Deadlifting for Beginners

February 15, 2019

Deadlifting Proper Form

Deadlifting is an absolute must for all gym goers. It is the ultimate exercise and is beneficial to the entire body.

Deadlifting to Strengthen Bones and Connective Tissues

Image: Wiki (CC-BY-SA)

It is also the simplest exercise you can perform in the gym but is often performed incorrectly, with the potential to cause nasty injuries and layoffs. These injuries, like many other gym issues, are all too often caused by people lifting weights that are too heavy, preventing them from maintaining proper form.

But, enough of trying to scare you off and back to the good points. Deadlifting works virtually every muscle in the body in one way or another and is also great for strengthening bones and connective tissues. Almost anybody can deadlift, young or old, male or female, big or small, and they can all reap the benefits to their muscles and posture. In terms of muscular gains, deadlifts are the absolute number one lift for packing on prime beef, for reasons that will be discussed a little later.

As most people know, the deadlift involves taking a weight from the floor and standing upright with it. Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

Lifting a weight safely from the ground requires good form, as well as some knowledge of what you are doing and why. Everybody knows the lower back is an extremely common area for painful and long-term injuries, both in the gym and in everyday life. But, while deadlifting with bad form can cause injuries, performing regular, proper deadlifts can strengthen your back like no other exercise, thereby preventing injury.

You must get your technique right before adding weight to the bar. This guide is designed to help you understand the lift and perform it safely and correctly. It is a good idea to get some coaching from a professional to check your form.

Adding Sheer Strength Labs NO2 Nitric Oxide Booster to your deadlift routine can help to pump you up and give your back a great workout. Who knows, maybe one day you will get near the world record, which currently stands in excess of 460kg! Over half a ton!

What Muscles do Deadlifts Work?

Deadlifting and Targeted Muscles

Wiki- Henry Gray (Public domain)

The deadlift engages more muscles than any other lift, virtually every muscle in the body. Everything from your Achilles’ tendon to your neck is contracting either isotonically (shortening) or isometrically (tensing without shortening) when you perform a deadlift. The main muscle group trained is the erector spinae muscles, the muscles of the lower back (pictured left).

As you can see, these muscles run almost vertically up the center of the back, perfectly placed for pulling the spine upright as in deadlifting. They originate from around the vertebrae of the lower back, as well as the pelvis, before inserting high on the back at the upper thoracic spine.

Other muscles that play a major role are the hamstrings and calves in the legs, and the lats and traps of the back.

Deadlifting also provides an excellent workout for the muscles of the core. These muscles play a major stabilizing role throughout the lift. Good core strength is essential to maintain proper form.

Because of its intensity, deadlifting is the best exercise for causing the body to produce natural anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and human growth hormone. Yes, intense deadlifting causes the body to flood with natural steroids, thereby increasing muscular gains. Adding Sheer Strength Labs Sheer Alpha Testosterone Booster, with Tribulus Terrestris, is the perfect way to compound this effect and enhance your anabolic environment.

The weight bearing aspect of deadlifting is excellent for maintaining good bone health, making it a great exercise for the elderly. Older people should seek expert coaching advice before progressing to heavier weights.

How To Deadlift

Now for the part everyone has been waiting for, how to perform a deadlift. There are a number of different ways to deadlift, with variations to hit muscles in different ways, as well as purely for personal preference. The lift described here is the standard deadlift from the ground.

First, a few pointers on getting started. Always warm up thoroughly before deadlifting. Lightly stretch everything from your calves to your neck. Maybe even go for a light jog.

When learning to deadlift it is best to begin with the lightest weight possible. Using just the bar on its own is great, but what this doesn’t give you is the height from the ground of an actual deadlift. Many gyms now carry extremely lightweight, plastic discs just for this reason. If your gym doesn’t have these, you can try using a squat rack and setting the stoppers to the correct height to provide a lift platform.

It is a good idea to use knee wraps and a lifting belt as your lifts improve. The extra support these items provide cannot be underestimated in terms of injury prevention.

As mentioned before, it is a great idea to get an expert to check your form. You can also film yourself from various angles to see where you need to make adjustments to your form.

Right, you’re now ready to deadlift.

1. Set up a bar in clear space. Begin by using the smallest amount of weight possible, as described above. Avoid using irregularly shaped discs as these can cause injuries. Stick to round discs.

2. Walk to the bar. Stand with a hip width stance. The middle of your feet should be underneath the bar, and your toes slightly pointing outwards.

3. Slightly bend your knees and take a grip on the bar. Your grip should be just outside of your knees. To begin with, use a double overhand grip.

4. Now bend your knees until your shins touch the bar, while lifting your head up, pushing your chest out, dropping your hips backwards, and flattening your entire back. If you cannot comfortably get into this position, do not lift. Deadlifting is only totally safe when your spine is in a neutral position. Any discrepancies can lead to injury. A common cause of this is tight hamstrings. Yoga can help loosen those muscles. For the time being you may want to begin your lift from a higher point by jacking the bar onto boxes or stoppers in a squat rack.

5. Take a deep breath, ensure your back is still flat and the bar hasn’t rolled out of position. Now drive through your feet and stand up with the bar. Keep the bar close to your legs and exhaling sharply. Drive your hips through at the top and straighten your legs. Deadlift complete.

6. Now lower the bar by first dropping your hips backwards and then bending your knees. Make sure you keep your back flat.

Taking Sheer Strength Labs Pre-Workout Powder before your workout can give you the boost you need to tackle a lift as intense as the deadlift.

Deadlifting and Power Lifting

Wiki (Public domain)


There are many variations to the standard deadlift. The first thing to mention is grip. Many people, including professional strength athletes, prefer to use an alternate grip, with one hand over, and one under the bar. This is because they feel this allows them a more secure hold on the bar, as well as keeping the weight closer to the body during lifting.

Another variation is to use the sumo deadlift. This is really only for powerlifters or those wishing to lift huge weights as the main advantage of this variation is that the bar has less distance to travel. The sumo deadlift involves standing with a very wide stance and the hands well inside (see picture below).

Deadlifting with resistance bands can be useful because it increases resistance as the movement progresses, giving an interesting dynamic to the exercise. This also allows you to use lighter weights to effectively target your lower back.

A very useful variation for specifically targeting the lower back is to perform upper partials. This is because the lower part of a standard deadlift mainly utilizes the leg muscles. To do upper partials, you can set a squat rack up with stoppers at mid-shin or just below knee level. Just stand with the bar touching your shins and lift the weight from the rack. Replace and repeat. You can perform upper partials simply by lowering the weight to mid shin level each rep, but you must be extremely mindful of your form to do this.

Whatever variations you move on to, adding Sheer Strength Labs Creatine Monohydrate can help you get the extra reps that boost your strength and muscle gains.

Deadlifting to Boost Your Strength With Hand Grip

Wiki (Public domain)

The deadlift is the ultimate exercise and packs on more strength and muscle than any other lift in the gym. Compound these benefits by making use of the excellent range of supplements from Sheer Strength Labs today.

Jonathan Warren is a national level physique competitor and personal trainer with multiple certifications including NASM, NCCPT, and IKFF. His specializations include mobility training and corrective exercise as well as contest preparation.

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