One of the best total body exercises you can do, the barbell deadlift targets your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, core, back and shoulder muscles.
- Stand in front of a loaded barbell.
- While keeping the back as straight as possible, bend your knees, bend forward and grasp the bar using a medium (shoulder width) overhand grip. This will be the starting position of the exercise.
- While holding the bar, start the lift by pushing with your legs while simultaneously getting your torso to the upright position as you breathe out. In the upright position, stick your chest out and contract the back by bringing the shoulder blades back. Think of how the soldiers in the military look when they are in standing in attention.
- Go back to the starting position by bending at the knees while simultaneously leaning the torso forward at the waist while keeping the back straight. When the weights on the bar touch the floor you are back at the starting position and ready to perform another repetition.
- Perform the amount of repetitions prescribed in the program.
Barbell Deadlift Tips:
The Barbell deadlift is one of those exercises that if you do it right, will be one of your core exercises in your routine. But if you do it wrong, you'll just end up in pain! Here are some top tips for deadlifting correctly:
- You must keep your eyes looking up at all times. As soon as you look down at the floor your back will round!
- The bar needs to stay close to your body throughout the set. The further the bar is from your body the more strain is on your lower back.
- You do not have to use an overhand grip on the bar. You can use an underhand grip or one over / one under.
- During the descent, to protect your lower back, keep your weight back on the heels. Do not let your weight shift forward onto the toes. If you find the your weight on the toes when at the bottom position of the exercise, you are performing it incorrectly.
- Do not relax at the bottom of the movement. Keep your legs, back and abdominals tight as you begin the ascent.
- Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight, especially when lowering. Remember the focus is on stretch and contraction!
- One of the biggest mistakes people make when performing this exercise is bending over at the waist without moving the hips back. Instead of being supported by the large hamstring muscles, the weight is now placed almost entirely on the lower spine. Needless to say, this puts your back at great risk for injury. If you keep the weight close to your body your hips with naturally move back.
- Technique is so important with this exercise. If you're just starting out, stand with your side to a mirror with a very light weight (or bar only) and practice the movement. Once you get the technique nailed you'll be able to move up in weight and start building some killer hams and glutes!