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The king in the gym, master this, and reap great results…

March 17, 2013

If there was one thing you could do in the gym that would greatly improve your posture, get you stronger in almost every single muscle, something that is so heavy that your eyes wants to pop out and you feel light-headed after completing just a few repetitions.

I would call it the KING of the gym, but not everyone knows how to execute this properly or they have never even tried it out, but still claim themselves to be silly strong and just trying to compete with guys in the Bench Press…

Let me introduce you properly to the Barbell Deadlift people, how to perform it, what muscles it works primarily and so on.

Except the reason it’s an AWESOME exercise and no more reasons is not really needed, here’s a few more:

Muscles activated during the Deadlift, I will only list the major, bigger groups of muscles as not too many of you will have the energy to read every single small stabilisation muscle.

Starting from the head and going down

Posterior/back of body

Rhomboideus Major
Teres Major
Latissimus Dorsi – Which many of you would call “The wings” which creates the wideness of the back
Gluteus Maximus – The biggest muscle of the body, also known as our beloved ass!
Hamstrings – Biceps Femoris,Semi-tendinosus and semi-membranosus – Back of our thighs primary muscle

These are the major activated muscles, but you will also feel your calves working when going really heavy and trying to rep out a few more repetitions.

Anterior/front of body

Rectus Abdominis – Our  beloved six-pack in it’s proper name
Obliquus externus abdominis – this is the abs to the side of your six-pack, usually requires a lower bodyfat % to show any definition
Flexor Digitorum – Muscle of the forearm which will work hard if you go RAW – without any straps or what so ever
Quadriceps – Rectus Femoris, Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis – this is the whole front of the thigh

If this is not enough motivation for anyone who looks to improve their whole-body strength with a minimum amount of time spent on different exercises, I don’t  know…

Now let us move on to how you should perform this properly, as it is a great compound movement/multi-joint exercise it will require you to use proper form and put some time into practising it to make sure you keep an excellent form at all times.

Step by step deadliftinwith the barbell loaded in front of you on the floor.

  1. Stand with shoulder width with your feet, I prefer to have them pointing out just very slightly, as that’s how I stand normally.
  2. Place your feet under the barbell so it “cuts” off your feet in half, just over the upper back of your foot, quite close to your shins.
  3. Reach down and grip the barbell with either a over-hand/mixed grip, outside your legs, keeping your knees slightly bent but hips relatively at the same level still
  4. Push your chest up, as if you try to show off a print on your chest as much as possible in the mirror
  5. This will also make your hips drop down deeper and your legs will be more parallel to the floor
  6. Breath in, tighten your abs and lower back, keep chest up high – this will make sure you have a good alignment of the spine and keep it from bending like a cheese doodle during your lift.
  7. Just before the actual start of the pull, tighten the barbell with the help with your lats, as this will generate more force in the whole body of yours and you won’t snatch the barbell in the start which can create some muscle strains.
  8. Now in one joint smooth movement, push with your legs whilst keeping your head in a neutral position, not looking up to the ceiling.
  9. When you have managed to get the barbell up to your knees, finish the whole move off by thrusting your hips forward and this will make you stand up straight.
  10. Slowly and controlled lower the weight beneath your knees and let go, or work throughout the movement all the way down to the floor – I would not do this on heavier weights on lower repetitions, you would like to save all of your energy for the next repetition.

Here’s a great video I found on Youtube



From → Training

  1. Paul permalink

    Awesome instructional video of the deadlift. As a keen proponent of the Starting Strength (Rippetoe) form, I can really appreciate your coaching cues and solid advice.

    Nice lifts by your trainee too! Pass on my respect!

    I’m a similar body-weight to your friend there, maybe a tad lighter at i68lb. I currently pull 315lb for a comfortable 4 reps, putting my 1RM somewhere around 365lbs. However, I am struggling with a long-running hamstring injury at the ischial tuberosity, mainly old scar tissue build-up. As a result, I am receiving some cross-fiber sports massage to help break-up the collagen, and I’ve dropped to lighter maintenance sets of deadlift and squat while that is ongoing.

    Any other tips for improving this old injury and helping maintain forward progress on my lifts?

    • Sorry, but I just took this video from youtube as it gave pretty simple and good instructions.

      You got a good weight going on your deads there, good work! In terms of your injury I’m not too sure at the moment sorry.

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