How can you perfect your deadlift form?
Deadlift workout today so I always start with squats as you can see mentioned as a tip in the article below.
I have found that squats are a great warmup for the deadlift and I see that I am not the only one.
When I first did squats as a warm up for deadlifts, I read about that idea from Mehdi of stronglifts.com which is a great site and is based on the workout routine of a famous bodybuilder of the 20th century named Reg Park.
How did I find stronglifts.com? From mark’s daily apple which is a site I discovered after I had been following Hashi Mashi for several months and Mark had it listed as one of his favorite blogs, so I started reading and wondered how could it be possible for a 55 year old man to do squats or deadlifts?
But that is where I started and yes, the first week I could not walk after attempting to do a squat, I was that sore.
I am grateful to say though that today I did squats as my warm up for the deadlift workout and gradually went up in weight from 45lbs 5 reps to 65lbs 5 reps, 85lbs 5 reps, 95lbs 5 reps, 105lbs 5 reps and my last set was 110lbs 5 reps.
Today I stayed focused on taking a deep breath before the squat, holding my core tight at the bottom of the squat and not breathing out till I had just about stood up. Also I visualized powering up from the bottom by using legs and not attempting to lift with my back.
After squats I went to deadlifts and started with 135lbs as a warm up and then increased the deadlift weight to 145lbs for 5 reps, 155lbs for 5 reps and my last set of 165lbs for 5 reps. In the deadlift as well I took a deep breath and tightened my core before doing each deadlift so that I would have the most core stability possible. I also focused on pushing my hips forward when the bar passed my knees, keeping my back neutral and lowering the weight gently and starting the next deadlift from a stop position and not bouncing the weight off the floor as I had been doing previously. Bouncing the weight in the deadlift makes the deadlift alot easier but reduces the effectiveness, so I was making alot of noise with less effective results.
So what this means for you is:
Consider doing squats and deadlifts together on the same day.
- If you do try doing squats and deadlifts on the same day, start with squats and then move to deadlifts.
- Respect both the squat and deadlift, warm up properly, always learn more about proper deadlift and squat form.
- Increase weight gradually, there is no one to show off for, stay healthy by slowly building up the amount of weight you are lifting.
- You need to rest your legs between workouts so do your squat and deadlift workout no more than three times a week.
Perfect your deadlift form to build stronger muscle and prevent injuries.
Reblogged from https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/exercise/the-right-deadlift-form-20150513 with my comments in italics, do not forget to add yours below, thank you.
The deadlift is one of the simplest strength moves, picking a weight up off the ground. And yet this move works the entire body, from your legs and lower back, to your traps and arms. “It’s one of the best exercises that meets three big standards,” Irv Rubenstein, PhD, exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S., a science-based fitness facility in Nashville, Tennessee. The deadlift helps prevent injuries by strengthening weak areas like the lower back and hamstrings, gives you functional strength, and builds your entire posterior muscle chain — which often goes neglected when we focus on beach muscles like the abs and arms. But done less-than-perfectly, the dead lift can be a fast track to hurting your back and knees.
Good to know that the deadlift is considered such a great functional exercise by exercise physiologists. I had gone to the gym for years doing curls and some machines and never experienced the same mind and body transformation as when I started to do deadlifts and squats in addition to eating real food daily.
One key lies in keeping your spine neutral, says Rubenstein. To find your neutral spine, lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. The natural curves of your neck and lower back should keep them off the mat — your back should be neither flat against the mat or up and away from the floor. This is the same position you want to be in during the lift.
Very important! Take the time to ensure that your back is neutral and strong.
“Beginners should learn how to get into, and maintain, a neutral spine while doing a back squat in order to ensure basic strength and technique during the hip motion of the deadlift,” says Rubenstein. He recommends starting with a non-weighted bar to master the technique for a deadlift, then use dumbbells and work up to a 45-pound barbell.
“One of the biggest mistakes is people will start from the floor even if they don’t have the flexibility to do so,” says Mark Nutting, CSCS, fitness director of SACO Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. If you lack the flexibility, stack extra weights under the barbell for a higher starting position. Then practice our four stretches for lifting to increase your flexibility and build up to a full range of motion.
Warm up with a 10 minutes of cardio (enough to break a sweat) and start with a set of eight reps on empty barbell before adding weight and building up to your final load. When you’re adding the deadlift to a strength routine, perform it early on when your core is warmed up but not fatigued, says Rubenstein. “If you’re also doing squats do deadlifts afterward. If it’s a dead lift day do them first and follow with light squats.” You can also swap in the deadlift for back bridges or other low back extensions, since deadlifts constitute a great core workout on their own.
I am happy to see here that an exercise physiologist also recommends to do squats and then follow up with deadlifts afterwards. I find that is more than enough for a good lower body workout. Sometimes I have added in leg extensions and leg curls, but the core workout always remains squats and deadlifts.
For a traditional barbell deadlift, follow these steps:
1. Position the bar approximately 1-inch in front of the shins and over the balls of the feet.
2. Stand with feet flat between hip and shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
3. Bend the knees slightly and place hands on the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, just outside of the knees, arms straight. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip. On heavy, low-rep sets, you can use an alternated grip (one palm facing out, the other towards you) to create a stronger hold.
One tip that I will add in over here is that when you grip the bar, make it a very strong grip, really hold the bar tight, that will help to prepare you to tighten and engage your entire body in the deadlift. A weak grip will result in a weak deadlift and a strong grip will give you the feeling of power necessary to perform the best form deadlift that you are capable of. A strong grip is also going to help you as your increase the weight of your deadlift.
4. Engage the lats and pull the bar up as you straighten the knees and drive hips forward. Keep the bar as close to the shins as possible as you raise it and do not let hips rise before the shoulders. Eyes should be focused straight ahead or slightly upward.
This sounds like a good tip to consciously engage the lats and I am going to try that on my next deadlift workout.
5. As the bar rises just above the knees, move the hips forward to stand full upright, hips locked in place, shoulders back.
This is also important for good form. Use your powerful muscles in your legs and glutes to drive the bar up past your knees and then push your hips forward, but do not lean back, just stand straight for a moment and then lower the weight slowly without banging the weights against the floor. Wait till you are deadlifting 1000 pounds to make such a commotion!
Please add your comments/opinions/suggestions below, thanks!