Pin It

Deadlift Form: How To Deadlift For Strength

There are 2 variations of the deadlift that are best used for strength gains; the conventional deadlift and the sumo deadlift. The romanian or stiff leg deadlift is more of a supplementary exercise.

The conventional deadlift is the best option for beginners because it is a more balanced exercise. The sumo deadlift puts more stress on the hips and legs. You can try the sumo variation in the future, but it is not a part of the 600 club.

Here is a check list of how to do the conventional deadlift for strength gains, for more details and to see it in action, I recommend checking out the videos in the following section.

How To Do The Conventional Deadlift

Feet are hip width apart and pointing outward slightly. Stand so that the bar is directly over the middle of your foot, which is around an inch away from your shins. As you lift the bar, it should come in contact with your shins and stay in contact  until the bar passes your knees.
Hands are around shoulder width apart on the bar. When you bend down to pick up the bar, your arms should be right by your legs.
Scapula or shoulder blades should be directly over the bar. This means that your shoulder joint must be past the bar. See the picture below for the relation between your shoulder and the bar:
Deadlift Form - Starting Position
Flex your lumbar muscles (lower back muscles) to keep your back straight for the entire movement. If you don’t know how to do this, check out the video on this subject below. It is absolutely crucial that your lower back is straight the whole time to avoid injury.
Legs should be bent so that your hips are lower than your shoulders.
Head is in a neutral position. You can also look up with your eyes when you start lifting if you feel it helps with the lift. It’s important that you don’t crank your neck by tilting your head up. By looking up, you are not bending your neck backwards, keep it straight.

Visualization For A Stronger Deadlift

Imagine that you are driving the middle of your feet through the ground. Push with your legs to start the lift and get if off the ground while keeping your lower back tight. Most of the pulling takes place as the bar is around your knees.
It may seem like a 2 part movement, but as you get better you will be able to push and pull at the same time…but don’t worry about this for now.

Don’t Bounce The Weight

The Deadlift requires force production from a dead stop. Every rep should be performed like the first rep. You’ll be missing this value if you’re bounce the weight at the bottom.
On the other hand, you don’t have to lower the bar slowly and gently. It’s perfectly fine to let it make a sound when you lower it.

Video Demonstrations

Mark Rippetoe is coaching the deadlift in the videos below. He is the author of Starting Strength, which is the basis of the 600 Club. He is one of the few strength athletics authorities to publish both peer-reviewed articles as well as books for the lay population. Unlike most strength and conditioning academics, he has several decades of practical application as an elite-level strength coach, former competitive powerlifter, and a current gym owner.

Setting Up The Deadlift

Deadlift Back Angle

Flexing the Lumbar Muscle

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment