How To Deadlift With Barbell – Guide To Deadlifting

By | February 6, 2015

How To Deadlift With Barbell – Guide To Deadlifting

DLOne of the three major movements includes the good old deadlift. This movement has been around almost as long as people been lifting weights and there is a good reason for it.

Deadlift will train every single muscle in your body but it’s really crucial to know how to deadlift with barbell the right way to avoid injury.

It’s arguably the best exercise for developing whole body strength and muscle with the squat. It varies from person to person which lift is more valuable but 99% it’s either deadlift or squat.

When deadlifting, keeping proper form is absolutely crucial. When done in incorrect fashion it’s truly a receipt for disaster since usually always when people do this lift wrong they’ll lift with their lower back and when your lower back gives out, it’s a really serious issue.

But when done correctly deadlift not only gives you strength that carries over to everyday tasks and athletic performance, it also has numerous health benefits.

Performing deadlifts will strengthen your posture which promotes general well being in a numerous ways including better blood flow throughout the body and deeper breathing to your diaphragm which both give you more energy to tackle the day.

Before we go to the tips I want to mention that in this article I’m talking about CONVENTIONAL deadlift stance.

What Muscles Does Deadlift Work?

To put it simple, deadlift does work every single muscle in your body. It is not unusual to even the bottoms of your feet to get sore from deadlifting!

But the greatest workload with conventional deadlift will be the whole posterior chain!

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Lower Back
  • Mid Back
  • Upper Back

Ontop of that also your abdominals and quadriceps will get heavily involved when training with proper technique!

Common Mistakes People Do When Deadlifting With A Barbellimproper_DL

Here are some common mistakes what people do with the deadlift:

  • Lack of upper back tightness
  • Hips shooting up
  • Not engaging glutes enough
  • Bar touching chins
  • Yanking the bar

Lack of upper back tightness, hips shooting up and the lack of glute force will all cause rounding of the lower back and this is by far the most common mistake people make.

How To Correct Improper Deadlift Formimproper_DL2

Lack of Upper back tightness – A good technique to counteract the lack of upper back tightness is to take as wide grip as you can from the barbell so you have to keep your upper back tight. This is called a snatch grip deadlift. As you start to get hang of it you can start narrowing the grip.

Hips shooting up – this is coupled with the lack of upper back tightness. Usually people try to make up for their weak upper back by trying to squat the weight up and when the upper back is not tight and strong enough the lower back ends up rounding. Fixing this is fixed by the snatch grip and learning how to keep the upper back tight.

Not engaging glutes enough – When you’ve got the technique solid with the upper back we can look at the nextcorrect_DL step which is sitting your butt back. You can think it as falling back to sit in a sofa. This is really important to learn the right position because it will allow you to drive with your glutes. And when you have the upper back tight and glutes firing right your lower back will not have a chance to round. Think about pulling the weight BACK not UP!

Bar touching chins – Some trainers tell you that you should start the lift by bar touching your chins. This is both correct and incorrect. Instead of looking at is the bar touching your chins or not you should make sure that the bar is located roughly on the middle of your foot. This will ensure that the path of the barbell stays in straight line from bottom to top. If you try to force the bar to touch your shins you’re possible pulling the bar too close to your body and the path is not straight. You will not only bleed power this way but the starting position might be off and you have to compensate by breaking the rules mentioned above. Ofcourse this is not the case for everybody, but majority of the people this holds true.

correct_DL3Yanking the bar – is also a common sight. When you yank the bar before pulling it you’re basically undermining all the rules written above because you’re pulling yourself out of position and tension. This can be countered by doing a so called “pre-pull” where you grab the bar and set up yourself with the rules above and gradually apply force to the bar you’re about to lift and then lift it. This will ensure that you’ll stay in the best possible posture when starting the lift.

Stance Width In Conventional Deadlift With Barbell

This varies from people to people and there is not a one right answer. Some people bodies are better suited for narrow stance some like to do so called “Sumo” where your legs are really far apart. The stance width should be a width that you feel most comfortable. This is quite a lot determined what muscles are dominant in your body.

But for a general rule you should take about shoulder width wide stance. The more narrow stance you take the harder it will be to incorporate the glutes and this means a higher chance of lower back rounding.

Conclusion On How To Deadlift With A Barbellcorrect_DL2

Here is listed the most common errors what people associate with the deadlift. It’s not too difficult to master and everybody can do it.

But the most important thing is not to jump too heavy weights. Deadlifts are usually the exercise where people can move the most amount of weight and feel really beast about themselves and get mirin from all the other folks at the gym.

It’s easy to get tempted by using heavy weights and compensating proper form with raged mentality. But believe me if you sacrifice technique in this lift your lifting will be really short lived.

Hammer the proper technique to your subconscious and you’ll start to enjoy this lift more than you know and you’ll experience the great benefits it has to offer.

Let’s recap the important points once again:

  • Keep upper back tight
  • Don’t round your lower back
  • Do a “pre-pull” before every repetition
  • Use about shoulder width stance to maximize glute drive
  • Think about lifting BACK not up
  • Hammer the technique down before start going heavier

Here is the great informative video where I captured the pictures by Johnnie Candito:

That’s all there really is to it folks! If you’re interested, take a look at my article on how to build muscle for beginners HERE!

Did you find this article helpful? I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions. If you have something in mind leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you!

Train hard and train SMART!

Here are some other articles you might find useful:

Beginner’s Guide To Muscle Building

How To Eat To Build Muscle

The Progressive Overload Principle

Supplements That Really WORK

10 Health Benefits Of Weightlifting

10 thoughts on “How To Deadlift With Barbell – Guide To Deadlifting

  1. Ship

    Great advice I just started working out again and have bookmarked your site. Thanks for your advice.

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thank you Ship. I’m glad you got something out from this article 🙂

  2. Matthew Johnson

    Great site and information! I’ll be getting back into exercising and lifting again soon… I’ll be checking back in for more tips and hints!

  3. Ed

    Hi Jesse,
    Thanks for the great information about Deadlifting. I’ll be sure to use your tips when I start back with my exercise routine. Cheers

  4. bryan

    hey great advice on deadlifting, I have been looking for a good all around workout I can do at home pretty easily.
    great pictures too!

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thank you Bryan. Bodyweight squats, pull-ups and push ups are great way to start!

  5. Jason

    I use to do a bit of body building and I have to admit I have made a few of these mistakes. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Jesse Post author

      It’s ok all of us make mistakes. The thing is to correct them before anything bad happens. Better late than never!


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