Deadlift The Right Way

Deadlifts are described as one of the simplest barbell exercises and as one of the best exercises to build muscles. With one fluid movement—hinging forward at the hips with a neutral spine and bent knees, coming back up to standing, and repeating—you’re working major muscle groups in nearly every zone of your body. 

However, if you want to see benefits you must master the movement. The deadlift is not a dangerous exercise, but the key to its safety is making sure you set-up your body the correct way before you pull the weight. 

Adjusting To Your Body 

It is important to know that the deadlift requires some personal modifications to be done correctly. Unlike the squat or the bench press where you can adjust the rack to your height, the starting point of a deadlift isn’t easy to customize. Most 45-pound plates are about 17.5 inches in diameter, which means the barbell connecting them will sit a little less than 9 inches off the ground. If you’re using dumbbells, it’s even farther to the floor to pick up the weight. Once you find the right setup for your body, then you’re ready to master the deadlift and experience the benefits. 

Deadlift Foot Position 

Position your feet so they are hip length apart. Your shins should be vertical, and—most importantly—positioned about 1 inch away from the bar for deadlift training. This will place the barbell directly over the middle of the foot. 

Set Your Grip 

Position your grip just outside your shins. To lock in your grip, hinge at your hips backward and bend over to grip the bar.

Adjust Your Knees

Drop your knees forward without moving the bar. When your shins make contact with the bar, stop. This is the position your hips and knees will be in when you start the pull. 

Activate Your Back 

Flatten your back and pull your shoulders toward your back pockets. Pull up on the bar to take the slack out, pull your chest up and sit your hips down so your back is at a slight downward angle—the exact amount of which depends on your individual anatomy. Focus your eyes about 10 feet in front of you and give yourself a double chin to pack your neck.


Pull the bar straight up keeping it as close to your shins as you can, using your glutes and hamstrings to straighten your hips. As the bar travels upward past your knees, begin to pull the bar into your hips. The goal throughout is to keep the bar as close to your body as possible to maximize your strength. Continue straightening your hips and knees until you're standing fully upright. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the rep.

Deadlifts require more focus than other exercises. By paying close attention to your body during the move in an exercise, it becomes mindful and can help you stay present in the moment. You also want to make sure your feet are firmly grounded into the floor, your neck and spine are neutral, and you’re squeezing your glutes as you rise up to standing, she adds.

Deadlifts are a  great way to get a whole host of results without spending a lot of time in the gym, and even fitness beginners can utilize them.  For more tips and to shop our line of the cleanest and most effective supplements visit