Learn To Deadlift With Correct Form

deadlift correct form

So you want to learn to deadlift with correct form and how to improve your max? I remember when I first interviewed for Equinox athletic club they asked my an interesting question:

“If you could only teach a client to deadlift or to squat which would you choose?”

Today I’m going to educate you on:

  • Deadlift correct form
  • Accessory exercises you should be doing
  • Give you an inside look of 3 weeks of our strength training program

Want to skip straight to programming and learn more about the strength training workouts we provide?Click here.

Deadlift Correct Form

I’m a pretty strong guy.

I can deadlift 3x my bodyweight and I’m by no means a power lifter. I grew up playing sports and have always enjoyed more of the strength and conditioning style of training.

There are a lot of things to discuss on how to get stronger, faster, and all of that but…

FIrst thing is first:

You gotta have correct form.

Click on the video below to watch a short video to learn the proper set up.

That’s Katie the other half of K Squared Fitness.

You notice in the video how important it is to create “tension” on the barbell before pulling from the floor.

I use this analogy.

Think of a tow truck.

There is a car in a ditch and the tow truck needs to pull the truck out.

It attaches the chain (in this case your hands to the barbell)

If the floor boards it the chain will break or the bumper will fall right off.

The bumper is your back.

If you rip that barbell off the floor your back is going to round and you are going to put your spine and body and a risk for injury.

But if the truck gets nice tension on the chain and slowly backs up the car comes out of the ditch easily.

Recap:

  • Feet close
  • Externally rotate (engage lats) on barbell
  • Create tension on the barbell
  • Once you reach your shin/knee then you can be explosive by driving through with your hips, exhaling and squeezing your glutes.
deadlift correct form

Still Can’t Get Your Back Flat?

Every time you deadlift regardless of the weight have perfect mechanics. Training your body and brain consistently to have the the proper movement patterns is huge.

It doesn’t matter if you are bending over to pick something up or performing a kettlebell swing. When you “hinge” you want to make sure your back is in proper position.

But you may limited range of motion in your hamstrings and that’s why…

A great way to learn the deadlift correct form is to master the romanian deadlift.

I do a full deep dive on how to romanian deadlift on this article here.

deadlift correct form
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Accessory Exercises For Deadlift

To get better at free throws you just shoot more free throws…right?

Kinda.

You want to master the technique, have the correct form and all of that so you don’t create poor mechanics.

Well deadlifting is a bit different especially with the barbell. The barbell requires more range or motion, more control, strong glutes, core all of that.

Notice in the video below even through the weight is heavy 325 lbs for 10 reps my form does not compromise.

I don’t know what your goal is but you might not have any desire to lift that amount of weight. The point I’m trying to get across is that regardless of the amount of weight you have on the barbell, you need to have perfect mechanics.

Here is a list of accessorry exercises that are great to strengthen your posterior chain, glutes and some exercises that will help prevent rotation.

Activing your glutes and doing exercises that challenge anti rotation are key to improving your deadlift. Check them out:

#1 Side Plank

Side planks are awesome. Do more of them.

#2 Banded Clamshell

The banded clamshell is another great exercise to strengthen your glutes.

#3 Single Arm Row

Strengthen your lats too.

I could go on and on about what exercises are best for you to get stronger and improve your deadlift.

We didn’t even talk about grip strength.

Grip strength is huge. Check out why doing more farmer carries will help improve everything from deadlifts, pull ups, to looking a man in the eye and shaking his hand.

Another you can do is check out our youtube playlist “accessory exercises” where I have been adding a few videos a week of exercises you can add to your workout routine.

Check it out here:

Do me a favor? Throw me a subscribe if you find them helpful.

Sample Deadlift Program

If you want to get stronger or master the correct form with any lift for that matter.

Don’t make it harder on yourself follow a program.

Whether it’s something you come up with yourself or if you work with expert coaches like myself. I have helped a little bit of everyone at this point in my career:

  • Dudes in their 60’s who want to pull 350 lbs
  • NFL athletes
  • Moms with 6 kids who set out a goal to deadlift 200 lbs and did
  • Busy executives who just want to feel better and not get hurt.

You name it.

Here is an example of what the first three weeks would look like

Week 1:

Establish 1 Rep Max Deadlift

When following a program you want to test, and then retest. In my world its the only way to find out if what you are doing is helping you improve.

Use this week to find a good 1 rep max with the correct form we taught you in the videos above.

Week 2

Now that you established a one rep max the following week you can begin to work on your progression.

Take note here:

Each week isn’t about ripping the max amount of weight of the floor. You can see we are working with low percentages and low reps.

  • Set 1 – 5 Reps @50%
  • Set 2 – 3 Reps @60%
  • Set 4-5 – 3 Reps @70%
  • Set 6-10 – 1 Rep @75%

Week 3

If you are a real programming geek like me you can see the first several sets stay the same.

This is to dial in perfect mechanics.

Like we have talked about today – form shouldn’t be compromised at 50% or even 90% always have the goal of moving with quality.


Set 1 – 5 Reps @ 50%
Set 2 – 3 Reps @60%
Set 3 – 3 Reps @70%
Set 4 – 3 Reps @75%
Set 5-8 – 1 Rep @80%

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Conclusion

Today I shared with you a ton of resources to you can master the deadlift.

Be sure to watch the videos and if you have any additional questions or hit in PR's share them in the comments below!

Keep training hard 🤙🏻

2 Comments

  1. Susan Sikes on November 24, 2021 at 10:00 am

    This was helpful to me! I know my left side is not as strong. I am right handed.

    • ksquaredfitness on January 10, 2022 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing! Well, now you know what to work on 🙂

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