Barbell Deadlift

Barbell deadlifts are a challenging but essential move to have in your training arsenal. Here’s how to do them properly.

The barbell deadlift is a functional movement that’s also an incredibly effective move for building strength. Done properly the barbell deadlift builds core stability, shoring up the supporting muscles of the waist, back, hips and lower back. But only if you are using proper form. To protect your spine, keep your abdominal muscles engaged through the movement.

Muscles Worked: erector spinae, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps

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Setup: Stand facing a barbell with the bar over your toes, feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and grasp the bar with an alternating grip (one hand pronated and one hand supinated) and your hands shoulder-width apart.

Move: With your chest up and back flat, straighten your knees and drive your hips forward and up, squeezing your glutes at the top. Pause, then bend your knees while simultaneously leaning your torso forward at the waist while keeping your back straight to lower the bar back down to the floor. Repeat.

DO Keep your arms straight and resist the urge to raise your shoulders or bend your elbows as you go.

DON’T round your shoulders as you squat down.

DO keep the bar close to your body as you lift.

DON’T have a lax grip; make sure it’s strong.

DO Use and overhand grip if you find it’s difficult to hold the bar with the alternating grip.

DON’T rely on momentum to power the weight up.

DO perform this move with a pair of dumbbells instead of a barbell.

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