Of the three powerlifting lifts (squat, bench press, and deadlift), the deadlift is the one that really cuts into recovery. The deadlift is an amazing exercise and one that you should include in your strength training routine if you want to add slabs of granite-hard muscle to your body from head-to-toe, strengthen your posterior chain, and increase athletic performance.
In fact, there may be no better exercise for working the hamstrings, glutes, entire back, and grip, and for making you bigger, faster, and stronger.
1. Work on Your Technique
It doesn’t matter whether you decide to deadlift conventional or sumo - you must work on your technique. The reason why you must work on your technique is that bad technique will lead to weakness and injury. Two things you want to avoid, right?
On the other hand - good technique will lead to stronger deadlifts and a much lower injury risk. Two things you definitely want.
So before you load up the weight and go heavy on your deads, spend a few weeks mastering the basics. Regardless of whether you deadlift conventional or sumo, here are some key tips:
- Your lower back should be in a neutral position because rounding your lower back can be dangerous.
- Your arms should be straight at all times because bending them is a recipe for bicep tears.
- Your abs and lats should be tight throughout the duration of each and every rep. This will make you stronger and will help to stop your lower back from rounding
- The bar must stay close to your body at all times. If you let it drift away from you, you’ll put extra stress on your lower back and you will severely limit the amount of weight you can lift. Great deadlifters have scars on their shins for a reason. Keep that bar close!
3. Warm Up
Before hitting the fast doubles and triples with 50-70% of your max, you must warm up. Most guys don’t do this and it’s asking for trouble. When you warm up properly, you’ll not only decrease your injury-risk - you’ll also increase your performance. A pretty good return on investment, I’m sure you’ll agree.
4. Decrease The Range Of Motion
Deadlifting from just below knee height can be done using a power rack, rubber mats, or wooden blocks and has several benefits:
- You can overload the top part of your deadlift and get used to handling heavier weights.
- You can build a stronger lockout
- You can handle more volume because pulling through a partial range of motion isn’t as tiring as pulling from the floor
Sets of 3-8 reps work well.