi From StrongLifts Deadlifts 451lb (2.7x BW)

How to Deadlift.
As a 500lb drug-free raw Deadlifter who started his strength journey not even able to do a single Push-up, I’ve found correct technique to be crucial for Deadlifting big weights and eliminating lower back pain.

Always start with the bar on the floor. Pulling from the safety pins is a Rack Pull. Deadlifting top down is a Romanian Deadlift. With conventional DEADlifts the bar must always start on the floor. Here’s how to Deadlift in 5 easy steps:

  1. Stand with the bar above the center of your feet – your stance should be a bit more narrow than shoulder-width to give your arms room.
  2. Grab the bar overhand so your arms are vertical to the floor – if your hamstrings are tight, do Squat 2 stands to boost your hip flexibility.
  3. Bend through your knees until your shins hit the bar which must remain above the middle of your feet. Shoulder-blades directly over the bar.
  4. Lift your chest but don’t squeeze your shoulder-blades like on Squats. Just put your shoulders back & down, head inline with rest of your spine.
  5. Pull - keep the bar close to your body, roll it over your knees and thighs until your hips and knees are locked. Do not lean back at the top.

And that’s all there is to it. Lower the bar by pushing your hips back first, and then bend your knees once the bar reaches knee level (NOT before otherwise the bar will hit your knees). Repeat for 5 reps on StrongLifts 5×5.

Are You Making These Deadlift Mistakes?
Here are just some of the mistakes I always see guys making: leaning back at the top, thinking Deadlifts are Squats, and pulling instead of pushing. All of this is explained inside the next articles…

How to Break Any Deadlift Plateau.
The 3 crucial ingredients to increase your Deadlift are a) technique b) recovery c) a strong grip. Read these posts:

How to Eliminate Deadlift Injuries.
The Deadlift is reputed to be a lower back killer. Yet like with every other exercise, if you experience pain it means you’re doing something wrong. Read these posts to eliminate common Deadlift pains…

Want to Increase your Deadlift?
Then check out my StrongLIfts 5×5 training program. It has you Deadlift every other workout and will quickly help you get your Deadlift to 180kg/400lb by training only three times a week. Check the guide here.

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