Deadlifts. The most feared and powerful exercise in my humble opinion. What other exercise could you make you feel fearful and exhilaration at the same time? Well, burpees come a close second.
The effectiveness of deadlifts is unmatched when comparing to the squat:
- Back (Lower Back and Upper back to a lesser extent)
- Legs (hamstrings, quadriceps, calves to a lesser extent)
I have been deadlift consistently since 2011. My highest max I have reached at 158 lbs is 215 lbs. Not bad for someone not formally trained. In order to make sure that I was using the correct technique to earn my right into the Deadlift Kingdom, I studied under two individuals to learn the proper way to do them: Medhi of Stronglifts and Jim “Smitty” Smith of Diesel Strength.
Medhi taught me the basics of deadlift yet the teaching from Smitty helped solidify missing elements.
Here are 16 deadlift mistakes that are common when executing the lift. See if they apply to you.
- Proper foot positioning.
- Not swallowing air and tucking in the abs.
- Rounded shoulders before initiating the lift.
- Bar is not close to your body before the lift.
- Head in the forward position before the lift.
- Not “crushing” the bar before the lift.
- Not packing the neck before the lift.
- Hips too high before the lift.
- Not taking the slack out the bar before the lift.
- Not having the chest high before the lift.
- Pulling the bar instead of imagining yourself pushing through the floor.
- Not using the lats to pull the bar toward yourself.
- Not “humping” the bar forcefully at the top of the lift.
- Not packing your neck at the end of the lift.
- Not gulping air to decent.
- Not descending slow using a form similar to a Romanian Deadlift then dropping the bar. (This is controversial for some. My thought patterns agree more with the assessment presented by clicking here. I got the idea from the book “4-Hour Body” by Tim Ferris.)
By using Smitty’s techniques (exception of dropping the bar), I am at a max of 215 lbs from my last lift in January (Body Weight at the time: 158 lbs). You can view the result by clicking here.
I honestly do not think I would have gone very far if I continued with the basic 5 x 5 Stronglifts program. Don’t get me wrong. Stronglifts is an excellent beginner program to set the foundation. Smitty’s techniques and videos help me to go beyond the basics to stellar results.
So what about you? What are some deadlift tips you have learned to do well? What have you learned the hard way? Comment below. I would love to read your thoughts on the matter.
P.S. Are you looking for a training program to take you to the next level? I highly endorse Diesel Strength’s AMD (Accelerated Muscle Development) 2.0 Program. You can find out more information by clicking here.