The DL on the Deadlift

The DL on the Deadlift

Technique tips and common faults!

I am a huge fan of the deadlift as it is such a complete movement.  It is one of the best moves to help develop overall strength.  Deadlifts will allow you to build muscle in your upper and lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. I also find the engagement required for the deadlift helps those all important core muscles. I always feel like my abs have had a little workout after some heavy deads!

Deadlifts are also a powerful tool in weight loss and fat burning. The deadlift stimulates so many large muscles as once which in turn boosts your metabolism and fat burning potential. This means you continue to burn fat even after your session ( how cool is that?)

So for hot hamstrings, a better bum, general strength and fat burning the deadlift is your move! Also lifting heavy makes you feel very primal and badass!! I love the deadlift feels!!

I’m just tipping on that double bodyweight deadlift but while building this strength I’ve gained lean muscle and lost fat. I’ve lifted heavy and gotten leaner!

I love that women are starting to lose the fear of heavy lifting and are seeing that it can build lean muscle not bulk.  I highly recommend adding the deadlift to your training regime under the supervision of a good coach. Like with all power and Olympic lifts be safe have a qualified professional work you through the movement to ensure that you are using the correct technique before you start loading up that barbell. Train smart and you will achieve your desired results!


Correct set up for the deadlift:

  • The Barbell should be approx 1-2 inches from the shin
  • A vertical shin is desired ( as close to this position as possible)
  • Feet should be hip distance apart
  • Your back should be in a braced neutral position with your hips slightly lower than your shoulders
  • Hand position should be shoulder width apart
  • Retract your shoulder blades and keep them engaged
  • Keep your shoulders just over the bar
  • Look ahead with your eyes – but do not arch your neck to face forward
  • Think of your arms as levers or straps

Here’s a video of a good rep

5 Common Faults:

  • Squatting (sitting too low and shins over bar): This is a different movement pattern and eliminates the important hinging element of the deadlift. You need to bend at the hip while keeping your back flat and efficiently engaging the glutes and hamstrings

deadlift squat

  • Back rounding: Never ever round your back when deadlifting. This is a sure fire way to cause back pulls, strains even spinal injuries. Keep the weight low enough to perform the movement correctly build up the strength and mobility to perform the movement with no rounding. Elevate the bar to the point where you can retain good position if you have difficulty maintaining a neutral spine when setting up from the ground.

deadlift rounded back

  • The Stripper deadlift: This is one of my personal favourites. This is when your hips rise too fast (see video). You need to lift your shoulders and hips at the same rate focusing on driving your heels into the ground.
  • Bar path too far from your body (going up and coming down both are equally incorrect). There’s a reason wod socks are much loved for deadlifts. You need to keep that bar skimming your shins and thighs on the way up and the way down. The further the bar drifts away from your body the more stress it puts on your lower back. You also won’t be able to move much weight this way as you don’t have as much control over the bar .
  • Over arching at the end of your lift. Avoid leaning backwards or over arching your back to finish the rep. At the top you should be standing straight up with a solid brace in your core and those glutes squeezed tight.


Happy Lifting!

If you have any questions email myself or Michelle at




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