23 July 2016

3 ways to instantly improve your deadlift

Dead lifts on the face of it are the simplest lift. Pick up the bar, done. Getting it right, however, will yield greater results. Here are 3 of the most common mistakes I see, and how to avoid them.


1. Use a natural stance

Don’t: You usually stand with your feet under your hips but as soon as you put your feet under the bar you look like you’re going to give birth.

Do: Take a walk and stand still. Look at your feet. Now dead lift like this. This alone can easily increase the amount you dead lift. The natural stance takes advantage of your natural recruitment pattern. Cut your feet in half by the bar, it doesn’t need to be touching your shins but if you had trainers on you would be able to see some shoe lace on the other side of the bar (barefoot is preferable).


2. Stop jerking the bar

Don’t: Jerking the bar leading to a break in back posture which connects the power produced from the legs to the bar. It also increases the risk of back injury. Stop it!

Do: Before you lift build tension through the bar. Do this by starting with the hips high, breath in and hold, tension against the bar by pushing your chest out and hips down, now add drive to get the bar moving.


3. Push don’t pull

Don’t: Knee’s straightening before the hips, leaving all the pressure on the back in the second half of the lift and increasing the difficultly in the lock out.

Do: Push as if you were leg pressing, this keeps some action in the quads and evens out extension from the hips and the knees. This will lead to a stronger lockout as well. You can get more drive when the bar is above the knee if the knee’s still have some bend in them, punching the hips forward and locking the knees at the same time should give you the extra drive you need to get past a difficult lock out.



Don’t save your efforts to improve dead lift technique for the heavy sets. Achieving a consistent dead lift technique throughout training will pay off when it comes to the hard reps.

Changing technique can sometimes mean not being able to lift as much weight while you get used to it. Build consistent technique by making any changes to your lifting style during a high volume, low weight phase of training. This means you’ll have more repetitions to hone the technique and hit a groove before the heavy lifting begins.


Coach Dom Kinsey

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