There are few lifts that make you feel like a beast with each rep, and that list practically starts and ends with the deadlift. Sure, a big bench is nice, but not if your spotter is pulling the weight up himself. Big squat numbers seem to come with reps that go halfway down (at best). But, there is no cheating a deadlift. The deadlift is simply you against the bar. You can either bring that weight up and lock it out or you cannot. If you want to have a thick back, deadlifts are a must.
Here are some quick tips for dominating the mother of all lifts – the deadlift.
Nothing like getting straight to the point. The best way to improve your deadlift is to actually practice deadlifts. Seems like a novel idea.
Use Proper Form
This seems like another easy point, but the fact of the matter is that most people have horrible form when it comes to deadlifts, and proper form is the key to success. It is also the easiest way to avoid injury.
See below for tips on proper deadlift form.
This really should go without saying, but you would be surprised at how many people do not warm up properly. You are begging for trouble without a proper warm up. Also, a proper warm up will increase your performance, so this should make it an even easier decision.
Perform Assistance Exercises
There are specific exercises that can be performed to help build up the muscles that will improve your deadlift. Some of these are:
Leg Press: Builds strong hamstrings, quads and glutes.
Farmer’s Walk: Builds grip strength.
Plank: Teaches full-body tightness.
Rows: Builds overall back strength.
Kettlebell Swing: Builds strong hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Also teaches explosiveness.
Take Off Your Shoes
Sounds like an odd tip, but it works. Without shoes, you are taking away 1-2 includes of distance that the bar has to travel. It also allows you to pull through your heels, which recruits your glutes and hamstrings more efficiently. Of course, some gyms will scoff at people training without shoes, so think about shoes like Chuck Taylors.
Do Single Leg Work
Single leg work equates to bigger lifts. if you train your legs together and individually, you will get stronger.
Tips For Proper Deadlift Form
1. Place your back in a neutral position instead of rounding your lower back.
2. Keep your arms straight at all times to avoid bicep injuries.
3. Keep your abs tight throughout every rep. Most people’s reflex is to let their abs out. Keeping them tight will add strength to your lift.
4. Keep your lats tight to stop your lower back from rounding.
5. Keep the bar close to you at all times. This will avoid undue stress on the lower back.