How do you lift more weight with the deadlift? The deadlift is the most effective weightlifting movement that you can do in the gym. The deadlift is the perfect “compound movement,” it uses every muscle in your body, from your traps down to your calves. Bodybuilders, Olympic lifters, and athletes have long used the deadlift to build strength, pack on muscle mass, and improve their overall athletic performance.
One critical factor in building a strong deadlift is choosing your supporting exercises, based on your weaknesses.
This may include your upper or lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps, or glutes. Each time you go to the gym to lift, you must strengthen these muscle groups to support your heavy deadlifts.
Choose one of the following movements and train it heavily, once each week, for two weeks, then move on to the next movement. Your goal should always be to beat your personal record from the previous week.
1. Standard Deadlift – The barbell is on the floor with you standing over it. Squat down to grab the bar, and let your quadriceps bend, slightly above parallel to the floor. This movement builds your deadlift power.
2. Straight Legged Deadlift – The barbell is on the floor, bend at your waist to grab the bar, but only slightly bend your legs, your legs should be nearly straight. The focus is on training your lower back, hamstring, and glutes.
3. Elevated Deadlift – Using the same start position as the standard deadlift, you change this movement by standing on a 4″ block of wood, or sturdy step. This lift creates a more challenging leverage point for you to pull the weight, and builds your quads, hamstrings, and lower back.
4. Rack Pulls – This movement is quite simple. In the squat rack, set the pins just below your knees. Rest the barbell on the pins and pull the weight up. This lift is an abbreviated motion for the deadlift but helps to build hand strength, lower back, upper back, and glute power.
How to Perform Deadlifts Safely And Correctly
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the bar on the floor lightly touching your shins. Grab the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width. Use an overhand grip or an alternate grip (one overhand and one underhand).
2. Adjust your posture. Keep your back straight, tighten your core. Hold your shoulders back, squeezing your shoulder blades. Ensure your chest faces forward. Make sure that you do not round your back throughout the lift.
3. Grip the bar tightly, and pull the weight up. Your legs will generate the power needed to lift it. Extend your entire body. At the top, lockout your body, using your upper body to hold the weight in place. Your body should now be in an upright posture, with the bar around the middle position of your thighs.
4. Slowly lower the weight to the ground in a controlled manner. Maintaining your posture. Keep the bar in contact with your body throughout the movement and do not use momentum and bounce the weight back up as this can result in injury.