Deadlifting Tips


Footwear is important. Shoes with soft soles and heels like those with air or gel filling them will make you more unstable. Running shoes and basketball shoes are terrible to deadlift (or squat) with. You want shoes that have flat, rock solid soles like Chuck Taylors. Or in attempt to be as manly, you can deadlift barefoot like Arnold.

Arnold deadlifting barefoot

Looks fun.

Creating the Block

Unfortunately humans haven’t evolved enough to have unbreakable spines or super healing that would allow us to replace our skeletons with adamantium. That’s why the block is important.

Otherwise known as the Valsalva maneuver, the block consists of you taking a deep breath to expand your chest and contracting your abs to create a rigid “block” around your core that supports your spine.

Creating a block is crucial for heavy deadlifting and in general for any exercise involving heavy weights because it keeps you from rounding the back which could cause a herniated disc.

How to create a block:

1. Expand the chest and fill your lungs with a deep breath

2. Contract your abdominals

3. Finally contract your back.

Don’t forget to breath out once you’ve raised the weight

Experienced Deadlifters take a deep breath before reaching down to grab the bar because you’re able to inhale more air. However when starting out proper position is more important to do the block after you’ve bent down and set yourself up.

Deadlift Grip

When it’s time to Deadlift, you’ve got three choices when it comes to grips: double overhand, alternated (or supinated) and wrist straps. Also you can use chalk to improve your grip.

Proper barbell grip

Hold the bar closer to your fingers.

Double overhand:

It’s better to start out deadlifting with double overhand grip because not only does really help you increase your grip strength, it is also is unquestionably the manliest grip there is.

Alternated (supinated) grip:

Once you get up to higher loads, it’s better to alternate your grip so that one hand faces towards you and one hand faces away. This prevents the bar from “rolling” down hands. At what point should you switch from double overhand to alternated ? There’s no set weight limit. Whenever you feel like it’s starting to get harder to hold on to the weight than to actually lift it, switch the grip.

Warning: In very rare instances this type of grip can cause the bicep of the supinated arm to tear. To reduce this risk always act in a smooth, controlled motion; never jerk the weight; and always warm up. To completely avoid, stick with the double overhand.

Wrist Straps

All we’re going to say is that wrist straps are for sissies and people using extremely heavy weight. So unless you’re deadlifting 800 lbs (Rone coleman lift) don’t worry about them.

Benedikt Magnusson

"Look Ma, no straps!" - Benedikt Magnusson


Put some chalk on your hands to improve your grip. Chalk works by increasing friction between your hands and the bar and by making the grip less slippery when you’re sweating.

How to Avoid Calluses and Lifting Gloves

Mark Rippetoe explains how to properly grip the bar for any lift to avoid calluses and eliminate the need for gloves.


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  1. Pingback: 10 Ways to Improve Your Deadlift | Fitness Exposé

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