This leg exercise will work on the major muscle groups of your legs: quadriceps, gluteal group, adductors, hamstrings, gastrocnemius; but also on the trapezius, forearms, your lower back & latissimus dorsi. Don’t hesitate to have a look on my other article “The main muscle groups of your body” if you don’t remember where these muscles are located. Some exercices will work different muscles at the same time, some will target specific muscles. A leg workout, also means that some part of your back (such as the erector spinae, or the lower back) will be under efforts. That’s why in the programs the legday never follows the backday.
For the following exercice, I will ask you to be very careful with the manipulations in order not to hurt yourself. What I am saying is that you constantly need to check if your back, from your lower lumbar to your neck is well positioned. Doing this exercise with a curved back or neck can result in back/neck pain, or other injuries even more serious.
This picture is showing every deadlift steps/positions (with a red cross) that you should not do, in order not to hurt yourself.
This picture is also showing every steps of the deadlift (with a green V) that you should do to in order to perform a good deadlift.
Now here is how you should do your deadlifts:
Stand over the bar with your mid-foot under the bar. Your shins shouldn’t touch the bar yet. Put your heels hip-width apart. Point your toes out about 15°. Bend over without bending your legs. Grip the bar about shoulder-width. Your arms must be vertical when looking from the front. Head up looking forward during all the exercise (without over-extending your neck).
- Drop into position by bending your knees until your shins touch the bar. Do not move the bar away from your mid-foot. If it moves away start again from the stand up position.
- Straighten your back by raising your chest. Don’t change your position; keep the bar under your mid-foot, your shins against the bar and your hips in position.
- Take a big breath while pulling the bar upwards to stand up with the weight. Keep the bar in contact with your legs while you are pulling up the bar. Don’t shrug or lean back at the top. Lock your hips and knees to be perpendicular to the ground.
2. How to grip the bar ?
Grip strength is very important in the deadlift, if you can’t hold the bar, you can’t lift it.
There are two main ways to grip the bar with this exercise. The first one is called the double overhand grip. This grip consist of having your palms both facing towards your body.
The second one is called “mixed grip” or “over-under”, where one of your hands is facing away from you while the other one is facing towards you.
This grip can help you to physically lift more.. but ! This places uneven stress on your shoulders and can aggravate problems in the biceps on the side in which your palm is facing outwards.
If you are a beginner in the playground with this exercise, I would recommend you to hold the bar with the double overhand.
If it is the first time that you are doing deadlifts, I would recommend you to get used to the movements by doing deadlifts firstly without weights.
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See you soon for another article, your healthful blogger in sports.