Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Lower Back
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, Middle Back, Hamstrings, QuadsAbdominals
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Deadlift Instructions

  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
    • Rib-cage set over your pelvis.
  • Approach the bar and have it positioned over your shoelaces.
  • Feet are just inside shoulder-widith.
    • Set your feet as if you were about to jump as high as possible.
  • With your knees slightly bent, tighten your mid-section and hinge at your hips to grab the barbell.
    • Maintain a neutral spine throughout, never rounding or arching your back.
  • Grip the bar just outside your knees.
  • Re-tighten and engage your body for the lift. You are trying to take all the "slack" out of your body. Imagine pulling your hips into proper position.
    • Raise your hips slightly then lower.
    • Activate your upper back & lats by trying to break the barbell with your hands.
    • Screw your feet into the floor.
    • Take a deep breath and fill your stomach with air.
  • The barbell should be underneath or level with your chest. Arms are fully extended.
  • Eyes are fixed downward with a neutral neck position.
  • Drive your feet through the floor and stand up. 
  • Maintain your core tightness throughout the movement.
    • Squeeze your glutes at the top.
  • Keeping your knees slightly bent and core tight, hinge at the hips to lower the weight back to the starting position.
    • You can release/drop the weight once the bar is past your knees.


  • For a more extensive look at the deadlift, read this piece about the biomechanics of it.
  • Make sure the plates you are using have the diameter of a 45lb plate (450mm).
  • Avoid arching your back excessively. This is false sense of core stability.
  • You can employ a mixed or a standard pronated grip. 
  • Do not "look up". You want to maintain a neutral neck position.
  • Keep the bar as close to your body as possible
    • Bloody shins might be a consequence unfortunately. 
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