Deadlift: Instructions

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Deadlift: Instructions

The deadlift is a polyarticular basic movement. It is one of the 3 powerlifting movements with the squat and the bench press, but it is also an exercise commonly integrated into WODs in CrossFit, as well as a essential in weight rooms.

The deadlift is indeed an extremely effective exercise for strengthening the back, lower back, buttocks, but also a number of secondary muscles. It is also very present in the physical preparation protocols of most combat sports.

In this article, we will give you all the tools to perform this movement to perfection in order to get the best benefits. Follow the leader !

The basic principles of the deadlift

The course of a deadlift

The principle of the deadlift is to bring a loaded bar above the knees from the ground:

  • starting position: bar resting on the ground, place your feet below and in the middle, feet apart about 30 cm.

  • Grasp the bar in this position. Hands should be shoulder width apart.

  • Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar.

  • Lift the load keeping your arms and back straight. The bar should ideally slide along your shins and knees.

  • Hold the upright position 2 seconds and return to starting position.

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The precautions to take

Your feet should be slightly turned outwards (about 15°).

Don’t bend your elbows during the movement. The arms should remain straight.

Don’t look up, or your feet. Look straight ahead.

Don’t roll your shoulders at the end of the movement. Keep your traps as neutral as possible.

Use straps, chalk or a combination grip if you have trouble keeping the bar in your hand.

Use a reinforcement belt, even with light loads.

Do not bounce the bar on the floor.

The muscles recruited

The deadlift is an exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and joints.

The back

The deadlift is the king movement for the development of the dorsals. In effect, the lower back are involved in the climb, the latissimus dorsi once standing (to keep the load against the body).


The trapezius muscles intervene to keep the line of the shoulders straight throughout the execution of the movement, in order to better transfer the force to the bar. The shoulders and pecs are also heavily recruited for the same reasons.

Do not wrap your shoulders at the end of the movement to stimulate your traps because the deadlift already takes care of making them stronger and you simply risk putting too much pressure on your cervical vertebrae.



The abdominals are antagonistic to the lower back, and these two muscle groups surround and protect the spine.
During a deadlift, the abdominals (rectus abdominis, oblique and transverse) contract spontaneously to prevent the trunk from moving too far backor to the side, increasing the back arch and exposing you to injury.

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They are the ones who keep the bar straight during the movement! They don’t flex but are subjected to an isometric contraction in both phases of the movement : concentric and eccentric. And the heavier the load, the more they are harmed!

How to improve your deadlift?

Respect for form and regularity

Deadlift once a week, two at most. If you plan to do two deadlift sessions, do a heavy session and then a session with longer ranges and reps.

Equip yourself with the right equipment

You don’t arrive in front of your deadlift platform empty-handed!

Always carry with you:

  • A belt of strength

  • A pair of strength straps

  • magnesia

  • A shaker with a sports drink, and if possible BCAAs.


Food is decisive when you want to gain strength, and above all become more efficient in the deadlift.

Thereby, follow the following nutritional principles to improve your strength and deadlift resistance:

  • Eat at least 5 times a day.

  • Each meal should consist of protein and carbohydrates.

  • Eat red meat regularly.

  • Supplement with creatine.

  • Take a gainer if you have trouble eating all your meals.

  • Take a ZMA complex to improve your hormone levels and benefit from superior recovery.

Dry with the deadlift?

The deadlift is a movement that can also be performed to improve muscle definition.
It is indeed so basic and recruits so many areas that the body is forced to burn energy for up to several days after a session!

So put deadlifts during your weight training sessions or before your cardio if you want to lose weight faster.

To optimize fat burning with the deadlift, we advise you to supplement with a caffeinated workout boosterand if possible l-carnitine, such as Lipo Zero from the Fit & Healthy brand. This type of supplement promotes better use of fat stores because it turns them into easily usable energy.

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Also to read

Folder: bodybuilding exercises

CrossFit: the main movements

The top 5 exercises for the glutes

The top 5 exercises for the abs

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