The deadlift is a strength training staple — but are you sure you’re even doing the exercise correctly?
For this basic gym necessity, you shouldn’t settle for anything other than perfect form—especially because of the heavy weights you’ll eventually be working to pull. Let Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and associate fitness editor Brett Williams guide you through the exercise’s subtleties, saving you from the bad habits that are keeping you from unlocking your fitness potential.
Before grabbing your barbell (or dumbbells or hexbar), take note that it’s extremely important to pay attention to the subtleties of the movement here. This multi-joint exercise needs to be done right, especially given the loads you’ll eventually put on your lower back as you progress in weight. You might think you need a lifting belt or straps to even step up to the bar, but as you’ll soon learn, that’s not the case. Forget the gear—just get ready to learn how to lift a ton of weight.
Don’t Mix the Grip!
Eb says: Use an overhand grip whenever you can on the deadlift, instead of going to the often-used mixed grip. The mixed grip has you grabbing the bar with one hand overhand and one hand underhand, and it’s commonly used if you’re going incredibly heavy on the deadlift because it keeps the bar from slipping.