Using the deadlift in your weight lifting routine works your whole body and allows you to lift the heaviest weights possible.
Some tips before doing this movement:
- Strengthen your back. Be doing some weight training already incorporating moves like the overhead press and squatting.
- Always warm up with a set of reps without heavy weights. It is also a good idea to warm up with a brisk walk or jog for 5 minutes on the treadmill or do some calisthenics.
- Use an overhand grip on the barbell. Using weightlifting gloves or chalk can also help with your grip
- Always keep a straight back! I went for a body mechanics test for a job I did and the physical therapist told me he had never seen better body mechanics! I knew how to move from my hips and keep a straight back when lifting a heavy object from the ground. This move will help you accomplish the same.
- Stretch your quads, hamstrings and back really well beforehand.
- Stand with the bar above the center of your feet.
- Keep your feet just a tad below shoulder width apart to give your arms room when lifting the bar up
- Bend with your knees until the bar hits your shins on your way up; keep the bar close to your body; roll it up over your knees and thighs until your hips and knees lock
- Lift your chest but don't squeeze your shoulder blades
This exercise can be a source of injury if not done right!
The deadlift has been known to be a source of back injuries but if there is any pain or something doesn't feel right, then you are most likely doing something wrong.
Either you have not warmed up enough, stretched well, are doing the movement with wrong or bad form.
Having weak back muscles, rounding your back or shoulders, keeping your legs and knees too loose or not using a weightlifting belt and having a weak core will contribute to bad form.
Check out the video below for more tips on performing the movement in good form. The video is a little noisy but she does an excellent job demonstrating proper form and gives some really good tips.