Protected Deadlift in Right Kind: Step by Step

Deadlift day is my favorite day of the week.

After reading This ultimate guide to deadlifts – part of our Strength 101 series – it will be yours too!

Click any of the links below or scroll down to read the entire guide:

Teaching people to deadlift and familiarizing themselves with barbell training is one of my favorite things to do in our 1-on-1 online coaching program.

We'll run video form reviews through our coaching app, create a program to fit your schedule, and even help you improve your diet.

If that sounds like something you're interested in …

Learn to deadlift safely and with the right form in our coaching program! Learn more:

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What are the benefits of the deadlift?

The deadlift is a true full body movement.

While most people would consider it a "back" exercise, others will argue that it is a "leg" exercise.

In my book it is an all exercise.

And who am I?

I am Staci Ardison. I love the legend of Zelda.

These are the deadlifts 456 lbs (206 kg) with a body weight of 150 lbs (68 kg):

In 2011, I could barely lift a pink dumbbell.

But then I fell in love with heavy barbell training and that The deadlift changed my life:

I am now a regular powerlifting competitor and senior coach for the NF coaching program, where I help people like you achieve their strength training goals.

I wrote this guide on deadlifting because it's the exercise that will change your life too.

Why is the deadlift so great?

Well, when you deadlift, you are using every single muscle in your body:

  • Your arms, forearms, and hands hold onto the barbell, making sure that the bar stays in the correct position and remains stable throughout the lift.
  • Your shoulders and traps hold the weight and keep it stable.
  • Your back and core keep your entire body toned and stable to keep your spine secure.
  • Your back chain(1) and legs as levers and lifting weights.

Whenever someone asks me where I got my shoulders / abs / etc. from, I answer immediately: Deadlift.

Why a million crunches when all I can do is deadlift?

Much more fun! Also, deadlifts are actually more effective at building a strong core.

In addition, the deadlift is a fundamental human movement. Besides squatting, there may not be any other movement that is more “functional”.

From the grocery store to moving a piece of furniture to lifting your child off the floor – you're deadlifting.

When you build solid form deadlifts at the gym, your form of taking in real life things also improves.

This means you are less likely to injure yourself now and later (not just because you are stronger, but because your body knows how to properly handle the weight).

And that goes beyond just picking up objects – The way you move around while shoveling snow, gardening, and doing other basic day-to-day tasks will improve dramatically with deadlifts.

Don't be the guy with the back problem who lifted the random object!

Oh, and by the way, deadlifting isn't limited by age or gender – even Grandma thinks it's cool.

The deadlift is fantastic – perhaps the purest level of strength: Either you can lift the weight off the floor or you cannot.

Would you like to achieve your strength training goals with a trainer who gets to know you better than you do? Click here:

What is the correct deadlift form? Safe deadlift

When you do a deadlift, you are lifting a dead weight off the floor (hence the name, duh).

The deadlift can actually be taught in one sentence:

"Bend your knees and bend with a flat back to pick up a loaded barbell from the floor."

It looks like this (this is Steve from Team NF pulling 420 pounds):

Of course, this sentence does not do justice to the greatness of this exercise.

To do a traditional barbell deadlift:

  1. Walk up and under a barbell with your feet slightly tilted outward and hip-width apart.
  2. Bend over and hold the barbell with both hands at shoulder width.
  3. Bend your knees up to the bar nearly touches your shins.
  4. With a neutral spine, bend your bum and support your stomach.
  5. Pick up the bar off the floor (it helps to think, “push your feet down through your heels”).
  6. Continue to press down with your legs until the barbell passes your knees, then slide your hips forward until you stand up.
  7. Reverse your movement until the bar is back on the floor.
  8. High five even for a deadlift.

(Don't worry, I'll go into this in more detail below.)

Oh, what's this?

Would you like more details on each of these steps !? For sure.

Phase one: the deadlift setup.

* NOTE: Always warm up properlyand just start with the bar, even for deadlifts!

  1. Load the rod and secure the panels with collars. If you are just starting out with the exercise, start with 5 to 10 pound plates. Raise the bar with boxes or blocks about the same way you would with 45 pound plates (if your gym even has workout plates that size is better!). You may also be able to use your gym's power rack.

  2. Go to the ledge like you're about to jump. Of course, your feet should be about hip width apart (8-12 inches) apart and your feet light Angled outwards (5-10 degrees).
  3. Look down – The bar should be above the center of your feet. When wearing lace-up shoes, the bar is roughly above the tied part of your shoelace.

Phase two: preparing to lift the bar!

Here are the next steps before you lift the bar off the floor (I'll ask Websters to add the word "deadlift" to the dictionary):

  1. Without moving the bar or your hips, bend down and reach for the bar. Your legs should still be straight at this point. The width of your grip is slightly outside your legs, but not so close that they touch. For now, a simple double overhand grip works (both palms facing behind you). We'll discuss the options in the handle in more detail later!
  2. After holding (but not moving) the bar, move your hips down. As you do this, your shins will come forward until they touch the bar. Stop moving your hips down when your shins hit the bar.
  3. Squeeze your chest out and bend your chest like you are King Kong preparing to slap your chest for intimidation. As you do this, your back should be flattening and your spine should be in a neutral spine position.

This is the final deadlift starting position: everything is firm and in place and you can pull.

To recap, we don't want your back to be rounded or overstretched.

If you're just starting out, you might have gone too far (overstretched) when you get into a neutral spine. So don't be afraid to ask a friend for help or to record yourself so you can see what you are doing.

We also do form reviews with our 1-on-1 coaching clients for such things.

Have your deadlift form checked and follow your individual training program in our coaching app!

Phase three: Deadlift in the right form (THE DEADLIFTOFF!)

If your setup looks and feels good, then you can lift it up.

Here's the conventional deadlift, as I (Staci) and Jim from the NF Coaching Program demonstrated:

Here are those steps in writing.

Inhale and fill the space deep in your stomach (like a deep belly breath). While holding your entire back, bum, and core in place with your chest inflated, slide down through your heels and the bar should lift off the floor:

  1. All of your weight should be on your heels and in your metatarsus. You should be able to wiggle your toes all the time (although this isn't part of the deadlift!). Imagine pushing the earth world away from the bar with your heels instead of pulling the bar up.
  2. During the movement, your whole body should move upwards at the same speed. This means that your butt shouldn't rise faster than your chest, or vice versa. You may have heard of the term "stripper deadlift" – in which case your butt will rise in front of your chest first.
  3. Your arms should stay straight all the time. They're only there to hold onto the bar – they don't bend or pull at all. Your legs and core do all the work!
  4. The bar should stay in contact with your body at all times – You will literally pull it up your thighs. This is why you see a lot of powerlifters whose legs are covered in chalk or baby powder (and why they usually wear socks that cover their shins to avoid cuts and scratches). Don't let it come forward. If you draw a line that follows the path of the bar from the floor to the lockout, it should be a straight, vertical line.
  5. As you pull, you should be squeezing your glutes like you're putting a dime between your … well, you know. When the bar passes your knees, remember to bring your hips under the bar by squeezing your glutes. So, as you pull with your arms, press your feet through the floor and push your bum under the bar.
  6. At the beginning of the movement, stand tall and proud with your chest openas if you were King Kong preparing to hit his chest.
  7. Don't overstretch yourself or sit back. You want to keep your spine neutral and everything tight.

I realize there is a lot to be done and that's fine! You have read this far and I am proud of you.

Many people are so scared of the deadlift and avoid it at all costs because they are afraid of splitting in half or getting injured in some other way.

That's why we not only created this fantastic guide to deadlifting, but also a way to review technique and movement so you can be sure that you are doing it right.

If you'd like an expert to review your deadlift form and help build an exercise program that is tailored to your goals, check out our 1-on-1 online coaching program. With our coaching app you can record a video of your movement and send it directly to your coach, who will give you specific feedback:

Deadlift rules. Let us teach you the correct procedure (with video form checks)! Learn more about our coaching program:

Set the bar (should I drop the bar on a deadlift?)

OK! You have taken the weight off the floor and finished the movement. But what now?

Your body should all descend at the same time, just as it ascended during the deadlift, only the other way around!

Unlock your hips and Slowly move your hips back until the bar lowers over your knees, then bend your knees and Slowly lower the bar to set it down (make sure you unlock it at the same time.

Do not unlock your knees first, as this can cause uncomfortable movements and potentially your lower back becoming rounded.

I repeat: don't do this:

Don't get lost until you let go of the bar.

This is extremely important – a large number of deadlift injuries come from people who are very excited about taking a lift, getting out of tightness, and then putting the bar down incorrectly.

You want this to be a quick move – lowering the deadlift slowly will take a lot of weight off you and leave you sore for days.

Should you drop the bar during the deadlift?

The eccentric part of the deadlift (lowering) is actually riskier than the concentric part (lifting) of the deadlift.

Many coaches recommend dropping your deadlift (especially for advanced athletes who cannot afford to forego performance later in the week).

In our opinion, especially if you work out in a commercial gym, I would recommend putting the bar down (especially if you want to compete in powerlifting competitions – the lift doesn't count if you drop it).

So practice putting the bar down correctly. It is just as important as practicing the pickup.

By the way, we have a massive one Strength 101 guide that you can download for free when you join the Rebellion (our free community).

Get the guide when you sign up in the box below!

Download our comprehensive guide

  • Everything you need to know to get strong.
  • Exercise routines for body weight AND strength training.
  • How to find the right gym and train properly in one.

Proper deadlift grip, harnesses, and other equipment

Grip strength is a big part of the deadlift. If you can't hold the bar, you can't lift it!

This is how you quickly improve your grip strength.

There are two main grips when it comes to them Deadlift.

# 1) Double overhand grip. Both of your palms face your body. This is The safest grip and the best grip for beginners.

# 2) Mixed grip: One hand grasps the rod with an overhand grip and another hand grasps the rod with an underhand grip.

The mixed grip has many disadvantages:

  • It puts an uneven load on your shoulders
  • It can exacerbate problems in the biceps on the side where your palm is facing out
  • It's easier for your elevator to be uneven as you are literally gripping the bar with uneven hands.

So why a mixed grip?

You can lift more physically. The bar wants to roll out of your hands. So if you're using a mixed grip, the more likely your grip won't fail you on a heavy lift.

If you are starting to lift more than your grip can handle, this is an option to consider A mixed grip for your heaviest lifts. However, be sure to use double overhand during your warm-up sets. Also, consider doing grip strength work.

# 3) hook handle: In this grip, place your thumbs under your fingers.

That kind of grip is prefers on the mixed grip due to the fact that it does not cause imbalances. However, it has one major drawback:

It hurts like hell

From personal experience you get used to it and your thumbs can do it, but prepare for pain as you learn to do the hook grip!

Whichever grip you use, you will likely want to invest in some chalk! It is absolute optional and initially won't be incredibly useful.

However, once you start putting some weight on the bar, chalk is tremendously helpful in getting hold of the bar (I use this type of lifting chalk). I find this to be a better, smarter, and safer option than straps or gloves.

Speaking of …

Here are some common questions about deadlift equipment:

# 1) "Should I use straps on the deadlift?"

Ehhh, probably not. S.Traps can help you lift more than your hands can hold in an overhand grip. However, relying on straps can result in your grip strength not developing later.

You are better off developing your grip strength alongside your deadlifts.

Short answer: cOnsider with straps strategically When doing high volume deadlifts, however, don't rely on them regularly for maximum lift: improve your grip strength.

Instead, chalk, stronger grip strength and a hook handle for maximum lifting is your friend!

# 2) "Should I wear gloves when deadlifting, Staci?"


GLoving ones actually create space between your hands and the bar, and it decreases your grip, increases the diameter of the bar, and makes it harder to hold the bar.

This means that the gloves are doing the exact opposite of what you think they are doing.

Use chalk instead, my friend.

I don't recommend using gloves unless you have an injury like a torn callus.

Speaking of torn callusesor if you are worried about getting rough hands while deadlifting – Be sure to watch your hands so they are less likely!

# 3) "Do I have to use a sling?"

When you start out there is no need to worry about using a belt.

However, when you get to really heavy weights it can be something to check out.

Belts must be worn correctly to be effective.

Note: While you may be able to lift more with a mixed grip and strap, they definitely aren't required to lift heavily.

Here is a video of Anthony Mychal in the powerlifting competition at Camp Nerd Fitness on a 550 pound deadlift – double overhand without a belt:

# 4) "What kind of shoes should I wear for the deadlift?"

BIG question. I don't care what kind of shoes they are as long as they are flat.

You really have four options for deadlifting shoes:

  1. FLAT SHOES: Chuck Work great. Personally, I prefer deadlifts in socks or minimalist shoes with no drips. DO NOT wear chunky, thick-heeled athletic shoes or shoes with bubble pockets in the heels.
  2. DEADLIFTING SHOES: It gets a bit fancy here, but if you're competing or just want shoes that you can deadlift in, consider deadlifting shoes.
  3. GO BAREFOOT: If you don't want to invest in new shoes, raise barefoot. Just don't walk around the gym in socks – you could get kicked out or have a weight roller over your feet!
  4. SLIPPERS: No, not a Fuzzy Snoopy. Check out deadlift slippers – they're just fancy socks approved for competition.

Still here, huh? Amazing!

We want to be part of a community that will help you achieve your goals. Whether it's your first time deadlifting or trying to hit the club of 1,000, our nerdy trainers are here to help.

Let's do it all so all you have to do is worry about the instructions and lifting the weight!

Our online coaching program isn't bad! Let me show you how we can help you achieve your goals:

7 common deadlifting mistakes and errors


# 1) Rounded – Don't keep your spine neutral all the time. It's a big no no to keep your lower back rounded at all. (2)

# 2) look up (with your neck) – In addition to having a neutral spine, stretching your neck up is also something we want to stay away from.

# 3) Overstretching at the end of the movement – – The spine should also be neutral at the top. H.The stretching at the top is actually not something we need to strive for or do.

# 4) Treat the deadlift like a squat with the pole in his hands. You don't start crouching and get up – it's a different movement.

# 5) Let the bar come forward – The bar must stay above your center line and be pulled across your body throughout the lift – any movement in front of your center line should be avoided.

# 6) The butt rises faster than your chest (also known as a "stripper deadlift") – Your chest should guide movement and your whole body should move up at the same pace.

# 7) Bend your arms – Your arms should stay straight. Do not bend your elbows to raise the bar faster.

Not sure if your form is correct? I hear you – I personally have crossed with bad form for years and didn't even notice it.

It wasn't until I got the help of an online trainer who video-checked my form and gave me the right “mental cues” so I could properly start the deadlift.

If you want someone to review your form – AND put the training together for you – consider our 1-on-1 online form-review coaching program:

Form checks and an expert right in your pocket. Wait, that sounded weird. I mean on your cell phone. Hm. Take a look at our coaching program!

What are the different types of deadlifts?

So far we've covered the conventional / traditional barbell deadlift.

There are MANY different variations of deadlifts, and you can use any that your boat will float (if you have a boat to swim in, that is).

Here are 8 different deadlift variations:

1) Conventional deadlift – Your hands are just outside your feet and about hip width apart. Our article highlighted this form of deadlift.

2) Sumo deadlift – Your hands are in a wider position in your feet.

3) Deadlift with hex or trap bar bar – Use a special bar developed only for deadlifting that changes the biomechanics.

4) deadlift – Your hands have a broad grip like a snatch.

5) Romanian Deadlift: Think of this as the top half of a traditional deadlift (imagine you are a "drinking bird" crouching at the waist).

6) Deficit Deadlift: This movement increases the range of motion for your deadlift because your feet are raised compared to the bar.

7) Rack Pulls: Conversely, this reduces your range of motion with the deadlift as the bar is raised higher.

8) dumbbell deadlift variations: For extra work or when you don't have access to a barbell and weights.

This guide was mostly about the conventional deadlift as it is a great variation for beginners and an exercise you can do every week for the rest of your life.

Once you get used to it, switch to others. Need more tips on strength training moves?

I would highly recommend you do three things:

  1. Picking up starting power: the bible of barbell training.
  2. Hire a trainer to help you get the movement right!
  3. Consider working with an online coach for your training and nutritional advice.

Let our trainers teach you the correct deadlift. That's what we live for!

Don't forget to take advantage of our Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know when you sign up in the box below::

Download our comprehensive guide

  • Everything you need to know to get strong.
  • Exercise routines for body weight AND strength training.
  • How to find the right gym and train properly in one.

Frequently asked questions about the deadlift

# 1) "What do I do if I don't get into the right starting position?"

While you are getting the range of motion to get into the correct starting position, you can place the bar on blocks to raise it up a few inches to help you get into the correct position.

With each workout, start with the bar a little lower until it is straight on the floor.

# 2) "What weight do I use to start the deadlift?"

Always start with the bar, then continue as outlined in our How Much Weight Should I Lift? Article.

Each week your goal should be to lift a little more than you did last week.

That's it. When you ride SLOW, you are giving all of your muscles, joints, tendons, your grip, and your central nervous system the opportunity to improve together.

So start small. Lift more every week.

# 3) "Should I do" Touch and Go "or" Dead Stop "when doing multiple reps?"

A dead stop means the weight is completely on the floor before the next rep, while touch-and-go repetitions mean you're essentially bouncing the weight off at the bottom of the movement and going RIGHT into the next rep.

Touch and Go repetitions are therefore easier:

  • The stretch reflex, in which your body quickly pulls elastic bands in the other direction.
  • Locomotion: The bar is already moving, so it's just easier to lift something that's already moving than to lift something that's completely stopped.
  • Bounce: If you're at a gym with rubber buffer plates, those plates actually bounce a little when they hit the floor – helping you lift the weight.

HOWEVER, Hands-on repetitions are easier, but also more dangerous. It's easier to mess your form if you don't reset every repetition, and it's easier to get tired.

It is also in the eccentric (lowering) part of the touch and go deadlift that most people get injured. This is one of the most technically demanding and important elevators and should be treated with respect.

For this reason, for general strength programs, it is preferred to reset between each repetition. That way, on each rep, you can reset, get your shape right, and breathe right.

Yes, doing a CrossFit WOD means touching and taking your time. Brilliant. You do you boo.

# 4) “Okay, I see. Deadlift is great! How Often Should I Deadlift? "

I love your enthusiasm And I would never ask you to contain itHowever, there are a few things to consider when adding deadlifts to our program.

(This is how you can create your own exercise routine, by the way.)

Heavy deadlifts put extreme stress on the central nervous system.

This means your body will need more time to recover. In fact, it's so strenuous that some coaches recommend removing the deadlift entirely for their advanced, sport-specific athletes.

Most good strength programs only deadlift once a week – and the volume is less than that of the squat.

Both Starting Strength and StrongLifts contain only ONE set of 5 deadlifts. In the meantime they program 5 sets of 5 for squats.

In our coaching program, we add deadlifts to each person's training on a case-by-case basis.

It's generally once a week and we'd love to help create a program for you that can deadlift over 400 pounds in no time! *

* Okay, it will definitely take longer than "no time", but it could happen sooner than you think!

Our coaching program changes your life and we would love to change your life! Learn more:

Get Out And Deadlift: Next Steps

I'm so excited that you're starting the deadlift because it's the ultimate exercise, both physical AND mental.

For people looking for the next step, we've developed 3 options for your boat to float:

1) If you are someone who wants to pursue a bespoke program tailored to their life and goals, check out our popular 1-on-1 online coaching program.

You will work with our certified NF teachers who will get to know you better than you do, review your form and program your training and diet for you.

Get step-by-step guides, form reviews, and global accountability in your pocket! Learn more about our coaching program:

2) If you want a fancy app teaching you exactly how to crush deadlifts (with things you may have around the house), check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app will help you exercise more, eat healthier, and (literally) improve your life.

Try your free trial here:

3) Download our free Strength 101 guide which you can get by signing up in the box below:

Download our comprehensive guide

  • Everything you need to know to get strong.
  • Exercise routines for body weight AND strength training.
  • How to find the right gym and train properly in one.

So, as Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength, said:

"The deadlift is also used to train the mind to do things that are difficult."

What else can you accomplish when you can pick up hundreds of pounds off the floor?

I have a big question for you:

  • Are you going to start the deadlift TODAY?
  • If not today, how about TOMORROW?

Note: These are the only two acceptable answers ????

If you have any other questions about how to incorporate deadlifts into your workout, please leave them in the comments below.

Big or small, what questions do you have about deadlifting?


P.S: Here are our other free articles in the Strength 101 Series:


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