The Perfect Form – Dead Lift

Men's Health |

Most Common Mistakes

  • Feet too close together with toes pointing too far out; or in (thereby loading the knee).
  • Knees too far forward.
  • Knees and hips not flexed enough (at less than 90 degrees).
  • Shoulders dropped forward.
  • Head down

Perfect It Like This

  • Place your feet shoulder-width or slightly wider apart. Get a solid foundation by making sure your heels are planted firmly, with your feet flat so that you’re able to lift your toes.
  • Squat down to grab the bar by keeping our back straight and bending your knees past 90 degrees. If you don’t go low enough your bum will be too high and if you lift from that position you’ll over-extend your back muscles (they should act as stabilisers during the movement to prevent bending forward and arching backwards. But don’t let your knees go over your feet, you should always be able to draw plumb line from the front of the knee downwards to touch your feet.
  • Take hold of the bar outside of your knees. Eyes front, if you look down your bum will come up first during the lift. Keep your shoulders back, locked and activated. If they roll forward it will round your back, leading to poor stability Inhale before pushing up as air-filled lungs are a great stabiliser for the spine.
  • Perform the perfect dead lift by pushing your head up towards the ceiling leading the rest of your body. Exhale once in the standing position.
  • Get the weight back down quickly, as a slow movement risks forward dropping of shoulders and bending of the spine.

dead lift

Top Tip
Technique training is a slow and detailed process. Do four reps with light weights and perform each individually. Once you’ve done a rep stand back, regain focus, bend down, settle and stabilise. This is not a fitness or endurance exercise but aimed at building strength in large number of the muscles.

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