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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ryan Haskins

Mastering the Deadlift: A Complete Guide to Benefits, Modifications, and Proper Technique

Deadlifts can be a great exercise—if done correctly! Let’s talk about the tools and benefits for mastering your deadlift.

Here are a few benefits: 

  • Improved posture

  • Increased muscle mass and bone density

  • Increased strength and power

  • Better grip strength

  • Reduced injury risk 

  • Builds spine strength and reduces lower back pain (if loaded and performed appropriately)

Did we mention glute gains?

You may ask yourself, well... what if I have lower back pain or hip or knee pain? The answer to that is there’s plenty of deadlift modifications: sumo, stiff-leg/RDLs, and kettlebell swings. Perform the specific type of lift that is most comfortable for you or let us assess and decide for you!

deadlift, kettle

Here are some general key points of performance for a conventional deadlift:

  • Set-up: Stance hip-width, armpits over bar, shoulders above hips and hips above knees, bar close to shins, grip width just outside of shins/knees, and a braced neutral spine.

  • Movement up: Take up slack, drive heels/feet into the ground, engage lats by keeping the bar close to the legs, keep the spine braced, hips and chest rise at the same rate, stand up straight and drive the hips through but don’t hyperextend.

  • Movement down: Initiate motion at the hips by hinging (not bending through the lower back), keep the lats engaged and bar close, let the bar pass the knees before bending the knees, keep the spine braced and neutral.

Still hesitant or need extra guidance? Set up an appointment to see one of our PTs and we’ll get you deadlifting (correctly and safely) in no time!

Dr. Ryan Haskins is a physical therapist at Physical Dimensions.


Want more Total Body Care tips and tricks?

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