5 Tips To Improve Your Deadlift Technique

Jan 17, 2023

We often hear and see people avoid deadlifting because they've either injured themselves performing the exercise previously, or they believe the myth that "deadlift are bad for your back" 🤦🏻‍♀️

Well, today we're sharing 5 simple tips that will help you not only learn how to perfect your deadlift technique, but also empower you to overcome the fear of injuring yourself through education!

1) Protect Your Spine

The importance of your deadlift starting position is commonly overlooked - set yourself up for a more powerful lift and look to reduce the risk of injury, as opposed to rushing to pick up the barbell without a thought.

The key here is to take a BIG breath into your lower belly and brace your core.

By bracing your core (that includes all the muscles surrounding your spine and not just your abs or "6 pack"), you're creating more stability, which is required to lift any load safely.

If you're a visual learner imagine your lower belly and all the muscles surrounding your waist expanding. Then hold your breath keeping the tension there - it would be as if someone were to punch you in your gut and you wouldn't feel a thing!

2) Create Upper Back Tightness

You may have heard a range of cue's, but our recommendation is to employ the one that makes most sense and resonates with you! 

This could be:

"Put your lats into your back pockets"
"Take the slack out of the bar"
"Protect your armpits"
"Shoulders over barbell"

The purpose of any of the above cues is to create upper back tightness, which aims at making the pulling portion of this exercise more efficient.

3) Reframe Your Mind

While it may seem like the exercise requires you to just pick the barbell off the ground, the deadlift is actually both a pulling and pushing movement. 

Instead, you want to think about simultaneously pulling the barbell up while using your leg drive to push the ground away. You can also visualise "leg pressing" the floor away, while raising the crown of your head to the sky.

Why? Well, if you're simply viewing deadlifts as only a pulling movement, you may increase the risk of injury by relying more heavily on your upper and lower back to lift the weight up.

Protect your back and get your entire posterior chain firing!

4) Create An Efficient Bar Path

If you skip over tip #2 and creating upper back tightness does not occur, you'll likely have the barbell starting further away from your centre of gravity. This means that your upper body will likely overcompensate to pull the barbell as it's naturally further away from you.

Instead, you want to keep the bar close to your body throughout the entire deadlifting movement to create the most efficient bar path.

The more efficient your bar path is, the more explosive and powerful you can be in this exercise ➡️ accelerating your potential strength progression and activating the targeted muscles.

5) Control The Eccentric Phase

Finally, it's common to see people lifting the barbell then letting gravity take over on the eccentric / lowering portion and all tension is lost.

You'll want to be mindful of this for 2 reasons: the first so you don't increase your injury risk and the second is so you can continue to have an optimal starting position for every subsequent rep in your working set.

An easy way to control the eccentric is to think about pushing your hips back and lower with control, as if you're performing a Romanian Deadlift (RDL) - take a look below!


And there you go!

It's as simple as that to achieve epic strength progression and gains with your deadlift, while ensuring you reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

Share this with someone who wants to improve their deadlift technique 💪

Thanks for reading,