Deadlift Form


by Becca Egan, BS, NASM-CPT

Exercise: Deadlift

Muscles Targeted: Back, hamstrings, glutes, core

Importance: The deadlift is a function movement that builds lower body strength and big for core strength and stability.

Proper Form:

  • Start with the bar in front of you touching your shins
  • Lower yourself down to the grasp the bar evenly
  • Do not round your back or have your butt higher than your shoulders
  • Make sure weight is in your heels and shins perpendicular to the floor, not letting your knees go forward
  • Lean back against the bar so if you were the let go, you would fall backwards
  • Drive your heels into the ground and behind lifting the bar off the ground by bracing your core, squeezing your glutes and bringing your hips forward
  • Make sure your chest is up and shoulders are back, keeping tension between your shoulder blades
  • Lift all the way to standing position so your hips are open but you are not arching your back
  • Return weight to the ground by pulling your hips back and keeping your back straight with core tight
  • don't let yourself get into your toes or let your knees go over the bar
  • The weight should end back in the exact place you picked it up from


• Hex bar deadlift – this deadlift is performed with a hex or trap bar. The handles are to the side instead of in front. Good for those with slight mobility issues.
• Romanian deadlift (straight leg deadlift) – Start with weight in front of you with palms facing thighs. Keep hands in contact with your legs as you pull your hips backwards. Keep your shoulders up and back straight. Keep the knees soft (don’t lock out the knees). Go until the weight hits mid-shin, or hips and shoulders are even with each other, or until you right before you feel uncomfortable. Squeeze your glutes and bring your hips forward to return to standing position.

Sample Workout:

3 Rounds

  • 10 deadlifts
  • 15 jump squats
  • :20 tension plank
  • 15 overhead press
  • 10 side (lateral) lunges

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