How to Deadlift Properly for Growth Mastering the 5 Easy Steps


 How to Deadlift Properly for Growth Mastering the 5 Easy Steps

Deadlifts are a foundational exercise that can unlock your untapped strength and help you achieve maximum growth. However, they can also be intimidating, especially if you're new to lifting or unsure about proper form. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the five easy steps to deadlift properly and safely, ensuring optimal gains and minimizing the risk of injury. Whether you're a beginner or looking to improve your deadlift technique, this article has got you covered.

Step 1: Creating the Pillar

Before you even think about bending down to grab the bar, it's crucial to establish a strong foundation. Proper foot placement is key to maintaining stability and generating power. Start by walking up to the bar and align it right over your shoelaces, in the middle of your foot. Widening your feet to about hip-width apart, with toes facing forward, is generally the best stance for most people. However, if this feels uncomfortable, you can experiment with wider feet or pointing your toes outward.

Next, let's focus on your hips and ribs. The alignment of these two areas is crucial for preventing back injuries. Imagine your hips as a bowl full of water. Most people naturally have an anterior pelvic tilt, causing the water to tip over the front of the bowl. To correct this, tilt your pelvis back, as if you were bringing your belt buckle up to your chin.

Don't forget about your ribs! Many people have a tendency to stand with their ribs flared out, which can put strain on the lower back. Flatten them by engaging your core and squeezing your glutes and inner thighs together. Additionally, make a fist in each hand and push them down towards the ground to straighten your arms and activate your lats. This alignment of the hips, ribs, core, and lats will create a strong pillar of support.

Step 2: Grabbing the Bar

Now that you have established a solid foundation, it's time to grab the bar. This step is crucial for maintaining the tightness and stability you created in the previous step. Avoid rounding your back and shoulders, as this can lead to loss of form and potential injury. Instead, focus on keeping the pillar intact while pushing your hips back.

Imagine you have a bag of groceries in each hand, and you're trying to close a car door with your butt. Push your hips back as far as you can without lifting your big toes off the ground. Losing pressure in the big toe indicates that you've pushed your hips back too far. Once you reach the end point, bend your knees and bring your shins to the bar.

It's important to pay attention to three key factors at this stage. First, the bar should be directly over your midfoot, with your shins just about touching the bar. This positioning ensures that the strain on your lower back is minimized. Second, find the sweet spot for your hips. If they are too high, you'll rely more on your lower back, and if they are too low, you'll end up doing more of a squat than a deadlift. Aim for your hips to be somewhere above your knees but below your shoulders. Lastly, maintain a neutral spine by drawing your head back and picking a spot on the floor a few feet in front of you.

Step 3: Creating the Wedge

To ensure the safety of your lower back as you lift the weight, it's essential to create a strong wedge. This powerful position will help you maintain proper form and prevent any compromise to your lower back. To create the wedge, drive your knees out against your arms and take a deep breath, as if you were wearing a belt and trying to push air against all sides of it. Brace your core as if someone were about to punch your stomach.

Additionally, focus on maintaining a neutral upper back and shoulder position. Extend your chest and get tall from your hips all the way to your head. Squeeze your armpits as if you had oranges in them and were trying to make orange juice. These actions will activate your lats and provide additional stability. When done correctly, you should feel tension in your lats, core, glutes, and hamstrings.

Step 4: Pushing the Floor

Now that you have set up the perfect position, it's time to initiate the lift. Many people make the mistake of thinking of the deadlift as a pull, which can lead to breaking form and compromising the gains you've worked so hard to achieve. Instead, think of it as pushing the floor away with your feet.

Maintain the tightness and stability you established in the previous steps and focus on pushing harder and harder against the floor until the bar lifts off the ground. As you lift, your hips and chest should rise at the same rate, rather than your hips rising first and your lower back rounding.

Once the bar passes your knees, think about thrusting your hips forward to meet the bar at the top. Be mindful of your shoulder and lower back positioning. Your shoulders should not be behind your heels, and your lower back should not be excessively arched. To prevent this, imagine you're about to get punched in the stomach and keep your glutes squeezed together. At the top of the lift, your hips, ribs, shoulders, and chin should all be stacked parallel to each other, like floors of a building.

Step 5: Descent and Repeating the Movement

The final step is the controlled descent of the weight. Many people make the mistake of letting gravity take over and dropping the weight, which can lead to injuries and a missed opportunity for muscle growth. Instead, focus on maintaining control as you lower the bar back to the ground.

Push your hips back and slide the bar down as close as possible along your thighs. Once the bar passes your kneecaps, bend your knees and slide the bar along your shins to bring it back over your midfoot. Avoid bouncing the weight off the floor and instead, stay tight and gently touch the floor before starting your next repetition.

By following these five easy steps, you can master the deadlift and experience the benefits of this powerful exercise. Remember to focus on proper form, maintain stability through the entire movement, and listen to your body. As you progress, gradually increase the weight and challenge yourself, but always prioritize safety and technique.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While the deadlift is a highly effective exercise, there are some common mistakes that beginners often make. By being aware of these mistakes, you can ensure that you're getting the most out of your deadlifts and minimizing the risk of injury.

  1. Rounding the back: One of the most common mistakes is rounding the back, which puts excessive strain on the spine. Always prioritize maintaining a neutral spine throughout the movement.                                                                               

  2. Lifting with the arms: Deadlifts are primarily a lower body exercise, so avoid using your arms to pull the weight. Instead, focus on pushing through your legs and using your glutes and hamstrings to drive the movement.                                              

  3. Using too much weight: While it's important to challenge yourself, using too much weight can compromise your form and increase the risk of injury. Start with a weight that allows you to maintain proper technique and gradually progress from there.                                                                                                               

  4. Neglecting warm-up and mobility: Before diving into deadlifts, it's crucial to warm up your body and perform mobility exercises to prepare your muscles and joints. Neglecting this step can lead to muscle strains or other injuries.                                                                                                                                                

  5. Lack of progression: To continue seeing progress and reaping the benefits of deadlifts, it's important to gradually increase the weight over time. Aim for progressive overload by adding small increments to the weight or increasing the number of reps and sets.                                                                                                                      

By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on proper form and technique, you can maximize your deadlift gains and minimize the risk of injury.

Additional Tips for Deadlift Success

To further enhance your deadlift training, consider incorporating the following tips into your routine:                                                                                                                               

  1. Proper warm-up: Always begin your deadlift session with a dynamic warm-up that includes mobility exercises for your hips, hamstrings, and lower back. This will help prepare your body for the demands of the lift and reduce the risk of injury.                                                                                                                                            

  2. Progressive overload: As mentioned earlier, progressive overload is key to continued growth and strength gains. Gradually increase the weight you lift, but do so in a controlled and safe manner.                                                                                                        

  3. Variations and accessory exercises: While the conventional deadlift is highly effective, incorporating variations like sumo deadlifts or Romanian deadlifts can target different muscle groups and add variety to your routine. Additionally, accessory exercises such as Romanian deadlifts, bent-over rows, and glute bridges can help strengthen the muscles involved in the deadlift.                                                  

  4. Proper recovery: Deadlifts are a demanding exercise that places stress on your muscles and central nervous system. Allow yourself adequate time for recovery between sessions to avoid overtraining. This includes getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, and incorporating rest days into your training program.

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and mastering the deadlift takes time and practice. Be patient, focus on proper form, and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and confident with the movement. With consistent training and attention to detail, you'll soon be reaping the rewards of a stronger, more powerful deadlift. Happy lifting!


Deadlifts are a powerful exercise that can unlock your strength potential and promote muscle growth. By following the five easy steps outlined in this guide, you can learn how to deadlift properly and safely, ensuring optimal gains and minimizing the risk of injury. Remember to focus on creating a solid foundation, maintaining proper form throughout the movement, and avoiding common mistakes. With dedication and consistent practice, you'll be well on your way to mastering the deadlift and experiencing the countless benefits it has to offer. So, grab that bar and start deadlifting your way to a stronger, more resilient body!


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