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Legs Workout (2) – Deadlift

November 13th, 2007 · 3 Comments ·


Why You Should Do Deadlift
Deadlift is another good exercise apart from squat. Not that I like doing deadlift, but I realize that it is a functional exercise which help in our daily lives. Imagine you squat down to pick something up heavy.

Moreover, from the bodybuilding perspective, if deadlift is done properly, it is good for overall body development. It is a compound movement that works abdomen, back, thighs (quadriceps), hamstrings and butts (gluteus maximus). Once you do deadlift on regularly, you will see gains in other parts of your body too.


How To Do Deadlift Correctly
Proper form is very important. So, here is the step guide in doing deadlift:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width. Feet should point straight forward.
  2. Use reverse grip (also known as alternating grip or hook grip) to hold the barbell. In this grip, one hand is supinated (palm faces you) and the other pronated (palm facing away). You can also hold the bar with an overhand grip. Choose whatever grip is most comfortable for you. I go for reverse grip. Just make sure you grip it correctly without hurting your wrist.
  3. Lower your hips so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Straighten your back and look straight ahead.
  4. Keep you back straight and keep your hips low at all times. Make sure the weight is close to your body too. Also, keep your abs tight to minimize the stress imposed on your lower back. Maintaining this proper form is very important to avoid injury.
  5. Now, lift the bar. When you stand up with the barbell, your hips and shoulders should go up together. If your hips go before your shoulders, you are using your back and not your legs. If this takes place, reduce the weight so that you can have the right form before adding more weights. Do not exert force with your arms, this is not an arm exercise. Push your legs through the floor to lift the weight, DO NOT start the lift using your arms.
  6. Come to a standing position with upright posture. Pull your shoulders back if they are rounded forward.
  7. Lower the barbell in a controlled manner back to the initial. Do not forget to keep the back straight because you are still supporting the weight.



  • Think of a deadlift as a squat, only the bar is in your hands rather than on your back.
  • Start deadlift exercise without weight or only lightweight when you first started to ensure you get the form correct.
  • If you have issue with your grip strength, try wrist straps with a conventional grip.
  • If you have trouble keeping your back straight, try to look at the ceiling during the lift.
  • The reason I recommend you to use reverse grip because I realize that I am able to complete one to two more reps than when I used a traditional grip. May be it is just me.


Some weightlifters use special belts to keep their lower back stabilized. Again, just like barbell squat, whether or not these belts actually prevent injuries is debated. One school of thought believes that the use of belts does not allow the development of one’s stabilizer muscles, thereby increasing the potential of serious injury.

In short, dead lift is another great compound exercise you should consider.



Category: Legs

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3 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Nov 13, 2007 at 10:28 AM

    Great tips..

    However, with my bad knee, I don’t think I can attempt this for now. :-(

    Mun’s comment: Don’t do this now if your knees are already hurt.

  • trey // Nov 13, 2007 at 4:23 PM

    3 essential tips for a good DeadLift.

    1) The back of your shoulder has to be on top, or in front of the bar BEFORE you start the lift.

    2) Start lifting with the Bar touching your shins, this ensures that you don’t have to lean forward for the start of the lift.

    3) Keep your back locked in extension (looking about 6 inches above eye level usually works wonders) and push your legs through the floor to lift the weight, DO NOT start the lift using your arms.

    Mun’s comment: Thanks for sharing other great points. I have highlighted the last point which is quite important.

  • kirksman // Nov 13, 2007 at 11:19 PM

    There’s something I’d like to comment about.

    There are two torso types. The short, the long torso.

    The method above, is more suited to the short torso, long arm person. They can put their asses low, but not a long torso person. It would limit his deadlift.

    A better method for people with longer torsos, would be,position the ass about 45 degrees and perform the lift. Do not let weaker leg muscles be the bottleneck to a deadlift.

    Also keep bar close to shins, tighten your traps. Sort of like, shrug it TOP WARDS…not really backwards shrug, but pull upwards, and LOCK the traps in.

    A good example, Leonid Taranenko and Vasili Alexeev. They start, at a “squat” position, use the spring effect, and activate the lift at the 45 degree angle, and SNAP! The weight explodes upwards. Many bodybuilders do not use the natural body spring, but as weightlifters, we’re taught to take advantage of it as it helps lift more.

    Also, we are always reminded by our coach to shrug the weight at the top of the movement, but that’s because it would help our snatches and CNJ. It’s just something extra, it’s a good trap builder too.

    Btw, a little correction….A hook grip, is actually a grip where the thumb, is being squeezed by all four fingers. Not a alternating grip.

    A hook grip is EXTREMELY painful at the beginning, but we’re forced to learn it, because it’s the, without question, best way to grip the bar in an oly movement. We can’t use an alternating grip in oly movements, can we?

    Mun’s comment – Thanks for pointing that out and sharing your experience. Keep them coming.

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