Fitness Fundamentals: The Deadlift

Coach Joel introduces the deadlift – an incredibly

Whether you insist on taking all of the grocery bags into the house in one trip or are a busy mom hoisting kiddos into car seats – you deadlift.

Why Deadlift?

The simple act of picking weight up off of the ground to move it from one place to another can be a strain on your back, legs, and core if you move improperly or are recovering from other injuries.

We love to safely train people to move objects from the ground because it means they can do more of life’s day-to-day tasks safely, with increased confidence, and with less pain.

How Should I Deadlift?

A proper deadlift teaches you to plant your feet firmly on the floor and lift using the muscles of your legs (strong and harder to injure), rather than “lifting with your back.” We often tell our athletes to lift like a silverback, with a strong flat back, protecting the natural curve of the spine, rather than like a turtle, rounded and without tension.

Follow these cues to deadlift well (and check out this video from CrossFit if you need a second visual):

Plant your feet just about hip width apart (the same placement you use when wiping mud off the bottom of your shoes).

Your body when stacked bone-on-bone, so image that you are a pillar of strength, and set up accordingly.

Ensure your back is flat, respecting it’s natural lumbar curve, throughout the entire pull (and decline).

Think about keeping your gaze and chest upward, and your shoulders slightly in front of the weight you are setting up to move.

With your arms just outside of your legs (whether you are lifting grocery bags or a barbell), drive with the legs to begin standing.

You hips and shoulders should rise at the same rate at this part of the movement. Keep the weight very close, even touching your legs, while the weight moves from the ground to just above the knees.

When the weight passes the knees, stand tall by opening the crease of the hip completely.

Continue to keep the implement as close to your center of gravity as possible, touching your legs if lifting a barbell, dumbbell, or other fitness-related object.

Descend to the floor in exactly the opposite manner.

This is when a strong back often fails as you rush to the floor. Keep the weight moving along your legs, and maintaining a strong, flat back throughout.

What If I Need More Help?

We offer custom coaching and instructions for all of our members so that they can workout safely and successfully at home. If you are overcoming injury or periods without exercise and you need more customized attention, though, virtual persona training may be a great option for having a coach live “with you” as you workout. It allows for a watchful eye and in-the-moment movement correction to keep you safe. It also gets you better results in less time when your coach can see you work and help you make the most of each session.

If you gave goals for moving and feeling better, but you aren’t sure how to get there – we can help you. All of our coaching programs started with a simple conversation and each of our members receives individualized coaching and attention to make sure they are getting where they want to go. Book a free intro call now: