Deadlifts are a compound weight training exercise where a barbell is loaded with desired weight and the bar is then lifted from the ground. This exercise is one of the three powerlifting exercises.
The muscles trained during a Barbell Deadlift are;
Deadlifts are a great muscle building exercise, however, this exercise has potential to cause injury without the correct technique. Common injuries involve strain on the lower back due to poor technique.
Below we have listed common mistakes to avoid during your Deadlift.
- WARM UP
Bodyweight exercises to warm up your body are the most effective to avoid injury – exercises such as bodyweight squats, bodyweight static lunges etc.
- HAVE A NEUTRAL SPINE
The two common incorrect techniques of Deadlifts are a rounded or arched back. A flat back / neutral spine is ideal for a safe and effective deadlift. A rounded or arched back can place extensive stress and pressure on the lower back and potentially cause damage and/or injury. This neutral position extends all the way through to your head; avoid looking up and bending the top of the spine.
- PLACEMENT OF FEET
For a traditional Deadlift, your feet should be placed hip-width apart. (Sumo deadlifts are a variation where the feet are placed further apart).
Pull the shoulder blades back to maintain a neutral spine. Avoid rolling shoulders forward as this will cause a rounded back and compromise a neutral spine.
- HIP MOVEMENT
Avoid confusing a deadlift hinge movement with a squat variation. The movement during the lifting phase should be mostly a hip line. Keep your weight in the heels will maintaining a neutral spine.
- PULLING BACK
Avoid pulling the weight and use your hip movement to lift the weight from the floor.
- EXTENDING LEGS FIRST
A common mistake is extending the legs first with the bar making minimal movement. This then forces the back to perform the lifting.
- DISTANCE FROM THE BAR
The bar should be no further than one or two inches from your shin. The closer the bar is to your shin the less impact on your back.
Avoid jerking the bar. To prevent this keep a tight core, and focus on driving from your heels and put your hips to the bar.
- POOR TECHNIQUE WHEN LOWERING THE BAR
Avoid bending the knees and squatting the weight back down; as this puts pressure on your lower back.
Deadlifts are one of the best exercises for strength training. It does also seem like a very simple exercise, however has great potential for injury if the correct technique isn’t used.
You must have the correct technique and be confident with your lifting technique before taking on any high volumes of weight or attempt 1RMs (1 Rep Maximum).
We hope this post has been beneficial for some of you!
If you want your technique to be looked at or learn how to deadlift safely, contact one of our trainers for some advice!
Evolution Strength & Fitness
Moss Vale, NSW