How to Perform a Deadlift for the First Time

Sep 28, 2022 mindpump

Walking into any gym across America and you are sure to spot a fair share of gym-goers performing deadlifts. No doubt the deadlift looks cool, so maybe you want to give it a shot yourself. But before you load up the bar with heavy weights and try to pull it up at all costs, it’s vital to approach this lift with caution.  

The deadlift is potentially the most complex, nuanced lift and requires a lot of practice to master. The worst thing you can do is let your ego get in the way and put on heavy weights you have no business doing to impress the hot chick on the treadmill. Starting with too much weight before you’ve mastered the technique is a recipe for disaster. And also the reason more people get injured deadlifting than any other exercise. 

That said, the deadlift became so famous for a reason. When performed correctly, it’s a fantastic strength exercise that builds brute power and packs muscle all over your body. It’s probably number 1 or 2 on the exercise list for building muscle.

There are many variations of the deadlift, but for this article, we’ll be discussing the conventional deadlift. If you want to implement it in your program, take a look at these simple tips to get started.

1. Walk up and in a shoulder-width stance, bring your shins close to the bar so they are lightly touching it.

2. To get into the setup position, hinge your hips back (not a squat) and bring your hands outside your hips to grab the bar. An easier way to describe the hinge movement is to tell yourself to stick your butt back. Think of trying to touch your butt to an imaginary wall right behind you. The key here is to hinge back with a neutral spine so you don’t round your back.

3. Squeeze the bar as hard as you possibly can to create maximum tension and drive your feet through the floor while pulling forcefully, simultaneously driving your hips forward.

4. Stand tall with the bar at the top, and do not over arch your back.

5. Now to return to the bottom, hinge your butt back until the bar gets below your knees. At this point you can bend your knees and slowly lower the bar to the floor.

As I mentioned, the deadlift is incredibly nuanced, so seeing it performed properly in action may be better. Check out this video on the Mind Pump YouTube channel that goes into full detail on how to perform the movement.

Remember, start super light and practice the technique of this movement. Strength training is a marathon, not a sprint. If you add a tiny bit of weight to the bar every week, imagine how far and how much stronger you will be in a year from now. Compare that to starting too fast, blowing your back out, and seeing no progress.

To wrap it up, there may not be another exercise that will pack muscle on your body quicker than the deadlift. Hopefully, this article and video will give you an excellent base to start. To put everything together intelligently, we highly suggest our program MAPS ANABOLIC. The program includes all the big lifts like deadlifts, so you can lose fat and build muscle without getting injured.

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