A Beginner's Guide to Deadlift

Lazar Angelov
Lazar Angelov
Fitness Model
deadlift form

If you want to burn fat and build muscle, become more athletic or you just want to lose weight, consider barbell deadlift. The barbell deadlift can do all this for you and so much more. However, if you decide to do this move, make sure that you do it the right way.

How to Deadlift

man deadlift chalk hands

You have to get into a good deadlift form to do this move in order to minimize the risk of injury. Doing it right helps to distribute the weight evenly on different muscles. However, if you are not in good form, then you will assert too much pressure on one part of your body, you lower back most likely, and this can result in back injury.

Being in good form also enhances your performance. You will use your leg muscles, hips and back evenly to be able to lift the weight off the floor to the lockout position.

Start With the Hip Hinge

man deadlift chalk pull up

The deadlift is the same as doing a hip hinge. A hip hinge is when your movements are from the hips. You go down as if you are sitting back. This is different from squatting. In a hip hinge, you will focus on making movements from your hips, not knees. Your butt will go backward and your glutes forward as you stand up.

Your spine should be neutral, while your hips and your back muscles should bear most of the weight. It’s important that you learn how to hinge first before you attempt to deadlift, as it will make it safer for you to lift.

Proper Deadlift Form

man deadlift black and white

  • Once you can hinge properly, then you can take the next step.
  • Your feet should be spaced out and your grip should start where your legs end
  • Grip from the top
  • Keep your spine neutral from the start to the end
  • Keep your shoulders down and back
  • Keep the bar in touch with your legs the whole time
  • Move knees and hips simultaneously as you transfer the weight from the ground to the thighs

If you are unable to keep your spine neutral when lifting from the ground, then don’t start the lift from the floor. Put the bar up in a position where you can start the lift with your spine being in a neutral position. In case you have a condition that limits your range of motion, then this is a good option. It’s also known as a rack pull. You can also start with a rack pull if you are a beginner.

How to Progress Safely

man heavy weight deadlift

Don’t try to lift more than you can carry. If you are unable to retain your form as you lift, then you are probably lifting a weight that’s too heavy for you.

Hire a coach who can guide you through this process and train you. You can also start off with a low weight and then gradually keep on adding 5-10 pounds every week.

Why You Should Deadlift

If you want to be athletic, increase your body size and increase your strength, then you should deadlift. This is one of the best ways to build muscle. You will also improve your posture, as you will improve your back muscles.

How to Include Deadlifts Into Your Workout Routine

This workout is best done after you have just completed your warm up. There’s less risk of injuring yourself at this time since your body will still be fresh and efficient to do the required movements.

How Many Reps and Sets You Should Do

Don’t do more than 6 reps otherwise you will get fatigued fast and you will risk injuring yourself. Whatever number of sets that you do, you should not exceed 30 reps in total. Keep things light and crisp as you start out at the beginner stage. Advanced lifters can increase the intensity of their workouts.

How to Superset Deadlifts

Don’t do the deadlift when you are doing other lifting exercises. The deadlift is best paired with exercises that focus on your core and mobility. These exercises will help you strengthen your spine, body movement, and muscular strength.


If you are into strength training then the deadlift should be part of your workout routine. Once you master the deadlift form, you will be well on your way to learn the full range motions.


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