A room full of pro-lifters who look like they could go up against Rocky can be enough to put you off trying deadlifts. But don’t. There are few exercise moves that come close to the deadlift in terms of what it can offer, and how it can work your body. Its’ no surprise then that PTs prescribe deadlifts on their programmes.
Performing deadlifts as part of your regular workouts will strengthen your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings), increase core stability, activate your glutes and power development.
Watch: How to deadlift – a beginner’s guide
It’s a pretty basic move to master –so don’t fear. The premise is a hip hinge, which is a vital part of everyday movement. That said, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re executing this movement in a safe, stable way.
So, where to begin? You’d be right to ask this question given that there are many types of deadlift: trap bar deadlift, sumo deadlift and Romanian deadlift to name three variations. Lucky then, we’ve got strong advice on which is best for beginners, plus a basic deadlift workout to get you going.
- In this deadlift workout there’s a variation that suits everyone, so if you’re just starting out stick with the easier ones at first.
- Always aim for a neutral spine (a flat line from the back of your head all the way down to your bum) and make sure the majority of the movement is coming from the hips moving forwards and backwards, while the knees remain soft.
- As with any new lift, start very light and get used to the movement pattern before adding load.
- If you’re unsure, or something doesn’t feel quite right, ask for help or get someone to film you doing it so you can see where you might be going wrong.
Keep the rep range low with deadlifts and only increase weight if you can maintain form. Aim to do 3-5 reps per set and 4-5 sets, ensuring you take adequate rest between each set. All moves target your back, legs and glutes.
Related article: Create Gravity Defying Glutes With 6 Great Butt Growing Exercises
1.Trap Bar Deadlift
Best for: Beginners
- Step up into the centre of the bar and hold a handle on each side.
- With a neutral spine and tucked chin, sit back and bend your knees, keeping them in line with ankles.
- To lift, drive your hips forwards, pushing down through your heels.
- Pause at the top, then slowly return to the start position.
2. Traditional Deadlift
Best for: Advanced lifters
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shins touching the bar.
- Bend down, keeping your spine neutral, until your hands meet the bar.
- Squeeze your lat muscles and feel the weight in your heels.
- Keep the tension and, in one movement, pull the bar up and extend your legs.
- Hold for a second before lowering.
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3. Sumo Deadlift
Best for: The mobility-impaired
- With feet wider than hip-width apart, turn your toes outwards.
- Get your shins touching the bar before you bend down, engage your lats and pull up to standing in one swift movement.
- Lower back down, keeping your spine neutral.
4. Romanian Deadlift
Best for: Advanced lifters
- Hold the bar with it touching your thighs.
- Feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forwards, keep your knees soft, but don’t bend them.
- Hinge forward, keeping your chin tucked in and core engaged.
- Tense your hamstrings and drive back up to the starting position, maintaining that neutral spine.