This one exercise you can not afford to ignore if you want to add quality mass to your physic. However, some personal trainers will have their clients exclude the barbell deadlift from their workout routine because of the high degree of difficulty in both technique and effort.
The key is to keep good form and take the necessary safety precautions. By doing these two simple keys, you will be surprised how much strength will increase in your legs, hips, and back. Along with these increased strength gains, the barbell deadlift will release the anabolic hormones of testosterone and growth hormone.
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The Muscles Involved In a Barbell Deadlift
The barbell deadlift is one of the most basic movements anyone can do. You simply squat down and pick up a bar. What makes this movement so anabolic is the activation of several large muscle groups. It is almost like performing a leg press, back extension, ab crunch, wrist exercise, lying leg curl, and a shrug simultaneously.
The muscles activated when performing the barbell deadlift include…
- Low Back
The Importance Of Correct Form For The Barbell Deadlift
Performing the barbell deadlift with good form will increase the amount of weight you can lift and reduce injuries.
The biggest mistake people make when performing the barbell deadlift is to rise their hips first instead of simultaneously extending their hips, knees, and trunk. Try to keep the barbell as close to your body and keep your back flat as possible for the entire range of motion. Having your chest out and your abs contracted will help keep good form throughout the entire rep.
For beginners, practice with lightweight until you have mastered the correct form of the barbell deadlift. When using heavyweight for deadlifts without using the correct form, injuries are more likely to happen.
The Barbell Deadlift Preliminaries
Barbell Deadlift Warm-up
There are several ways you can warm up before a heavy barbell deadlift routine…
Perform 10 to 15 minutes of cardio to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints. Perform several lighter sets of deadlifts to stimulate the muscles before they go through extreme stress.
Barbell Deadlift Set up
Make sure you load up the barbell on the floor and have your safety collars snug so the plates won’t fall off.
Barbell Deadlift Spotter
Make sure you have a spotter or someone that has knowledge of the deadlift to watch your form and assist you in your technique.
Barbell Deadlift Practice
Make sure you go through a couple of practice sets before you tackle your heavy sets. This will help coordinate your mind and muscles.
The Barbell Deadlift Ready Position
Step 1- Barbell Deadlift Foot Position
Your feet should be slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Toes facing forward with the entire foot flat on the floor. The barbell should be over the bridge of your feet, close to your shins.
- Step 2 – Barbell Deadlift Body Position
Bend your knees and lower your hips while keeping your glutes down. Have your shoulders back and chest out with your abs tensed.
- Step 3 – Barbell Deadlift Hand Grip
I like to grab the barbell with an overhand grip equal distance away from the center. Some people like the overhand grip while some people use the underhand grip. Others prefer the staggered grip which has one palm facing forward and te other palm facing backward. This staggered grip helps prevent the bar from rolling out. Whichever grip you chose, remember to have your thumbs wrapped around the barbell. Your hand grip distance should be slightly wider than your legs. Keep your arms straight.
- Step 4 – Barbell Deadlift Back Position
Keep your shoulders back and chest out to help flatten your back. It is important to keep your back as flat as possible throughout the entire range of the rep to prevent excess stress on the lower back.
- Step 5 – Barbell Deadlift Head Position
You should be looking straight ahead throughout the entire movement.
Performing The Barbell Deadlift
- Barbell Deadlift Step 1 – Inhale
Make sure you take a deep breath in before you start to lift off the floor.
- Barbell Deadlift Step 2 – Starting The Movement
Straighten your legs while keeping your back flat. Remember to keep the barbell close to your body or else you will lose your balance. Think about pushing through the floor with your feet as you lift the barbell up.
- Barbell Deadlift Step 3 – Keep Your Back Flat
Once you get the barbell past your knees, you will have the urge to curve your lower back. Resist this urge and keep your back flat throughout the entire movement.
- Barbell Deadlift Step 4 – Top Of The Lift
When the legs approach full extension, squeeze the glutes to help drive the hips forward and raise the torso back and up.
Once you’re at the top of the lift, stand fully upright with the legs straight. Do not lean back or lock your knees at the top of the lift. Keep the chest out and shoulders back to help maintain the upright position.
- Barbell Deadlift Step 5 – Lowering The Bar
Do not drop the barbell. Lower the bar in a controlled manner by pushing your hips back as you bend your knees while keeping the back straight. At the bottom, don’t bounce the bar off the floor. Once the plates touch the floor, you can then start your next rep from a dead stop.
Barbell Deadlift Final Thought
Do not sacrifice weight for form. The proper technique of the barbell deadlift will help spark muscle growth and release natural anabolic hormones.