How to Deadlift

What is a Deadlift?


The deadlift is a practical, functional exercise that deserves to be in everybody’s workout routine. This compound movement requires your legs, back, arms and abs to boost your overall strength, improve posture and increase muscle mass.

  • Stay focused. Keep your shoulders back and down, stand up tall and avoid rounding your back.
  • Brace yourself. Engage your core as you lift the bar or dumbbells smoothly off the floor.
  • Keep it close. To avoid an unnecessary swinging movement, keep the bar or dumbbells close to your body for each rep.


Level: Beginners to Advanced

Equipment: Barbell and Weighted Plates or Dumbbells

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells, or a barbell with plates loaded. Make sure there is enough space surrounding you to perform this exercise.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells with palms facing you or bar in front of you.
  3. Bend your knees ever so slightly and hinge forward from the hips, keeping your back straight.
  4. Lower the weights towards the floor, keeping them close to your body, and feel the pull down your hamstrings.
  5. Return to the starting position, squeezing the glutes at the top.


Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment: Barbell, Weighted Plates

SET UP: Your gym should have a weights area with enough space for you to perform this exercise.

  1. To start, stand up against the bar, and lower your hips to reach the bar. Your hands should be slightly wider than the width of your shoulder. Hold the bar with an overhand grip, or have one underhand grip and one overhand grip —whichever feels best for you.
  2. Once you’ve got a hold of the bar, push your hips back to the point of tension in your hamstrings. Brace your abs and maintain a tall spine.
  3. Engage your lats and keep your chest proud throughout the whole movement. A good way to do this is to imagine as if you are putting your shoulders in your back pocket. This will help to avoid putting too much tension on your back.
  4. Lift the bar smoothly off the floor by extending your knees until you are standing in an upright position, keep your abs tight, shoulders engaged and the bar close to your body.
  5. Exhale as you reach the top and squeeze your glutes. Slowly lower the bar back to the floor, keeping the bar close to your body to return to the starting position.