The deadlift is one of the complete barbell exercises. This exercise is one of the best for strengthening the back muscles of the legs and lower back.
To do a barbell deadlift with the perfect technique, you will have to exert yourself and sweat a bit. However, the results will be worth it.
This article describes the barbell deadlift technique, the most common mistakes in beginners, and how to avoid injuring your back.
Barbell Deadlift: What is it?
The barbell deadlift is one of the basic multi-joint exercises. In other words, it allows working in several areas, including more than one joint during motivation. These exercises are ideal for improving strength indicators and improving maximum respiratory capacity.
In addition, with a correct deadlift technique, it is possible to achieve muscular hypertrophy of the hamstrings and lats. In addition, when doing deadlifts, the stabilizing muscles of the core or the middle zone are worked secondarily.
Virtually no exercise can compare to the deadlift in its effectiveness in increasing muscle mass in the rear of the legs and lower back area.
How to do a barbell deadlift? – Correct technique step by step
How to deadlift with a barbell is something that both a beginner and an advanced athlete must have wondered at least once. Learning the correct barbell deadlift technique is key to strengthening your legs without injuring your lower back vertebrae.
Minimizing loads on the lower spine and knees is critical in the technique. Below is the correct step-by-step deadlift technique:
- Starting position
The starting position is standing in front of the bar. The legs should be kept 20-30 cm apart. One of the common mistakes is starting with an identical split when doing barbell squats; in the deadlift, it should be less.
The tip of the foot should point outward. The bar must be resting on the ground or support. The key in the technique is that the bar is located on the foot’s instep when you start.
The grip of the deadlift should be on the palms of the hands. The thumb should point outward; the wrist should remain straight and in line with the arm. Check that the thumb follows a straight line with the fingers in the technique.
For a beginner, the grip may seem awkward to start with. However, with practice, your wrists will get stronger. A correct grip is essential to avoid joint injuries and calluses on the hands.
- Shoulder and back adjustment
Never push the load toward your lower back when doing the barbell deadlift. The spine should form a straight line.
At this point in the technique, check that the area where the shoulders end forms a perpendicular line with the ground. A common mistake is to create 90 degrees above the cervical height. Adjust the shoulders, always keeping the bar close to the legs (almost touching the skin).
One of the most common mistakes in beginners is to bend the spine excessively. At all times, the back must remain straight. Curving your back outward or inward can lead to sports injuries in the lower back.
- Downward gaze and straight back
When deadlifting, you should never look up or to the sides. This is one of the most frequent and dangerous mistakes.
Being tempted to look in the mirror can lead to neck pain and injury to the cervical region. The key in the technique is that the position of the neck continues with the line of the body.
- The upward movement
This is the critical moment of the deadlift technique. With the help of the abdominal muscles, make sure that the back remains completely straight.
The push should be done with the force of the back of the legs and glutes. The bar should be raised at a medium speed. Using the strength of the arms and swinging to the sides is a sign that the weight is not correct.
- The high point of movement
The posture should be perpendicular at the movement’s high point, maintaining the back’s natural curvature. For this, it is essential to use the strength of the buttocks.
One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is pulling your back or using shoulder strength. In the final position, the bar should be dropped.
- Bonus – don’t deflect the load onto the knees.
In a perfect deadlift technique, the movement must be controlled without diverting the load towards the knees. The speed should be medium and without straining the lower back. To execute the clean move, you must use the strength of the hips and abdominals. A minor error in technique can result in serious spinal injury.
Dumbbell Deadlift Technique
The dumbbell deadlift technique is similar to the barbell deadlift. The secret is to avoid swaying due to the division of loads. As in the barbell deadlift technique, the back should not arch, and the stabilizing muscles of the abdominals should always be used.
The dumbbell deadlift is not the best for a beginner. Dumbbells add to the difficulty of concentrating on the arm muscles. If these are not fixed correctly, deviations in the movement technique can be generated. It is even more common to curve the back when going down.
If you still decide on this variation of the deadlift, be sure to reduce the weight of the dumbbells correctly. To get an idea, if you lift 50 kg doing a barbell deadlift, it is advisable to minimize the importance of the dumbbells to a little less than half—the equivalent of about 20 Kg on each side.
Common Beginner Mistakes – What NOT to Do to Hurt Your Back
Curving your back and using your arms and shoulders are common mistakes when doing deadlifts. To avoid them, remember the name of this exercise deadlift suggests that you must feel the force of gravity in a correct movement technique.
Another common mistake when doing this exercise is not pushing your chest forward. When deadlifting, a beginner should bring the pecs to the front. This detail in the deadlift technique will activate the abs’ work and prevent back injuries.
For a beginner to improve the deadlift technique, you can keep the bar supported on exceptional support or discs on the ground. This will improve your deadlift technique by minimizing starting and ending position errors.
Deadlift for teens?
A teenager should not start with exercises like the deadlift. Perfecting the technique of other simpler movements should be a preliminary step. If authorized by their coach, a teenager can practice the method without additional loads.
Teens pay special attention to the curvature of the lower back. Performing physical warm-up exercises such as lats or squats without additional weight is an excellent strategy to achieve this goal.
What is the belt for when doing barbell deadlifts?
Sports belts are ideal for deadlifting. These allow better control of deviations to the sides and allow for straightening the lower back area. The use of belts is recommended for loads more significant than 50 Kg.
For a beginner, the use of belts is not mandatory. The most important thing is to focus on technique and not overdo it with loads. Remember that it is one of the exercises with the highest risk of lower back injuries.
- The barbell deadlift is one of the basic multi-joint exercises. This exercise is one of the best exercises for the legs.
- Because it is one of the riskiest exercises in the back area, beginners should emphasize learning the technique.
- It would help if you never looked up or the side when doing the barbell deadlift. The back must remain straight, and the grip must be with the palms of the hands. Preventing the rocking and curvature of the spine is essential to avoid injury.
- Belts in the gym help stabilize the back core; one of the common mistakes when doing barbell deadlifts.
- The deadweight bar can include both a back routine and a routine for working the entire body.