Many of us, including those who are otherwise physically active, spend ludicrous amounts of time sitting in front of a computer all day, the result of which is having hips that require a crowbar to unglue them. Having that in mind, it’s no wonder why so many guys can’t master the deadlift properly, as this great exercise requires a decent ability for both hip internal and external rotation, good hip flexor length and healthy, firing glutes.
Truth be told, very few athletes are truly qualified for performing a proper deadlift, as this wonderful feat also requires mobility in the thoracic spine and ankles as well. However, every athlete can improve at almost every dimension of their sport by simply improving their deadlift, and no matter how many times you’ve done it and failed – you can always do it better!
We often hear the mantra “squats work quads while deadlifts are more hip dominant”, but that’s not true. You can easily make either lift more quad or hip dominant, depending on your needs and goals.
Actually, you know what?
The deadlift is the best total body exercise in the world, working all muscles from your toenails to your hair, period. And you could never have a good reason (with the exception of injury) to avoid it! When it comes to muscle and strength gains, research shows that nothing can come close to deadlifting with good form and a proper workout volume. In addition, deadlifts train the spine to remain perfectly stable while exposed to ridiculously high shear forces, which makes people who perform them often look like some kind of superheroes. Deadlifting will spike your testosterone and growth hormone levels and stimulate protein synthesis in your entire body, powerfully train your scapula and rotator cuffs and turn every inch of your lower body into a heavenly muscular landscape.
Oh, and the commonly heard complaint “I don’t do deadlifts because my back is weak” is the stupidest thing a bodybuilder could utter. A weak or sore back is exactly the reason why you need deadlifts in your life and never a good excuse to avoid them! Sure, it can be tough and definitely requires extraordinary effort to be performed correctly, but believe us – once you get better at it, you’ll be able to unlock gains you haven’t even dreamed of.
In this article, I want to share with you 8 proven ways to increase your Deadlift while preventing injury. Let’s get started.
Now that we’ve made all of this clear, let’s move on to how you can improve your deadlift pull almost instantly and earn better form and stellar deadlifting gains. Follow us!
Enter the Perfect Deadlift
So, here’s how your deadlift should look like:
- Place your feet so that they’re slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
- Place the bar somewhere between against your shins and at the middle of your foot. Your shoulders need to be in line with the bar or slightly behind it.
- Stand up tall with your chest out, take a deep breath into your diaphragm and contract your abs.
- Push your hips back (which is different than squatting straight down!) to move down toward the bar and arch your lower back, but keep your shoulders down.
- Place your hands on the bar with a double-overhand or over-underhand grip and squeeze it as hard as possible while activating your lats.
- Keeping your head in a neutral position, push through your heels to drive your body upward and slightly back as quickly as you can. Keep your elbows locked in place and your lower back slightly arched.
- Your hips and shoulders should move up simultaneously.
- Squeeze your glutes and push your hips as you approach lock-out.
- Break the lockout with the hips by sitting back just as you did while setting up.
- Keep the shoulders down and back and maintain the arch in the lower back.
- Once the bar is back on the ground (needless to say, but DON’T bounce it off the floor!), adjust your setup position if necessary and go hard at it again.
First of all, the initial deadlift setup is very, very important for the proper execution of the exercise. A common mistake people make here is losing the arch in their foot so that if flattens and gives them a disadvantageous position from the very start. Instead of letting this happen, you need to adopt an active foot and learn to get even weight distribution amongst three contact points of the foot: the big toe, the little toe and the heel. Then, you want to corkscrew your feet into the ground to enhance hip stability and set your hips up for optimal external rotation torque.
Furthermore, since the deadlift can be considered as much a pushing exercise as it is a pulling exercise, think of it as you pushing the barbell away from the floor by putting as much force into the ground as possible by making a “heel print in the floor”.
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