The DEADLIFT is often considered the king of all lifts (Some people may say the Squat!). The benefits of performing the deadlift are truly endless, Deadlifts will hit your quads, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, abs, traps, and upper lats… and the list goes on! If you aren’t deadlifting, you could very well be undermining your workout results.
Whilst a good deadlift can can add slabs of muscle to your frame, a bad deadlift could also lead to serious injury, so it is essential you learn to deadlift properly. Here are some of the most commonly seen technique faults and how to fix them.
A rounded lower back is without a doubt one of the most common and dangerous deadlift faults. If your lower back is rounded when pulling a heavy load you place a lot of stress on the passive structures of your spine, more specifically your intervertebral ligaments and discs. Damage to these structures take a long time to heal and may even not heal at all.
To avoid lifting with a rounded lower back focus on perfecting your start position. Always Deadlift with a neutral lower back, you should aim to maintain the natural inward curve of your lower spine, to help achieve this position you should focus on keeping your chest and chin up.
Bending your arms during the deadlift is extremely dangerous and can lead to a nasty bicep tear. Having bent arms during the lift will in no way benefit you, you should see your arms as cables connecting your body to the bar.. thats it. Many people feel the need to bend their arms during the lift in order to hoist the weight up a little more. This is in fact counter productive as it simply increases the distance that the bar has to travel.
In order to avoid lifting with bent arms you should focus on seeing your arms as cables connecting your body to the bar, try to also flex your triceps as you get into your starting position and keep them flexed throughout the lift, this will ensure your arms stay fully extended during the lift.
Hitching the bar is when you jerk the bar up and down during the lift in an attempt to lock out, this is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious spinal injuries. The deadlift should be a smooth and continuous motion. Instead of training with weights where you often have to resort to hitching to achieve a lockout, try to instead drop the weight and focus on the lift itself. The best way to fix a dodgy deadlift is to cut the weight and refocus on technique.
Falling forward during the deadlift is often the result of a poor start position. When performing the deadlift, make sure you start with your toes well under the bar. The bar doesn’t necessarily have to touch your shins (although a lot of competitive lifters do suggest this), but it should be very close. You should focus on keeping the bar close to you throughout the entire lift.